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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Wed 12 August, 2015. Kick Off: - 19:45

Inverness CT
25
Owain Fon Williams
2
David Raven
8
Ross Draper
19
Danny Williams
14
Danny Devine
16
Greg Tansey
20
Liam Polworth
17
Lewis Horner (Iain Vigurs (27), 64 mins)
7
Dani Lopez
28
Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo
22
Ryan Christie
 
Subs
1
Ryan Esson (GK)
15
Nat Wedderburn
3
Carl Tremarco
27
Iain Vigurs
34
Jason Brown
37
Alasdair Sutherland
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomáš Černý
2
Gary Miller
4
Sean Welsh
5
Callum Booth
6
Abdul Osman
7
David Amoo (David Wilson (18), 76 mins)
8
Stuart Bannigan
11
Steven Lawless
13
Frederic Frans
17
Liam Lindsay
99
Mathias Pogba (Kris Doolan (9), 18 mins)
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully (GK)
3
Daniel Seaborne
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ryan Stevenson
18
David Wilson
19
Jack Hendry
22
Gary Fraser
 
Subs
1
Ryan Esson (GK)
15
Nat Wedderburn
3
Carl Tremarco
27
Iain Vigurs
34
Jason Brown
37
Alasdair Sutherland
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully (GK)
3
Daniel Seaborne
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ryan Stevenson
18
David Wilson
19
Jack Hendry
22
Gary Fraser
Match Preview

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle

Thistle take on Inverness and manager Alan Archibald is keen to get his season up and running after a tough start.

“Our season hasn’t really kicked off offensively. We went down to 10 men early on against Hamilton and never really created much. Celtic dominated the whole 90 minutes, creatively we didn’t get in the game. The match against Inverness on Wednesday gives us a chance to get our season up and running and hopefully get a victory.”

Thistle have enjoyed a good record in the highland capital recently but the manager isn’t taking anything for granted.

“It’s a hard place to go. We were lucky enough to record a very good win there last season but we know how good a side they are. They won the Scottish Cup last season having beaten us on the way. I know they have a few injuries but, when I went to watch them on Saturday, it wasn’t evident as they dominated the first hour of the game.

“We’ve saved some of our best performances for games against Inverness and they were good games of football to boot. They were better against us in the cup game so it’s been very even between the sides. It makes a difference when you have two good teams trying to play football and I expect that to be the case on Wednesday night.”

Frederic Frans returns from suspension and has given the gaffer a selection headache.

“It’s good to have Freddie back. It was a bad start to his season, getting sent off, and him coming back gives us another option. The two young lads have done really well against Celtic even though we lost two goals. I thought, given what they had to deal with, they did ever so well. It gives us a nice complement of four very good centre halves.”

The manager is still on the hunt for an extra creative player to help the squad push on a bit further.

“We’re still looking to strengthen with a creative, attacking player. From a creative point we did well in pre-season but we haven’t had the chance to get that going. Hopefully on Wednesday we can get our creative players on the ball. We’ve got a bit of work to do before adding anyone else in.”

It’s not quite a full squad for the manager to pick from on Wednesday night as he revealed to us.

“Christie is away for a scan with an injury but Mathias Pogba is in contention for a start and Dan Seaborne isn’t far away either. Steven Lawless has a knock, which is why he was substituted on Sunday and we’ll continue to assess him in the run up to the game – we’ll give him every chance.”

Match Report

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle

Thistle travelled north to Inverness in a bid to record the first league win of the season. Alan Archibald has enjoyed a good record in the Highlands as Thistle manager and was hoping his side would be able to continue that run of impressive form with only one defeat in the previous six league meetings with the Scottish Cup holders.

The manager made three changes to the side which went down to Celtic on Sunday with Frederic Frans returning from suspension to resume his usual central defensive berth, replacing the slightly unfortunate Jack Hendry who dropped to the bench despite impressing hugely in his first team fixtures to date. David Amoo and Mathias Pogba, who linked up well in the latter stages of the Celtic game were promoted to the starting line up replacing Ryan Stevenson and David Wilson, both of whom dropped to the bench.

The game started quietly with both sides struggling to impose themselves on the game. Thistle had the first opportunity as Pogba got a flick onto Bannigan’s free kick but Fon Williams was more than equal to it.

Despite this, it was Inverness who started the game better and Liam Lindsay had to be alert on a couple of occasions to block shots from Lopez and Draper after the home side had worked openings on the break.

Bannigan was imposing himself on the game early on and he went on one of his trademark surging runs deep into the half, before being hauled down 35 yards from goal. The free kick was touched to him by Welsh and the Inverness defender was able to close down the shot to block at close range.

Thistle were forced into an early substitution when Mathias Pogba pulled up chasing a ball into the channel. As a precaution he was substituted with Kris Doolan coming on to lead the line.

Steven Lawless was jinking about the pitch creating pockets of space for himself and he fired over a cross which Doolan couldn’t connect with the ball and Welsh nodded over from close range. Sean Welsh had another attempt on goal firing over after working some space for himself on the edge of the box.

If the first half was tame, then the second half sparked into life as Welsh found Doolan inside the box, but the striker was tackled before managing to get a shot on goal.

Inverness threatened Cerny’s goal for the first time when Lopez fired a shot narrowly wide of goal.

Just before the hour mark presented Thistle with their best opportunity to open the scoring. Welsh set up Lawless, perhaps delaying the pass a fraction too late. Lawless worked an opportunity for himself on the edge of the box and fired a powerful high shot which was tipped onto the bar by Fon Williams. The rebound dropped to Doolan who was unable to scramble the ball home, but the flag was up for offside in any case.

Thistle were coming into the ascendancy as the game progressed and Amoo was the next to have a shot blocked by a defender as Inverness resorted to last ditch defending in a bid to keep the score level.

Inverness were resorting to long ball in a bid to alleviate the Thistle pressure, but Frans and Lindsay were composed with dealing with the threat of Mutombo and Christie in the advanced areas of the Inverness side. On a couple of occasions late on the home side could have stolen the points when Vigurs curl an excellent free kick which Cerny did extremely well to turn around the post.

The game stretched from end to end with Thistle having a couple of great opportunities to steal the points. Bannigan strode through from midfield and with Lawless and Doolan both providing options, his touch let him down at the vital time and Inverness were able to clear.

Frans was next to have a go from the edge of the box but his shot was narrowly off target with Fon Williams appearing to be beaten.

Ultimately Thistle had to settle for a point and with it a second consecutive away clean sheet, the first time Thistle have started a season with consecutive away clean sheets since 1978/79.

Match Reaction

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle

Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk shortly after the full time whistle in Inverness and we wondered if he considered it two points dropped or one gained.

“A bit of both I think. When you see the chances we created, we had the clearer cut opportunities but the game could have went either way. To be fair to John Hughes’ side they had a few chances and Tomas made a good couple of saves.

“I thought the defence played really well and I include Tomas inthat. His starting position was really good. Some of the long balls which Inverness played through, he dealt with brilliantly. I’m delighted with the clean sheet as well.

“I’m a greedy manager and I thought we deserved the three points with the way we created our chances.”

After a tame opening spell, Thistle imposed themselves on the game more in the second half and Archibald admits he was disappointed with the first half performance.

“I only saw glimpses of what we can do with the ball in the first half. The way we circulate and play It was maybe, seen on only two occasions that we did that in the first half. That was the disappointing thing and we said that at half time. That’s what
we are good at. We’re not good at playing the ball direct in behind the sides.

“In the second half the midfield gave our defence more options on the ball. We got our creative players like Steven Lawless into good areas to go and make things happen to us.”

Mathias Pogba had to be withdrawn early in the game and we wondered if it disrupted the flow of the game for the forward players.

“I’m not sure. It was a weird start of a game. We didn’t play well but we still created chances. Kris Doolan was fantastic. Hehad a chance early on, which maybe came too early for him but he still worked the goalkeeper.“

Steven Lawless came closest to scoring when his shot was tipped onto the bar early in the second half.

“I think we had one just before that where a stramash in the box which didn’t fall our way. There was a couple of occasion where it didn’t look like going our way. I’m really, really happy with the way we played and the way we created our chances, although we never managed to take them. We just didn’t manage the final pass on a couple of occasions tonight.”There were a couple of worrying scenes with players needing treatment in the game and Archibald was happy to clear up theinjury worries.

“Abdul has a bit of a knock, which he already had at half time. Mathias felt his hamstring go, so we took him off as a precaution. Hopefully it’s only a strain and he’ll be back soon.”

The attention turns to Kilmarnock on Saturday and Archibald is hoping his creative players are able to link up more effectively against them.

“I certainly hope so. David Amoo has to do more for the team to get on the ball. He never really affected play for us going forward although he did a lot of work going back. We need to get him more involved. Lawless and Doolan linked up really well. There’s a lot of positives to take from tonight.”

 

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