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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 1 August, 2015. Kick Off: - 15:00
New Douglas Park, Hamilton.

Hamilton Academical
1
Michael McGovern
2
Ziggy Gordon
24
Jesús García Tena
44
Lucas Tagliapietra
3
Antons Kurakins
7
Dougie Imrie (Gramoz Kurtaj (12), 68 mins)
8
Chris Turner (Greg Docherty (21), 79 mins)
17
Louis Longridge
11
Ali Crawford
27
Christian Nadé (Carlton Morris (14), 76 mins)
6
Grant Gillespie
 
Subs
19
Darren Hill (GK)
15
Kieran MacDonald
14
Carlton Morris
12
Gramoz Kurtaj
21
Greg Docherty
16
Craig Watson
30
Steven Boyd
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomáš Černý
2
Gary Miller
4
Sean Welsh (David Wilson (18), 65 mins)
5
Callum Booth
6
Abdul Osman
7
David Amoo (Declan McDaid (20), 56 mins)
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ryan Stevenson (Jack Hendry (19), 29 mins)
13
Frederic Frans
17
Liam Lindsay
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully (GK)
18
David Wilson
19
Jack Hendry
20
Declan McDaid
21
Jordan Leyden
22
Gary Fraser
27
Kevin Nisbet
 
Subs
19
Darren Hill (GK)
15
Kieran MacDonald
14
Carlton Morris
12
Gramoz Kurtaj
21
Greg Docherty
16
Craig Watson
30
Steven Boyd
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully (GK)
18
David Wilson
19
Jack Hendry
20
Declan McDaid
21
Jordan Leyden
22
Gary Fraser
27
Kevin Nisbet
Match Preview

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle

Manager Alan Archibald spoke with ptfc.co.uk as he prepares for the opening game of the league season and he admits he is glad the competitive action is almost upon his side once again.

“You get to a point with the players where they are fed up with the training and the friendly games. They just want to get onto the field for a competitive fixture. Pre-Season went well. As a manager you look to tick some boxes by getting everybody fit and not picking up any injuries and I think we have done that.”

Thistle have continually progressed in each season that Archibald has been in charge at Firhill and progression is the aim once again.

“This season we’re looking to progress. We finished 8th last season and an ideal season would see us finish higher once again in the league. It’ll be tough as we have a tighter squad. We’ll need to stay away from injuries, there is every chance we can go and get it. We’ve got a solid defensive basis with Dan and Freddie being more experienced but Liam and Jack have been playing well and are in contention for a slot.”

Thistle start their league campaign with a tricky trip to Hamilton Accies, a ground where both games last season ended a draw.

“Hamilton was one of the toughest places to go last season. They are a hard side to play against, very physical and in your faces. You also have the added factor of the artificial surface, but that is new to them as well and won’t be an excuse for tomorrow. They’ve got quality as well and dangerous players.”

It’s an almost fully fit squad that makes the trip to New Douglas Park tomorrow.

“Steven Lawless is obviously suspended and will miss out. We have a couple of players with niggling injuries and we’ll assess them closer to kick off.“

Alan is keen to add to the squad but has found his search for new players unsuccessful this week, but he remains confident quality will be found.

Match Report

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle

As the rain fell ahead of kick off at New Douglas Park there was certainly an air of nervous anticipation from the 1,321 travelling Jags fans ahead of the 2015/16 season finally got under way. Ultimately it would be a match defined by a decision – or, more precisely, two decisions – made by referee Brian Colvin.

Alan Archibald’s first team selection of the season saw three players make their Thistle debuts. Tomas Cerny started in goal against his former team, Gary Miller filled the right back slot and David Amoo also made his debut.

On the bench Gary Fraser was by far the most experienced of the seven listed, with Ryan Scully, David Wilson, Jack Hendry, Declan McDaid, Jordan Leyden and Kevin Nisbet making up the rest of the subs.

In a game of few chances the first fell to the home side when Imrie could only put his header well wide while under strong pressure from Callum Booth. Hamilton had the best of the opening 10 minutes but failed to make their dominance pay, only testing the Jags’ keeper once. A shot from Crawford that Cerny saved comfortably.

On fourteen minutes Frederic Frans fouled Christian Nadé just outside the home team’s box after the Frenchman had taken the ball past the Thistle centre half. The Belgian was booked for the foul – a decision that many would have said was soft.

As the first half ticked on the only chance that would fall the visitors’ way was when a free kick was awarded some 35 yards from goal. Stuart Bannigan touched the ball to Stevenson but the attacker’s shot was high and wide – never troubling the Accies’ net.

Just minutes later came the decision that would kill the game as a spectacle. Frans, already booked for the earlier incident, clipped Kurakins 30 yards from goal only to see Brian Colvin pull a second yellow and dismiss the Thistle player on 25 minutes. Gary Miller deputised at centre back before the Thistle bench could bring Jack Hendry on for Stevenson and restore some balance to the back line.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half Hamilton had a series of chances. First, Lindsay was required to divert a Kurakins cross away from goal before Turner, who should perhaps have done better, put his header wide of goal. The home side saved the best for last though as Thistle lost possession cheaply only to see Crawford squander a good chance to put his side one up.

Half time came and Thistle would have been the happier of the two sides having, on the whole, coped very well with Accies’ threat.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half contained very little action and only really an Accies penalty shout in terms of action as Bannigan challenged Gordon in the box. Declan McDaid replaced David Amoo just before the hour.

Crawford was creating a lot of the best moves for Thistle but nobody could get past Cerny who saved a shot low from the same player. The best save was still to come though. Crawford again hitting a shot which looked for all the world a goal only to see the Czech keeper tip the ball over the bar – a save that could already be a contender for stop of the season.

As the second half progressed, Accies really turned up the pressure but the Jags’ defence held strong. Thistle were definitely on the back foot though and chances came at a premium. Once or twice McDaid did use his pace to beat his man only for his crosses either to be snuffed out or to find Doolan unable to convert.

The final real chance came in the 84th minute when Hamilton came so close to taking the lead. Docherty’s shot hit the inside of the post and bounced out to a Thistle defender who cleared the danger leaving Jags’ fans hearts in mouths.

Hamilton might have dominated possession for the closing minutes but Thistle never really looked like losing the game and, as the full time whistle went, it was a hard fought and well-earned point for the team in the light blue away kit.

Thistle: Tomas Cerny, Gary Miller, Sean Welsh (Wilson), Callum Booth, Abdul Osman, David Amoo (McDaid), Stuart Bannigan, Kris Doolan, Ryan Stevenson (Hendry), Frederic Frans (S/O, 25), Liam Lindsay.

Subs: Ryan Scully, David Wilson (65), Jack Hendry (29), Declan McDaid (56), Jordan Leyden, Gary Fraser, Kevin Nisbet.

Match Reaction

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle

It was a tough day for Thistle in the opening game of the season
and Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk shortly after full time
to give his thoughts.
“It was a tough shift. Thankfully we’ve had a great preseason
which is thanks to Junior Mendes. The fitness levels of the
players were high and they needed to be. The sun came out
as well and that made it harder with 10 men. It wasn’t ideal. David
Amoo also had to go off with a tweaked hamstring as well so we
were really up against it with two enforced substitutions. Thistle defended resolutely and Alan was pleased with how his side performed in adversity.
“At times we didn’t look like we had 10 men. We were great
and organised with Dools up top. I thought we done really well
and it was only the last 10 or 15 minutes where Hamilton posed
problems. It was down to Hamilton’s movement but our young
two centre halves did really well.
“We said to the team at half time, make them go round the
sides. Do not let through the middle of us. They did it once
or twice, hitting the post. That was our game plan, to make them go round the sides and picking up once the crosses when they came in.”
Thistle kept a clean sheet on the opening day of a league season for the third consecutive season and Alan was quick to praise Tomas Cerny who made a couple of tremendous saves.
“The clean sheet is down to a number of people but none more
so than Tomas. He made a couple of outstanding saves and it
beds him into the side even more. He’s been great in pre-season
and today the fans got to see the quality he does have.
“It’s fantastic[to record a third consecutive opening day clean
sheet] and long may it continue. The more clean sheets the
better as far as I’m concerned. Clean sheets kept us up last
season and played a big part in us finishing 8th.”
Kris Doolan had a lonely shift up front on his own for the
majority of the game due to Frederic Frans’ early red card.
“It was harsh on Doolan but he had to go and work hard up
front. We took off Ryan Stevenson just after the red card
because he hasn’t had a lot of game time and we knew we
needed legs and energy in the heart of our midfield. David
Amoo came off injured as well, which is unfortunate as we’d
probably have taken Doolan off if he hadn’t picked up an injury.
Doolan worked really hard though and was part of a great team
effort.”
Thistle face a tough game against Celtic next week, but Alan
was keen to take the positives from the opening day match.
“It’s a good point. A good clean sheet, especially with ten men.
We’ll take the positives from the game. Freddie will be
suspended for next week. We’ll see how David is and we’ll see
what lads are ready for next week. Today we showed real
organisation and the pleasing thing is that it continued when the young lads came on.”

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