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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 21 December, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock
1
Craig Samson
2
Jeroen Tesselaar
5
Jackson Irvine
7
Barry Nicholson (Michael Gardyne (25), 59 mins)
9
Kris Boyd
10
Chris Johnston (Jude Winchester (21), 89 mins)
16
Sean Clohessy
18
Rory McKenzie
28
Craig Slater
29
Manuel Pascali
30
Lee Ashcroft
 
Subs
12
Antonio Reguero
8
Sammy Clingan
19
Rabiu Ibrahim
21
Jude Winchester
23
Rory McKeown
25
Michael Gardyne
33
Robbie Muirhead
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
3
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
James Craigen
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan
11
Steven Lawless (John Baird (17), 74 mins)
13
Gabriel Piccolo
14
Christie Elliott (Stephen O'Donnell (2), 79 mins)
16
Jordan McMillan
23
Kallum Higginbotham (Ross Forbes (10), 82 mins)
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
5
Aaron Muirhead
10
Ross Forbes
17
John Baird
20
Mark Kerr
2
Stephen O'Donnell
31
David Wilson
 
Subs
12
Antonio Reguero
8
Sammy Clingan
19
Rabiu Ibrahim
21
Jude Winchester
23
Rory McKeown
25
Michael Gardyne
33
Robbie Muirhead
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
5
Aaron Muirhead
10
Ross Forbes
17
John Baird
20
Mark Kerr
2
Stephen O'Donnell
31
David Wilson
Match Preview

Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle – 21st December 2013

Thistle will be looking for an early Christmas present of three points tomorrow when they head down to Rugby Park to face a Kilmarnock side that sit just one place and a couple of points below Thistle in the league table.
The close proximity of the two teams to each other adds just a little extra significance to tomorrow’s fixture with Thistle manager Alan Archibald seeing it as an opportunity for his team. He commented to [link:HOME] after today’s training session.
“We see tomorrow’s game as a winnable one for us and with Kilmarnock just below us in the league it gives us an opportunity to open up a bit of a gap on them. The football comes at a fast and furious rate at this time of the season and after tomorrow’s game we have a couple of home games in quick succession. We are desperate to go into those two games with the confidence that a win at RugbyPark would give us.”
Alan continued;
“Just as we will see tomorrow’s game as an opportunity so too will Kilmarnock. They know that a win tomorrow would see them leapfrog us in the league table. We probably should have beaten them at Firhill earlier in the season. I felt that Kris Boyd was the difference for them that day. He is a top quality striker and the goal that he scored that afternoon was a great goal; it was really no more than a half chance for him. He’s obviously a real danger man tomorrow but Kilmarnock now have a lot of good young players in their team. Tomorrow’s game is going to be a very difficult one but, as I said, one we feel we can win if we play to our full potential.”
The manager, however, will be without the services of a few players tomorrow.
“Gary Fraser is still suspended and Sean Welsh will miss out as well. It looks as if we are going to be without the services of Isaac Osbourne for a couple of months which is a real blow for us. He’s injured that ankle before and the fact that his injury happened in a game that was abandoned just adds to the frustration. The fact that the St Johnstone game was abandoned at half-time means now that Gary Fraser would not be available to play against Celtic on New Year’s Day. Gary, Sean Welsh and Isaac Osbourne are all key midfield players for us and having them all out at the same time is obviously not ideal.”
It isn’t all bad news though.
“Stephen O’Donnell did some running today and although he isn’t entirely match fit he will be added to the squad that we will take down to Kilmarnock tomorrow.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              1              4              2              13
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 6
Aaron Muirhead 4
Steven Lawless 3
Christie Elliott 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday December 7th 2013
Partick Thistle 1, Hibs 1
Kilmarnock Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              0              4              6              17
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Boyd 8
Barry Nicholson 2
Darren Barr 2
Sean Clohessy 2
Sammy Clingan 1
Chris Johnston 2
Jackson Irvine 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday December 14th 2013
Kilmarnock 1, Dundee United 4
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Saturday September 21st 2013
Partick Thistle 1, Kilmarnock 1
Teams
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Welsh, Muirhead, Balatoni, Bannigan, Doolan, Lawless (Elliott), Osbourne (Craigen), Higginbotham (Forbes).
Kilmarnock: Samson, Tesselaar (McKeown), Irvine, Barr, Nicholson, Boyd, Clohessy, Ibrahim (Stewart), Gardyne (Gross), Pascali, Bouzid.
Scorers
Thistle: Muirhead (11)
Kilmarnock: Boyd (47)
Crowd: 4,310
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Saturday December 21st 2013
Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Supporters Buses Information
Match Officials
Referee: Craig Thomson
Assistant Referees: Graham Chambers and Ralph Gordon
Fourth Official: Crawford Allan
Other Premiership Fixtures
Celtic v Hearts
Dundee United v RossCounty
Hibernian v St Johnstone
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Aberdeen
Motherwell v St Mirren

Match Report

Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle – 21st December 2013

Thistle will head into the Boxing Day match against Inverness seeking their first win since their last trip to the capital of the Highlands.
Goals from Chris Johnston and Kris Boyd sandwiched an excellent equalizer from Kris Doolan at the start of the second half as Kilmarnock took all three points and moved above Thistle in the league.
Alan Archibald made a couple of changes from the St Johnstone game – Conrad Balatoni and Stevie Lawless coming in for Aaron Muirhead and Isaac Osbourne.
There was a low-key start to the game and there was almost ten minutes on the clock before the first effort on goal, a long range effort from Stevie Lawless that was comfortably saved by Craig Samson.
Kilmarnock, seeking out Kris Boyd at every opportunity, created a chance for McKenzie, but he shot wide of Scott Fox’s right hand post.
Shortly afterwards, Boyd’s dummy fooled Gabriel Piccolo and a one-two set up a great scoring chance that Fox blocked with his legs.
Thistle enjoyed more of the possession later in the second half, winning the ball back in dangerous areas with Doolan, Lawless and Elliott working to quickly close down the home defence.
Stevie Lawless had Thistle’s best chance of the half – driving at the Kilmarnock defence, he beat the last defender, but after getting into the box, sliced his shot agonisingly wide of goal.
Thistle paid heavily for that miss just minutes later.  Gabriel Piccolo’s slack ball from defence left Kilmarnock with plenty of space, but Balatoni was able to block for a corner.  Fox punched the corner clear, but when the ball was played back into the box, the ball dropped for Chris Johnston to drive the ball home from 12 yards.
There was time for one more Thistle chance, Kris Doolan beating Craig Samson to a back-pass on the goal-line at the corner of the box.  Just keeping the ball in play he was able to turn and set up Kallum Higginbotham who saw his effort palmed away by Samson, with the ball falling just out of reach of two Thistle players.
Whilst the rain started falling heavier during half-time, Thistle started the second half brightly, upping the tempo and playing higher up the park as they shot towards the 800-strong Thistle support.
It took only three minutes to find an equalizer that was as simple as it was excellent.  Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s long throw into the box was dummied by Christie Elliott and with one turn Kris Doolan got away from his marker.  With all that space, Doolan had plenty of time to take a touch and then send Samson the wrong way with his finish.
Thistle grew in confidence from the goal, and enjoyed a good spell of pressure, although chances were at a premium the hour mark. Christie Elliott’s driven shot was palmed away by Samson and then headed behind for a corner.
After fine play from Higginbotham down the left, the ball eventually fell to Stevie Lawless eight yards out, but he could only stab the ball over the bar.
Kilmarnock started coming back into the game, shortly after replacing Barry Nicholson with Michael Gardyne.
Fox was in the right place to save an Ashcroft header from a corner, then he blocked Gardyne’s firmly-hit drive.
From another counter-attack, Balatoni appeared to win the ball before any contact with McKenzie, but a free-kick was given and the Thistle defender booked.  The resulting set-play was cleared initially but Irvine’s strike was touched into the corner of the Thistle goal by Kris Boyd to give the home side the lead once more.
There were a couple of opportunities for a second equalizer.  A superb move down the left opened up the Kilmarnock defence and it took a block from Samson to deny Higginbotham from eight yards out.
Samson followed that with a fine double-save from a Ross Forbes free kick that was heading for the top corner, then from Baird’s follow-up effort.
Despite camping in the Kilmarnock half for the last few minutes, Thistle were unable to find that all important goal that they probably deserved – man-of-the-match Samson saving Baird’s effort in the final action of the game.

Match Reaction

Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle – 21st December 2013

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