Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 20 April, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk.

Falkirk
1
Michael McGovern
2
Kieran Duffie
3
Stephen Kingsley
4
Darren Dods
5
Jonathan Flynn
6
Stewart Murdoch
7
Craig Sibbald
8
Conor McGrandles
9
Lyle Taylor
10
Jay Fulton (Thomas Grant (14), 71 mins)
11
Blair Alston (Sean Higgins (12), 60 mins)
 
Subs
12
Sean Higgins
14
Thomas Grant
15
Liam Dick
16
Iain Flannigan
17
Graham Bowman
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
Steve Lawless
8
James Craigen
9
Kris Doolan (Mark McGuigan (17), 83 mins)
10
Ross Forbes (Christie Elliott (16), 73 mins)
11
Chris Erskine (Steven Craig (14), 80 mins)
 
Subs
12
Glen Daniels
14
Steven Craig
16
Christie Elliott
15
Jordan McMillan
17
Mark McGuigan
 
Subs
12
Sean Higgins
14
Thomas Grant
15
Liam Dick
16
Iain Flannigan
17
Graham Bowman
 
Subs
12
Glen Daniels
14
Steven Craig
16
Christie Elliott
15
Jordan McMillan
17
Mark McGuigan
Match Preview

Falkirk v Partick Thistle – 20th April 2013

Tomorrow afternoon Partick Thistle have another date with destiny. Once the disappointed of not clinching the First Division title on Tuesday against Raith Rovers had receded a little came the realisation that the point gained had edged us to the very cusp of promotion. Tomorrow we hope to be able to celebrate the reality of becoming First Division Champions for season 2012-2013.
These are occasions to be savoured and manager Alan Archibald when speaking to [link:HOME] was able to look back at previous title winning occasions.
“It’s something that I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced twice before, at Forfar and at St Mirren, and they were memorable occasions; more so I found than actually getting the trophy.”
Alan continued;
“Tomorrow’s game is going to be a really difficult one. As we saw on Tuesday night against Raith Rovers no side wants to be involved in a game where the opposition clinch the league. We are also desperate to clinch the title as a result of our own efforts as opposed to what happens elsewhere.”
Going into tomorrow’s game there is little change with regard to player availability although one player is due to return after missing the last few weeks.
“Jordan McMillan is back after being ill. He’s trained all week. Paul Paton has also stepped up his training this week but he isn’t ready to be involved tomorrow. Hugh Murray too won’t be involved tomorrow. Indeed I don’t think Hugh will play again this season. It would be too much of a risk given that we think it is a fracture to his ankle that he has picked up. That’s a blow for Hugh who really was outstanding in the first third or so of the season.”
Despite confirmation earlier in the week that both Paul Paton and Chris Erskine will be joining Dundee United at the expiry of their contracts the manager won’t have any hesitation in including Chris tomorrow; Paul of course being injured anyway.
“These things happen in football. I’ve obviously been aware of this for a few weeks in any case. Since then Chris has worked just as hard as any player has. His approach to the game hasn’t changed one bit; he hasn’t pulled out of a single tackle. He’s been a true professional and I think we all saw when we scored the winner at Airdrie last week how much it meant to him.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              3*           0              3              1
(* 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 6
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 First Division
Tuesday April 16th 2013
Partick Thistle 0, Raith Rovers 0
Falkirk Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              0              2              11           8
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Lyle Taylor 28
Stewart Murdoch 6
Blair Alston 5
David Weatherston 4
Jay Fulton 3
Sean Higgins 3
Darren Dods 2
Kieran Duffie 2
Conor McGrandles 2
Craig Sibbald 2
Thomas Grant 1
Stephen Kingsley 1
Luke Leahy 1
Lewis Small 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Tuesday April 16th 2013
Falkirk 1, Dumbarton 3
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday January 19th 2013
Partick Thistle 4, Falkirk 1
Teams
Thistle: Fox, Murray (Craigen), Sinclair, Paton, Balatoni, Archibald, Lawless (Welsh), Bannigan, Craig (Doolan), Forbes, Erskine.
Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, Kingsley, Dods, McGeever, Murdoch, Grant (Higgins), Alston, Taylor, J Fulton, McGrandles.
Scorers
Thistle: Balatoni (4, 62), Erskine (20, 64)
Falkirk: Taylor (18)
Crowd: 3,280
Match Highlights
Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday April 20th 2013
Falkirk v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3pm
Prices
Adults: £18
Concessions (fulltime student/over 65s/unemployed): £12
Under 16s: £8
A large travelling support is expected to make the trip through to Falkirk on Saturday.
For this fixture the Thistle fans have been allocated the normal North Stand away end. We are told that this stand can accommodate 2,000 fans.
It is anticipated that this will not be sufficient for the numbers expected to travel and a section of the Main Stand has been set aside for the expected overspill of Thistle fans.
To avoid queues, Falkirk FC and the police are advising fans to turn up early.
Travel and Parking Information
Supporters Bus Information
Match Officials
Referee: Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referees: Graeme Leslie and Duncan Smith
Other First Division Fixtures
Dumbarton v Airdrie United
Dunfermline Athletic v Cowdenbeath
Hamilton Accies v Raith Rovers
Livingston v Morton

Match Report

Falkirk v Partick Thistle – 20th April 2013

The league season started with a victory over Falkirk and it was perhaps apt then that the title was clinched with victory against the same opposition nine months later.
There had been disappointment when Thistle were unable to secure the title at Firhill on the Tuesday night but in truth the point gained in that 0-0 draw took Thistle to very cusp of the title. Victory in fine style at the Falkirk Stadium took them over the finishing line to a title that many observers, but nobody inside Firhill, thought beyond this young squad of players.

Despite the punishing schedule of matches that the players have faced manager Alan Archibald again kept changes to a minimum for this game. An injury picked up in training on Friday meant that Sean Welsh sadly missed out but that allowed Steven Lawless, impressive coming off the bench against Raith Rovers, to come back into the starting eleven.

A pitch almost bereft of grass and a swirling wind meant that the game itself was unlikely to be any great spectacle but the Thistle fans were here to party and they weren’t to be disappointed.

They had an anxious moment, however, in the 4th minute when the division’s leading scorer Lyle Taylor tested Scott Fox at his left hand post. That though would be the last save of any real note that the Thistle keeper would be forced to make as he collected his 15th clean sheet of the season.

Given the importance of the occasion there was understandably a fair amount of tension in the air but the longer the game progressed the tighter a grip on proceedings did Thistle start to take. Their first real chance of note arrived in the 19th minute when Kris Doolan shot wide after Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless had combined to set him up.

Three minutes later a Steven Lawless header came back off the bar but the ball had gone out of play before Chris Erskine managed to cross the ball for Lawless.

Still things were getting more and more encouraging for Thistle and they had another excellent opportunity to open the scoring in the 26th minute. Kris Doolan did well to bring the ball down on the halfway line before pushing the ball into the path of Steven Lawless. Lawless in turn picked out Ross Forbes wide on the left giving him a clear run at goal. Unfortunately on the bumpy pitch Forbes wasn’t able to keep his shot down and McGovern wasn’t required to make a save.

McGovern was beaten however by a Ross Forbes free kick in the 35th minute. Kieran Duffie’s hefty challenge on Aaron Sinclair, a challenge that earned him a yellow card, saw Thistle awarded a free kick on the very edge of the Falkirk box. Forbes free kick looked destined for the back of the net only to strike the junction of bar and post and bounce clear.

Although Stephen O’Donnell would drag a left footed shot wide of target that would be the closest we would get to a goal in the first half.

Only four minutes of the second half had been played, however, when Thistle did open the scoring and in doing so edged that wee bit closer to the title. Ross Forbes’ corner from the left was met by the head of Andy Dowie and his bullet header flew into the back of the net.

The home side initially responded well to the loss of that goal. A Jay Fulton free kick from wide on the left struck the face of Thistle crossbar and Darren Dods sent a header from a corner over the bar

When no equaliser was forthcoming Thistle, playing with the confidence of champions, were able to press home their advantage and seal the win and the title in fine style.
A Stephen O’Donnell shot thumped off the chest of McGovern after O’Donnell had been set up by Chris Erskine and seconds later Steven Lawless came close with a header.

Christie Elliott, on as a sub for Ross Forbes, was immediately involved in the thick of the action and his shot from 20 yards out wasn’t too far wide of McGovern’s right hand post.
A second Thistle goal was looking increasingly likely and it arrived in the 78th minute. A moment of typical Chris Erskine magic left him one on one with McGovern and Erskine was able to finish with style and confidence.

All that remained for Thistle to do now was to play out the time that was left but they continued to look for more goals and were unfortunate not to add to their tally. A Christie Elliott cross was superbly dummied by Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan’s shot flew into the arms of McGovern.

Mark McGuigan could have been no more than an inch away from connecting with a Steven Lawless cross and Lawless himself just couldn’t squeeze the ball home after McGovern had parried an Aaron Sinclair shot.

Minutes later the full-time whistle sounded sparking incredible scenes of celebration on and off the park. It seems likely that the party will continue for some time yet.

Match Reaction

Falkirk v Partick Thistle – 20th April 2013

It, understandably, took the players and management a little longer than normal to emerge from the dressing room at the end of yesterday’s game. When [link:HOME] did get the chance to speak to Alan Archibald the obvious question to ask was how he was feeling?
“I’m very proud. It’s been a long struggle the last few months but it was all worthwhile today. I’m absolutely delighted for everyone to do with the Club; the fans, the players, the medical staff, Michelle the press officer, everybody. It has been a real team effort from everyone.”
When did he start to relax and think that the job was done?
“I started to relax after the first goal. To be fair I was a wee bit more relaxed today because I felt that it was a good display. I thought that we went about our business well and I thought it was only the pitch, and the post, that stopped us from taking the lead. I thought that we took control of the game and that we deserved the win. I felt that it was only a matter of time before we scored.”
The scorer of the important first goal was Andy Dowie, a recent addition to the squad, and the manager couldn’t praise Andy highly enough.
“Andy has been outstanding since he came in. He didn’t even want to go out and celebrate and that tells you a lot about the lad. He had to come into a team that were unbeaten and had a great defensive record and he probably had a wee bit of bad history when he came back to Partick Thistle after his first time at the Club. So he had a lot of that kind of pressure to deal with and then to go out against Morton and produce the performance he did was fantastic and since then he’s been brilliant. Today I thought that he really deserved his goal.”
Alan continued;
“I think Andy and Conrad handled the lad Taylor very well. He’s scored in most of the games that he’s played in this season and they dealt with him very well.”
So how does winning the title as a manager compare to winning the title as a player?
“It’s different and something that I perhaps took for granted earlier in my career. That’s something that I stressed to the lads. I was part of two promotions and I was saying to my wife last night that all I’ve got is one picture with a trophy. So I said to the lads to make sure that they enjoy the moment because it doesn’t happen very often. I think you do take it for granted when you are younger so I said to them to make sure you get your pictures with the trophy when you get it and enjoy the day, enjoy the fans because these are the good times.”
Alan also commented on the slogan displayed across the players t-shirts after the game.
“I’m not a big fan of these things and I had to give it the okay. I don’t like all that but I understand why they wanted to do it. I think a lot of other managers and people in the press wrote them off. We went into the Morton game at Cappielow eight points behind and it could have gone to eleven that day and I thought they showed great character that day. Everyone also said that they wouldn’t go away from home and win and they wouldn’t do this and they wouldn’t do that. I think this is a wee bit back at that. It’s not aimed at any one club, it’s just aimed at everyone who wrote them off.”
Alan went on;
“They did their talking out on the pitch. They never said anything and I said that we would keep our own counsel. A lot of them were disgruntled when Jackie left and people said that it was Morton’s trophy, there you go; game over.  That continued for a few weeks afterwards and we used it as a tool and it motivated us to go on and get the trophy.”
So will we see Alan out on the pitch before the season’s end?
“Only if need be. I’ve got a job to do in the dugout at the moment and I’d rather somebody else got the chance to enjoy the moment.I need to pay a special thanks to my whole team, especially Scott Paterson. I had to bring in an assistant and Scott came down from Carnoustie at the drop of a hat. He’s been travelling down from Carnoustie most days and that says a lot about what kind of person he is. He’s been great in the dressing room and a huge help.”
We couldn’t finish without a word or two about the fans.
“I saw the conga and it was brilliant. The fans have been brilliant all season. I know managers and players say that the fans have been this and the fans have been that but the Thistle fans really have been brilliant this season. I thought the Raith Rovers game was the game that they made the biggest difference. We went down to ten men that night and the fans sang for the last 25 minutes and helped us get over the line that night and almost spurred us on to a winner.”

Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship
Partick Thistle Sponsorship