Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 27 October, 2012. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk

Falkirk
1
Michael McGovern
2
Jonathan Flynn
3
Stephen Kingsley
4
Darren Dods
5
Ryan McGeever
6
Stewart Murdoch
7
Kieran Duffie
8
Blair Alston (Jay Fulton (14), 70 mins)
9
Lyle Taylor
10
David Weatherston (Andy Haworth (15), 58 mins)
11
Luke Leahy
 
Subs
12
Chris Smith
14
Jay Fulton
15
Andy Haworth
16
Conor McGrandles
17
Graham Bowman
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Stuart Bannigan (Aaron Sinclair (17), 29 mins)
4
Paul Paton
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Steve Lawless (Christie Elliott (14), 75 mins)
8
Sean Welsh
9
Steven Craig
10
Ross Forbes (Kris Doolan (15), 62 mins)
11
Chris Erskine
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
14
Christie Elliott
15
Kris Doolan
16
Hugh Murray
17
Aaron Sinclair
 
Subs
12
Chris Smith
14
Jay Fulton
15
Andy Haworth
16
Conor McGrandles
17
Graham Bowman
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
14
Christie Elliott
15
Kris Doolan
16
Hugh Murray
17
Aaron Sinclair
Match Preview

Falkirk v Partick Thistle – 27th October 2012

A week after Thistle hit seven in defeating Airdrie United, and climbed back to the top of the First Division in the process, manager Jackie McNamara has some tough decisions to make ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Falkirk as he explained to [link:HOME];
“Just about everyone is fit and available for tomorrow’s game and I have a few tough decisions to make. Do I change a team that has just won 7-0, or do I bring back some of my more experienced players who are available for selection again? It’s a hard decision to make but, as I’ve been saying a lot recently, it’s a good problem for a manager to have.”
The experienced players that Jackie is referring to are, of course, Hugh Murray and Alan Archibald. The former is free from suspension and the latter, as Jackie reveals, was close to playing against Airdrie United last weekend.
“Alan trained last Friday but we decided in the end to go with the same side that had defeated Cowdenbeath. Conrad Balatoni, who came in to replace Alan, has done well in the last couple of games and has been part of a defence that have kept two clean sheets. It will be tough having to decide whether he should play tomorrow, albeit in a different game; an away game, or whether we should bring back our Club captain. It will be tough having to take any player out as they’ve all done well in the last couple of games.”
And what of Steven Craig and Aaron Muirhead, both of whom picked up knocks against Airdrie United?
“They both picked up sore ones against Airdrie United but they both trained yesterday and should hopefully be okay for what will be a tough game.”
Jackie continued;
“With us going back to the top of the league Falkirk, like every team, will be looking to claim our scalp. More important for them though will be the opportunity to get themselves back into the promotion frame. If we defeat them tomorrow then they will be 15 points behind us and even this early in the season that’s a lot of points to make up.”
“We’ll obviously give thought to how we think Falkirk will play but first and foremost we will need to look after ourselves and make sure that we stamp our authority on the game. We know that when we play as well as we can do then we are a very difficult team to beat. We’ve a lot of pace in the team and we look dangerous. It was particularly pleasing to have six different goal scorers last Saturday, that’s not something that happens too often. It’s good that we don’t rely on just one or two players for our goals.”
Much has been made in recent seasons about the youthful make up of the Falkirk side but the Thistle manager believes that it is a situation that is mirrored at Firhill and elsewhere.
There’s much made of the young players that Falkirk have, but is often forgotten that we too have a young team. Besides it’s not just young players that Falkirk have. They have experienced players like Darren Dods, Sean Higgins, who’s there now, and David Weatherston.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              12           5
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Chris Erskine 8
Steven Lawless 7
Kris Doolan 6
Steven Craig 5
Stuart Bannigan 2
Aaron Muirhead 2
Sean Welsh 2
Christie Elliott 1
Ross Forbes 1
Aaron Sinclair 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday October 20th 2012
Partick Thistle 7, Airdrie United 0
Falkirk Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              4              0              7              5
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Lyle Taylor 9
Stewart Murdoch 2
David Weatherston 2
Kieran Duffie 1
Jay Fulton 1
Stephen Kingsley 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday October 20th 2012
Dumbarton 0, Falkirk 2
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday August 11th 2012
Partick Thistle 3, Falkirk 1
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Bannigan, Paton, Muirhead, Archibald, Lawless, Welsh, Doolan, Murray, Erskine subs Elliott, Sinclair, Craigen.
Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, Kingsley, Flynn, Smith, J Fulton, D Fulton, Murdoch, Taylor, Haworth, Alston sub Sibbald.
Scorers
Thistle: Lawless (4), Doolan ( 7 & 57)
Falkirk: Taylor (53)
Crowd: 3,487
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday October 27th 2012
Falkirk v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults: £18
Concessions (fulltime student/over 65s/unemployed): £12
Under 16s: £8
Parking and Travel Information
Supporters Bus Information
Match Officials
Referee: Bobby Madden
Assistant Referees: Stuart MacMillan and Gavin Thomson
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 – 27th October 2012

Manager Jackie McNamara admitted prior to the game that his side’s 7-0 win over Airdrie United gave him a selection headache for this match. His final team selection showed that rather than change a winning side he kept an unchanged starting eleven; the only change coming on the bench where Hugh Murray replaced Paul Slane.
The opening match of the season between these two sides was marked by a whirlwind start with Thistle 2-0 up inside the first seven minutes. This match was somewhat slower in warming up. Indeed the first 45 minutes were as scrappy as any this season with neither side managing to retain possession of the ball for any meaningful period.
It was the home side that were the closest to a goal in a largely forgettable opening half. Stephen O’Donnell didn’t get enough distance on a defensive header in the 25th minute and when the ball was returned deep into the Thistle box David Weatherston was denied by the combination of Scott Fox, who took just enough of the pace off the ball, and Aaron Muirhead who cleared off the line at the expense of an unproductive corner kick.
That, a long range effort from Blair Alston that went well wide, was the only real moment of danger in and around the Thistle goal in the first half. Not that it was much different at the other end.
Stuart Bannigan, who come off injured and would be replaced by Aaron Sinclair in the first half, tested McGovern with a low shot at the Falkirk keeper’s right hand post but the best chance for Thistle fell to Steven Craig.
Chris Erskine was able to work the ball into Craig’s path to his left but with time and space inside the Falkirk box the normally reliable Craig scuffed his shot harmlessly wide of goal.
Sean Welsh did manage to get his shot on target, after Falkirk had struggled to clear a Ross Forbes cross into the box, but his well struck shot flew straight at a grateful McGovern.
Thistle never really managed to get into their stride during the first half but one good move, on the break, involving Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless, finished with Aaron Sinclair’s cross being grabbed at his near post by Michael McGovern.
The early stages of the second half weren’t a great deal livelier. Ross Forbes did manage to get a free kick from 35 yards out over the Falkirk wall but also cleared the crossbar as well.
Chris Erskine wasn’t enjoying the same degree of freedom that he had against Airdrie United but in the 56th minute he did find enough room to turn inside the Falkirk box but could only hit the side netting with his final shot.
Falkirk at times seemed content to try and frustrate Thistle but they twice came close in the 67th minute with Thistle thankful for timely interventions from Conrad Balatoni.
With the game in the final 15 minutes things finally started to open up. Christie Elliott was sent on in place of Steven Lawless and his first serious involvement in the game was to test McGovern with a low drive that the Falkirk keeper saved right at his right hand post.
There was no denying that Thistle were doing their best to wrestle three points from this game and a free kick at the right corner of the Falkirk box in the 84th minute provided them with a real opportunity to snatch what would surely be a winning goal. Chris Erskine’s free kick was able to find Steven Craig but under pressure Craig could only nod the ball over the bar.
At the other end a Darren Dods header slipped narrowly wide of goal as the home side tried to claim a winning goal of their own.
Neither side though could find a winning goal as the game ended goalless.

Match Reaction

Falkirk v Partick Thistle – 27th October 2012

In many ways it was a frustrating afternoon for Thistle at the Falkirk Stadium today. Trailing Thistle by 12 points prior to kick-off it was  expected that the home side would have been a little more forceful in the way that they played the game. Instead they seemed content to try and contain Thistle and catch us on the counter attack.
Speaking after the game the Thistle manager Jackie McNamara saw Falkirk’s approach to the game as being a compliment to his side.
“I think that it was a great compliment to us that they played the way that they did; trying to stop us from playing when they are at home. They played with just the one striker but as I said, it’s a big compliment to us and the way that we have been doing things that they deployed the system that they did and played the way that they did.We would maybe expect that sort of thing when we are playing at home but not when we are away from home against a side that are trying to get themselves back into contention in the league. You know, it nearly worked for them. They’ve had a couple of breakaways and Scott Fox had one good save in the first half.”
Jackie continued;
“I was delighted with the attitude that we showed although at times I felt that we allowed ourselves to get a little frustrated and went a little too long with the ball. When you allow yourself to get frustrated that you lose your discipline a little bit and full backs get a little too far advanced up the park. On another day though we might have got a wee break and nicked a goal. You know, come the end of the season it could prove to be a good point for us. On the overall scale of things it’s a better point for us right now than it is for Falkirk. They’ve not won a lot of games, especially at home, and you can see why.”
Prior to the game the manager had admitted that he had some selection problems and after the game he confessed that it hadn’t been easy to leave both Alan Archibald and Hugh Murray out of the side.
“It was hard to leave them out because they have both been excellent for us this season, but it is very hard too to change a team that has just won 7-0 and kept a clean sheet. Those players deserved to remain in the starting line up.”
The changes that Jackie made during the course of the game were very positive ones, designed to give his side the maximum opportunity to collect all three points rather than settle for just one from an away draw.
“I was trying to go for it. I will always try to go for it rather than try and get the draw. I send my teams out to entertain and try and hopefully get the three points. Today we were playing against a side, who were at home, that were happy to stop us from playing and catch us on the break.”
One change that Jackie was forced into making saw an injured Stuart Bannigan replaced by Aaron Sinclair following a tackle that the Thistle manager was most unhappy about.

“I’ve just seen a picture of it and it is shocking challenge on Stuart. It’s horrendous, a real ‘leg breaker’. I thought that at the time. I thought that the FalkirK player slowed down to make sure that he got the ball and Stuart. When you look at the height that he has come in at, right at the shin, then you can see that Stuart has been fortunate not to have received a really nasty injury. His ankle though has swollen up like a balloon and we will need to assess his injury on Monday and see what the damage is, but it could have been a lot worse.”

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