Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 13 April, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie.

Airdrie United
1
Robbie Thomson
2
Chris O'Neill (Marc Warren (15), 72 mins)
3
Grant Evans
4
Gregor Buchanan
5
Ricki Lamie
6
Sean Lynch
7
Liam Watt
8
Steven Hetherington
9
Jamie Bain
10
Ryan Donnelly
11
Willie McLaren
 
Subs
12
Jordan Moore
14
Liam Coogans
15
Marc Warren
16
Jamie Barclay
17
Andrew Duncan
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Stuart Bannigan
5
Andy Dowie
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Sean Welsh
8
James Craigen (Christie Elliott (15), 77 mins)
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ross Forbes (Steve Lawless (16), 62 mins)
11
Steven Craig (Chris Erskine (14), 53 mins)
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Chris Erskine
15
Christie Elliott
16
Steve Lawless
17
Alan Archibald
 
Subs
12
Jordan Moore
14
Liam Coogans
15
Marc Warren
16
Jamie Barclay
17
Andrew Duncan
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Chris Erskine
15
Christie Elliott
16
Steve Lawless
17
Alan Archibald
Match Preview

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 13th April 2013

Wednesday’s win over Morton was without question a very important one; one that put Thistle in a strong position at the top of the First Division. There, however, remains a job still to be done before we can look at season 2012-2013 as being a truly successful one.
That job begins tomorrow afternoon when we make the short journey to face an Airdrie United side that have already have caused Thistle problems this season. Our previous visit to Airdrie this season ended in a 1-1 draw and it took a spectacular goal from Chris Erskine, deep into the game’s final quarter, to settle the last game in Thistle’s favour.
ptfc.co.uk spoke to manager Alan Archibald a little earlier this afternoon and he knows that the job is a long way from being done.

“It was only really the media that were building up Wednesday’s game as a title decider; we know that it was anything but. Morton have got four games to play and we have to assume that they will win those four games and we need to take care of business ourselves. I think it was good to be able to give the players the day off yesterday and allow them to enjoy Wednesday’s win but it was back to business today with the focus firmly on tomorrow’s game at Airdrie.”
Alan continued;
“We struggled through there the last time we played them when we produced possibly our worst performance of the season and that, like tomorrow, was on the back of a big game in front of a big crowd. We didn’t start well that afternoon and it will be important that we start better tomorrow. I’ve seen highlights of their game last weekend against Morton and Morton started very well against them and that seemed to affect their confidence. We’ll be looking to try and do the same tomorrow.”
Going into the game the manager has no fresh selection worries to contend with.
“Aaron Muirhead is obviously suspended and Paul Paton and Hugh Murray are still out. I’m not sure how far either of them are from getting back. Out of the two I think Paul will probably be back first. Jordan McMillan is still ill. He’s been completely floored by this bug, we had a couple of players floored by the same bug earlier in the season. I spoke to him today and it is a frustrating time for him but the players will be in for training on Sunday and I hope he’ll be back in training then.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              2*           0              7              2
(* one of the draws ended in a 6-5 defeat on penalties)
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Kris Doolan 15
Steven Craig 14
Chris Erskine 14
Steven Lawless 13
Conrad Balatoni 5
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 4
Aaron Muirhead 4
James Craigen 2
Christie Elliott 2
Stephen O’Donnell 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League
Wednesday April 10th 2013
Partick Thistle 1, Morton 0
Airdrie United Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              0              5              5              15
Scorers Season 2012-2013
John Boyle 10
Ryan Donnelly 6
Paul Di Giacomo 5
Jamie Bain 3
Nathan Blockley 3
Alan Cook 3
Willie McLaren 3
Gregor Buchanan 2
Jordan Moore 2
Josh Watt 2
Own Goals 2
Gavin Griffin 1
Jordan Kirkpatrick 1
Sean Lynch 1
Kieron Stallard 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Tuesday April 9th 2013
Hamilton Accies 5, Airdrie United 0
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday February 23rd 2013
Partick Thistle 1, Airdrie United 0
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Paton (Craigen), Muirhead, Balatoni, Forbes (Craig), Bannigan, Doolan, Lawless (Welsh), Erskine.
Airdrie United: Thomson, O’Neill, Griffin (Drummond), Buchanan, Evans, Hetherington, Bain, Blockley, Moore (Donnelly), John Boyle, Watt (Kirkpatrick).
Scorer
Thistle: Erskine (76)
Crowd: 3,021
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday April 13th 2013
Airdrie United v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults £16
Concessions (over 60s, students) £10
Disabled and Carer £10 (should be pre-ordered from Airdrie United)
Child (under 16) £7
Parent and Child £20
Travel
How to get there
Supporters Bus Information
Rail: The nearest train station is Drumgelloch.
Match Officials
Referee: Paul Robertson
Assistant Referees: Dougie Potter and Alan Hogg
Other First Division Fixtures
Morton v Dunfermline Athletic
Livingston v Hamilton Accies
Raith Rovers v Cowdenbeath

Match Report

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 13th April 2013

In a season in which the Thistle squad have demonstrated an incredible amount of character and determination they exceled themselves in this game. With the clock showing 89 minutes played they trailed bottom club Airdrie United by a goal to nil. In just a couple of incredible minutes they managed to turn that deficit into a 2-1 win and move 8 points clear at the top of the First Division.
Returning to events prior to the game; manager Alan Archibald made one change to the side that had defeated Morton. Chris Erskine was rested and dropped to the bench with Steven Craig starting.
Keen to net a tension relieving early goal Thistle started the game in a positive fashion and early signs were encouraging with Thistle twice managing to get in behind the Airdrie defence, albeit without manage to create a clear opening.
Their first chance arrived in the 12th minute. Stuart Bannigan crossed from left and Steven Craig’s first time shot went narrowly over the bar.
The Airdrie United goalkeeper Robbie Thomson had been in excellent form at Firhill the last time the two teams met and he was called into action in this game as well; pushing away a Kris Doolan effort in the 18th minute. The loose ball fell to Stephen O’Donnell but from a tight angle he was always unlikely to hit target and Steven Craig voiced his displeasure that O’Donnell hadn’t squared the ball to him.
Thistle remained firmly in control of this game and Kris Doolan looked set to score when put through by Steven Craig but an Airdrie defender was able to get back and win the ball from Doolan before he was able to shoot.
The home side had offered virtually nothing as an attacking force and it came as a real bolt from the blue when they opened the scoring in the 35th minute when Liam Watt was able to profit from sone indecision in the Jags defence to score at the second attempt.
Save for a Ross Forbes corner that nearly snuck in under the bar, Thistle never really threatened an equaliser in the time that remained before the interval which made for a distinctly subdued atmosphere in the away end during the break.
Things didn’t improve after the restart either. Indeed Airdrie will feel aggrieved not to have been given a chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot just three minutes into the second half. Andy Dowie seemed to bundle goalscorer Watt to the ground inside the box and had a penalty been awarded the defender would surely have received a red card.
Three minutes later Thistle missed a glorious opportunity to draw level when Sean Welsh burst into the box but unaccountably elected not to shoot when left with just Thomson to beat.
The tempo of Thistle’s player was notably higher in the second half but they were becoming more and more frustrated as time passed and an equaliser just would come.
Chris Erskine was on by this time and he dragged a shot wide and James Craigen saw an effort saved after he had collected a chipped pass from Sean Welsh.
There were howls for a red card for Sean Lynch when he cynically halted a Chris Erskine surge towards goal and frustration grew further when Thomson saved Aaron Sinclair’s deflected free kick that followed.
There was always a danger as Thistle pressed that Airdrie might sneak a second goal and Andy Dowie had to make a timely interception inside his own box before McLaren flashed a shot just wide.
There were appeals for a Thistle penalty when a Chris Erskine ball into the box struck an Airdrie defender but the appeals for handball fell on deaf ears and with time running out it really looked as if this wouldn’t be Thistle’s day.
The players though had other ideas. With the 90 minute approaching three corners in quick succession were won and from the third the head of Conrad Balatoni managed to divert the ball into the net.
Amazingly there was still time to win the game. Christie Elliott didn’t make the cleanest of contacts with his shot but it was enough to find the net, sparking scenes of bedlam on and off the pitch.
Airdrie’s time wasting tactics meant that there were still a few minutes of additional time to negotiate before the points could be celebrated and Airdrie did manage a couple of opportunities in the time left. Scott Fox did well to punch clear a corner and Willie McLaren sent a shot over the bar from the edge of the box.

Match Reaction

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 13th April 2013

The events of yesterday afternoon left just about everyone breathless with excitement at the finish.
ptfc.co.uk caught up with manager Alan Archibald amidst the bustle of the Airdrie United press room and he admitted that he had never experienced anything quite like the last few minutes.
“I’ve never seen a finish like that. It was quite remarkable to be honest. The performance wasn’t fantastic but I thought that we deserved it.”
Alan continued;
“We stressed before the game that it would be great if we got an early goal just to see how Airdrie would react. They’ve had a couple of poor results recently and that was after teams scored early goals. We knew it was important too to score the first goal based on what happened here the last time when they scored first and had something to hang on to. I thought their goal today came against the run of play and just like the last time it gave them something to hang on to.”
That goal came as a result of a rare slip at the back. Said Alan;
“It was just a wee mix up at the back. I thought that Andy Dowie had a wee chance to switch out to the other side; there were two men over the other side. There was a mix up and before you know it we were 1-0 down.”
Alan confessed that with time running out he didn’t think that a goal was going to come.
“I didn’t think it was going to come. I thought when Chris Erskine got through on goal and got pulled down and the player got booked that that was our chance. Andy Dowie’s had a couple of headers too that have been straight at the keeper and I did think that it might not be our day.”
It was one of Alan substitutes, Christie Elliott, that sealed a dramatic win.
“We were just juggling things about when we put Christie on. We put him on wide at first and had Chris Erskine up with Kris Doolan and try and get them to link up; we know how they link up in training. As time went on in the last five minutes it was important that we got Christie right up top with Kris Doolan and it paid off. He came on at Hamilton and scored and he’s done the same today and I’m absolutely delighted for him.”
To say that Christie’s goal sparked scenes of wild celebration would be something of an understatement.
“It was bedlam. It was bedlam in the dugout as well so it was hard to see what was happening over on the other side. I’m delighted for the fans. They’ve turned out in numbers, about 1,400 I think. They were fantastic the other night and they were brilliant again today. They kept singing right the way through the game even when things weren’t going well for us.”
Was Alan aware that Morton were losing?
“Somebody told us at half-time, I think one of the boys that wasn’t playing, and let us know. And that was even more disappointing because we weren’t capitalising on that.”
And Alan’s emotions at full-time?
“I think it was relief and delight all rolled into one. It’s important now that we start to prepare for Tuesday. We’ll be in tomorrow to start doing that. We want to try and win the league at Firhill, in front of our own fans.”

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