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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 13 December, 2014. Kick Off: - 15:00
Tulloch Caledonian Stadium

Inverness CT
12
Dean Brill
2
David Raven
3
Graeme Shinnie
4
James Vincent (Aaron Doran 65)
5
Gary Warren
6
Josh Meekings
7
Billy Mckay
8
Ross Draper (Ryan Christie 65)
15
Marley Watkins
16
Greg Tansey
19
Danny Williams
 
Subs
1
Ryan Esson
10
Aaron Doran
11
Nick Ross
14
Danny Devine
18
Carl Tremarco
20
Liam Polworth
22
Ryan Christie
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
12
Paul Gallacher
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Daniel Seaborne
6
Conrad Balatoni
8
Stuart Bannigan (David Wilson 82)
10
Ryan Stevenson (Nathan Eccleston 81)
14
Christie Elliott
15
Kallum Higginbotham (Steven Lawless 75)
16
Jordan McMillan
18
Abdul Osman
22
Gary Fraser
 
Subs
1
Scott Fox
7
James Craigen
11
Steven Lawless
19
Nathan Eccleston
23
David Wilson
26
Liam Lindsay
28
Declan McDaid
 
Subs
1
Ryan Esson
10
Aaron Doran
11
Nick Ross
14
Danny Devine
18
Carl Tremarco
20
Liam Polworth
22
Ryan Christie
 
Subs
1
Scott Fox
7
James Craigen
11
Steven Lawless
19
Nathan Eccleston
23
David Wilson
26
Liam Lindsay
28
Declan McDaid
Match Preview

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 13th December 2014

It was an optimistic Alan Archibald who spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the weekend’s tie away to Inverness.
“It felt like two points dropped at the weekend when we played Kilmarnock, it’s a home game and one we really should have been taking three points from. Having said that we’re looking to go to the Highlands for a win and start to eat away at that gap between ourselves and the top six – it’s certainly not a gap we want getting any bigger.
“Inverness are a real model for clubs like Thistle. The way they have come up and established themselves as a top six club is very impressive. They’ve also changed their style of play in a big way in the last 12 months or so and John Hughes has clearly done a great job.
“I know from personal experience that it is difficult to go into a team that is doing well as a new manager. Obviously John came in after Terry and the club were absolutely flying. For John to come in and change the mentality and the way they play their football and still get results is very impressive.
“It’s a team filled with pros. You just have to look at the business they did over the summer – or lack of I should say. He went through the whole summer and I think only signed one new player, that’s a sure fire sign that they have a very good bunch of boys.
“There’s no doubt it will be a challenge going up there, it always is, but we can go up there off the back of a couple of decent performances and the team is in confident mood.
“The last few times we’ve played Inverness they’ve been right good games. We’re two teams who like to get the ball down and play and that’s usually conducive to a good game for the fans. Having said that, no matter how good the game is, it is a very long journey back if you lose so here’s hoping we do the business and come away with the three points!”

Match Report

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 13th December 2014

Thistle made the long trip up the A9 to face an Inverness Caledonian Thistle side that have had a great start to the season and remained unbeaten at home since April. Thistle manager, Alan Archibald, made two changes from the starting eleven that had drawn with Kilmarnock, Jordan McMillan replaced Jake Carroll and Gary Fraser came in to replace James Craigen in conditions which could only be described as raw.

Thistle started brightly pushing up and pressuring Caley on the ball and a great crossfield ball from Fraser found Stephen O’Donnell but his cross just evaded all of the Jags players in the box. In the sixth minute Gallacher had to look lively to stop McKay as Caley broke at pace from a Jags corner and showed one of the reasons why their season has started so strongly.

The home side should really have gone ahead three minutes later when Balatoni slipped allowing Watkins to go through one on one with Paul Gallacher. Luckily for the visitors the Caley man slid his shot wide of both keeper and the far post and the scores remained level.

Thistle made the home side pay for their spurned chances when, in the 11th minute, they produced a brilliant team goal. McMillan found Bannigan who in turn found Stevenson, he knocked a pass wide right to O’Donnell who sent Elliott clear down the right hand side. Finding himself in space the Thistle winger squared a great ball across the box and there was the onrushing Stevenson sliding in to poke the ball home at thefront post. Great work from the former Hearts man having continued his run from the halfway line to make it 1-0.

There was nearly a second for Thistle immediately when Bannigan collected a loose pass and found Higginbotham straight away, the squared pass to Stevenson was well placed but the scorer of the Jags’ first goal could only put his shot over the bar.

The Highlanders certainly weren’t giving up easily though and defence and keeper both had to look sharp when first Warren headed over before Gallacher did well to save a Tansey shot one handed down to his right.

Despite the ICT pressure it was Thistle who would strike again and, in the 40th minute, it was 2-0 to the visitors. Thistle won the ball in midfield and, when the ball found Fraser in space, he squared across the 18 yard box perfectly for Stevenson to sidefoot home powerfully and send the away fans wild.

Gallacher had to be on hand again though to keep out another stinging Tansey effort before Stevenson, absolutely full of confidence, saw his effort deflected for a corner. The resulting corner, taken by Bannigan, was met perfectly by Seaborne’s head but Brill pulled off an unbelievable fingertip save onto the post to keep it at 2-0 as the first half ended.

As the teams re-emerged for the second 45 it was Thistle who would start the stronger. Stevenson did brilliantly on the right hand side and made space for a peach of a left foot cross which was met by Fraser’s, who had made a perfectly timed run into the box, and the young midfielder powerfully headed home via the underside of the bar from six yards to make it 3-0.

The home side tried to bounce back and a Warren shot was brilliantly tipped round the post by Gallacher but the momentum remained with the visitors. There was a bit of controversy from the resulting corner though, as Thistle cleared to Raven 35 yards out who hit a screamer that had Gallacher beaten and seemingly Inverness on the score sheet. It wasn’t to be though as McKay, having deemed to have been interfering with play while in an offside position, was flagged and the goal was disallowed.

Stevenson then forced Brill into another great save from a shot on the turn and earned the Jags a corner as he strived for an ultimately illusive hat-trick.

There was more to come from Thistle though and the lead was extended when Bannigan, who was magnificent all afternoon, produced a perfect cross for Balatoni at the back post. Conrad created the yard for himself that was required and headed home to make it 4-0 for Thistle and spark wild scenes of celebration behind the goal for the Jags fans.

Caley did not offer much in reply an the final chance of the match fell to Thistle when an O’Donnell ball into the box found substitute Eccleston who turned and fired a great shot which Brill again brilliantly saved.

As the referee blew for full time it was the small number of Jags fans in the stand who were celebrating a comprehensive victory in the highlands. An all round terrific team performance and not a failure on the pitch.

Thistle team: Gallacher, O’Donnell, McMillan, Seaborne (C), Balatoni, Higginbotham, Osman, Bannigan, Fraser, Elliott, Stevenson.

Subs: Fox, Craigen, McDaid, Wilson (Bannigan), Lawless (Higginbotham), Lindsay, Eccleston (Stevenson)

Match Reaction

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 13th December 2014

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