SPFL Ladbrokes Championship
Sat 31 August, 2019. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill
Concessions (over 65s and students): £15
Juveniles (under 16): £5 *
*supporters under the age of 16 can apply for a free season ticket at the Jackie Husband Stand ticket booth before the game.
Away fans will be housed in the north end of the Jackie Husband Stand entering the stadium via turnstiles 40 and 41 only.
There is a cash gate for Ayr supporters and a card payment option will be available at the Jackie Husband Stand ticket booth.
JagZone LIVE v Ayr United
Our audio commentary service, JagZone LIVE, will be providing full audio coverage as Partick Thistle look to get their first win of the 19/20 Championship season, against Ayr United.
The build-up to the game with our commentary team will begin at 2:45pm, 15 minutes ahead of kick-off.
The Jags will be hoping to kickstart their season after three league games without victory as the Honest Men come to Maryhill.
Jagzone LIVE is only available to Jagzone subscribers so sign up here to listen to the show.
Match Programme v Ayr United
This weekend, Partick Thistle take on Ayr United in the Ladbrokes Championship in what is our first Saturday home game of the new campaign.
Our matchday programme for the game will be available for just £3.
Included in the programme will be:
Copies of our matchday programme will be on sale around the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill ahead of kick off tonight.
If you can’t make it along to the game, copies of the programme can be purchased online from our programme supplier, Curtis Sport, here.
It will be Dougie Somner performing the half-time draw at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill this weekend.
Dougie was a great centre-forward for Thistle during the 1970s, before he moved to St. Mirren. Centre-halves must have been relieved that they didn’t have to play Dougie every week because his all-out aggression, along with terrific skill, led to him scoring over 100 times in Jags colours.
You can buy your draw tickets from our sellers around the ground ahead of the game.
With the disappointment of Cappielow fresh in his mind, Gary Caldwell knew it was vital that his side learned from last week’s mistakes and kicked on ahead of a tough home match against Ian McCall’s Ayr United this Saturday.
A winning run out against Rangers in the Glasgow Cup gave some of his first teamers the chance to put the Morton game to bed and, as he explained when he poke exclusively to ptfc.co.uk, a good week with some key lessons have left him in confident mood ahead of the visit from the Honest Men.
“I think we need to learn from the game. It’s clear we made mistakes, particularly in the second half and we need to make sure they don’t happen again. It was a hard weekend analysing the performance and trying to work out what went wrong but we’ve done that now and we’ll look to move on from it.
“We’ve had a really good week and the game against Rangers on Tuesday night gave us a chance to get the boys back out onto the pitch and move on from the Morton result. Even though it was a Glasgow Cup tie I was pleased with the performance and the result against a talented young Rangers side. Winning games in any competition breeds confidence and the aim will be to take that into this Saturday.”
This week has seen two new faces join the club, in the shape of Ben Hall and Dario Zanatta. The manager gave us an explanation of how each player would contribute to his squad.
“We were absolutely delighted to get the two lads over the line and it was great that the board were able to give us the funds to do that. Ben had been training with us for a few weeks and tight from the first day you could see the kind of quality that he had. He did well when he broke through at Motherwell but then it’s fair to say his career maybe stalled a bit when he went down south.
“Since coming back up the road though, both in training and on Tuesday night, I think he has shown the real quality that he has and I can see a very good career ahead of him if he can achieve the potential that he has.
“Dario was someone we had been chasing for a long time and have been in regular contact with Hearts about his availability. When the funds were made available to us he was our number one target so we’re really happy to get him in the door.
For me, Dario is a player to get excited about. He can carry the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and is the kind of player who will get supporters up out of their seats. We can’t wait to see him in a Thistle shirt and I’m sure our fans will be looking forward to that too.
“Both of the new signings will come into the squad for Saturday but we’ll need to wait and see in terms of how involved they will be. Ben obviously played 90 minutes on Tuesday and Dario hasn’t had a lot of time training with us but we’ll wait and see what Saturday brings.”
News broke this week that Mitch Austin had undergone surgery again sparking fears amongst Thistle support that the flying Australian winger was set for a long term spell on the sidelines. Although he admits the summer signing has met a setback, Caldwell insists that the number 77 will not be put too far off track.
“When Mitch first came over he had a bit of bruising around the knee. We investigated that at the time and it was nothing major, but during the course of his rehab he’s had a couple of issues and something wasn’t quite right. We sent him in to the surgeon who had a look and tidied a couple of things up so hopefully he shouldn’t have any more issues.
“We’ll check in with the surgeon again after a week or so to get the OK for him to get back running and from there he’ll hopefully only be two or three weeks before he is available. Obviously it isn’t ideal but we’re all excited about seeing him play for us.
“Other than Mitch it’s just the longer term ones who are out – Harkins and Slater. Everyone else should be fit and ready to go.”
A fantastic campaign last year saw Ayr claim a great deal of credit and, while their run didn’t ultimately end in promotion, they were a formidable side throughout the campaign. Despite many predicting McCall’s side would fade away following the departures of Lawrence Shankland and Michael Rose a start to the league that reads two wins out of three would suggest otherwise.
No matter what the form table says, the Jags boss knows Saturday’s opponents are not to be underestimated.
“Every game in this league is a tough game but I truly believe that when we are at our best we are a match for absolutely anyone in this league. We need to look at the Ross County game, the first half against United, how we went in front against Morton and if we can put that together then we can win the game on Saturday. Having said that, we know that if we are anything but at our best then Ayr will punish us.
“We are very disappointed with where we are after three games, make no mistake about it. Where we find ourselves now though is a position where we can’t do anything about those games, we need to look forward and affect what we can which is Saturday. If we play as we know we can, if we are aggressive with and without the ball then we are a difficult team to play against and we will win games.”
A more in-depth video interview with Thistle manager, Gary Caldwell, is available to watch on JagZone now as well interviews with Joe Cardle and Alex Jones.
Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.
Can’t make it to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 14:45 tomorrow.
For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.
Article Copyright © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.
It's another bitterly disappointing afternoon for Thistle who lose 3-2 despite twice leading.
The main talking points though will centre of two straight red cards that left Thistle with just 9 men.
Shea Gordon was the first to see red straight after restoring Thistle's lead three minutes before the interval.
Stuart Bannigan was the second Jag to receive a straight red in the 64th minute with Thistle still leading and coping reasonably well despite the numerical advantage.
What followed was almost inevitable.
Kris Doolan, who else, was in the perfect spot to net the equaliser after the ball came back off the post with Stephen Kelly firing home the winner 6 minutes later.
Sneddon makes a good stop from McGuffie's angled drive.
The 90 minutes have come and gone. Into time added on for red cards now.
Miller and Williamson exchange passes but the flag goes up against the latter.
Thistle Man of the Match: Dario Zanatta
Cardle chips the free kick into the box but the ball drifts out of play for a goal kick.
Cardle is fouled about 35 yards from the Ayr goal. The cards stay in Dallas' pocket on this occasion.
Kelly lines up another shot that Sneddon saves.
This time Kelly finds the net with a powerful finish from inside the Thistle box.
A low shot from Kelly presents Sneddon with little difficulty. It's one way traffic though at the moment which is not unexpected.
Sneddon pushes away a McGuffie effort.
The ball thumps off the post straight to feet of Doolan who fires home. There's no celebration from Doolan.
Moore's control lets him down as he tries to collect a cross into the Thistle box.
A Bell shot lands at the feet of Doolan but his shot is saved by Sneddon.
Forrest shoots high over the Thistle bar but you suspect the next 25 minutes won't exactly fly past.
Thistle go down to nine men as Bannigan's high foot earns him the game, and Thistle's, second straight red card of the afternoon.
Safe hands from Sneddon as he gathers a McCowan cross from the Ayr right.
Harvie has space down the left for Ayr but his cross spins off De Vitta allowing Sneddon to collect.
Hall allows Doolan to rob the ball from him wide on the right but recovers well to win he ball back.
Zanatta does fantastically well to take the ball deep into the Ayr box but can't find room for a shot or space for a cut back to a team mate.
Ayr look for a penalty as Harvie goes to ground inside the box.
Miller collects a yellow card for preventing Ayr taking a quick free kick.
Much better from Thisttle as Zanatta has Ayr back peddling.
Sneddon comes off his line to collect a Kelly cross. Ayr have seen virtually all of the ball since the restart.
No card for Docherty following his foul on Palmer.
No lack of incident at the end of 45 minutes that see Thistle lead but reduced to ten men.
Dario Zanatta has made an impressive debut on the left hand side for Thistle and has had a hand in both Jags goals.
His run into the box after 13 minutes is halted by Kerr for perhaps a somewhat soft penalty award. Stuart Bannigan tucked home the spot kick.
Thistle remained the better side but Ayr were level 10 minutes later when McCowan deftly fired past Sneddon when left with just the Thistle keeper to beat.
Thistle were back in front with half-time with just 3 minutes of the first half remaining when Shea Gordon forced the ball home after a tremendous run down the left from Zanatta.
A minute later Gordon's afternoon was over when he received a straight red card following a foul on McCowan.
The corner eventually falls at the feet of Geggan who fires wide when he should, at the very least, hit target.
Ayr shouts for a penalty as a cross hits off Williamson.
Gordon fouls McCowan but nobody expects the red card that Dallas flashes in his direction. Thistle down to ten men.
Shea Gordon is the scorer but that goal is down in n small part to Dario Zanatta who leaves at least two Ayr players in his wake as he powers down the left before cutting the ball across goal.
After Miller miskicks the ball falls to Palmer just outside the Ayr box. He goes for accuracy rather than power and his effort curls about a foot or so wide of Doohan's left hand post.
McCowan's ball is just out of Doolan's reach but drops to Geggan to his right. He snatches at the opportunity though and the ball goes wide of target.
Palmer's corner drifts tot the far side where McGinty picks the ball up. He gives it to Jones who sees a shot blocked.
Palmer takes the corner this time and it is headed clear at the near post by Doolan.
Miller is back on his feet and looks okay.
Break of play as Miller receives some treatment at the edge of the centre circle after being fouled by Docherty after collecting a pass from Hall.
Ayr are level when McCowan is played in and with only Sneddon to beat he deftly lifts the ball beyond Sneddon and into the net.
Thistle nearly present Ayr with a gift when Doolan collects a misdirected pass. He plays the ball up to the feet of McCowan but his control lets him down and Thistle clear.
Zanatta plays a gem of a pass with the outside of his foot across the face of the Ayr goal and just out of the reach of Jones.
Palmer comes short to collect Robson's corner but Thistle van't make anything of the situation.
Zanatta charges down a Doohan clearance after a heavy pass back but the ball spins out of play for a goal kick.
Kelly catches Robson late and might be a little fortunate to escape a yellow card.
Doolan nods the ball back towards Kelly but Bannigan is across quickly to clear.
Bannigan tucks home the penalty.
Zanatta's run into the Ayr box is halted by a foul from Kerr and referee Dallas points to the spot.
Ayr have the ball in the net when Forrest converts a McCowan cross but the flag was already up for offside.
Jones has the first effort on goal of the game and his snap shot from the right hand side of the box isn't too far wide of Doohan's right hand post.
Robson's corner nearly drops for Jones but the ball is cleared. Bannigan returns the ball into the box but neither Miller and Gordon can divert the ball back towards th Ayr goal.
Zanatta plays a lovely ball down the left for Gordon but Docherty is there to clear.
Early involvement for Zanatta as he leaves Murdoch in a heap with the Ayr player picking up a knock in the process. Zanatta advances to the edge of the box but can't find a Thistle player with his final npass.
Thistle defend the free kick with Bannigan heading clear.
Williamson fouls Harvie and Ayr have an early chance to deliver a free kick into the Thistle box.
Thistle are shooting towards the city end in the first half.
After the bitter;y disappointing conclusion to last Friday's match with Morton Gary Caldwell has made a number of changes for today's visit of Ayr United.
Jamie Sneddon starts in goal while Ben Hall and Dario Zanatta make their Thistle debuts after having joined the club earlier in the week.
Elsewhere there are starts for Shea Gordon and Tommy Robson with Lewis Mansell and Raffa De Vita and Steven Saunders dropping to the bench with James Penrice missing out entirely.
It was an eventful ninety minutes at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill as the Jags entertained Ayr United in the final fixture of August. Thistle concluded the match with nine men following the dismissals of Shea Gordon and Stuart Bannigan. There was only one place to start when Gary caught up with ptfc.co.uk after the full time whistle as we discussed the two big talking points.
“I don’t think the first sending off is a red card but the second one is absolutely the correct decision.”
Despite the tough circumstances on the pitch, the manager was proud of the effort displayed by his side.
“I’m really proud of the players. I thought they gave absolutely everything in really difficult circumstances. We were very threatening when we were 11 v 11. When we went down to 10, they looked comfortable and disciplined. When we went down to 9 men, we really dug in. I thought the second Ayr good looked marginally offside but I was really proud of the players and I think if it was 11 v 11 we would have won the game. It’s a sore one to take but we have to focus on Montrose next week now.
Debutant Dario Zanatta won the sponsors man of the match after a scintillating debut for the Jags.
“I thought Dario was outstanding this afternoon. He’s a player we haven’t had in terms of his directness and dribbling with the ball. He won the penalty with a really good run in behind the defence and I think for the second goal he beats four players before laying it on a plate for Shea. We’ve only had a couple of training sessions with him and his fitness isn’t where we want it to be just yet so we’ll work with him and hopefully he’ll only get better and better.”
With the transfer window closing on Monday evening, Gary is looking to add one more player to his squad.
“The additions of Ben and Dario have helped, I think everyone could see that this afternoon. We’re still working hard to get another player in the door on Monday. We’ve got a couple of options that we are looking at and we’ll be working right up to the deadline to make sure we can get it over the line.”
The focus turns to the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup with a trip to Montrose next Saturday afternoon and the gaffer is looking forward to the trip to Angus.
“I think you saw a lot of positive signs of a team coming together this afternoon. It was taken out of our hands by a game-changing decision this afternoon. We have to fight and work hard ahead of what is going to be a difficult and tricky trip to Montrose next weekend.”
A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available to Jagzone subscribers now and reaction from Sean McGinty and Cammy Palmer will be online shortly – log in to view.
For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.
Article Copyright © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk