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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Friendly
Tue 9 July, 2013. Kick Off: - 19:30
Galabank, Annan.

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Paul Gallacher
2
Jordan McMillan
3
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
4
Sean Welsh
5
Trialist
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Trialist II
8
James Craigen
9
Kris Doolan
10
Steven Lawless
11
Christie Elliott
 
Subs
Scott Fox
Stephen O'Donnell
Aaron Muirhead
John Baird
Hugh Murray
Mark McGuigan
Liam Lindsay
Dale Keenan
Ross Forbes
Declan McDaid
 
Subs
Scott Fox
Stephen O'Donnell
Aaron Muirhead
John Baird
Hugh Murray
Mark McGuigan
Liam Lindsay
Dale Keenan
Ross Forbes
Declan McDaid
Match Preview

Annan Athletic – Partick Thistle – 9th July 2013

This evening Thistle make the trip down to Annan for their second pre-season fixture; the match being arranged as part of the deal that brought Aaron Muirhead to Firhill from Annan last close season.
Like Thistle, tonight’s game is Annan’s second pre-season outing with Jim Chapman’s side having drawn 2-2 with Workington at the weekend.
Three years have passed since we last played Annan, a Simon Donnelly goal giving Thistle a 1-0 League Cup win on our only previous visit to Galabank.
There are, however, some familiar faces in the Annan side. None more than that of goalkeeper Kenny Arthur’s;  Kenny, who played with Airdrie United last season upon his return to Scotland after a number of years in England, will combine his playing role at Galabank with some goalkeeping coaching.
Kenny isn’t the only former Thistle player in the Annan squad this season. He is joined by forward Jordan Moffat who was released by Thistle at the end of last season having spent the previous two years at Firhill.
Not a former Thistle but no less recognisable all the same is striker Peter Weatherson who became an Annan player after leaving Morton at the end of last season. Peter, like Kenny Arthur, will combine playing and coaching at Annan this coming season.
The Thistle squad tonight meantime will comprise a similar mixture of players and trialists who featured against Gateshead at the weekend. The heat, plus the fact that this is another game being played on plastic, will enter the thoughts of manager Alan Archibald when he picks his team for tonight.
Said Alan;
“We will field a similar mix of players to what we did at the weekend but we are mindful of the heat and the type of surface that we will be playing on. We are trying though to move closer to how we will set the team up when the season actually gets under way.”
Alan continued;
“The good news is that Sean Welsh should feature tonight and start the game and Steven Lawless should also be involved as well. It’s good to have them back but again we will need to be careful in how long we play them for. Had tonight’s game been on grass then the chances are that we would play them for a little longer. Stuart Bannigan too is on his way back; although tonight’s game will come too soon for him. We are hopefully though that he should be back in time for the weekend’s game at Dumbarton.”
Match Details
Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday July 9th 2013
Annan Athletic v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 7:30pm
Prices
Adults £10
Concessions and under 16s £5
U12’s accompanied with an Adult gain free entry
Match Officials
Referee: Alan Newlands
Assistant Referees: Brian Templeton and Lloyd Wilson

Match Report

Annan Athletic – Partick Thistle – 9th July 2013

Thistle made light work of Third Division Annan Athletic in their second pre-season outing. After a disappointing display in the heat against Gateshead at the weekend this was a much improved display even though the game was again played in hot conditions.
There was a pre-match boost with both Sean Welsh and Steven Lawless recovered sufficiently from injuries to return to action.
Against the Third Division outfit, who included former Jag Kenny Arthur in goals, Thistle made a fast and decisive start and were 2-0 up inside the game’s first five minutes.
The first goal owed much to Jordan McMillan’s powerful run down the right hand side. Christie Elliott was the player that profited from McMillan’s run and cut back and he was able to steer the ball into the corner of the net from about 15 yards out.
In next to no time Elliott was able to return the favour for McMillan. After collecting a throw from Aaron Sinclair, Elliott was able to use his strength to brush off a challenge from an Annan defender before crossing for McMillan at the back post who from a yard out was able to stab the ball home.
Thistle remained in almost total control and Sean Welsh had twice sent shots over the bar before Thistle did claim a third goal in the 25th minute. Although he didn’t score himself, Sean Welsh was heavily involved in what was arguably the pick of the five Thistle goals. Welsh’s excellent ball into the box was collected by Kris Doolan who after taking a touch to control the ball sent a shot high into the back of the net.
Thistle were close to a fourth goal on the half hour mark when the trailst centre back sent a header from an Elliott cross just wide of goal.
The game’s next goal though came at the other end with half time fast approaching. Flynn was able to enjoy the break of the ball off Sean Welsh and he found the net with a well struck shot from 20 yards.
A whole host of changes were made at the break but that did little to alter the pattern of the game. Stephen O’Donnell’s first serious involvement in the game took him deep into the Annan box. He found Kris Doolan with his cut back with Doolan in turn touching the ball to Steven Lawless whose shot was saved by the legs of sub keeper Mitchell.
A fourth goal did arrive, however, just past the hour mark. The trialist number 7 swerving shot deceived the Annan keeper who could do no more than help the ball into the back of the net.
The trialist was again on target just five minutes later. As he had been with the first two goals Jordan McMillan was heavily involved with this one as well. Jordan had switched from the right to the left at the break and his cross from the left was forced over the line by the trialist from close range.
At the other end Paul Gallacher had been largely untroubled but with 12 minutes remaining he had to produce an excellent save from point blank range to prevent Annan from pulling a goal back.
Thistle themselves had one last chance to extend their lead with five minutes remaining. Dale Keenan did well to work himself into a good position inside the Annan box but his finish let him down.
This though was a good all round display from Thistle with good performances throughout the team and a big improvement on the performance against Gateshead at the weekend.

Match Reaction

Annan Athletic – Partick Thistle – 9th July 2013

Thistle manager Alan Archibald was an altogether much happier man after last night’s win over Annan Athletic than he had been after the weekend’s game with Gateshead.
[link:HOME] spoke with Alan after last night’s game and he began by expressing his pleasure at the way his side had performed.
“I was much happier with that; it was much better. I think from the word go we moved the ball about much better. We gave everyone a bit longer on the pitch and there was less chopping and changing tonight and we got more out of the game by doing that.”
Alan continued;
“I think the surface had a lot to do with that. I’m not one for making excuses but I think tonight we saw the difference between a bad astroturf pitch and a good one. The pitch on Saturday was horrendous but the surface tonight was very decent and I think you could see that in how we moved the ball about the pitch from the word go.”
He went on
“The passing and movement in all areas was good tonight. We got good movement in midfield and created little triangles which created space for the full backs. I thought too that Stevie Lawless and Christie Elliott got into good areas in that shape as well and that allowed us to get on the ball and dictate the play.”
“I think the performance tonight, albeit it was against Annan and no disrespect to them, was due to the hard work that we did down at Durham where we had some great surfaces to train on. We were able to take that hard work into the game tonight and I thought that showed up in the link up play.”
Both Sean Welsh and Steven Lawless returned to action last night after injury and the manager explained the thinking behind giving the two players a little extra game time in the second half.
“Sean Welsh went back to the specialist yesterday and the results from that showed just a little inflammation and we decided to push him on. He trained yesterday and he was brilliant so we decided to give him 45 minutes tonight. At half-time he had 15 minutes to settle down and Kenny Crichton thought that it would be a good idea to give him a little longer after he settled down to see if there was any reaction. It wasn’t a case of giving him a little extra game time; more to see if there was a reaction. He was absolutely fine. It was the same with Stevie Lawless. He was looking great in the first half and was looking really sharp so we decided to give him just a little bit extra as well.”
The manager was pleased too with the performances of some of the younger members of his squad commenting;
“The younger boys that played tonight the majority of them came down to Durham with us. They trained well when they were down with us and showed up well with the first team and they performed well tonight. We made a lot of changes during the second half but that didn’t seem to do us much harm and that showed the quality of the young lads and their desire to do well.”
After five trialists had played against Gateshead just two featured last night against Annan and the manager was able to give us an update on the state of play with the trialists.
“The trialist that scored twice was Gary Fraser. Gary is a very good player and we’ve had him with us since very early on in pre-season. He’s settled in well with us. In fact it looks as if he was with the team last year. The problem is that Gary has a couple of good options from elsewhere and I think we might struggle to hold on to him to be honest.”
The other trialist who played in the centre of defence last night is a player that the manager would like to have another look at.
Said Alan;
“We are going to try and have another look at him and I spoke to his agent but he is another player that has other options. Sometimes you need to move fast on these things but with finance tight you also need to make sure that they are the right player otherwise you can end up getting your fingers burnt.”
Although Mark Kerr didn’t play last night he remains part of things at Firhill as the manager explained;
“Mark Kerr has a wee niggle and we didn’t want to risk him on the astroturf but he should be involved at the weekend.”
The Spanish player who played in the second half against Gateshead also didn’t feature last night but he too is still very much in the manager’s thoughts.
“He’s gone back to Spain to try and sort a few things out” explained the manager before continuing,
“He’s a bit younger and there are issues surrounding compensation and things like that. We can’t do anything further until a few things have been clarified. The rules have changed and its’ not just his last club that would be due compensation but his club before then as well. So we will need to wait until that is all sorted out.”
The manager again stressed the importance that any players added to the squad need to be the right type of player.
“That’s the case with all trialists; they need to be able to fit in and I think at the weekend a couple of them didn’t. Coming back for pre-season that wee bit earlier has given us the opportunity to have a look at them and see who is out there.”

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