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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 16 March, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
New Douglas Park, Hamilton.

Hamilton Academical
1
Kevin Cuthbert
2
Ziggy Gordon
3
Grant Gillespie (Stephen Hendrie (15), 78 mins)
4
Martin Canning
5
Mikey Devlin
6
Jon Routledge
7
Louis Longridge
8
Gary Fisher
9
Stevie May
10
Alex Neil (Ali Crawford (16), 74 mins)
11
Darian MacKinnon (Andy Ryan (14), 74 mins)
 
Subs
19
Scott Christie
12
Jonathan Page
14
Andy Ryan
15
Stephen Hendrie
16
Ali Crawford
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Ross Forbes (James Craigen (14), 65 mins)
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Sean Welsh
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Steven Craig (Kris Doolan (15), 85 mins)
10
Steve Lawless
11
Chris Erskine (Christie Elliott (16), 80 mins)
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Kris Doolan
15
James Craigen
16
Christie Elliott
17
Alan Archibald
 
Subs
19
Scott Christie
12
Jonathan Page
14
Andy Ryan
15
Stephen Hendrie
16
Ali Crawford
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Kris Doolan
15
James Craigen
16
Christie Elliott
17
Alan Archibald
Match Preview

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 16th March 2013

The First Division is unquestionably the most interesting of Scotland’s four divisions with plenty of issues at both ends of the table long from resolved as we move into the final, pivotal, quarter of the season.
That’s one of the reasons why the First Division is such an attractive league to watch. Said Alan Archibald when speaking to ptfc.co.uk a short time ago.

“There is something at stake in every game and that’s the good thing about the First Division. We need to make sure that we approach every game with the right attitude and that’s something that we’ve been doing recently.”
Tomorrow’s game is one that he expects to be very difficult.
“It’s going to be a tough game there’s no doubt about that. They’ve already beaten us twice this season at New Douglas Park. They are a well organised side and they keep it tight while being very good on the break. I’ve seen the match they played against Falkirk in the Scottish Cup and they were unfortunate to lose that match; they were the better side. Additionally they’ve beaten Morton recently and while they still need points to get away from the bottom I feel that they are in a false position.”
Alan continued;
“Although they are at home for this one I expect it to be a similar game to recent match at Firhill. We will need to be patient and we will need to make sure that we match them all over the park.”
Alan is in the happy position of having virtually a full squad to select from.
“The only player that is missing is Paul Paton and we are hopeful that he will be okay for Tuesday’s game at Cowdenbeath. Chris Erskine is fine, he would probably have played at Raith Rovers had Tuesday’s game been on, and he comes back into the squad.”
The fixture pile-up is starting to cause Alan a little concern.
“We are fortunate that we have a young, fit squad but we face a touch schedule in April. It’s really unfortunate that we have a game midweek either side of the Ramsdens Cup Final. It’s almost as if we are being punished for reaching a cup final. We will just have to deal with the situation.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
4              1              0              11           2
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Craig 13
Chris Erskine 13
Steven Lawless 12
Kris Doolan 9
Conrad Balatoni 4
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 4
Aaron Muirhead 3
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 9th2013
Partick Thistle 3, Dumbarton 0
Hamilton Academical Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              2              2              5              6
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven May 13
Ali Crawford 6
Jonathan Page 3
Jon Routledge 3
Grant Gillespie 2
James Keatings 2
Louis Longridge 2
Darian MacKinnon 2
Own Goal 2
Ziggy Gordon 1
Michael Devlin 1
Alex Neil 1
Andy Ryan 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 9th2013
Cowdenbeath 1, Hamilton Accies 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Tuesday February 19th2013
Partick Thistle 1, Hamilton Accies 0
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Paton, Muirhead, Balatoni, Welsh, Bannigan, Craig (Doolan), Lawless (Forbes), Erskine.
Hamilton: Cuthbert, Gordon (Crawford), Hendrie, Canning, Page, Routledge, Longridge (McShane), Gillespie, May, Neil (Fisher), MacKinnon.
Scorer
Thistle: Muirhead (55)
Crowd: 2,046
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 16th2013
Hamilton Accies v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3pm
Prices
Adults £16
Concessions (over 65s and under 18s) £8
Photo ID is required for concession entry.
Disabled Supporters are £10 which includes a carer where necessary and these tickets should be booked in advance with Hamilton (we can accommodate 13+13).
Thistle fans will be housed in the Spice of Life North Stand (behind the goal, turnstiles 7-12)
Directions and Travel Information
Supporters Bus Information
Match Officials
Referee: Stephen Finnie
Assistant Referees: Tom Murphy and Rodney Marshall
Other First Division Fixtures
Cowdenbeath v Airdrie United
Dumbarton v Morton
Livingston v Falkirk
Raith Rovers v Dunfermline Athletic

Match Report

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 16th March 2013

Thistle made it two successive away wins in the league and kept a clean sheet for the fifth straight game as they recorded an important 2-0 win over Hamilton Accies.
At a venue at which we have tended to struggle at Alan Archibald made just the one change to his starting eleven. A fit again Chris Erskine came back into the side with James Craigen dropping to the bench.
With sleet and snow falling heavily onto an already saturated New Douglas Park pitch there were pre-match concerns surrounding the underfoot conditions and it certainly wasn’t a playing surface that was going to lend itself to flowing football; the first half in particular proving to be a bit of a slog.
If anything it was the home side that were, marginally, the better side in the opening half but they were unable, unlike the two previous fixtures at the same venue this season, to score the all important first goal. Nor in truth did they overly trouble Scott Fox in the Thistle goal.
The closest they would come to scoring was an effort from full back Ziggy Gordon as early as the game’s fourth minute when his deflected effort went narrowly wide of goal.
Longridge dragged a shot wide and Fisher shot wide from the edge of the box but Scott Fox remained largely untroubled.
In the game’s opening thirty minutes or so, so to was his opposite number Kevin Cuthbert.
He should, however, have been picking the ball out of the net in the 39th minute. There were loud Thistle appeals for a penalty for handball but play continued with the ball breaking into the path of Chris Erskine. Erskine’s close range effort was blocked by Cuthbert with the ball spinning into the path of Steven Craig. Craig had to adjust his body to connect with the ball but he should still have done better than merely knock the ball over the bar with the goal gapping.
Fortunately Thistle didn’t have too long to wait before they did claim the game’s opening goal. There was a touch of good fortune surrounding it. Thistle won a couple of corners in quick succession and from the second Conrad Balatoni was able to divert Ross Forbes’ corner towards goal with the final touch apparently coming from Hamilton’s Stevie May.
That goal came just before half-time but there was still time for Hamilton to come close to an equaliser before the interval. Scott Fox pushed out a shot and May was on hand to loop a header back towards goal but thankfully Aaron Muirhead was in the right place to clear the ball from close to the Thistle goal line.
Thistle were in control for much of the second half but they had Scott Fox to thank for keeping the score at 1-0 in the 62nd minute when he did well to turn a Gary Fisher shot round the post for a corner kick.
It was Cuthbert though that was the busier of the two goalkeepers. He made an excellent save in the 68th minute to prevent Chris Erskine from scoring after he had been set up by Steven Lawless and he produced an even better save in the 83rd minute to deny sub Christie Elliott a goal after another assist from Lawless.
Christie though was celebrating a well deserved goal just a minute later and it was an absolute cracker. At the left hand corner of the Hamilton penalty box Elliott curled the ball beyond the grasp of Cuthbert and into the corner of the net.
That goal pretty much sealed the points for Thistle but Hamilton did manage to create a couple of late opportunities to at least register a goal. Mikey Devlin really should have done better than lift the ball over the bar when directly in front of the Thistle goal about 8 yards out and Steven May saw his shot blocked by Scott Fox who duly recorded his 10th clean sheet in this season’s First Division.

Match Reaction

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 16th March 2013

It was a naturally happy Alan Archibald that [link:HOME] spoke to after this afternoon’s fine 2-0 win over Hamilton Accies.
Said Alan;
“I’ve not won here for a long, long time. We’ve certainly not won here in the last few seasons. It’s a very difficult place to come. Morton found that out last week and we’ve found that out already this season. So to come here and win 2-0 and keep a clean sheet is just fantastic.”
Alan was clearly delighted with the effort and application shown by his players.
“Hamilton had a wee spell in the second half and the players were throwing themselves in front of the ball to make blocks; not just the defenders but right through the team. Sean Welsh made a fantastic block while it was still 1-0. Every single one is a credit to themselves and to the Club.”
With snow and sleet falling heavily on an already saturated pitch Alan admitted that he was concerned about whether the game would last the full 90 minutes.
“With the way our luck has been going with the weather I did worry when I went out for the warm up but I think sometimes when you actually get started it’s fine. The snow and the rain went off which helped but the pitch didn’t make for conducive football. We knew that would be the case and I think that Hamilton were probably the better side in the first half even though we maybe had the clearer chances. We scored though at a vital time.”
There seems to be some debate over whether that goal should be credited to Conrad Balatoni.
“There are still debating that in the dressing room. It could be an own goal. Some of the boys are saying that, Conrad’s not though. It’s something that we’ll need to try and clarify with him.”
There was no doubting, however, who scored the second goal; Christie Elliott finding the net with a tremendous curling effort from the corner of the box.
“I think it was going to take something like that to beat Kevin Cuthbert. He had another two fantastic saves against us today. He’s done that every time we’ve played Hamilton. I’m absolutely delighted for Christie. He’s worked ever so hard to get back firstly into the squad and then back into the team. He deserved that today; it was a great, great finish. I thought that he gave the whole team a lift when he came on against Dumbarton last week; it was still just 1-0 when he came on. I think that he took confidence from that and he took that into today’s performance as well.”
Early in the second half there was concern when Aaron Sinclair picked up an injury that initially looked as if it would bring his afternoon to an end. Alan was able to give us a wee update on Aaron’s injury plus a few other knocks.
“I think Aaron is okay. There’s a couple of players with knocks. The players will be in tomorrow ahead of Tuesday’s game with Cowdenbeath and we’ll have a look at them then but I think they should be fine.”
Fingers and being well and truly crossed that Tuesday’s game will go ahead.
“We want the game played definitely. We’ll be keeping our eyes in the weather forecast over the next couple of days.”

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