Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 12 January, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
Bet Butler Stadium, Dumbarton.

Dumbarton
1
Jamie Ewings (Stephen Grindlay (19), 44 mins)
2
Nicky Devlin
3
Scott Smith
4
Ally Graham
5
Alan Lithgow
6
Chris Turner
7
Mark Gilhaney
8
Scott Agnew
9
Jim Lister (Garry Fleming (15), 78 mins)
10
Brian Prunty (Marc McCusker (14), 83 mins)
11
Steven McDougall
 
Subs
12
Ross Forsyth
14
Marc McCusker
15
Garry Fleming
16
Glenn Thomson
19
Stephen Grindlay
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Aaron Muirhead (Chris Erskine (12), 59 mins)
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Paul Paton
5
Conrad Balatoni
6
Alan Archibald
7
Steve Lawless
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Steven Craig
10
Hugh Murray (Ross Forbes (14), 73 mins)
11
Kris Doolan (Mark McGuigan (16), 66 mins)
 
Subs
12
Chris Erskine
14
Ross Forbes
15
James Craigen
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Glenn Daniels
 
Subs
12
Ross Forsyth
14
Marc McCusker
15
Garry Fleming
16
Glenn Thomson
19
Stephen Grindlay
 
Subs
12
Chris Erskine
14
Ross Forbes
15
James Craigen
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Glenn Daniels
Match Preview

Dumbarton v Partick Thistle – 12th January 2013

Tomorrow afternoon a Thistle side will make the short trip to Dumbarton to play a competitive fixture for the first time since April 2006. That afternoon Thistle were able to overturn a 2-0 half-time deficit and win 3-2.
A similarly tight game is in prospect tomorrow. The league table may still show Dumbarton sitting at the bottom but under the auspices of new manager Ian Murray they’ve undergone something of resurgence of late. Some notable wins away from home have seen them back in touch with those immediately above them, and with the benefit of a number of games in hand.  They will view tomorrow’s game, therefore, an ideal opportunity to put further pressure on those above them.
Our own concerns lie, of course, at the opposite end of the table with the promotion battle in the second half of the season shaping up to be an enthralling one. As manager Jackie McNamara explained to ptfc.co.uk every game between now and the end of the season is a vitally important one.

“It’s a bit of a cliché I know but every game between now and the end of the season is going to be a big one. Every team has something to play for and that makes for very difficult matches no matter what position a team is in the league. We found that out when we played at Airdrie recently even though we had enough chances to win the game. We’re expecting a similarly tough game at Dumbarton tomorrow. They’ve had a couple of excellent wins away from home at Falkirk and Morton recently and the reports we’ve had from their game with Dunfermline last weeks were that they were unfortunate to lose the game.”
But for a couple of absentees the manager has virtually a full squad to pick from.
“Sean Welsh is suspended following his red card last Saturday and Stephen O’Donnell looks like the only other player to miss out tomorrow. It’s an old injury that Stephen has that become inflamed and he has been wearing a ‘moon’ boot to take the pressure off it. Hopefully he’ll be able to start back soon and we’ll see how he is but I think we’re looking at another couple of weeks at least before he is back.”
“James Craigen is back from his loan spell from Forfar Athletic and he’s added to the squad and is in contention for a place. James did well while on loan with Forfar. Indeed all the lads that have been out on loan have done well and benefited. Mark McGuigan did well while he was out at Albion Rovers and Christie Elliott, who is due back a week on Saturday, has also done well. We’ve not had a reserve game for about 5-6 weeks so the benefit in having players out on loan is obvious. You can only do so much training and there is nothing like playing games. The competitive games that the players out on loan will play, and have played, will hopefully mean that we will be up to speed as and when they are required.”
The dreaded bug that has laid low so many people so far this winter has so far kept pretty much away from Firhill.
“The physio is ill, as is Craig Hinchclife but touch wood we managed to stay clear of it. Steven Lawless was unwell last week and that’s why we only included him as a substitute at Livingston last Saturday. These type of things are just part and parcel of football. Players immune systems can be low after playing games and that means that they can pick up any bugs that are going round.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              2              2              7              8
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Lawless 10
Chris Erskine 9
Steven Craig 8
Kris Doolan 8
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
Saturday January 5th 2012
Livingston 2, Partick Thistle 2
Dumbarton Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              0              3              8              11
Scorers season 2012-2013
Jim Lister 9
Bryan Prunty 7
Scott Agnew 3
Mark Gilhaney 2
Garry Fleming 1
Andrew Graham 1
Alan Lithgow 1
Steven McDougall 1
Chris Turner 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday January 5th 2012
Dumbarton 0, Dunfermline Athletic 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday August 25th 2012
Partick Thistle 3, Dumbarton 0
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Bannigan, Paton, Muirhead, Archibald, Lawless (Craigen), Welsh (Sinclair), Doolan (Elliott), Murray, Erskine.
Dumbarton: Grindlay, Devlin, Forsyth (Creaney), Lithgow, Graham, Fleming, Gilhaney, McDougall, Lister (Agnew), Forbes, Lamont (Johnston).
Scorers
Thistle: Doolan (15), Erskine (62), Bannigan (69)
Crowd: 2,944
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday January 12th 2013
Dumbarton v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults £15
Concessions (under 16s and OAPs) £8
ALL TICKET FIXTURE
Ticket Information
Travel
Directions
Supporters’ Buses
Match Officials
Referee: Des Roache
Assistant Referees: Alastair Mather and James Burns
Other First Division Fixtures
Dunfermline Athletic v Airdrie United
Falkirk v Morton
Hamilton Accies v Cowdenbeath
Livingston v Raith Rovers

Match Report

Dumbarton v Partick Thistle – 12th January 2013

Thistle’s indifferent run of results continued with this defeat at Dumbarton a blow to their promotion hopes on an afternoon where it became decidedly advantage Morton at the top of the First Division.
In search for the first win of 2013 Thistle made three changes to their side for their first trip to Dumbarton for a competitive fixture for nearly seven years. Scott Fox returned in goal and there were starts too for Hugh Murray and Steven Lawless.
There was little indication of the problems ahead as Thistle made a positive opening to the game. As early as the sixth minute Dumbarton keeper Ewings, who would have to be substituted through injury during a hectic first half, did well to tip a Stuart Bannigan effort from the edge of the box over the bar.
Two minutes later Ewings was in action again; this time saving a Doolan effort low to his right. It was largely one way traffic at this stage and Thistle were a whisker away from taking an 11th minute lead. Aaron Sinclair had been heavily involved down the left flank for Thistle and his surging run and cut back set up Steven Lawless. Lawless looked set to net his 11th goal of the season but the impressive Ewings was able to touch his shot onto the post and wide for a corner.  Aaron Muirhad was able to get his head to the corner that followed but his header went over the bar.
Thistle were close again in the 19th minute and were again denied by Ewings who this time made a fine save with his feet to deny Kris Doolan after he had been set up by Stuart Bannigan.
It was a little against the run on play then when Dumbarton opened the scoring in the 20th minute. They had, however, previously threatened the Thistle goal if only sporadically. Conrad Balatoni had been forced to clear a Prunty effort off the line and Scott Fox did well to tip a Gilhaney shot over the bar.
Thistle then should have been aware of the danger the home side possessed. There may have been a touch of good fortune surrounding the goal but that good fortune was a result of negligent Thistle defending. Prunty was allowed a free header from a free kick on the left and his header rebounded off the post and back off Conrad Balatoni and into the net.
The first goal so often proves to hugely important, and so it proved in this game. Thistle remained the better side until half-time but they looked increasingly less dangerous. Aaron Muirhead did manage to get a free kick from outside the Dumbarton box round the edge of the wall, but his shot had little pace on it and Ewings saved comfortably at his left hand post. A Kris Doolan shot, after collecting a Sinclair pass, too didn’t have sufficient power to trouble the home keeper in the 34th minute.
At the other end it looked as if Scott Fox had produced an excellent save to tip a Scott Agnew free kick-off over the bar but play rather bizarrely restarted with a goal kick.
Fox’s opposite number’s involvement in the game was soon to be at an end when injury forced him off in the 41st minute as Thistle waited to take a corner kick. When the corner did finally come over Ewings’s replacement, Stephen Grindlay, watched as Aaron Muirhead’s hooked effort went wide of target.
In first half injury time Dumbarton had an opportunity to increase their lead. Conrad Balatoni’s attempted headed clearance was a poor one but Agnew was unable to punish his error and lashed his show well wide of goal.
The first 45 minutes had been full of action, the second much less so. Thistle enjoyed long spells of possession but rarely troubled a well organised Dumbarton side who denied Thistle any space in the final third of the pitch.
It would be the 75th minute before Thistle would manage a shot on goal in the second half, Steven Lawless’ effort going over the bar, and by that time Thistle would be 2-0 down and staring defeat squarely in the face. There was, correctly, no flag for offside in the 63rd minute when Prunty collected the ball at the back post. He took a touch to steady himself before shooting across Fox and into the far corner of the net.
There was no way back now for Thistle. Substitute Mark McGuigan did force Grindlay into a smart save low to his left after 75 minutes that may have set up a grandstand finish but long before the final whistle Thistle looked a well beaten side which is an obvious concern.

Match Reaction

Dumbarton v Partick Thistle – 12th January 2013

Defeat yesterday at Dumbarton was a further blow to our promotion chances and the defeat, and performance, meant it was a hugely disappointed Jackie McNamara that spoke to the press after the game.
“It was a really frustrating afternoon. First half we had two or three great chances to take the lead. Against teams like Dumbarton, especially, away from home it is crucial to score the first goal as if they get it; it gives them something to hold on to. They can then defend in numbers, which they did, and we couldn’t break them down.”
“I said to the players at half-time that it is important, at any level of football, to take your chances when you are dominant in a match and creating all the chances. As I said we could have been two or three ahead by the time they scored their first goal but that gives them such a big lift. We’ve been creating a lot of chances all season but in the last two or three games, starting with the Boxing Day fixture with Morton, we haven’t been taking them. It could be a confidence thing with the front two where they are electing to pass rather than shoot but I’ve said to them that they need to be brave in these situations. That’s true of all the players. If they want to go onto to the next level then they need to be able to handle the pressure of being favourites and take your chances when they come.”
The manager was less than happy too with the contribution from his players at the back as well.
“I was really disappointed to have conceded a goal from a set piece. I think from our point of view there were a few off it from a defensive point of view.”
Dumbarton manager Ian Murray meantime was disappointed that his side’s win hadn’t been enough to take them off the bottom of the league.
“We were hoping to come in after that result and find ourselves off the bottom of the league but we’re not. We can only take care of ourselves anyway to be perfectly honest. Airdrie United have gone away from home and got a great result and perhaps our form has sparked a bit of life into them.”
“It’s really pleasing to have kept two clean sheets in our last three games and I think that the two centre half today were exceptional. To have clean sheets against Morton and Partick Thistle, who generally score a lot of goals, was the most pleasing aspect of the day. Jamie Ewings was looking very confident before he went off. He was coming out and claiming things and his shot stopping was second to none.”
“Jamie just took a bit of cramp in his calf which tightened up and he couldn’t get rid of that and we had to take him off. Fortunately Stephen Grindlay has plenty of experience and is a great shot stopper. The two goalkeepers are very similar in ability. Jamie was in because Stephen got sent off at Dunfermline and done so well and kept his place.”
Although still bottom of the league Dumbarton are very much the form side in the division at present, said Murray.
“It’s purely down to confidence. I think the players have the ability we’ve seen that now against four top sides where we’ve lost just one narrowly 1-0. When I came in confidence was low and I think some believed that they shouldn’t be in this division and they are now showing me, and everyone else that they are capable of playing in this league.”

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