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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sun 23 November, 2014. Kick Off: - 12:45
Firhill Stadium

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
12
Paul Gallacher
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Daniel Seaborne
7
James Craigen (Gary Fraser 55)
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan
11
Steven Lawless (Kallum Higginbotham 62)
13
Frederic Frans
14
Christie Elliott (Ryan Stevenson 72)
17
Jake Carroll
18
Abdul Osman
 
Subs
40
Scott Basalaj
6
Conrad Balatoni
10
Ryan Stevenson
15
Kallum Higginbotham
22
Gary Fraser
23
David Wilson
28
Declan McDaid
Aberdeen
20
Scott Brown
3
Andrew Considine
5
Ash Taylor
6
Mark Reynolds
9
Adam Rooney
10
Niall McGinn (Lawrence Shankland 89)
11
Jonny Hayes
14
Cammy Smith (Kieran Gibbons 86)
16
Peter Pawlett
17
David Goodwillie (Jeffrey Monakana 78)
22
Ryan Jack
 
Subs
1
Jamie Langfield
7
Jeffrey Monakana
25
Lawrence Shankland
27
Craig Murray
32
Kieran Gibbons
39
Scott Wright
46
Scott McKenna
 
Subs
40
Scott Basalaj
6
Conrad Balatoni
10
Ryan Stevenson
15
Kallum Higginbotham
22
Gary Fraser
23
David Wilson
28
Declan McDaid
 
Subs
1
Jamie Langfield
7
Jeffrey Monakana
25
Lawrence Shankland
27
Craig Murray
32
Kieran Gibbons
39
Scott Wright
46
Scott McKenna
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Aberdeen – 23rd November 2014

“It has been quite a long two weeks for us, which can be a good or a bad thing. It’s good because a couple of guys who picked up knocks have had a bit of recovery time and have been able to get back training – they might have missed out if we were straight back into it. On the other hand it’s not ideal because you do lose a bit of the momentum from the win against St Mirren.
“It can be quite hard as a manger as you have no focus for the Saturday, nothing to aim for. That can make it a bit difficult to keep the guys motivated.”
Among those that had picked up knocks was club captain, Sean Welsh. Sean, making his first start for a year suffered a heavy challenge and had to come off at half time. The manager is happy with how his recovery is going though and things perhaps aren’t as bad as they at first seemed.
“Sean’s back jogging which is great because, at one point, we did fear the worst for him. The good thing is it wasn’t his groin, it was just the impact from the tackle. He had a few heavy challenges on him and it was one after five minutes that did the damage. We’ve had him scanned and he’s absolutely fine and it will likely only be three or four weeks he spends out.”
The last time playing Aberdeen at Firhill resulted in Thistle’s first home win of the season and that is something that will give the team confidence according to Archie.
“Our home form has been much better this season, that combined with the win against St Mirren gives us a lot of confidence. We know it will be a big ask to go and beat Aberdeen who are a very very good side but we are confident we can go and do exactly that.
“We owe our supporters a performance, the last time we played them, up at Pittodrie, we never really turned up. We didn’t put enough into the game offensively, sat back and showed them too much respect.
“There is no doubt that teams can go and hurt Aberdeen. They have played a little bit more openly this year and that is something we’ll be looking to exploit. We know their threats and we’ve seen them play plenty of times so there’s no excuse. The big thing is that they’re consistent and we’ll need to be on top of our game to get a result.”
Consistency has so far been elusive for Thistle this season and Archibald knows that it is that which can make the difference between a top six and bottom six side.
“I really think that can make the difference. If you put a few wins together you start to climb that table very quickly and that’s what we’re looking to do all the time. That being said, it isn’t easy because just about every team can beat every other team at any given stage in this league.
“The win against St Mirren means we can start looking up rather than down which is exactly what we want to be doing. Hopefully we can add to that come Sunday.”
Alan won’t be far away from having a full complement of players to choose from on Sunday with only Jordan McMillan (suspension) and Sean Welsh (knee) unavailable.

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Aberdeen – 23rd November 2014

Aside from an excellent 3-1 win in the second half of last season Thistle’s record against Aberdeen had been poor and that trend continued as a first half penalty was enough to give Aberdeen all three points in a fairly drab encounter.

There was a change in the Thistle goal for this match with Scott Fox a late goal off because of illness which meant a start for Paul Gallacher. Elsewhere the suspended Jordan McMillan was replaced by Jake Carroll, Kris Doolan got the nod to start ahead of Ryan Stevenson and a free from suspension Stuart Bannigan replaced the injured Sean Welsh.

It was the visitors from the North East that started the game the better and on two occasions inside the first 10 minutes Thistle were fortunate to scramble the ball clear from deep inside their own penalty box.

Thistle though missed a glorious chance to take a 10th minute lead. Stephen O’Donnell lofted a left footed ball into the Aberdeen box. Kris Doolan was able to nod the ball back into the path of James Craigen who really should have done better than drag his shot from 10 yards wide of goal.

That gilt edged opportunity aside it was Aberdeen that did the bulk of the pressing and the returning Gallacher had to make a good stop low to his left to keep out an Adam Rooney shot in the 28th minute.

The Thistle keeper was in action again a couple of minutes later when he palmed away a free kick from McGinn.

This was a busy period for the Thistle goalkeeper who, just after McGinn’s effort from the free kick, was required to tip the ball round the post for a corner though most people were anticipating a raised flag for offside.

That proved to be a controversial call as it was from the corner that followed that Aberdeen were awarded the penalty that would ultimately determine the outcome of the game; the ball striking the hand of Abdul Osman.

Paul Gallacher has a good record of saving penalties but on this occasion, and despite diving the right way, he was beaten by Adam Rooney’s effort.

Aberdeen came close to a second goal just three minutes after taking the lead with Ryan Jack stinging the hands of Gallacher before the last event of note of the opening 45 minutes saw Thistle have their own appeal for a penalty for handball turned down.

With Aberdeen happy to protect the lead they had rather than press for a second goal the second half was a poor affair despite no shortage of endeavour from the home side. It did take, however, a sharp save from Gallacher in the 73rd minute to prevent Rooney finding the net with a header and scoring the goal that would have all but secured the points for Aberdeen.

As it was it was Thistle that had the bulk of the pressure in the closing 15 minutes or so but sadly never the cutting edge to go with the pressure. Substitute Kallum Higginbotham saw a curling effort from the edge of the box clear the Aberdeen bar with the best chance of a Thistle equaliser coming with 10 minutes of the 90 remaining.

Ryan Stevenson was able to flight a ball into the Aberdeen box where it picked out the run and head of Stuart Bannigan who could only head wide of goal.

Abdul Osman too had an opportunity late on with his head but his header from a Stephen O’Donnell cross went over the bar as it became increasingly clear that Thistle’s efforts to wrestle a point from the game were going to be in vain.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Aberdeen – 23rd November 2014

[link:HOME] spoke with manager Alan Archibald after this afternoon’s match and he offered this assessment of a game that is unlikely to live long in the memory.

“It wasn’t a great game of football and there wasn’t too much in the game although there was plenty of effort and endeavour.”

Alan went on;

“The penalty obviously changed the first half. It’s a hard one for Paul Gallacher as the rules change all the time but he can’t make up his mind to move or not until Goodwillie decides what he is going to do and Goodwillie does make a slight movement, ducking out of the way of the ball at the last minute. Whether it was the right call or not to award a corner we should still have defended the corner better than we did.”

And Alan’s verdict on the handball itself?

“I think it is a handball. I think Mark Reynolds makes a move on Abdul and his hand is high and it hits his hand.”

Once a goal ahead Aberdeen were always going to make it extremely difficult for Thistle to find a way back into the match.

Said Alan;

“They are a very resolute side and they defend very well. Once they got that lead they were always going to be hard to break down. In saying that in the second half I thought that we made a couple of chances albeit we didn’t work the goalkeeper. We really need to hit the target in those situations.”

Thistle did have one excellent chance in the first at 0-0 which had they taken may have changed the pattern of the game.

“I thought we had a couple of chances in the first half with James’ chance one of them. He should have done better and he knows that himself.”

A major plus point for the manager was another good defensive display despite a late change in goal.

“I know that Aberdeen had a few players missing this afternoon but they still had a very threatening front line and I thought that we defended really well and we only gave them a few sights of goal with Paul Gallacher, who only came in late after a late call off from Scott Fox who is unwell, had a good save as well. All in all I was delighted with the back four who have been good of late.”

When did the manager become aware that Scott Fox wouldn’t be able to play?

“It was about 11:15 this morning that we found out that Scott had woken up unwell with a touch of food poisoning. It shows great professionalism that Paul was able to step into the team at such short notice. I’ve said all along that I don’t have any worry about my goalkeepers. I have two very good goalkeeper who I can call upon at any time.”

 

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