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Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 21:18 GMT
Partick Thistle 3-0 Stenhousemuir
Martin Hardie's two goals were key for Thistle
Martin Hardie's two goals were key for Thistle
Martin Hardie scored twice to help Partick Thistle sweep aside promotion challengers Stenhousemuir.

The three-goal victory means the Glasgow side stretch their lead over second-top Stranraer to eight points.

Alan Archibald grabbed the other goal as Thistle's superiority finally told in the second half.

Thistle had given a debut to Derek Collins after his loan move from Hibernian.

Injured in training

Striker George Shaw was also given his first start since his return to Firhill.

Both winger Allan Moore and defender Mark McNally were missing.

Stenhousemuir were without midfielder Barry Donald after he was injured in training.

Firhill's undersoil heating was invaluable
Firhill's undersoil heating was invaluable
Thistle were well on top in the first half but could not break down a stuffy Stenhousemuir rearguard.

It took the league leaders until the 57th minute to open the scoring.

A drive from Collins came back of a post and Hardie re-directed the ball into the net.

Thistle added a second seven minutes later.

Archibald collected the ball after a Brian Hamilton shot was cleared off the line.

Sweeping move

The defender's 25-yard drive found the back of the net after hitting a post.

Ten minutes from time, Hardie completed the scoring with a sweeping move from midfield.

The attacking midfielder turned the ball into the net from close range.

It meant Thistle, thanks to their undersoil heaing, took a firmer hold in the title race as winter took a grip on the rest of the Second Division card.

Partick: Arthur, Hamilton, Smith, Archibald, Stewart, Collins, Craigan, Lennon, McLean, Hardie, Shaw.

Subs: Lindau, Brown, McCallum, McGrillen, Cameron.

Stenhousemuir: Gow, Duncan, McAneny, Graham, Cormack, Davidson, Ferguson, McKinnon, Donald, Miller, English.

Subs: Menelaws, Banner, Blaikie, Henderson, Loren Gibson.

Referee: C MacKay.

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See also:

26 Dec 00 |  Scotland
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23 Dec 00 |  Scotland
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23 Dec 00 |  Scotland
Collins heads transfer moves
16 Dec 00 |  Scot Div 2
Arbroath 1-1 Partick Thistle
09 Dec 00 |  Scottish Cup
Stenhousemuir 1-4 Berwick Rangers
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