Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 12 March, 2016. Kick Off: - 12:30
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomáš Černý
2
Gary Miller
3
Daniel Seaborne
4
Sean Welsh
5
Callum Booth
6
Abdul Osman
7
David Amoo
9
Kris Doolan (Mathias Pogba (99), 60 mins)
11
Steven Lawless (Ryan Edwards (19), 85 mins)
17
Liam Lindsay
22
Gary Fraser (Christie Elliott (14), 71 mins)
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully (GK)
10
Antonio German
13
Frederic Frans
14
Christie Elliott
18
David Wilson
19
Ryan Edwards
99
Mathias Pogba
Celtic
1
Craig Gordon
6
Nir Bitton
8
Scott Brown
9
Leigh Griffiths (Stuart Armstrong (14), 88 mins)
15
Kris Commons (Colin Kazim-Richards (13), 67 mins)
16
Gary Mackay-Steven (Efe Ambrose (4), 90 mins)
21
Charlie Mulgrew
23
Mikael Lustig
28
Erik Sviatchenko
42
Callum McGregor
63
Kieran Tierney
 
Subs
38
Leonardo Fasan (GK)
4
Efe Ambrose
13
Colin Kazim-Richards
14
Stuart Armstrong
18
Tom Rogic
27
Patrick Roberts
49
James Forrest
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully (GK)
10
Antonio German
13
Frederic Frans
14
Christie Elliott
18
David Wilson
19
Ryan Edwards
99
Mathias Pogba
 
Subs
38
Leonardo Fasan (GK)
4
Efe Ambrose
13
Colin Kazim-Richards
14
Stuart Armstrong
18
Tom Rogic
27
Patrick Roberts
49
James Forrest
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Celtic

As he approaches the end of what must be one of the toughest weeks of his career, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk about taking on the champions this Saturday.

“It’s been a tough week but the performances the boys have put in have been really encouraging. I think it’s much harder to take when you have played really well in a game but still take nothing from it. If you have played awfully it’s certainly frustrating but when you have been the better team for long spells and still cant take a point from the match, that really hurts.

“We took the positives from Tynecatle into Tuesday night’s game and we’ve looked over the Abereen match and will do the same with that. There are plenty of things we did well and perhaps just got undone by a couple of lapses in concentration. If we can play in a similar fashion come Saturday and focus for the full 90 minutes then I think we can go one further and take something off Celtic.”

The last time the two sides met Archibald’s men ran the Hoops very close with only a last minute Griffiths strike separating both teams. The manager knows how galling it was to take nothing from that game and will take that feeling and use it as motivation for Saturday’s fixture.

“To lose a last minute goal against 10 men was absolutely devastating but, again, we need to take that experience and use it to make us a better side this time around. People say Celtic are on a  bad run or that now is a good time to play them but you have to remember that this is the same team that scored eight against Hamilton not so long ago and we know they have that in their locker. We need to be at it from the first minute and keep our focus right the way through if we are going to take anything from the game.”

Alan was quick to dismiss any suggestion that Celtic may be vulnerable as a result of the pressure lumped on to them by Aberdeen in recent weeks.

“I suppose Aberdeen’s result against us has really put the pressure back on Celtic but that isn’t something we will be thinking about. We’ll focus on ourselves and if the pressure affects them or gets the crowd on their back then great but we certainly won’t be counting on that. We need to go out there and play our own game with the belief that we can go out and hurt them. If we do that then there is absolutely no reason why we can’t get a result.”

Jags playmaker, Stuart Bannigan, will again miss out for Saturday’s clash as he awaits the results of an initial scan on his knee having injured it at Tynecastle last week but Archie is confident his squad is now deep enough to cope with the loss.

“There’s no doubt about it, Stuart will be a big loss for us. He has had a scan and he is waiting feedback from the specialist to see whether or not he will need surgery. Obviously we’re hopeful it isn’t a bad one and we get him back soon but we are in a much better position in terms of our squad than we were maybe 18 months ago.

“We now have good quality cover in every position with the likes of Gary Fraser and Ryan Edwards ready to step up. We’re definitely in a much stronger position now than we have been in seasons gone by so I’m hoping Bannigan’s absence won’t hurt us too much.”

Apart from Bannigan, the Thistle manager’s squad is looking strong with only Mustapha Dumbuya (ankle) and Aidan Nesbitt (unable to play against parent club) unavailable for selection.

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Celtic

Thistle ended an incredibly tough week with the visit of Celtic, the team who currently top the Ladbrokes Premiership table. Thistle went into the game with confidence having more than matched Hearts and Aberdeen earlier in the week, even if they were unable to secure Premiership points for their efforts.

An energy sapping late defeat to Aberdeen was the last outing that Thistle had and that perhaps affected manager Alan Archibald’s team selection. Gary Miller returned to his customary right back role replacing Christie Elliott while in attack Kris Doolan was preferred to Mathias Pogba as Thistle looked to bag their first goal against the men from the east end in almost two calendar years. There was a place on the bench for David Wilson as Aidan Nesbitt was ineligible to face his parent club in the lunchtime fixture.

Thistle started the game brightly and won the game’s first corner inside the first 60 seconds. From Gary Fraser’s delivery Liam Lindsay’s header took a deflection allowing Craig Gordon to claim with ease.

Celtic were quick to assert their dominance on the home side and Leigh Griffiths was the first to test Tomas Cerny in the Thistle goal. A low cross from the right hand side was met by a diving header from Celtic’s key striker forcing an excellent one handed save from Tomas Cerny to keep it out.

Thistle’s poor ball retention was giving Celtic comfortable possession in the Thistle half of the pitch and Celtic swarmed towards the Jags goal with a number of dangerous threats. Mackay-Steven fizzed a shot inches wide of goal before McGregor was unable to find a green and white jersey with a strong through pass, allowing Cerny to gather.

Thistle were still posing a threat on the break and when the ball fell to Liam Lindsay around 30 yards from goal, he advanced forward before unleashing a fierce right footed effort which Craig Gordon did well to palm away for a throw in.

Celtic were continuing to have huge swathes of dominance in the game but Tomas Cerny in the Thistle goal wasn’t forced into a difficult save of note. Indeed it was Craig Gordon who had the more testing shots at him, doing well to deal with a Kris Doolan effort after he jinked into the Celtic penalty area before Callum Booth could only fire straight at the Scotland goalkeeper from around 20 yards from goal.

With half-time approaching, Thistle looked like they were likely to go in level at the break until Leigh Griffiths, the scourge of Thistle for so many years, opened the scoring. Thistle switched off from a throw in, allowing Mackay-Steven to swing over a terrific left footed cross into the box. Dan Seaborne was unable to get his head on the ball to clear it, allowing Griffiths the chance to control the ball before firing a left footed effort which creeped past Cerny, despite the goalkeeper getting a hand on it.

Thistle knew a positive response was needed if they were to get anything from the game and when Callum Booth set up Steven Lawless, who flashed wide of goals, the signs were encouraging.

Thistle’s hopes, however, were to be dealt a dagger blow in the next Celtic attack as after Booth had advanced deep into the Celtic half, nobody covered to deny Callum McGregor acres of space. As he progressed into the Thistle box, Seaborne did well to show him to the right hand side, but the youngster simply smashed a low effort across Cerny and into the far corner of the net.

Celtic were content with their two goal lead as Thistle huffed and puffed trying to find a way back into the game but Craig Gordon in the Celtic goal wasn’t really tested from any of Thistle’s efforts on target.

Indeed, it was Celtic who could have added a third goal when Leigh Griffiths burst through on goal. He seemed poised to find the net for the second time, but for a terrific save from Tomas Cerny before Kazim-Richards, a second half substitute, fired the rebound wide of goal.

Cerny was again to the rescue as he prevent Bitton from finding the back of the net before Thistle found an unlikely way back into the game.

Christie Elliott knocked the ball down for Steven Lawless who skipped past Sviatchenko to cross into the six yard box. As he passed the Danish defender, Lawless was grabbed and referee Stephen Finnie pointed to the spot, giving Thistle their first penalty in 69 games, when Finnie awarded Thistle’s last spot kick.

Sean Welsh gathered the ball and was entrusted with the responsibility of beating Craig Gordon from 12 yards out and he made no mistake calmly tucking the spot kick to the left hand side of the despairing Gordon.

Thistle were buoyed by the strike and tried to grab an equaliser but despite a number of set piece opportunities, the side were unable to break down a resilient Celtic defence and it was the visitors who claimed all three points.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Celtic

Thistle could not manage to overcome the champions at Firhill on Saturday but Sean Welsh did notch the first goal against our city rivals in almost two years as part of another admirable performance at the end of a very tough week for the Jags. Manager Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk after the game andgave us his thoughts on the contest.

“I thought we were right in the game in the first half and had a couple of right good chances. We lost a poor goal at a terrible time though and that ultimately cost us.

“The fact that we have challenged the top three teams this week and it has only been a one goal margin each time shows that we aren’t far away in terms of quality but we simply didn’t hurt them enough today. Our final ball was very poor and Craig Gordon looked relatively comfortable for large parts of the match.”

A Sean Welsh penalty – the first the Jags have won in 68 games –gave a bit of late hope to the home side but, as far as Archie was concerned it was too little too late.

“I actually thought it was disappointing how we played after we got the goal, in a funny kind of way. We showed the desire and drive that had been missing since we conceded the first goal. Perhaps if we had played like that for longer in the game it might have been worth more than just a consolation.”

A strong first half performance probably should have seen Thistle go in at the break at least level but a momentary lapse saw Leigh Griffiths nab yet another goal for the Hoops.

“There were a lot of positives for us to take from that first half and we caused them big problems at times. But, after we conceded we simply weren’t at the races and large parts of the second half passed us by.”

It was always going to be a very difficult period for Thistle as Archibald’s men played the top three sides in the space of eight day and the gaffer knows it isn’t this week that will define his season.

“We always knew anything we took from this week was going tobe a bonus and these three games were never going to define our season but the next three or four might. We play each ofthe bottom three as well as Ross County and it is clear that how we do in those games will, to a large extent, dictate where we finish in the league.

“We’ve put in a lot of great performances this year but now is the time when we really need to dig in and get the most number of points possible from the upcoming games. The next month is a massive one for us and we need to make sure we are ready for it.”

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