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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 5 January, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Braidwood Motor Company Stadium, Livingston.

Livingston
1
Andy McNeil
2
Kevin McCann
3
Callum Booth
4
Jesus Garcia Tena
5
Craig Barr
6
Burton O'Brien
7
Anthony Andreu
8
Liam Fox (Danny Mullen (15), 69 mins)
9
Marc McNulty
10
Stefan Scougall
11
Iain Russell (Jordan Morton (12), 57 mins)
 
Subs
12
Jordan Morton
14
Callum Fordyce
15
Danny Mullen
16
Connor McDonald
18
Darren Jamieson
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Graeme Smith
2
Aaron Muirhead
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Paul Paton
5
Conrad Balatoni
6
Alan Archibald
7
Stuart Bannigan
8
Sean Welsh
9
Steven Craig (Mark McGuigan (16), 81 mins)
10
Ross Forbes (Steve Lawless (14), 88 mins)
11
Kris Doolan (Chris Erskine (15), 74 mins)
 
Subs
12
Scott Fox
14
Steve Lawless
15
Chris Erskine
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Hugh Murray
 
Subs
12
Jordan Morton
14
Callum Fordyce
15
Danny Mullen
16
Connor McDonald
18
Darren Jamieson
 
Subs
12
Scott Fox
14
Steve Lawless
15
Chris Erskine
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Hugh Murray
Match Preview

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 5th January 2013

Thistle tomorrow will finally, and at the second time of asking, get 2013 off and running and will do so with a difficult away fixture with Livingston who, with games in hand over the sides above them, perhaps haven’t given up hope on being involved in a title push in the second half of the season. They were certainly boosted, as were we, by the current league leaders Morton unexpectedly dropping three points at home to Dumbarton on Wednesday afternoon.
There’s unquestionably going to plenty of twist and turns between now and the end of the season, and titles aren’t decided in the first few weeks in January but three points tomorrow, at a venue that we’ve already won at this season, would be most welcome indeed.
There were doubts surrounding a few players with regard to illness and injury ahead of our scheduled fixture with Hamilton on Wednesday and manager Jackie McNamara was able to provide us with an update on whether a few extra days has improved that situation any.
“Going into training on Friday we’ve really only got problems with two players; Steven Lawless and Stephen O’Donnell. Steven is still unwell and hasn’t been in training since we sent him home on Tuesday. We’ll need to wait and see how he is. Stephen O’Donnell will be out tomorrow. He’s had his scan and we’re now just waiting to hear what the surgeon has to say about that and how long he will be out for. It’s bone bruising which is a frustrating injury and there will be a lot of pain management involved.”
“Elsewhere Sean Welsh’s toe is getting better and he should be okay for Saturday’s game and Ross Forbes is available again after missing the Airdrie United game through suspension. Chris Erskine who was a slight doubt for the Hamilton game had it gone ahead is fine, as is Aaron Muirhead and Mark McGuigan, who is back in the squad.”
“It’s important that we get three points tomorrow in what will be a difficult match but there is still obviously a long, long way to go in the season
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              1              2              7              6
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Lawless 10
Chris Erskine 9
Steven Craig 7
Kris Doolan 7
Stuart Bannigan4
Ross Forbes 3
Aaron Muirhead 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday December 29th 2012
Airdrie United 1, Partick Thistle 1
Livingston Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              1              2              5              7
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Marc McNulty 7
Iain Russell 7
Jordan Morton 3
Stefan Scougall 3
Keaghan Jacobs 2
Anthony Andreu 1
Bobby Barr 1
Dylan Easton 1
Callum Fordyce 1
Jesus Garcia Tena 1
Liam Fox 1
Daniel Mullen  1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday December 22nd 2012
Cowdenbeath 1, Livingston 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday November 24th 2012
Partick Thistle 2, Livingston 0
Team
Thistle: Smith, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Murray, Muirhead, Balatoni, Lawless (Black), Bannigan, Doolan (McGuigan), Forbes, Erskine (Rowson).
Livingston: McNeil, McCann (Kyle Jacobs), Booth, Tena, Barr, O’Brien (Fordyce), Andreu (Mullen) Fox, McNulty, Scougall, Keaghan Jacobs.
Scorers
Thistle: Sinclair (54), Bannigan (64)
Crowd: 2,508
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday January 5th 2013
Livingston v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults £17
Concessions (over 65 and under 16) £7
Parent & Child £20
Travel Information
Supporters Bus Information
Match Officials
Referee: George Salmond
Assistant Referees: Michael Banks and Paul O’Neill
Other First Division Fixtures
Cowdenbeath v Morton
Dumbarton v Dunfermline Athletic
Hamilton v Falkirk
Raith Rovers v Airdrie United

Match Report

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 5th January 2013

With the title race in three of Scotland’s four divisions already looking like foregone conclusions it’s been left to the First Division to provide the most compelling title battle. In the space of a week there have been no fewer than three different league leaders. Firstly Thistle, then Morton and now; just when it looked as if Thistle would again go top, Dunfermline. There promises to be plenty more twists and turns in what is shaping up to be a thrilling promotion battle.
In this match both Livingston and Thistle proved that the First Division is as capable of providing quality football as it is twists and turns. It was a fantastic advert for the First Division and held the attention of the 1,762 crowd from start to finish.
Thistle manager Jackie McNamara returned to the dugout following a three game ban and his team selection showed two changes from the side that had drawn with Airdrie United in their last outing. Ross Forbes was free from suspension and he returned to the starting eleven, as did Kris Doolan with Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless dropping to the bench.
The excellent playing surface suited the passing style of both teams and it was the home side, at the end of one such crisp passing move that fashioned the game’s first chance in the 10th minute. Liam Fox was able to turn sharply at the edge of the Thistle box before curling a shot only narrowly wide of Graeme Smith’s right hand post.
Both sides continued to retain possession of the ball for prolonged periods of time as they probed for an opening. When a goal did arrive, however, in the 25th minute there was more than touch of good fortune surrounding it. Steven Craig crossed from the right and with a defender in close attention Kris Doolan tried to flick the ball goalwards. He was partially successful and enjoyed the break of the ball when it bounced back off him and trundled over the line.
It was a lead that Thistle enjoyed for just three minutes. Anthony Andreu’s shot from outside the box found the corner of the Thistle net despite Graeme Smith managing to get a hand to the ball.
The goals at this stage of the game were coming at a fair old rate and in the 32nd minute Thistle were able to regain their advantage. If there had been a touch of good fortune surrounding their first goal there certainly wasn’t with their second. Aaron Sinclair whipped over an excellent cross from the left flank and Steven Craig was able to rise above the Livingston defence to bullet a header into the back of the net.
That completed the scoring for the first half but not the chances. Stuart Bannigan fired wide for Thistle and Aaron Sinclair was able to flick on a Ross Forbes free kick only for McNeil to save at his right hand post. At the other end Graeme Smith just about managed to claw away a Kevin McCann shot that swerved just in front of him.
Livingston started the second half in determined fashion and Stefan Scougall’s shot was just a little too direct to truly trouble Smith in the Thistle goal. The Thistle keeper, however, was a little more hard pressed to keep out an Iain Russell header from a McNulty cross from the right.
Although Livingston were doing a lot of pressing Thistle continued to remain a threat. Steven Craig just failed to pick out a team mate with a cross after he managed to get clear down the right hand side and Paul Paton was close to his first goal of the season with a thundering drive from 30 yards out.
With 15 minutes remaining Thistle had a great chance to give themselves some breathing space. Chris Erskine, just on as a sub, found Ross Forbes on the right with a superb cross field pass. Forbes in turn picked out Steven Craig who couldn’t find a way past McNeil with his shot.
Two minutes later it was Livingston’s turn to spurn a great chance to score. There was no flag for offside as Jordan Morton broke clear. He was able to take the ball round Smith but the Thistle keeper was able to recover to make an excellent block when Morton shot for goal.
Smith was again in action in the 80th minute when he was down sharply to save a deflected McNulty shot. The pressure was mounting, however, and an angled drive from Scougall went narrowly wide of target before the same player smacked a free kick from 25 yards off the face of the Thistle crossbar.
Thistle though were a whisker away from sealing the win, and a place at the top of the league, with just a minute of the 90 remaining. Sean Welsh saw his effort following a corner cleared off the line with his effort from the rebound striking the bar.
Seconds later Welsh’s involvement in the game was at an end when he collected a second yellow card and became the latest Thistle player to be sent off.
Could Thistle successfully negotiate what injury time there was with just ten men? Two minutes into that period of injury time we had an answer. A cross came over from the left and as a defender lost their footing the ever dangerous McNulty gathered the ball and was able to direct his shot wide of the reach of Smith and into the far corner of the Thistle net.

Match Reaction

Livingston v Partick Thistle – 5th January 2013

Neither Thistle manager Jackie McNamara, nor his Livingston counterpart Gareth Evans are prone to long soliloquies with their after match assessments. Preferring a concise and erudite assessment of the game just played. That was certainly the case of yesterday’s game at Livingston with Jackie the first to speak to the press after the match.
“I’m very disappointed and it was a real sickener to lose a goal like that right at the end of the game. I thought that we were just a bit naïve at the end of the game. We had our left back running down the right hand side in the last couple of minutes when we are trying to see out the game. I said to the players that we need to be a bit more streetwise. As for the sending, I was shouting to Sean Welsh to stand up and that gives them a lift.”
“To be honest I thought that they were better second half. We had a few chances to kill the game off but I thought that Livingston merited a point in the second half. There was a very thin line between winning and drawing today. We’ve had chances, they’ve had chances. Although the keeper has made a great save from Steven Craig, you need to take your chances when they come. That’s football. I just felt that we could have held on a bit better at the end there. It was a bit of a sclaf cross although it was a good finish from the lad.”
Gareth Evans meantime was full of praise for his side and their role in a thoroughly entertaining fixture.
“A point was the least we deserved out of the game today. I thought that we played terrificly well. Partick are a good team and I think that we more than matched them in the 90 minutes.”
“When the game goes that long you do think that the goal isn’t going to come but it was a fantastic finish from Marc McNulty when it did come. We were creating chances though. We hit the bar, as did they, and it was a very entertaining game between two teams trying to play football which is fantastic to see after watching some games recently when there hasn’t been much football played. It was a total team effort from us today and that includes the boys that weren’t playing. We’ve still a few to come back as well.”
“We have a method to how we play football, we like to pass the football and that’s exactly what we did second half. We totally dominated the second half and as I said we totally deserved to get the point.”

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