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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 15 September, 2012. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Braidwood Motor Company Stadium, Livingston

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Stuart Bannigan
4
Paul Paton
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Alan Archibald
7
Steve Lawless (Aaron Sinclair (15), 85 mins)
8
Sean Welsh
9
Steven Craig (Christie Elliott (14), 11 mins)
10
Hugh Murray
11
Chris Erskine
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
14
Christie Elliott
15
Aaron Sinclair
16
Conrad Balatoni
17
James Craigen
Livingston
1
Andy McNeil
2
Callum Fordyce (Dylan Easton (16), 81 mins)
3
Callum Booth
4
Jesus Garcia Tena
5
Craig Barr
6
Ross Docherty
7
Bobby Barr
8
Iain Russell
9
Anthony Andreu
10
Stefan Scougall (Marc McNulty (14), 61 mins)
11
Jordan Morton
 
Subs
12
Connor McDonald
14
Marc McNulty
15
Kevin McCann
16
Dylan Easton
18
Darren Jamieson
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
14
Christie Elliott
15
Aaron Sinclair
16
Conrad Balatoni
17
James Craigen
 
Subs
12
Connor McDonald
14
Marc McNulty
15
Kevin McCann
16
Dylan Easton
18
Darren Jamieson
Match Preview

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 15th September 2012

The four league games played thus far this season have produced four victories and a position at the top of the First Division. While everyone at the Club is greatly encouraged by the start that we have made to the season nobody is getting carried away by at; not least because three of those four games have been played at Firhill.
Tomorrow, however, we are on our travels as we make the trip through to Livingston. Livingston have been tipped by many as promotion challengers this season, but they made a rather slow start to the season. They were knocked out of the Ramsdens Cup at the First Round stage by Annan Athletic and failed to win any of their three opening league fixtures.
They did, however, record their first league win in their last outing when they defeated Falkirk 2-1 at the Falkirk Stadium.
The signs are then that their season is now off and running and they will be desperate to close the gap on ourselves all of which makes tomorrow’s fixture an extremely difficult one.
Said Thistle manager Jackie McNamara;
“I worked with John Hughes at Falkirk and I know that he likes his teams to get the ball down and pass it. It should, therefore, be a good game tomorrow. Livingston have some good players and had a good result in their last match against Falkirk and I expect that they will be challengers this season.”
Jackie continued;
“It’s been a hard ground for us before and I expect tomorrow’s game will be a really difficult one for us. As I said, Livingston had a good result against Falkirk but hopefully that’s not a sign of them running into some form. We are determined to get maximum points from this game and keep our a run going. A victory tomorrow would be a massive boost to us ahead of some really tough fixtures in the next few weeks.”
Jackie looks set to be without Kris Doolan for tomorrow’s game.
“Kris trained today but he was struggling a bit towards the end which tells us that he hasn’t properly recovered yet. It was probably nothing more than a bit of fatigue and I don’t think that he is too far away from being fit again. We don’t, however, want to risk aggravating the injury. It’s better than he is out for 1-2 weeks rather than 3-4.”
“Both Steven Craig and Steven Lawless pulled out of training on Thursday but they were back today and hopefully they should be okay.”
There was some good news about David Rowson as well.
“David trained again today and he will hopefully take part in Tuesday’s reserve game with Dumbarton and we will see how he is after that.”
Livingston meantime will be without the services of Paul Watson who was sent off in their 2-1 win over Falkirk in their last fixture.
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
4              0              1              11           1
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Chris Erskine 6
Kris Doolan 4
Steven Lawless 4
Steven Craig 3
Stuart Bannigan 2
Christie Elliott 1
Aaron Sinclair 1
Sean Welsh 1
Last Game
Ramsdens Cup Quarter-Final
Sunday September 9th 2012
Partick Thistle 3, Raith Rovers 0
Livingston Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              2              1              7              7
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Iain Russell 4
Marc McNulty 3
Jordan Morton 2
Anthony Andreu 1
Bobby Barr 1
Dylan Easton 1
Callum Fordyce 1
Stefan Scougall 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Sunday September 2nd 2012
Falkirk 1, Livingston 2
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 31st 2012
Partick Thistle 2, Livingston 3
Teams
Thistle: Scully, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Robertson (McGuigan), Paton, Archibald, Cairney, Rowson (Bannigan), Doolan, Welsh, Erskine.
Livingston: McNeil, McCann, Fordyce, Keaghan Jacobs, C Barr, Kyle Jacobs, B Barr (Sinclair), Boulding, McNulty, Scougall, Russell (Docherty).
Scorers
Thistle: Cairney (7), Sinclair (54)
Livingston: Boulding (20, 47), Russell (50)
Crowd: 1,871
Match Highlights
Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday September 15th 2012
Livingston v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults £17
Concessions (over 65 and under 16) £7
Parent & Child £20
The Partick Thistle Supporters will be accommodated in the East Stand and entry is by turnstiles 8, 9 and 10.
Supporters using the concession turnstiles may be asked for photo ID to prove their eligibility.
Travel Information
Supporters Bus Information
There is limited car parking spaces at the Stadium, the cost per vehicle is £3.
Match officials
Referee: Craig Thomson
Assistant Referees: Alasdair Ross and Howard Wilkin
Other Fixtures
First Division
Cowdenbeath v Morton
Dumbarton v Dunfermline Athletic
Hamilton Accies v Falkirk
Raith Rovers v Airdrie United

Match Report

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 15th September 2012

Thistle maintained their 100% start to the league season with a well deserved 2-1 win over Livingston.
The only change that manager Jackie McNamara made to the side that defeated Raith Rovers in the Ramsdens Cup was on the bench. A problem with his back ruled out sub keeper Ryan Scully and his place went to trialist Graeme Smith.
On an immaculate playing surface Thistle made a brisk start to the game and forced their first corner, the first of many, inside the first 60 seconds.
Thistle’s pre-match plans were upset, however, in the 11th minute when Steven Craig had to be withdrawn due to injury; his place in the team going to Christie Elliott who produced an excellent performance in Craig’s place.
Thistle were producing some excellent possession football, switching play from wing to wing but it took them until the 21st minute for them to have their first serious effort on the Livingston goal. A corner from the left was headed down by Alan Archibald to Aaron Muirhead who lashed a shot over the bar, the ball taking a touch off a Livingston defender on its’ way over.
The home side meantime hadn’t been much of a threat but they did come close to a goal in the 32nd minute. A simple long ball forward caught the Thistle defence out and Iain Russell’s first time shot wasn’t too far wide of Scott Fox’s right hand post.
Six minutes later though Thistle were in front. Paul Paton had dragged a shot from the edge of the box wide of goal just a couple of minutes earlier but from a not dissimilar position Steven Lawless made no mistake with a shot that beat McNeil all ends up and went in via the underside of the bar.
It was a well deserved lead for Thistle and they were close to a second goal just three minutes later. Christie Elliott did well to set up Chris Erskine and the player who has already scored six times this season, smacked an effort off the post.
From being close to being 2-0 up Thistle were nearly dragged back to level terms when a shot from Jordan Morton suffered the same fate as Chris Erskine’s, and rebounded off the frame of the goal with Iain Russell stabbing the rebound wide of target.
It would have been extremely harsh on Thistle had they not gone in at half-time ahead and three minutes after the restart they doubled their advantage. It was another top quality strike, Stephen O’Donnell’s neat ball into the box was gathered by Steven Lawless and his angled drive found the corner of the net.
Thistle were at this stage in total control but the in the 58th minute Livingston, almost completely out of the blue, pulled themselves right back into the match. A corner from the left wasn’t properly dealt with and when the ball fell to Jordan Morton he shot past Fox and into the net.
The expected onslaught from the home side never really materialised. Scott Fox did have to make a quite excellent save in the 76th minute to turn a McNulty shot round the post, but that was their only real chance.
It was a different story at the other end. Sean Welsh shot just wide in the 67th minute and Paul Paton fired over the bar seven minutes later after Chris Erskine had spotted him to his right.
The closest Thistle came to a third goal that was an Aaron Muirhead free kick that McNeil was able to save but not hold. As the ball broke loose for a split second it looked as if Steven Lawless would be the first to the ball and would complete an impressive hat-trick. A Livingston defender though was able to make the block that prevented a near certain goal.
Although Thistle weren’t able to find a third goal, and had to endure a tense nervous three minutes of injury time they were still worthy winners and provided a further indication that they are in no mood to relinquish their position at the top of the league.

Match Reaction

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 15th September 2012

Victory over Livingston today made it five wins from five in the league this season, a fact that clearly delighted Jackie McNamara when we spoke to him after today’s game.
“I thought we had a few more chances to kill the game off. I was disappointed with the goal that we lost. They managed to get the break in the box which I didn’t think that we got today; the ball never seemed to fall kindly for us. I was delighted though with the three points. I thought to a man we were outstanding. I said to the players before today’s game that this was a hard place to come; we didn’t have the best of results here last season. They are a side that fancy their chances this season and they have some good players, players that can hurt you. I thought that we handled them well, especially away from home, and we looked dangerous and capable of scoring more goals.”
“The boys are trying to play football and are giving everything that they’ve got. I think that’s reflected in the way they are playing. They don’t stop until the end of the 90 minutes. That’s right through the squad as well. There are players waiting to get their chance, that keeps everyone on their toes and there is a real desire to keep going.”
Although it was a deserved win, a one in which the winning margin could have been greater, we were still grateful for Scott Fox making an excellent save with the score at 2-1.
“Scott has been outstanding all season and I’m delighted for him. I was just disappointed with the goal that he did lose although there was nothing that he could do about it.”
At the other end Steven Lawless added a couple more goals to his tally for the season and it was the quality of the goals that really impressed the manager.
“The two goals were excellent. The first one was more of an individual goal and the second one came after we had had a lot of possession of the ball and there was a great reverse pass from Stephen O’Donnell and Steven has slotted it away with his right foot. I’m delighted for him.”
“I know how John Hughes likes to set his team up and I know that he likes to play the ball out from the back. It’s good to watch players playing that way. In the second half we didn’t need the chase the game and we were quite happy for them to have the ball at the back. When they did have the ball all their centre halves were doing was knocking long balls forward.”
The manager’s plans were upset somewhat when Steven Craig had to come off injured after barely ten minutes play but his replacement made a sizeable contribution to the eventual victory.
“I thought that Christie Elliott was magnificent when he came on. I thought he showed a lot of strength and great desire and I think it was a red card when the boy fouled him in the first. I thought that the defender was last man. The referee said that there was another player there but they were only there because Christie had been fouled. I think Christie caused a lot of problems today. He held the ball for us at times and he ran with the ball as well when there was the chance to do. I was delighted with him, that’s much more like the Christie Elliott that we know.”
So what is the extent of Craig’s injury?
“He got an injury to the top of his thigh after going in for a tackle. He felt that last week as well so we’re not sure if it is the same area or not. We need to try and see whether that is a problem.”
Now that we are top of the league sides are sure to be determined to try and knock us off that perch and end our perfect league record.
“I would rather have that than struggling at the foot of the table. I think that the pressure is always there for the players but they are handling it well. They are helping each other and playing like a team. That’s an encouraging thing for me. Things can go wrong. We lost Kris Doolan before the game today and then Steven Craig went off injured but Christie Elliott has come on and done really well. There’s some good competition there and I’ve heard that Mark McGuigan has scored the winner today for Albion Rovers. The players are delighted for him and he will benefit from his month on loan there.”

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