SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 19 November, 2016. Kick Off: - 15:00
Fir Park, Motherwell
Traffic disruption anticipated on Saturday
Thistle supporters heading to this Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership fixture against Motherwell should note that there is expected to be significant traffic delays on the road to Fir Park.
As part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, the M74 will be closed, between Junction 4 Maryville and Junction 5 Raith, to traffic in both directions from 8pm on Friday until 6am on Monday 21st November. This closure is required to safely demolish Bothwellpark Road Bridge.
Diversion routes will be in place via the A725, A8 and the M73, although Transport Scotland is warning all road users to expect major delays on all surrounding routes as a result of the M74 closure. Diversion routes can be found here
All Jags fans are encouraged to leave plenty of time for their journey to Motherwell to ensure they don’t miss a minute of action in what should be another exciting Ladbrokes Premiership match. If you are travelling by supporters’ bus please note the departure time as it may be earlier than usual.
More information on the road closure can be found here
Thistle supporters will be accomodated in the South Stand, behind the goal, with admission pay at the gate.
Prices are as follows:
Adults – £23
Concession(Over 60, 16-18 year olds and student with valid matriculation card) – £16
Juvenile(15 years old and under) – £12
Family(1 adult and 1 juvenile) – £29
Anyone wishing wheelchair access or ambulant tickets – please contact John McCaskie on 07799112161 or Sharon McCaskie on
City Centre Branch:
Q Club -12:20
Station Bar – 12:30
Non members welcome.
Jordanhill Station – 13:00
Thornwood Bar – 13:05
£10 for adults
£5 for concessions
All Jags fans are welcome but booking is essential.
For general enquires please contact Iain on 07779668357
Milngavie Station – 12:45
Esquire House – 13:00
Maryhill Community Halls – 13:15
£11 for adults
£7 for concessions.
A concession qualifies as school aged children, unwaged adults, senior citizens & matriculated students
As Saturday’s clash with Motherwell approaches quickly, Thistle gaffer, Alan Archibald, is determined that this will be the occasion that the Jags’ terrible record at Fir Park comes to an end. The Maryhill Magyars haven’t got the better of Motherwell in Lanarkshire since a 2-0 victory in January 1996, but Archibald is confident that, on their day, his side have what it takes to get the better of the Steelmen.
Speaking to ptfc.co.uk Archie said: “It is amazing that it has been so long but I guess it’s just one of those things. I don’t have much time for superstition but it would certainly be good for our supporters to get a win their and put this hoodoo to rest.
“The pitch at Fir Park is supposed to be excellent now which will definitely make a difference compared to the days of old, and probably suits us, but it is always a tough place to go. They have top quality payers throughout the team and we will really need to be at our best to get the win that we want.”
In a Ladbrokes Premiership table that is as tight as any in recent memory, Saturday’s match takes on a greater significance for both teams.
“It is so tight that these games are absolutely massive for both sides. All the games against teams around about us are vital. We need to make sure we concentrate for the whole 90 minutes. We played well against them in the game at Firhill and lost a late equaliser but a draw was probably right that day. We’ll be hoping to go one better on Saturday.
“Any win sees teams move places and I think there is every chance that it will stay like that for the whole season. It’s dog eat dog and we really just need to look after ourselves. We’ve been playing well and probably don’t have the points that our play has deserved at times. Points don’t lie though and we’ll be looking to keep building, starting on Saturday.”
Major roadworks on the M74 mean that getting to the match is much tougher than usual and the visitors will be leaving Firhill extra early to make sure there are no problems – having a pre-match meal juts 10 minutes from the ground.
“It’s not ideal, that’s for sure, but we’ll make sure we get all the players together nice and early so it doesn’t have an impact on our preparations. It does make it difficult for our fans though and I just hope enough of them make it through to make it a right good atmosphere. Our fans are usually great at Fir Park and travel in real numbers so hopefully the road situation won’t put them off.”
Following a few weeks of injury chaos the situation has improved with regards to the players Archie has available.
“Yes, things are definitely looking a bit better this week. Steven Lawless is back – he’s trained this week – and Erskine now has a couple of weeks under his belt too which helps a lot. The break came at a good time for us to be fair and it has allowed the boys to get a bit of rest and for us to work on the injuries that we did have.”
Another positive for the Thistle boss this week was the news that Ryan Edwards has activated a clause in his contract that will see him remain a Jags man until May 2018, something Archibald is very pleased with.
“It’s a great one for us. His versatility this season has been a real bonus as he has played all over the pitch for us. He is an infectious personality and an absolute joy to work with so it is brilliant to get him signed up for another year. We’ve had a lot of injuries in that central midfield area and it is credit to boys like Ryan that we have never really noticed the absence of key players like Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser.”
Two minutes of added time here at Fir Park but it's doubtful anyone will want to prolong what has been a pretty terrible second half.
Motherwell should have made it three as McDonald beats the offside tram and drives forward, only to choose the wrong option in trying to play a pass rather than shoot. Thistle clear.
A couple of decent crosses from Thistle but nothing to concern the keeper.
Lawless picks up the ball 30 yards out and hits a shot which moved in the air and almost deceived Craig Samson. The Wee Man has made a big difference since he came on.
Abdul Osman has a shot from 20 yards but it is high and wide.
More good work by Lawless gets the ball to Azeez who, 10 yards out, turns his man brilliantly before scooping his effort over the bar.
And the diminutive winger makes an almost instat impact as his perfectly placed cross is met by the head of Ade Azeez whose effort ends up just over the bar. Better from Thistle
A surging run from Erskine ends with him playing the ball backwards into the path of an on rushing Kris Doolan whose rifled shot is straight at Craig Samson.
The game has fallen into a stale period at the moment with neithe side crafting any kind of meaningful chances. Thistle have been able to apply a little more pressure but very little cutting edge in the final third...so far.
A mistake by Sean Welsh gifts the ball to Cadden who strikes a dippiong shot early which clips the crossbar on it's way over.
And it could quite easliy have been three to the Well. The home side broke quickly and stretched the Thistle defence. Cadden played the ball wide to Tait whose shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Another chance for the visitors as Azeez has a shot blocked by Samson.
Some greart play from Doolan really forces Motherwell to think about defending, probably for the first time in the game. Dools tricks his way into the box and puts a cross in thaat is cleared but only as far as lindsay who flashes his shot just wide.
A 45 minutes to froget for the entire Thistle team there. A very poor game so far but Motherwell have been by far the better side. We can only hope for better in the second half.
Thistle pay the price for some slack defending and McDonald fires home a curling shot from the edge of the area. Motherwell lead 2-0 and, it must be said, it has been well deserved.
Thistle get away with one there as the referee waves away a very good looking penalty shout as Osman pulled his man to the ground.
Eerskine puts a tantalising cross from the corner which drops in a horrible place for Samson who struggles to parry it wide of goal.
And the chances keep coming for Motherwell. Moult beats Devine for pace and evades his sliding tackle to get a shot off from a tight angle. His shot is deflected straight at Stuckmann who parries it away from the net. The resulting clearance is poor and falls to Clay who hits a shot from just outside the area which is blocked by Lindsay.
A decent cross is scrambled away by Thistle but the visitors don't clear their lines well enough allowing Motherwell to get a shot away, drawing a fine save from the big German in goal.
Chance for Thistle as Azeez's surging run ends with a shot which is blocked. The ball falls perfectly for Welsh though who winds up to hit it only to see his shot blocked too. It's Devine's turn next as he hits a long range effort but it goes well wide.
Chance for Motherwell as Moult gets a free header from six yards out but can only force it wide of Stuckmann's post.
An unfortunate one for Thistle as Liam Lindsay and Stuckmann colide in the box while trying to deal with a Ferguson cross, the ball bounces up in the air and falls perfectly for Moult to tap home from four yards out.
Motherwell win a free kick 25 yards out, despite Callum Booth appearing to make contact with the ball. McDonald sends the ball in but it is easily headed clear by Devine.
Not a lot to report in the opening 10 minutes as both teams are restricted to only minor skirmishes into the opposition half.
A poorly judged header from Barton isn't close enough for Stuckmann to collect and it goes out for the first corner of the game. It's a decent cross but the Stuckmann is fouled and a free kick is given.
Motherwell get us underway, shooting towards the Thistle fans in the South Stand.
It's a cold but clear afternoon here at Fir Park and a healthy Thistle contingent have braved the traffic chaos to make the game today. Just one change for Thistle as Erskine comes in to replace Kris Doolan. The Jags are on the hunt for their first win against the Well at Fir Park since January 1996 so here's hoping they can put that hoodoo well and truly to bed this afternoon.
Just a couple of minutes to kick off now and we'll have live updates here, on twitter @Thistletweet with key incidents also updated on Facebook. For those of you with a Jagzone membership the audio commentary is live now.
Enjoy the game!
It was an out of sorts Thistle that went down to a 2-0 defeat at Fir Park on Saturday with a very disappointing result and performance for the men in red and yellow. Alan Archibald talked us through his frustrations when he spoke to ptfc.co.uk shortly after the final whistle.
“We started the game very slowly and we looked a team that hadn’t played together in that formation for a long time. They changed their shape and it certainly worked for them. They looked like they were much more comfortable with that formation than we were.
“Their attacking players worked very well together and we just couldn’t handle them. We made it look very simple for them and I thought our three centre back got bullied today.”
The 3-5-2 has worked well for Thistle in recent weeks but something didn’t click for Archibald’s men against the Lanarkshire outfit.
“That shape has certainly worked for us before this season and we’ve had good positive performances using it. When we were on the ball our pace was far too slow and it made it too easy for them today.
“There were too many errors for the first goal and we didn’t make them work hard enough for it. We let them get the cross in and then there is obviously a mix up between Liam and Stuckmann and nobody deals with it. The first goal is so important in this league and it allowed Motherwell simply to sit off us and pick us off. They did that with the second goal which comes from a long ball that we don’t deal with.
“We’ve been fluid and free flowing in recent games and that wasn’t like us today. You have to earn the right to go and play good football and we didn’t do that today. We spoke at length after the game about the players taking charge once they cross that white line. There was plenty of time after the first goal for us to get back into it but we didn’t lift ourselves and that’s one of the reasons we lost today.”
Following a first half that generated almost no chances for the visitors the second 45 did, at the very least, give the travelling support something to cheer about.
“Yea, we had a wee spell where we got a flurry of chances but we didn’t take them. You see how clinical Motherwell were when they got their chances and that’s why they won the game today. If we take one chance, even at 2-0 down, it gives you a foot in the game, something to aim for. We never gave ourselves that today.”