SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 14 September, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
We’ve almost reached the middle of September but we haven’t, as yet, had a Saturday home game. That will all change tomorrow afternoon when we welcome Aberdeen to Firhill with the international break, and a full fortnight without a game, only increasing the sense of anticipation surrounding the fixture.
When [link:HOME] spoke to manager Alan Archibald he was looking forward to seeing his side back in action.
“It will be good to get back into action tomorrow especially with it being such an attractive fixture. I saw Aberdeen in action earlier in the season when they recorded an impressive win away to Motherwell. On the evidence of that performance I would say that they are the best side that I’ve seen live this season. We will without doubt have to be at our very best tomorrow if we are to get the three points but I think that the fact that we came from behind to win at St Mirren should give the players belief. It should certainly give them the belief that they can come back from a similar situation. They set their standard against St Mirren but, to be fair, only in the first half against Motherwell have they fallen short of standard this season.”
Thistle went into the international break with a few injuries and the manager was able to give us an update on the injury situation.
“Everyone is more or less fit. Jordan McMillan isn’t match fit as he hasn’t played a full 90 minutes yet and he won’t be involved tomorrow. The only other doubt is Conrad Balatoni who picked up a hamstring injury at the start of the week; we’ll hoping he will be okay for tomorrow.”
“Sean Welsh is fit and available as is Stuart Bannigan. I was delighted to see Stuart collect the Young Player of the Month award; it was well deserved. It was unfortunate that he had to pull out of the Scotland Under 21 squad after picking up an ankle injury. He reported to the under 21 squad with a swollen ankle and they took a look and sent him home. Stuart seems to have a problem with his ankles ever since he got injured last season. The way he plays, both in games and in training, he tends to pick up these kind of knocks.”
Alan went on;
“Having just about a full squad means I have a bit of a selection headache tomorrow but it is precisely the kind of headache that you want to have. You always need to pick your team with the opposition you are facing in mind in any case. It can be difficult to keep everyone happy but the spirit in the squad is excellent. I’m told that when we scored the winner against St Mirren it wasn’t just the players on the bench and on the bench that were celebrating. Those sitting in the stand not selected were also celebrating as if they had been on the pitch at the time.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W D L F A
3 1 1 9 5
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Steven Lawless 3
Aaron Muirhead 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Kris Doolan 1
Christie Elliott 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Saturday August 31st 2013
St Mirren 1, Partick Thistle 2
Current Form – Last Five Games
W D L F A
1 2* 2 4 5
* won 6-5 on penalties
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Niall McGinn 3
Willo Flood 1
Jonny Hayes 1
Mark Reynolds 1
Saturday August 31st 2013
Aberdeen 0, St Johnstone 0
Scottish League Cup Third Round
Wednesday September 26th 2007
Partick Thistle 0 Aberdeen 2
Thistle: Hinchcliffe, McKinlay(Keegan 75), Archibald, Storey(Donnelly 66), Robertson, Twaddle, Rowson, Harkins, Murray(Gibson 55), Buchanan, Roberts
Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Foster, Considine, De Visscher(Smith 45), Nicholson, Severin, Clark, Smith, Young, Miller
Aberdeen: Young(42), Considine(64)
Saturday September 14th 2013
Partick Thistle v Aberdeen
Other Premiership Fixtures
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 14th
Hearts v Celtic
Kilmarnock v Inverness Caledonian Thistle
St Johnstone v Hibernian
St Mirren v Dundee United
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15th
Ross County v Dundee United
Referee: John Beaton
Assistant Referees: Ross Haswell and Stuart McMillan
Fourth Official: Stephen Finnie
This proved to be a disappointing afternoon for Thistle are they were out played by an Aberdeen side that thoroughly deserved their 3-0 victory with Thistle contributing to their own downfall with some basic errors.
After a break of a fortnight Alan Archibald made two changes to his side that had come from behind to defeat St Mirren. An injured hamstring prevented Conrad Balatoni from taking up a position in the centre of the Thistle defence which meant a league debut for Gabriel Piccolo. The other change saw Club captain Sean Welsh return from injury with Isaac Osbourne dropping to the bench to accommodate Welsh’s return.
The visitors were quickly in control of this game with Peter Pawlett driving at the heart of the Thistle defence as early as the second minute with Thistle grateful that Aaron Muirhead was on hand to snuff out the early danger.
Goalkeeper Scott Fox was comfortably Thistle’s best performer on the day and he made the first of a string of impressive saves in the 12th minute when he turned a Jonny Hayes shot round the post for a corner. It was from Hayes’ corner that followed, however, that Aberdeen took the lead. The ball was flicked on and Calvin Zola was in the right spot at the right time to knock the ball home.
Kallum Higginbotham scooped a shot from the edge of the box into the waiting arms of Aberdeen keeper Jamie Langfield as Thistle tried to find an immediate response to the loss of the opening goal but in the 20th minute Aberdeen were able to extend their lead.
This was a dreadfully poor goal from a Thistle perspective to lose. Gabriel Piccolo was caught out down by the Thistle bye line and Zola was able to square the ball back to Peter Pawlett who drilled the ball low into the net despite the best attempts of two Thistle defenders on the line to clear the ball.
A third goal at this stage would all but killed Thistle off and with the game still in its’ first quarter Aberdeen had a further chance to inflict more misery on Thistle but Jonny Hayes, with space inside the Thistle box, was able to get enough power into his shot allowing Scott Fox to save.
It was only with half-time approaching that Thistle were able to pose any serious threat to the Aberdeen goal. Langfield was well positioned to save from Steven Lawless with the Aberdeen keeper also producing a fine stop to keep out a deflected effort from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair. Sean Welsh too saw an effort deflected wide of goal as Thistle looked to reduce the leeway to a single goal before the half-time whistle.
Aberdeen though were close to a third goal before the break. The Thistle defence was sliced open with alarming ease and it took an excellent stop from Scott Fox to prevent Calvin Zola netting his second goal of the afternoon.
The second half brought little improvement for Thistle. Indeed within seconds of the restart Aberdeen were close to scoring a third goal, Jonny Hayes being just unable to connect with a cross from the Aberdeen left.
A third Aberdeen goal nearly arrived in the 53rd minute and would have done had Scott Fox not made another fantastic save; this time keeping out a Cammy Smith header from point blank range.
Thistle introduced all three substitutes in an attempt to claw themselves back into the game and Ross Forbes wasn’t too far away from a free kick from 30 yards out that only just cleared the Aberdeen bar in the 68th minute.
A minute later, however, any doubt over the destination of the points was well and truly removed when Josh Magennis was able to collect a pass, get in behind the Thistle defence and shoot past Scott Fox and into the back of the net.
There was no lack of effort from Thistle and they were close to a consolation goal on two occasions in the time that remained. Kallum Higginbotham smacked a shot off the base of the Aberdeen post in the 80th minute before being involved in a neat interchange with Ross Forbes who dragged his shot narrowly wide of goal.
This though was the proverbial bad day at the office for Thistle who were defeated by an impressive and well organised Aberdeen side.
It was an obviously very disappointed Alan Archibald so spoke to [link:HOME] after the 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Aberdeen
The manager said: ” It was a disappointing result, disappointing performance, and I thought we were very very poor all over the pitch.”
Archibald was able to put his finger on what had went wrong
“It was a bit similar to the Motherwell game, we knew that they would come out and do the same thing that they did and we didn’t react to it. We stressed to them all week, that would be the case and we had to have a plan B and I don’t think we done that. “Too many players were off par, it’s hard enough winning a game when one or two have a bad day but we had seven or eight who didn’t have their best games and we made it too hard for ourselves. It was suicidal defending, far too many basic errors gifted the game to Aberdeen”
Despite having more of the play in the second half, Thistle couldn’t find their way back into the game and further gifted Aberdeen another goal
“In the second half we did have some better play after I had a word at half time but you’ve got to earn the right to win a football match. Aberdeen battled hard and won most of the second balls and they can then play football but we also made errors to give them that chance.”
Sean Welsh returned from injury yesterday while Conrad Balatoni missed out due to injury and the manager brought us up to speed on both players
“Sean didn’t have a proper pre-season but we threw him in against Dundee United on the first day and he was outstanding in the first couple of games so we brought him back in today. We took him off as he wasn’t quite at his full fitness levels.”
“Conrad got a hamstring injury in training on Monday and we sent him for a scan and he’s got a slight strain in it. He trained Thursday and Friday but it wasn’t quite right so he had to sit out today.”