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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sun 20 October, 2013. Kick Off: - 12:45
Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness

Inverness CT
12
Dean Brill
2
David Raven
3
Graeme Shinnie
5
Gary Warren
6
Josh Meekings
7
Billy McKay (Torbjørn Agdestein (23), 90 mins)
8
Ross Draper
9
Richie Foran
10
Aaron Doran
11
Nick Ross (Liam Polworth (20), 69 mins)
17
Ben Greenhalgh (Marley Watkins (15), 71 mins)
 
Subs
1
Ryan Esson
14
Danny Devine
15
Marley Watkins
18
Carl Tremarco
19
Danny Williams
20
Liam Polworth
23
Torbjørn Agdestein
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
4
Sean Welsh
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan
7
James Craigen (Christie Elliott (14), 73 mins)
19
Isaac Osbourne
23
Kallum Higginbotham (Steven Lawless (11), 82 mins)
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
11
Steven Lawless
10
Ross Forbes
13
Gabriel Piccolo
14
Christie Elliott
17
John Baird
22
Gary Fraser
 
Subs
1
Ryan Esson
14
Danny Devine
15
Marley Watkins
18
Carl Tremarco
19
Danny Williams
20
Liam Polworth
23
Torbjørn Agdestein
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
11
Steven Lawless
10
Ross Forbes
13
Gabriel Piccolo
14
Christie Elliott
17
John Baird
22
Gary Fraser
Match Preview

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 20th October 2013

It has been a long 12 days since the defeat to Hibs at Firhill, a defeat that most agreed was a very unfair reflection on the 90 minutes, but defeat It was and now the Jags embark on a string on 3 matches against what many consider to be the be the best three teams in the league, all on SKY TV, starting with a trip to Inverness on Sunday.  Despite that length of time that has elapsed, manager Alan Archibald admitted that there is still a spritely step in the players at training:
“They have been really lively and although it has been hard, dwelling on a defeat in a match we should have won, we feel that it is well out our system now and we are fully focussed on a game against a team I rate very highly and we are going to have to produce an excellent performance to get anything out of it.”
To that end, we asked the manager how he was thinking with regards to style of play and personnel ahead of the game:
“Squad wise we are almost complete.  Only Jordan McMillan misses out although he is now back in full training but he does have a bit of catching up to do.  Other than that I will be taking a full squad up north and we will select what we think is our best side to take on a team that are excellent on their home patch.
As far as style of play is concerned I am still extremely happy at the way we play our football and I do not want to sacrifice that.  We are still playing well and creating chances and because of that we will not deviate too much from our way of playing, I just hope we can get the right formula to get some goals into our play, which I think we deserve.”
The gaffer also admitted it was a tough run of fixtures but reflecting on the 9 games played so far, is convinced that the team have settled in well into the top flight:
“There is no doubt we are good enough to play at this level, and with the exception of Celtic, who are just a little bit better than the rest, I don’t think there is a lot to choose from.  It was essential that our players had belief in themselves and I think they undoubtedly have that, it is now a case of building up as much confidence as we can and go and win as many games as possible.”

Match Report

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 20th October 2013

The early departure and long journey to Inverness proved worthwhile for the 340 Thistle fans who forego the opportunity to watch the game on the television and took the road north as The Jags returned to winning ways against the division’s second placed team.
Thistle’s last outing had seen them slide to a scarcely deserved defeat at the hands of Hibernian and the manager in the main kept faith with the players that performed well, even in defeat, in that match; the only change seeing James Craigen start in place of Steven Lawless.
It was the home side that took the early initiative in this match and Aaron Muirhead found himself in the referee’s book inside the first two minutes of the game after a foul on Nick Ross who threatened to break clear of the Thistle defence. Aaron Doran’s free kick, however, went wide of target.
Inverness’ direct approach to the game though looked as if it might bring them some early reward and the side with a hitherto 100% home record were close to taking an 8th minute lead when a Ben Greenhalgh shot rebounded off Scott Fox’s post.
It was Thistle though that opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Kris Doolan’s finish was of the highest quality but it was exceeded by some excellent build up play culminating in Kallum Higginbotham and James Craigen combining to give Doolan his opportunity.
Thistle had Scott Fox to thank for maintaining their lead five minutes after Doolan’s opening goal; the Thistle keeper producing an excellent stop to tip a long range effort from Draper over the crossbar.
Although the home side were doing the bulk of the pressing Thistle weren’t without a threat of their own and after 30 minutes another fine passing move provided James Craigen with a shooting opportunity at the edge of the Inverness box but he could only send his shot over the bar.
Stephen O’Donnell too was off target with a shot after Higginbotham had laid the ball back into his path as Thistle grew in confidence.
It did look, however, as if they were to be denied a half-time lead with Inverness netting an apparent equaliser with half-time mere seconds away. Sean Welsh had cleared a McKay effort off the line following a corner on the right but when Doran lashed the ball home it appeared as if Welsh’s goal line heroics had been in vain. However, just as the home side were enjoying their celebrations the assistant referee drew attention to an issue with Draper’s corner and the ‘goal’ was disallowed.
Inverness were level though inside 60 second half seconds. A free kick from the left hand side was met by the head of Gary Warren and his header found the back of the net.
The home side were probably the favourites at this stage to gather all three points and they had the ball in the net again in the 62nd minute with Foran the man this time to be denied a goal following a foul on Scott Fox.
While the home side had plenty of pressure it was only really a set pieces that they genuinely posed a threat to the Thistle rear guard although a cross from the right from substitute Watkins was begging for a finish from an Inverness foot.
It was Thistle though that would grab a winner with 8 minutes remaining. There was a touch of good fortune surrounding this goal with Brill fumbling a Taylor-Sinclair cross but displaying all the predatory instincts of a good striker, Kris Doolan was on hand to force the ball home.
Thistle still had to endure some hefty Inverness pressure in the time that remained before they could celebrate a hard fought three points. Twice in injury time Inverness forced corner kicks before Foran nodded their last chance of the afternoon over the bar.

Match Reaction

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 20th October 2013

Not surprisingly it was a happy squad that headed down the A9 in the wake of the win over Inverness Caley on Sunday afternoon in front of the TV cameras.  The Jags became the first team not just to win there this season, but also the first team to score a goal.  Manager Alan Archibald admitted that there was an element of luck with the winning goal, but the effort and spirit of the side meant they perhaps deserved that slice of good fortune:
“I thought the application of the players was first class and we were very disciplined in all aspects of the game.  We scored a wonderful goal to open the scoring and then withstood a lot of pressure from them as they piled forward and playing long, high balls into the box but we stood firm and limited their chances to very few.  Admittedly we did get a slice of luck with the winning goal but over the course of the season nobody could deny we didn’t deserve that, we have not really had much of a rub of the green this season.”
There were many talking points in the game, none more so than what is being dubbed “cornergate”, and the gaffer’s take on it?
“I thought the assistant made the right decision because of one thing and that is when James Craigen, who was alert to the whole goings on, was ushered away by the assistant it meant that the ball was not deemed to be in play at that point so he was right to flag the goal off.  I can understand their disappointment at what happened but if everything had played out without incident then James would have at the very least booted the ball away and no goal would have resulted.”
So, that is now three wins on the road, and yet to record that elusive first home win, is there any reason known as to why that statistic is developing:
“I don’t really know to be honest.  It could be a number of things, such as the way teams play against us or it simply could be down to handling the pressure of playing at home a little differently than away from home.  Obviously I am very disappointed with the way things have gone at home in terms of results but not so with performances.  With the exception of the Aberdeen game I have been pleased with performances and hopefully today will help us move on and start getting positive results at home too.”

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