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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 9 May, 2015. Kick Off: - 15:00
New Douglas Park, Hamilton

Hamilton Academical
1
Michael McGovern
4
Mikey Devlin (Lucas Tagliapietra 15)
6
Grant Gillespie
7
Dougie Imrie
9
Jason Scotland (Nigel Hasselbaink 60)
11
Ali Crawford
12
Darren Lyon
15
Kieran MacDonald
17
Louis Longridge
18
Darian MacKinnon (Greg Docherty 80)
24
Jesus Garcia Tena
 
Subs
29
Darren Hill
3
Stephen Hendrie
14
Nigel Hasselbaink
16
Craig Watson
21
Greg Docherty
26
Aldin El Zubaidi
44
Lucas Tagliapietra
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
5
Callum Booth
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
James Craigen
8
Stuart Bannigan
10
Ryan Stevenson (Gary Fraser 33)
11
Steven Lawless
13
Frederic Frans
15
Kallum Higginbotham
29
Lyle Taylor (Kris Doolan 60)
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
9
Kris Doolan
14
Christie Elliott
21
Ben Richards-Everton
22
Gary Fraser
23
David Wilson
30
Dale Keenan
 
Subs
29
Darren Hill
3
Stephen Hendrie
14
Nigel Hasselbaink
16
Craig Watson
21
Greg Docherty
26
Aldin El Zubaidi
44
Lucas Tagliapietra
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
9
Kris Doolan
14
Christie Elliott
21
Ben Richards-Everton
22
Gary Fraser
23
David Wilson
30
Dale Keenan
Match Preview

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 9th May 2015

Following a comprehensive victory over St Mirren, which secured safety for the Jag last Saturday, Alan Archibald was keen that his team not lose focus as he approaches his 100th game in charge of Thistle. He spoke to ptfc.co.uk about the approaching milestone as well as the challenge Hamilton will bring.
“It was great to secure safety last week but our focus is now on keeping this run going and finishing as high up the table as possible. To be fair to Hamilton they’ve started to put a run together again and they seem to be back on form. we know it will be tough to go and get a victory there. If we want to stand a chance of securing seventh spot then this is where it starts and we really need to be looking to come back to Firhill with all three points.”
Saturday will mark Archie’s 100th game in charge of the football club but the Thistle gaffer isn’t one to dwell on landmarks.
“I hadn’t realised until someone told me in the week there. The hundred games have absolutely flown past but I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a great way to celebrate by getting safety last week. It has been everything I expected and a lot more, some of it good and some of it bad.
“Working with such a great group of players definitely makes a big difference and they have helped make it a an easy transition from player to manager. The target for me now is to build on what we already have. I’ve spent a long time at Thistle now and I want to see the club do as well as possible, hopefully I can go some way to helping achieve that.”
Finally, Alan Archibald gave us the all important team news.
“It’s much the same as last week. Higginbotham picked up a slight knock but he should be ok. The only ones that will definitely be missing are Dan Seaborne and Sean Welsh.”

Match Report

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 9th May 2015

Having secured our Premiership status for another season attention now turned to the battle for seventh as Thistle returned to action against Hamilton Accies who were five points ahead of Thistle at the start of the game.

Manager, Alan Archibald, made one change, an enforced one, as Abdul Osman was ill. His place was taken by James Craigen with Conrad Balatoni taking over the captain’s armband on a pitch which would take more of the headlines than the game itself.

The Jags kicked off defending the goal housing the 1087 noisy Thistle fans and were immediately on the front foot. Some neat passing between Lyle Taylor, Kallum Higginbotham and James Craigen in the Accies box but the ball would not sit for Craigen and the home defence cleared the danger.

A long punt up the park by Devlin then saw Stephen O’Donnell forced to head behind for a corner which was headed clear but only as far as Dougie Imrie whose shot went just wide. A long cross field pass from Gillespie saw Higginbotham slip and MacDonald pounced and controlled the resulting loose ball on his chest before taking a shot which was straight at Scott Fox.

A Higginbotham pass sent O’Donnell tearing down the right and he managed to keep the ball in play but only by pushing the linesman out of the way! The pacey wing back whipped his cross in but McGovern collected the ball comfortably.

In the ninth minute the home side’s Devlin seemed to catch his studs in the pitch and, in obvious agony, was stretchered off after lengthy treatment on the pitch.

Craigen and Booth both combined well to win a corner and, from the cross, Accies only partially cleared and Taylor laid the ball off to Balatoni whose shot was just too high. Stevenson then fired a powerful 30 yard free kick on target but it was straight at McGovern who saved well and somehow managed to hold onto the ball.

Higginbotham was next to threaten as he sent a lovely 40 yard cross field pass behind Tena leaving Taylor one on one with McGovern. With the on loan striker bearing down on goal he looked certain to score but an unusual bounce off the artificial pitch resulted in the Jags man blazing his effort over the bar from 10 yards – a real chance for Thistle.

An excellent tackle from Booth prevented Imrie getting a chance before Longridge fired wide.

It was then the Jags’ turn to lose a man to a serious looking injury as Ryan Stevenson limped off with a knee injury being replaced by Gary Fraser.

Taylor and Lawless combined to set up Higginbotham whose ambitious chip was parried by McGovern and booted clear by Tena.

Play was stopped again as Taylor received treatment before Longridge, who looked a threat, fired inches wide after Thistle failed to clear. In the sixth minute of injury time Garcia-Tena curled a magnificent free kick over the Thistle wall but Fox got a fingertip onto the underside of the bar and Frans cleared as the deadlock failed to be broken in an injury extended first half.

Into the second period and Garcia-Tena tried a Beckham style effort from inside his own half but it drifted miles wide. Thistle continued to enjoy lots of possession but were struggling to break down a stuffy Accies side.

The chances were coming for Thistle and Lawless produced some great trickery on the left but Booth’s cross took a deflection and McGovern saved at the second attempt.

On the hour mark Kris Doolan replaced a limping Taylor as Thistle looked for the opening goal but, at the other end, Crawford swung in a free kick which evaded everyone and drifted inches wide.

Doolan then put Accies defence under pressure and laid the ball to Higginbotham who picked out O’Donnell’s lung bursting run on the right but the pass was overhit and O’Donnell’s shot from the angle was saved.

As the game began to open up Fox was once again called upon to tip over a Hasselbaink lob for a corner before Craigen saw his first shot of the match blocked and his second saved by McGovern.

Eventually hard work and endeavour sawThistle opened the scoring in the 72nd minute. Higginbotham linked up delightfully on the right and his rolled pass saw O’Donnell fire home from 10 yards to make it 1-0.

Unfortunately for the Jags support the lead would not last and, in the 85th minute, an Accies corner saw the ball come right across the inside of the six yard box. Docherty attacked it three yards out and headed past Fox to make it 1-1.

With no more chances for either side that is how the game finished. Perhaps a missed opportunity for the Jags but the main talking point after the game was the pitch and how the four stoppages for injuries affected the game which was played on a bone dry surface.

Thistle: Fox, Booth, Balatoni, Frans, O’Donnell, Craigen, Bannigan, Lawless, Higginbotham, Stevenson (Fraser), Taylor (Doolan)

Subs: Gallacher, Doolan (60), Elliott, Richards-Everton, Fraser (33), Wilson, Keenan

Match Reaction

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 9th May 2015

Having seen his team lose a goal in the 85th minute of the match against Hamilton Accies, it was an understandably downbeat Alan Archibald who spoke to ptfc.co.uk after today’s game.

“I don’t think it was a game of great quality if I’m honest. There were two pretty serious looking injuries in the first half and that broke up play and meant things never really got going. It was quite a stop start match overall and as soon as the pitch began to dry our it was hard to get the ball down and play.

“A lot of people complain about the surface, and it is difficult to tell if that had an impact on the injuries. We train on astro a lot and we don’t have any complaints when it is kept wet. The sun was out today though and as soon as it dries out I think it has an impact on play and makes it difficult for teams to knock the ball around.”

One of the two injuries to which Archie referred was Thistle forward, Ryan Stevenson.

“His studs got caught in the turf and his knee locked. We hope it isn’t as bad as it looked at first but we’ll need to wait and see. The medical team will monitor him over the weekend and take a proper look at him on Monday but hopefully he’ll be fine.”

It was Alan Archibald’s 100th game and he would have loved to mark it with a win but the performance from his team was something he could take satisfaction in.

“I think our defence, and all the team really, played well throughout. We were obviously disappointed to lose a goal from a set piece – especially considering how many clean sheets we’ve kept recently. I suppose a 1-0 victory would have been great to celebrate my 100th game but we really wanted the three points to put pressure on Hamilton.

“We’ll keep pushing all the way and make sure they need to win their games to keep a hold of seventh spot. The important thing is that we’ve shown real progression and growth from last season and we’ll be looking to carry that into next season.”

 

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