Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 29 December, 2012. Kick Off: - 15:00
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie

Airdrie United
1
Grant Adam
2
Chris O'Neill
3
Marc Warren (David Lilley (16), 83 mins)
4
Gregor Buchanan
5
Ricki Lamie
6
Jamie Barclay
7
Liam Watt
8
Nathan Blockley
9
John Boyle (Liam Buchanan (14), 68 mins)
10
Ryan Donnelly
11
Willie McLaren (Josh Watt (12), 73 mins)
 
Subs
12
Josh Watt
14
Liam Buchanan
15
Jamie Bain
16
David Lilley
17
Andrew Duncan
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Graeme Smith
2
Aaron Muirhead
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Paul Paton
5
Conrad Balatoni
6
Alan Archibald
7
Steve Lawless
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Steven Craig
10
Sean Welsh (Kris Doolan (14), 59 mins)
11
Chris Erskine
 
Subs
12
Scott Fox
14
Kris Doolan
15
Hugh Murray
16
David Rowson
17
Jonathon Black
 
Subs
12
Josh Watt
14
Liam Buchanan
15
Jamie Bain
16
David Lilley
17
Andrew Duncan
 
Subs
12
Scott Fox
14
Kris Doolan
15
Hugh Murray
16
David Rowson
17
Jonathon Black
Match Preview

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 29th December 2012

The curtain will come down on the football in 2012 at the end of tomorrow’s game at Airdrie United. 2012 has been in the most part an excellent year for Thistle and a Jags victory tomorrow will all but confirm that we will end the year at the top of the First Division with our focus very much on a spot in next season’s SPL.
There was disappointment of course on Wednesday afternoon when defeat by Morton let an opportunity to really press home our advantage at the top of the league slip by. That means that there is a little extra significance surrounding tomorrow’s game; especially with Morton and Dunfermline playing each other. It’s vital, therefore, that we bounce back from Wednesday’s defeat with all three points at Airdrie tomorrow.
We will be without the services of Ross Forbes who will serve his one game suspension tomorrow following his red card on Wednesday and manager Jackie McNamara, after this morning’s training session, was able to provide us with the rest of the bang up to date team news.

“Stephen O’Donnell is definitely out and we’ll need to organise for him to have a scan on his ankle. We’ll need to make a decision on Sean Welsh as well. It was eight weeks that he was out for and he hasn’t done too much in that time. He’s obviously desperate to play and doesn’t want to miss out on any more games.”
Jackie continued;
“Mark McGuigan is making good progress with his injury and while tomorrow’s game comes just a little too soon for him we hope that he will be back in contention for a place in the squad for the match with Hamilton next Wednesday.”
“It’s very important that we bounce back from defeat on Wednesday with a victory in this game. It’s a big game for us but they are all big games. One thing that will be really important is that we keep eleven players on the park. We feel that Ross Forbes’ red card on Wednesday was harsh, especially after watching the video of the game, but with the system that we play we need to keep a full team on the park irrespective of whether we think we have been harshly treated or not. Things that go against you can prove to be really significant as I think Wednesday’s game showed. It was disappointing the way that game ended up as we had an opportunity to move six points clear of Morton with a game in hand; now they are level on points with us.”
As previously mentioned, Morton and Dunfermline play each other tomorrow but the manager isn’t planning on paying too much attention to events elsewhere.
“It doesn’t matter what happens in other games. It’s what we do that is important and we know that we have the squad of players that can win games and win us the league.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              0              3              6              6
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Lawless 10
Chris Erskine 8
Steven Craig 7
Kris Doolan 7
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 3
Aaron Muirhead 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Wednesday December 26th 2012
Partick Thistle 1, Morton 2
Airdrie United Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              2              3              2              10
Scorers Season 2012-2013
John Boyle 7
Paul Di Giacomo 3
Nathan Blockley 2
Gregor Buchanan 2
Alan Cook 2
Josh Watt 2
Own Goals 2
Jamie Bain 1
Ryan Donnelly 1
Gavin Griffin 1
Willie McLaren 1
Kieron Stallard 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Wednesday December 26th 2012
Hamilton Accies 3, Airdrie United 0
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday October 20th 2012
Partick Thistle 7, Airdrie United 0
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Bannigan, Paton, Muirhead, Balatoni, Lawless (Slane), Welsh, Craig (Doolan), Forbes, Erskine (Elliott).
Airdrie United: Arthur, Hart, Cook (Evans), Buchanan, Lilley, Stallard, Bain (McLaren), Blockley, Jack Boyle, Donnelly (Sally), Watt.
Scorers
Thistle: Erskine (4 & 45), Muirhead (11), Lawless (30), Welsh (42), Doolan (57), Forbes (80)
Crowd: 2,545
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday December 29th 2012
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
Rail: The nearest train station is Drumgelloch.
Supporters’ Buses
Match Officials
Referee: Alan Muir
Assistant Referees: Alan Mulvanny and Sean Carr
Other First Division Fixtures
Falkirk v Dumbarton
Morton v Dunfermline Athletic
Livingston v Hamilton Accies
Raith Rovers v Cowdenbeath

Match Report

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 29th December 2012

Thistle ended 2012 on a disappointing note with Wednesday’s defeat at Morton being followed by only a share of points away to Airdrie United; the two points dropped sufficient for Thistle to relinquish their position at the top of the First Division.
The suspended Ross Forbes missed this game with his place in the side going to Sean Welsh as Thistle remained otherwise unchanged.
Thistle simply didn’t get started in this game with possession conceding with alarming ease. The home side, without a win in the league since October, in contrast looked determined to halt their disappointing run of results and they were the first to threaten a goal; Graeme Smith being forced into making a save low to his left to deny Liam Watt.
Thistle were enjoying the bulk of the possession but they were doing little with it. Sean Welsh had, at best, a half chance at the back post and Chris Erskine saw a shot blocked by Airdrie’s Gregor Buchanan; the force of the shot knocking Buchanan to the ground.
The Thistle fans were getting frustrated at their side’s failure to make much of an impression on the Airdrie United defence although Aaron Muirhead saw his cross from the right strike the Airdrie United crossbar.
Grant Adam in the Airdrie United goal though remained largely untroubled during the opening 45 minutes. He did make a fairly routine save from a Steven Craig header in the 37th minute after Sean Welsh had picked out the Thistle striker with a cross from the right. Craig too sent a header from a Muirhead cross wide as Thistle attempted to make a breakthrough before half-time.
Instead it was the home side that went in at half-time a goal to the good. John Boyle had a little too much space inside the Thistle box and he shot across Smith and into the far corner of the net.
It could even have been 2-0 minutes later with Smith touching an effort from Ryan Donnelly wide of goal.
A big improvement was expected from Thistle in the second half and there was much more urgency from them but the overall pattern of the game remained largely unchanged. Thistle continued to have the greater possession but frequently made the wrong decision with their final ball.
The Airdrie United keeper though was a little busier in the second half than he had in the opening half and in the 50th minute he saved a Lawless shot low to his right.
A second goal though may well have killed Thistle and John Boyle was close to scoring that second goal just before the hour mark when he curled a shot just wide of Graeme Smith’s right hand post.
There were half hearted appeals for a Thistle penalty in the 65th minute when Chris Erskine went to ground inside the Airdrie United box and the same player lashed a shot high over the bar after Steven Craig had headed an Aaron Muirhead cross back into his path.
Grant Adam produced a decent save in the 73rd minute to turn a Lawless effort round the post for a corner but Thistle did have an equaliser six minutes later just when it was beginning to look as if it would never come. Chris Erskine found space in front of the Airdrie United goal and he sent a shot into the roof of the net.
Could Thistle now find a winner? There was no lack of effort as just about everything was thrown at the home defence in the closing minutes but in keeping with the overall pattern of the game they never managed to fashion a clear cut opening despite managing to find themselves in a number of promising positions.
It wasn’t all one way traffic either as the home side too tried to find a late winner. Liam Watt shot just wide and Liam Buchanan couldn’t find a finish after the expected flag for offside failed to materialise.
The final chance of the game came Thistle’s way with the game in injury time. Alan Archibald was able to connect with a Lawless corner from the right but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

Match Reaction

Airdrie United v Partick Thistle – 29th December 2012

As you would imagine there was a sharp contrast in the moods of the two managers immediately after yesterday’s game with Airdrie United.
Thistle manager Jackie McNamara bemoaned the way his side started the game.
“We knew that they would be up for the game after the way we played the last time we played them and we knew that there would be a response from them, but from my point of view I’m only interested in my team and how we play and we didn’t start the game very well. We were sloppy with our passing. I thought possession wise we had good opportunities during the first half but we didn’t make the right pass or the final ball. We then got caught with a goal just before half-time and there could have been another one at the back post.”
Jackie continued;
“Second half I thought that we were better. We passed the ball quicker and we had some good chances. We upped the tempo in the second half but you give yourselves a lot to do when they have a goal to hang onto with hard work and effort. We should have started the game better and passed the ball quicker and sharper.”
The equaliser was late in coming but the Thistle manager still felt that there was more than enough time to go on and find a winning goal.
“After we got the equaliser I thought that we were capable of going on and getting the winner. I thought we were creating enough chances and were getting the ball into some good areas but again the last ball or the finish just wasn’t there. All credit to Jimmy’s team though. They battled away well for him and they had a chance on the breakaway as well. My concern is my team and we need to show that level of intensity for the whole game not just the last 30 minutes of the game.”
The loss of two points coupled with the result at Cappielow meant that Thistle dropped off their perch at the top of the table.  Said Jackie;
“I’d rather be top of the league at the moment but I’ve said from day one that it’s going to be a battle at the top. Morton had a great result against Dunfermline today but there is a long, long way to go; we haven’t even reached the halfway stage yet. We need to get back focused on ourselves and not worry about what is happening elsewhere. Our priority, with the players that we have in the dressing room, is that we get back to winning games of football.”
Airdrie United boss Jimmy Boyle was understandably delighted with his side’s display.
“That was our best performance of the season, certainly against them. Thistle are top side, we were under no illusion that they are a top side. We went with a very, very young squad today and I thought that they were excellent. We started the game well. We knew that we would concede possession with them playing three men in the middle of the park but we worked really hard to combat that and we did, especially in the first half. I think out keeper has just had one save to make in the first half even though they’ve thrown a lot of balls into the box. The centre halves though dealt with that very well. We’ve made their keeper make a couple of saves and John Boyle scored a very good goal.”
“I thought that we deserved not to be beaten. We took our chance when it came and I was really happy that we got what we deserved in the first half. Second half we knew that they would throw everything at us. They’ve got good quality and it took a goal of that quality for the equaliser. We kept taking the game to them though and had chances as well with Liam Watt and Liam Buchanan.”
“I think we are going to get better and we are going to try and strengthen the squad to help these young boys.”

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