SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 19 March, 2016. Kick Off: - 15:00
New Douglas Park, Hamilton.
New Douglas Park is the newest of the league grounds Thistle will visit this season, having opened in 2001. However, it is certainly not a new ground for most Thistle fans; in fact this will be the sixteenth time the sides have met at the ground. Thistle, however, have only managed to win three of those meetings.
The last three games have all been draws, with Thistle having only 10 men for over an hour of this season’s opener with Accies.
The travelling Jags fans will be housed behind the goal in the Spice of Life Stand. The stand is a strange one, raised up a set of stairs which fans must go up before reaching the stand itself. The view is a good one though, with no poles blocking the action.
Concessions (65+ and Under 18s): £12
For disabled tickets please contact Carol to book tickets on 01698 368650.
There are a number of options to reach New Douglas Park. It is handily situated right beside Hamilton West Train Station. There is a path which takes you to the stadium. You can get the train to Hamilton West from Glasgow Central or Partick. There are four an hour which will get you to the match.
Jordanhill (opposite The Three Craws): 13:30
Thornwood Bar at 13:40
To make a booking contact Alistair on 07817612563 /. Booking is essential. For other enquiries contact Iain on 07779668357 / .
City Centre Bus
Q-Club at 12:20
Station Bar at 12:30
Non-members welcome please call 07979496154 to book.
North West Bus
Milngavie Station at 13:15
Esquire Anniesland at 13:30
Maryhill CC Halls at 13:45
Full Fare: £11
Concession (School aged children, unwaged adults, senior citizens, matriculated students): £7
For seats call 0141 632 3604 before 21:00 or e-mail
Hamilton is located less than 30 minutes from Glasgow. There is a large car park located a few minutes from the ground which most people park in. It is just off Bothwell Road.
Pubs & Eating
If you get the City Centre Bus to the match they will be calling in at the Bay Horse. A pub around a five minute walk from the ground on Bothwell Road. It has Sky Sports and a number of TVs to catch any early kick off matches – its prices are also very reasonable. Unusually the Bay Horse also puts out some food for traveling fans to enjoy with their pint.
The Tap Room is also a popular bar around five minutes’ walk from the ground. It is located on Burnbank Road and is popular with home fans but you will find other Thistle fans in pre-match.
Thistle travel to Hamilton on Saturday as the side begin a four game spell which part of the split Thistle will be playing their final five league games on the 2015/16 season. Ptfc.co.uk chatted to Alan Archibald on Friday morning to get his thoughts ahead of an incredibly difficult clash.
“It’s going to be a very tough game. We’re going from games against the best sides in the league, to a run of three games against teams around us and these are the games which will determine which portion of the split we’ll end up in. We’ll have to be at our best to get three points from New Douglas Park on Saturday.
“People will look at the run of fixtures we’ve just had and think we’re facing an easier game by playing Hamilton. That is not the case. They are a side who are fighting for their lives, as are we, and we’ll have to ensure we replicate the performances we produced against Hearts, Aberdeen and Celtic to give us the best opportunity for success.”
The last three games between the sides have ended in draws and the gaffer knows another close game is in prospect.
“We’ve had a lot of close battles since they came up to the Premiership a couple of years ago and there is no reason to expect tomorrow’s game to be any different. They will be full of confidence after a good win in Inverness last weekend and we’ll have to be wary of the dangers they pose. We know how they will impose themselves on the game and it’s up to us to match up to the challenge.
“We’ll have to be up for the fight tomorrow and win every second ball, as Hamilton will be keen to get the points which will see them overtake us in the league. They’ll be missing a couple of players through suspension, but the players who replace them will be looking to cement a starting position of their own and will make for a tough opponent.”
The squad will be missing a number of first team faces tomorrow as the side line up in Lanarkshire.
“Stuart Bannigan will miss the rest of the season. It’s gutting to lose Stuart from our midfield as he’s been absolutely outstanding for us this season. There is still a lot of swelling around his knee and he’ll have to go back to see the specialist in a couple of weeks to get a full diagnosis. We hope for Stuart that his injury isn’t more serious than just causing him to miss the end of this campaign.
“Frederic Frans will miss the game due to a family bereavement, while the game comes too soon for Mustapha Dumbuya. He has reacted well to an injection earlier this week and he has been involved in training, but it is just too soon for him. We’ll be looking to monitor him during the international break and hope to have him back fully fit for the run-in.”
Thistle travelled to Hamilton as the side began a four game mini-season that will determine which half of the division Thistle will spend the final five games of the 2015/16 campaign. Thistle were unbeaten in their last four trips to New Douglas Park and were looking to grab three points to pull away from the sides below them.
Manager Alan Archibald had only intended on making one change to the side which were edged out by Celtic last weekend with Mathias Pogba replacing Kris Doolan up front. His plans were thrown into turmoil with around 15 minutes to go until kick off when Liam Lindsay suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Ryan Edwards. The tactical switch meant Gary Miller moved in to partner Dan Seaborne in central defence with Sean Welsh occupying the right back slot.
Thistle started brightly and should have taken the lead in the first minute when Callum Booth picked out David Amoo deep inside the Accies penalty area. The winger switched off, however, failing to control the ball and the chance was lost. Gary Fraser was next to fire over a cross which was palmed onto the crossbar by Michael McGovern, before the ball nicked off Pogba for a goal kick. Ust over
With just over ten minutes on the clock the home side took the lead. The ball was worked in from the right hand side, before falling to Docherty on the edge of the box. The youngster lashed a high effort beyond the reach of Tomas Cerny.
Accies were buoyed and beginning to bully Thistle a lot with lots of high pressing, not allowing the side to play their customary brand of football. Mathias Pogba, however, was proving a tremendous out ball for Thistle and he showed good skill to nick away from Lucas Tagliapietra who was booked for the high challenge.
Dougie Imrie had a fierce effort from the edge of the penalty area punched away by Cerny as the home side dominated possession. Accies had the ball in the back of the Thistle net through Brophy, but the flag had gone up for offside long before the ball ended up in the box.
Thistle were struggling to make an impact in the first half and were relieved when Willie Collum blew for half time with only a one goal deficit.
Better was required from Thistle in the second half and the side made an immediate impact in the second half. Booth and Lawless linked up well on the left hand side before Steven Lawless delivered an excellent cross to the waiting Pogba who had a free header from six yards. He fired a low header into the ground and it powered beyond McGovern.
Thistle were having more of the ball and looking a more dangerous threat with David Amoo having particular joy against Ziggy Gordon. He swung over a dangerous looking cross, but Michael McGovern was able to beat Ryan Edwards to the ball and claim the cross.
Mustapha Dumbuya made his return from injury to allow Sean Welsh into midfield for the last 25 minutes and after winning a free kick for the side on the half way line, Steven Lawless was only able to fire straight at McGovern.
Hamilton continued to employ a direct style of play and when an Ali Crawford free kick skimmed off a Jags body, it went uncomfortably close to Cerny’s goal. Thankfully, it did go the right side of the post and Accies were forced to settle for a corner.
Thistle were beginning to cut Hamilton open with ease and from a low Booth cross, Pogba was unable to keep his shot under the cross bar. It was to be the powerful striker’s last contribution for Thistle this afternoon as he was replaced by Kris Doolan who had an immediate impact.
Abdul Osman picked up a loose ball and floated a high ball towards Kris Doolan. David Amoo stole in ahead of the striker to flick the ball on. Doolan pulled over a terrific right footed cross which was met by Ryan Edwards who powered home a header to give Thistle the lead.
Thistle were content to sit back, hitting Accies on the break as time was winding down. There was one final scare for Thistle fans as Michael Devlin’s effort from the edge of the box arrowed inches past Cerny’s post. There was to be no final hurrah for Accies and Thistle saw out three minutes of additional time to celebrate a well-deserved three points.
Thistle rounded off a lengthy run of fixtures with a victory at Hamilton and it was a delighted Alan Archibald who spoke toptfc.co.uk shortly after the fulltime whistle.
“It’s great to get three points. Hamilton is always a tough place to come and we had to battle hard to get ourselves back into the game when we went 1-0 down so early. We had a terrific second half and scored two good goals to secure all three points.”
There was a late change to the Thistle starting line up when Liam Lindsay pulled out with an injury at around 2:45 and Archie admits the change affected the start of the game.
“Liam’s pulled up with an injury bang on quarter to three so we’ve had to shuffle bodies around. Sean Welsh went to right back, Gary Miller went inside to central defence as we chose to introduce Ryan Edwards to the side. It wasn’t ideal and it probably contributed to our lethargic start to the game.
“For the first 20 minutes we weren’t at the races. Hamilton were pressing us high and Tomas Cerny had to deal with a lot of pass backs in the early stages, so we knew something had to change. We switched Ryan Edwards and Gary Fraser and had a lot more joy with that in the second half.”
Ryan Edwards netted the winner, showing a lot of character to get on the end of Kris Doolan’s cross and the manager was pleased to see him bag his first professional goal.
“Ryan was the late addition to the side and I thought he didever so well today, particularly since he was only thrust into the side 15 minutes before the game started. When he played further forward he was always advancing into the box to support Mathias and he got his reward with the goal.
“We’ve had a tough run of fixtures over the last few weeks and Ryan has been one of the main beneficiaries of that, as we have been able to give him the game time he’s needed. His goal today capped off a fine game from him and I’m delighted for him.”
Thistle head into the International break and don’t play again for another two weeks, giving the opportunity for a bit of rest ahead of the final stages of the season.
“The International break has come at a great time for us. We’ve won, so we’re all going to be on a high for a few days, but it gives the legs a chance to recover. We’re also a little short squad wise as you’ve seen today so it’ll be good to get a couple of them back to full fitness after the break.”
At half time Thistle sat in 10th position before ending the day in 7th and the gaffer is focussing on safety first before looking upwards.
“We’ve pulled another three points away from Kilmarnock and Hamilton with today’s victory. We’re making sure that we don’t get pulled into the playoff battle before focussing on the teams above us. We have three tough games left before the split and we know we’ll have to perform well in all to get the results we want to push us up the table.”
Finally, Alan had a word of thanks to the Thistle support, numbering over 1,000, who travelled to Hamilton today.
“Thistle fans always travel in big numbers and today was no exception. They gave the lads plenty of backing and didn’t turn on them when we went 1-0 down. They stuck with us and I’m glad we got the two goals to turn the match around. The goals went in at their end so they were able to enjoy them up close. It’s always sweet to go into an international break with a win and I hope the fans enjoy the winning feeling for the next two weeks.”