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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Ramsdens Cup
Sun 14 October, 2012. Kick Off: - 16:05
Central Park, Cowdenbeath

Cowdenbeath
1
Thomas Flynn
2
David Cowan
3
Scott Linton (Joe Mbu (12), 85 mins)
4
Thomas O'Brien
5
Ruben Garcia
6
Kenny Adamson
7
Marc McKenzie
8
Mark Ramsay (Lewis Coult (15), 78 mins)
9
Greig Stewart
10
Jamie Stevenson
11
Kyle Miller
 
Subs
18
Craig Wight
12
Joe Mbu
14
Dean Brett
15
Lewis Coult
16
Colin Cameron
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Stuart Bannigan
4
Paul Paton
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Steve Lawless
8
Sean Welsh
9
Steven Craig (Christie Elliott (16), 89 mins)
10
Ross Forbes (Paul Slane (15))
11
Chris Erskine (Kris Doolan (14), 75 mins)
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
14
Kris Doolan
15
Paul Slane
16
Christie Elliott
17
Aaron Sinclair
 
Subs
18
Craig Wight
12
Joe Mbu
14
Dean Brett
15
Lewis Coult
16
Colin Cameron
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
14
Kris Doolan
15
Paul Slane
16
Christie Elliott
17
Aaron Sinclair
Match Preview

Cowdenbeath v Partick Thistle – 14th October 2012

Tomorrow afternoon Partick Thistle have the opportunity to achieve something that no Thistle side has managed for 41 years; reach the Final of a national cup competition.
Cowdenbeath present the not inconsiderable challenge that Thistle will face at Central Park tomorrow and they, like Thistle, are striving to reach the final of the tournament for the very first time.
It’s a game that everyone is looking forward to, but Thistle look set to be without the services of Club Captain Alan Archibald. Said manager Jackie McNamara when he spoke to [link:HOME] after training this morning;

“Alan Archibald trained today but he is still feeling the injury that he picked up a couple of weeks ago. We’ll need to assess the injury, but right now I would say that he is struggling to be involved tomorrow. He’s an important player for us and a real leader. The league remains our number one priority this season and we want to make sure that he is back for that.”
The doubt surrounding Alan Archibald aside it looks as if we will go into tomorrow’s semi-final with a full squad for the manager to select from.
“Having more or less a full squad to pick from means that I will have some important decisions to make but as I’ve said before it’s a good problem to have. The pitch at Central Park is a tight one with not a lot of space, and that makes it a different type of game. It can become a bit of a scrap and not overly pretty. We’ll need then to give careful thought to the system that we well use tomorrow. Whatever system we use we will need to make sure that we, first and foremost, match Cowdenbeath physically; that we make sure that we win the second balls. If we can win the battle, make sure that they don’t get a lift at any point, then hopefully the players’ ability will come to the fore. ”
“One thing that we will have to make sure we do is defend long throws and corners properly. That was something that was disappointing last week against Morton. We knew that would be their major threat and when we next play them we will need to make sure that we are better prepared for that.”
“It’s not just about how the eleven that start the game tomorrow perform. We need the players that come off the bench during the game to play their part as well. With the freshness they have a player coming off the bench they should be able to make an impact and last week I didn’t think that was the case.”
There has been a real quiet determination within the squad this week as Jackie revealed.
“The players haven’t really spoken too much about the semi-final rather they have just quietly gone about their business during the week. This morning’s training session was really good with an excellent tempo to it. I know that Thistle have never previously reached the Final of this competition. Hopefully we will be able to put that right tomorrow.”
Cowdenbeath’s John Armstrong meantime will sit this game out after his straight red card last Saturday against Livingston.
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              9              6
Scorers Season 2012-2013

Chris Erskine 6
Steven Lawless 6
Kris Doolan 5
Steven Craig 4
Stuart Bannigan 2
Christie Elliott 1
Aaron Muirhead 1
Aaron Sinclair 1
Sean Welsh 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday October 6th 2012
Morton 3, Partick Thistle 1
Cowdenbeath Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              2              2              8              11
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Lewis Coult 4
Marc McKenzie 4
Kyle Miller 3
Jamie Stevenson 4
Kenneth Adamson 1
John Armstrong 1
Lewis Milne 1
Mark Ramsay 1
Greg Stewart 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday October 6th 2012
Livingston 1, Cowdenbeath 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday September 22nd 2012
Partick Thistle 2, Cowdenbeath 1
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Sinclair (Forbes), Paton, Muirhead, Archibald, Lawless, Bannigan, Elliott (Doolan), Murray, Erskine.
Cowdenbeath: Flynn, Cowan, Linton, Cameron (O’Brien), Armstrong, Adamson, McKenzie, Ramsay, Miller (Milne), Thomas, Stevenson (Brett).
Scorers
Thistle: Muirhead (25), Linton – Own Goal (70)
Cowdenbeath: Stevenson (49)
Crowd: 2,527
Match Highlights

Match Details
Ramsdens Cup Semi-Final
Sunday October 14th 2012
Cowdenbeath v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 4:05pm
Prices
Adults £15
Concession £8 (over 65, U16)
Parent with 1 U12 £16
Following discussions between Cowdenbeath and the police it has been agreed that this game does not need to be segregated and as such all supporters will enter the ground through the High Street turnstiles.
Thistle fans will be accommodated in the old stand and the goals to the West side of the stadium, and signage will guide them to those sections of the ground.
Travel
By Supporters Bus
Central Park Information
Match Officials
Referee: John McKendrick
Assistant Referees: Stephen Mitchell and Ross Haswell
Fourth Official: George Salmond
Other Fixture
Ramsdens Cup Semi-Final
Queen of the South v Arbroath (Kick-off 3pm)

Match Report

Cowdenbeath v Partick Thistle – 14th October 2012

After a gap of 41 years Thistle are once again looking forward to an appearance in a Final of a national cup competition but, as expected, this afternoon’s semi-final encounter with Cowdenbeath proved to be a real battle.
Thistle lost their unbeaten league record in their previous fixture with Morton and manager Jackie McNamara made two changes to the side that started that game. Injury ruled out Club Captain, Paul Paton took the captain’s armband in his absence, and his slot in the team went to Conrad Balatoni. There was no place in the team either for Hugh Murray as Sean Welsh returned from injury and the manager altered the shape of the team to reflect the anticipated physical battle on a tight pitch.
And a battle the game proved to be. An early goal for either side may well have changed the whole dynamic of the encounter, and Thistle were close to taking the lead in the 15th minute. Chris Erskine, who had just moved from a central role to one on the right hand side, saw his shot pushed away by Flynn in the Cowdenbeath goal. Flynn again saved when Paul Paton drilled the loose ball towards goal. Still the danger wasn’t over and Steven Lawless really should have done better than head wide of target as the ball spun upwards.
Three minutes later Flynn was again in action, this time turning a Stephen O’Donnell effort round the post after O’Donnell’s forceful run had taken him deep into the Cowdenbeath penalty area.
It was a positive opening quarter from Thistle and Sean Welsh was able to connect with a Ross Forbes corner as Thistle tried to turn their early ascendancy into a lead. Welsh, however, was unable to direct his header on target.
After those relatively early Thistle chances it would be first half injury time before either side would again come close to scoring. Scott Fox hadn’t seen too much direct action up to this point but he had to be at his best to turn a first time effort from Marc McKenzie, after Paul Paton had given the ball away, round the post for a corner.
The home side started the second half firmly on the front foot forcing a series of corner kicks and also putting the Thistle defence under pressure with some long throws from Scott Linton. The Thistle defence though held firm, although Scott Fox was required to tip one header over the bar.
From the very early stages of the second half this was a game that looked likely to be settled by just a single goal. In the 69th minute a well struck Sean Welsh free kick forced Flynn into a save, although to be fair he wasn’t overly stretched in doing so.
He was, however, picking the ball out of the net just four minutes later. Stephen O’Donnell’s pass sent Steven Lawless clear. Lawless could have shot for goal himself but showed excellent awareness to spot Steven Craig to his right and Craig tucked the ball into the back of the net.
A second Thistle goal nearly followed just four minutes later. Stephen O’Donnell’s long throw from the right found Steven Lawless and his header dropped just the wrong side of the post.
Paul Paton was far away from netting  a rare goal when, with the game nudging the 90 minute mark, he saw a long range effort pushed round the post by the impressive Flynn.
It was inevitable that Cowdenbeath, who had put so much into the game, wouldn’t allow the chance to reach the final slip away without a fight and there was no shortage of balls into the Thistle box in the closing stages of the game. Only once though was Scott Fox required to keep the ball out but it was a fine stop from the Thistle keeper that denied Greg Stewart with the game in injury time.
Goalkeeper Flynn came forward for the corner and the last serious action of the game saw the Cowdenbeath keeper head well wide of goal.

Match Reaction

Cowdenbeath v Partick Thistle – 14th October 2012

There was something a strange feeling inside the Thistle camp immediately after this afternoon’s victory over Cowdenbeath. There was naturally delight at having reached the Final of the Ramsdens Cup for the first time in the Club’s history but the physical demands of what had been a very tough game had left everyone a little drained.
[link:HOME] spoke with manager Jackie McNamara after the game and he acknowledged just how tough it had been.
“It was a bit of an aerial bombardment, it was always going to be like that. Because the pitch is so narrow you know that you are going to have to deal with long throws into the box and at one stage there was a barrage of corners. You need to make sure you win the second balls in these situations and I thought that we dealt with it fantastically. I was particularly pleased for Conrad. He’s had to be patient because obviously Alan Archibald and Aaron Muirhead have been excellent this season. He was starting to get a bit down in recent weeks only playing in reserve games. I kept stressing to him the need for him to keep his fitness up and keep plugging away because his chance would come and it came today. I thought he was outstanding along with the rest of the boys. It was a very young back four that we had out there today. There were two 20 year olds, Conrad is 21 and Aaron Muirhead is 22.”
Does Conrad’s performance today give the manager another selection headache.
“It does, but that’s my job and when it becomes difficult. It was difficult today having to leave players out. I left Hugh Murray out for example. I spoke to him about it and because we were changing the system and because he will miss next week’s game in any case it was in my mind to leave him out today. Look, they are all great lads and they all want to play and start every game which is great. The most important thing is that everyone is making a contribution to the success of the Club at the moment.”
Jackie, anticipating the kind of game it would be, as he made reference to above, made changes to the shape of his side this afternoon.
“I changed a few things today and the system we used purely because of the pitch and the surroundings. It’s a narrow pitch and it is hard to find the pockets of space for Steven Lawless and Chris Erskine to use. I put Chris Erskine up through the middle and Steven Lawless on the right in a 4-4-02 formation. We changed things about with the two of them a few times during the game and Chris nearly scored just after he went to the right.”
The manager was naturally delighted that his side had progressed to the Final.
“I’m delighted for everyone associated with the Club. The fans were outstanding today. It’s been a long time since they have had something like that to celebrate.
The Thistle fans certainly made their feelings known as Jackie was interviewed by BBC Alba pitch side after the game. So much so that we wondered if they were able to hear anything of what Jackie actually said. He laughed at the suggestion before commenting;
“I dedicated the win to the fans and John Lilley of the Scots Guards, where we did our pre-season training. He text me this morning to say that he wouldn’t make it up for the game today as he was doing stuff with the Scots Guards. Hopefully he’ll make it up for the Final. He’s a good guy and he was saying to me that he is 41 and never seen Thistle in a Final. Hopefully he will be celebrating like the rest of us.”

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