Match Preview

Last weekend’s fixture with Ross County was disappointing both in terms of the final result and in terms of entertainment on offer. There is, of course, no such thing as a guaranteed good game but tomorrow’s fixture with Livingston does have the potential to be a highly entertaining fixture.

It’s rare for two teams to meet both having scored five in their last away game. Thistle fired five past a hapless Queen of the South side a fortnight ago while last Saturday Livingston recorded a highly impressive 5-2 win away to Falkirk. They will, therefore, come to Firhill tomorrow full of confidence. They will though be without the services of Jason Talbot who completes a period of suspension following a red card against Hamilton. Meantime Kevin McCann, who had played the maximum permitted three games as a trialist, has signed a deal with Livingston that will keep him at the club until the end of the current season.

There could also be a new face in the Thistle side tomorrow. A little earlier here on ptfc.co.uk we brought you the news that Thistle had signed 23 year old Mark McGuigan, a name that perhaps means little, for now, to the Thistle fans but a player that the manager is looking forward to seeing in first team action, Jackie McNamara commenting;

“He has the right mentality. After a few years away from the full-time game he has a real hunger and desire about him and that is the kind of player that I want to bring to the Club.”

Mark goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s game and could be set to make his Thistle debut at Firhill tomorrow afternoon.

As well as welcoming a new face into the team, the manager has a few injury worries to contend with ahead of tomorrow’s game with a couple of players needing some needle and thread to attend to cuts on the head. Said Jackie;

“Stuart Bannigan received a nasty cut to his head against Ross County and had to come off. That was a shame as I thought he was having an excellent game in an unfamiliar role for him. Stuart’s attitude and approach to the game, even when he wasn’t playing as much as he would have liked, has been excellent. We’ll need to see how he is closer to kick-off time.”

“After missing last week’s game through suspension, Aaron Sinclair would have been the natural choice to step back into the team but he received a cut to his head in training on Thursday, and like Stuart Bannigan, need six stitches to attend to that cut. He’s got a black eye as well but he should be okay, though we’ll take a look at him before training on Friday morning.”

The manager continued;

“Tomorrow’s game is an important one for us as we want to finish the season as strongly as possible. My first season in football management has proved to be a learning curve for me and I feel that we have dropped far too many points in games that we should have won. The nature of the game in the First Division makes set pieces very important, something that Ross County have ably demonstrated this season. I don’t think that we’ve scored more than about three goals from set pieces while I don’t want to count the number of goals that we’ve lost at set pieces. That is something that has disappointed me all season, and something that we need to improve upon if we are to be challenging at the top if the league next season.”

“I know what I need to do over the summer and I know the players that I want to try and bring in while also holding on to the players that we want to keep. I don’t believe that we are too far away from having a side capable of mounting a challenge next season.”

Partick Thistle Stats

Current Form – Last Five Games

W            D             L              F              A

2              1              2              8              5

Scorers Season 2011/2012

Kris Doolan 12

Paul Cairney 11

Christie Elliott 6

Chris Erskine 6

David Rowson 4

Stephen O’Donnell 2

Tommy Stewart 2

Conrad Balatoni 1

Own Goals 1

Last Game

Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division

Saturday March 24th 2012

Partick Thistle 0, Ross County 1

Livingston Stats

Current Form – Last Five Games

W            D             L              F              A

2              0              3              11           12

Scorers Season 2011/2012

Marc McNulty 15

Iain Russell 12

Kenny Deuchar 8

Bobby Barr 7

Rory Boulding 5

Keaghan Jacobs 4

Kyle Jacobs 4

Own Goals 3

Craig Barr 2

Mark Fotheringham 2

David Sinclair 2

Stefan Scougall 2

Dean Cummings 1

Liam Fox 1

Jason Talbot 1

Paul Watson 1

Last Game

Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division

Saturday March 24th 2012

Falkirk 2, Livingston 5

Last Meeting

Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division

Saturday February 11th 2012

Livingston 3, Partick Thistle 1

Teams

Livingston: McNeil, Docherty, Talbot, Watson, C Barr, Kyle Jacobs, B Barr, Fox (Cummings), McNulty (Russell), Scougall (Easton), Keaghan Jacobs.

Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Cole, Paton, Robertson, Welsh (Naismith), Cairney, Rowson (Elliott), Doolan, Erskine, Bannigan (Griffin).

Scorers

Livingston: McNulty (37), Watson (46), Kyle Jacobs (52)

Thistle: Cairney (88)

Crowd: 1,824

Match Details

Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division

Saturday March 31st 2012

Partick Thistle v Livingston

Kick-off: 3:00pm

Prices

Adults £17

OAP (65+) / Youth (16-21) / Full Time Education £12

Under 16s FREE

Programme £2.50

Match Officials

Referee: Craig Charleston

Assistant Referees: Graham McNeillie and Thomas Robertson

Other First Division Fixtures

Queen of the South v Ayr United

Ross County v Raith Rovers

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