William Hill Scottish Cup
Sun 1 December, 2013. Kick Off: - 12:45
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
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Thistle’s Scottish Cup hopes for season 2013-2014 were ended almost before they had begun. Andrew Considine’s 5th minute goal for Aberdeen proving enough to secure them a 1-0 win and a berth in the next round of the competition.
Thistle manager Alan Archibald didn’t have his problems to seek ahead of this game. Suspension ruled out both Stuart Bannigan and Aaron Muirhead while injuries to Stephen O’Donnell and Jordan McMillan hardly increased the defensive options open to him. As it was Isaac Osbourne was given the right back role with Gabriel Piccolo partnering Conrad Balatoni in central defence and Mark Kerr staring the game in midfield.
Just over 4 minutes were on the clock when Aberdeen scored what would prove to be the game’s only goal. Barry Robson’s corner from the right was met by the head of Andrew Considine who was able to head unchallenged past Scott Fox and into the back of the net.
The loss of another early goal was the cause of widespread frustration and Aberdeen could have added to their early goal as Thistle took a little time to regroup.
There were loud appeals for an Aberdeen penalty in the 16th minute before seconds later Scott Fox made an excellent stop to deny Peter Pawlett.
Fox was called into action again four minutes later when he made another fine stop low near his right hand post after a shot from the edge of the Thistle box had taken two separate deflections.
It took Thistle until the 27th minute to muster their first effort on the Aberdeen goal when Kallum Higginbotham shot took a touch off an Aberdeen defender for Thistle’s first corner kick of the afternoon.
Aberdeen though were looking the much likely side to score against and Gregg Wylde wasted a good opportunity to extend his side’s lead when he shot wide after Thistle had conceded possession of the ball in midfield for too easily.
Aberdeen were close again to increasing their advantage with half-time just five minutes away. Thistle were once more nearly undone at a corner kick although this time Calvin Zola, having lost his marker, could only nod the ball over the bar.
Thistle meantime rarely looked capable of finding a way through a well organised Aberdeen defence although Higginbotham did drag a shot wide of goal with the half-time whistle approaching.
Thistle showed plenty of spirit after the break as they sought a win back into the cup-tie but the Aberdeen defence remained largely untroubled. In the 62nd minute Christie Elliott was able to get his head a Taylor-Sinclair cross but his glancing header was always drifting wide of the Aberdeen goal.
Four minutes later the ball struck an Aberdeen player’s body and there were appeals, in hope rather than expectation, for a Thistle penalty but referee Madden remained uninterested.
A dangerous ball in from the left from Kallum Higginbotham offered the hint of a chance for Thistle but Langfield was able to claim the ball. The Aberdeen keeper, however, was a little more pressed in keeping out a Higginbotham shot with 11 minutes of the tie remaining.
It was during the closing 15 minutes or so that Thistle looked the most likely to find a goal. Langfield was able to intercept a Sean Welsh cross at his near post before a Christie Elliott effort from the edge of the box was just a shade too high with Thistle appeals for a corner kick falling upon deaf ears.
With the game in injury time Aberdeen were close to sealing their position in the next round but Niall McGinn’s shot smacked off the frame of the Thistle goal.
There was, however, still time for one last chance and it nearly secured Thistle an Pittodrie replay. Kallum Higginbotham was able to get the ball to the bye-line where he cut the ball back to Isaac Osbourne. There was though to be no goal for Osbourne against his former team when his shot took a touch off an Aberdeen defender and wide for a Thistle corner.
With that missed chance so ended Thistle’s Scottish Cup hopes for another season.
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