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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

William Hill Scottish Cup
Sat 1 December, 2012. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Graeme Smith
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Hugh Murray (Steven Craig (17), 70 mins)
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Steve Lawless (Alan Archibald (14), 30 mins)
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan (Mark McGuigan (16), 57 mins)
10
Ross Forbes
11
Chris Erskine
 
Subs
12
Ludovic Roy
14
Alan Archibald
15
David Rowson
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Steven Craig
Dunfermline Athletic
1
Paul Gallacher
2
Jordan McMillan
3
Stephen Jordan
4
Andy Dowie
5
Callum Morris
6
Andy Geggan
7
Ryan Thomson
8
Stephen Husband (Shaun Byrne (16), 82 mins)
9
Andrew Barrowman
10
Craig Dargo (Ryan Wallace (15), 69 mins)
11
Josh Falkingham (Joe Cardle (14), 42 mins)
 
Subs
12
Andy Kirk
14
Joe Cardle
15
Ryan Wallace
16
Shaun Byrne
20
Michal Hrivnak
 
Subs
12
Ludovic Roy
14
Alan Archibald
15
David Rowson
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Steven Craig
 
Subs
12
Andy Kirk
14
Joe Cardle
15
Ryan Wallace
16
Shaun Byrne
20
Michal Hrivnak
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic – 1st December 2012

It’s Scottish Cup day again tomorrow with a place in the last sixteen of the competition up for grabs. The pursuit of league points may be put to the side for the duration of the afternoon but the fact that the First Division’s top two go head to head at Firhill just gives our clash with Dunfermline a little extra spice.
Just three weeks have elapsed since the two teams last met, Thistle enjoying an emphatic 5-1 win, but that doesn’t lessen any the sense of anticipation surrounding this fixture with the BBC choosing it as one of their feature games in their Saturday night highlight package.

Said manager Jackie McNamara when speaking to ptfc.co.uk
“Tomorrow’s tie is a big game for both teams. We haven’t had much luck when it has come to cup draws in recent seasons and I don’t think that either side will view this as the ideal draw for them. Continued involvement in the Scottish Cup though can prove to be a big financial boost to a club. Dunfermline are currently experiencing some fairly well publicised problems in that regard but we’ve had our own problems as well. The Board of Directors that we have at the Club have done everything that they can to support the playing side of things, but it is a very tight budget that we operate with. Any extra funds that the Scottish Cup can provide would be very much appreciated.”
“I must stress that I am very happy with the squad that I currently have and I’m not necessarily looking to bring in any new faces. There is plenty of competition within the squad at the moment and we have had to deal with some notable absences recently, and have coped with them well. For example in that recent league game with Dunfermline we were without Stuart Bannigan, Steven Craig and Sean Welsh; three players that you might normally have expected to start the game. Tomorrow we will be without Paul Paton who completes his two game suspension.”
“So far this season those that have come into the team have done very well. Aaron Sinclair’s form has been excellent since he came back into the side and last weekend against Livingston Stuart Bannigan was excellent in his first game back after injury and displayed a great level of fitness.”
“We’re hopeful that Steven Craig will be fit for the game tomorrow. We’ll assess the situation overnight but he trained with us this morning. During the week Mark McGuigan scored a hat-trick in a reserve game down at Annan and looked really sharp and he is a great option to have available as well.”
The goalkeeping situation has been a problem in the last couple of weeks and our thanks are extended to Ludovic Roy who sat on the bench for us as a trialist last weekend. It looks as if he will be on the bench tomorrow as well and we are fortunate that the contacts within the game that our goalkeeping coach Craig Hinchcliffe has allows us to bring players like him in.
Meantime both Scott Fox and Ryan Scully are making good progress they both joined us for training today and did some running and handling but tomorrow’s game is going to be just a week too early for them.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              9              3
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Lawless 9
Chris Erskine 8
Kris Doolan 7
Steven Craig 5
Stuart Bannigan 3
Ross Forbes 3
Aaron Muirhead 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday November 24th 2012
Partick Thistle 2, Livingston 0
Dunfermline Athletic Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              13           8
Scorers season 2012-2013
Andy Barrowman 8
Ryan Wallace 6
Ryan Thomson 5
Josuha Falkingham 2
Stephen Husband 2
Joe Cardle 1
Craig Dargo 1
Andy Dowie 1
Stephen Jordan 1
Andy Kirk 1
Jordan McMillan 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday November 24th 2012
Dunfermline Athletic 4, Dumbarton 0
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday November 10th 2012
Partick Thistle 5, Dunfermline Athletic 1
Teams
Thistle: Fox (Scully), O’Donnell (Elliott), Sinclair, Paton, Muirhead, Archibald, Lawless, Balatoni, Doolan (McGuigan), Forbes, Erskine.
Dunfermline: Gallacher, McMillan, Kane (Kirk), Dowie, Morris, Geggan, Thomson, Husband (Whittle), Barrowman, Wallace (Cardle), Falkingham.
Scorers
Thistle: Lawless (5, 75), Balatoni (34), O’Donnell (39), Forbes (56)
Dunfermline: Muirhead – own goal (24)
Match Highlights

Match Details
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Saturday December 1st 2012
Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults: £12
Concessions (over 65s, under 16s): £5
Season tickets are not valid for this fixture.
Programme: £2.50
Match Officials
Referee: Steven McLean
Assistant Referees: Ross Haswell and Ralph Gordon
Other Fixtures
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Aberdeen v Motherwell
Celtic v Arbroath
Cowdenbeath v St Johnstone
Dumbarton v Hamilton Accies (POSTPONED)
Forfar Athletic v Ayr United
Hibs v Hearts (Sunday)
Kilmarnock v Queen of the South
Livingston v Dundee
Rangers v Elgin City (Sunday)
Raith Rovers v Deveronvale
Ross County v Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Stranraer v Dundee United
Stenhousemuir v Falkirk
St Mirren v Brechin City
Turriff United v Morton

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic – 1st December 2012

Thistle’s interest in this season’s Scottish Cup is at an end following defeat, Thistle’s first at Firhill in any competition since March, at the hands of Dunfermline Athletic; Thistle playing all but 27 minutes of the game with ten men following the sending off of central defender Aaron Muirhead.
There was a place on the bench for Steven Craig but Thistle were otherwise unchanged from the side that had defeated Livingston and befitting a side brim full of confidence they moved the ball about the pitch well in the opening stages without creating much directly in front of the Dunfermline goal.
After the game the Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies claimed that his side had been the better of the two in the opening 30 minutes and while not everyone in red and yellow would perhaps agree with that assessment his side did have the better chances during that period.
In the 12th minute Graeme Smith produced a fine strop to deny Craig Dargo after the former Thistle man had been set up by Ryan Thomson who had spotted Dargo to his right.
Dargo again threatened the Thistle goal in the 25th minute when he took advantage of some casual play from Thistle at the back only to see his final shot take a touch off a Thistle player.
Indeed at this point in proceedings Dargo was involved in most things, and he was at the heart of what proved to be the game’s pivotal moment after 27 minutes. Dargo, who failed to find the net during his time at Firhill, got round the wrong side of Aaron Muirhead and when referee McLean adjudged that Muirhead had fouled the Dunfermline striker on the edge of the Thistle box a red card was inevitable.
Dunfermline couldn’t convert the free kick that followed Muirhead’s sending off but they did take the lead in the 35th minute. It was a simple goal; Andy Barrowman being able to climb above the Thistle defence to nod the ball into the back of the net.
A man, and now, a goal down Thistle very facing the prospect of having to climb a mountain to get back into the game but in the time that remained before the interval they showed that this game was anything but over.
Paul Gallacher, who would keep Dunfermline in the game during the second half, was a little fortunate to get the break of the ball outside his penalty area just a couple of minutes before half-time after he had, successfully, challenged Chris Erskine for the ball.
At times in the second half you could have been forgiven for not realising which side had ten men and which had eleven.
An Aaron Sinclair cross from the left that Kris Doolan stretched to head wide, and a long range effort from Hugh Murray were early second half indications that Thistle were still very much in this game.
Jordan McMillan did send a shot wide of Graeme Smith’s right hand post just past the hour mark before Graeme Smith made an excellent double save, but when Thistle were handed the perfect opportunity to level the scores in the 70th minute few people could have argued that Thistle wouldn’t have deserved to be level at that point.
Chris Erskine completely wrong footed Andy Dowie inside the box and when Dowie felled Erskine it wasn’t a difficult decision for the referee to award Thistle a penalty. Ross Forbes was the man to take the kick and he did little wrong only to be thwarted by Gallacher who managed to divert the ball onto the inside of the post and enjoy good fortune as the ball then rolled along the goal line. It was that kind of afternoon for Thistle.
That was hardly the last chance that Thistle would have either. Gallacher would again deny Thistle, firstly saving from Chris Erskine and then Ross Forbes whose swerving effort very nearly eluded the grasp of the Dunfermline keeper.
It was really only when the depleted Thistle side push men forward that Dunfermline looked like adding to their tally and Thistle were grateful on a number of occasions for the intervention of Graeme Smith,  who for the second home game in a row had a fine game.
With the game in injury time Dunfermline’s Andy Barrowman collected his second yellow card in a matter of minutes to even up the numbers but there wasn’t the time left for Thistle to score the equaliser and earn the replay that they deserved.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic – 1st December 2012

Being knocked out of a cup competition isn’t pleasant and today was no exception and Thistle manager Jackie McNamara made no attempt to hide his disappointment when speaking to the press after this afternoon’s game.
“It’s disappointing, we wanted to get a good run in the cup. Wee things can change a game and the sending off was a big thing in this match.”
What was Jackie’s view on the incident?
“It was disappointing for us because it came from our bye kick. I’ll need to see the incident again and I’m not sure if there is an offside when they first win the header. Obviously Aaron Muirhead is on the wrong side of Craig Dargo and just how much contact there was I’m not sure. Craig Dargo certainly thought that there was contact. He’s an experienced player and I think that was a telling factor.”
Even a man and a goal down at the break Jackie still felt that his side were more than capable of getting back into the game.
“I said to the players at half-time that if they kept passing the ball they would create chances, which they did. I still felt confident that we would get a goal, even when the game went into injury time. We knew that towards the end they would get a few breakaways with us pushing forward but I felt that we were going to get something from the match and the players are gutted. They put so much into the game and a few things went against us but, you know, that happens.
Jackie continued;
“I’m proud of my players and the way that they kept battling even with ten men for such a long, long period of the match. I think they contributed to what was a good cup tie. It just wasn’t our day with the penalty save and Paul Gallacher has had another couple of good saves as well. As disappointed as we are to be out of the cup I can’t ask any more of my players.”
Aaron Muirhead’s red card was the fifth collected by a Thistle player this season and the manager stressed the importance of keeping a full complement of players on the park.
“Three of the games we have lost this season we’ve gone down to ten men and it is important that we keep eleven players on the park.”
Jackie’s opposite number, Jim Jefferies, was understandably delighted that his side had made it through to the next round.
“When you come here after what happened the last time we changed the shape of the team and we went with two solid banks of four with Dargo, who was excellent, just floating about. The gaps that appeared the last time didn’t appear this time. Apart from a couple of balls flashing across the face of the goal, and they have good delivery, we were the better team and created a couple of good openings before we scored. After the sending off the game went a little flat. We were comfortable up to the point that Jackie started throwing men forward and we squandered a lot of opportunities to finish the game off, and we were wasteful in the final third. We knew that they would be dangerous from free kicks and corners so we tried to avoid those kind of situations.  They are very difficult to defend but I thought that we did that.”
Thistle though did get an opportunity to level the score with 20 minutes remaining and the Dunfermline manager had no doubt about the validity of the decision to award Thistle a penalty.
“It was definitely a penalty. It was great piece of skill from Erskine, Andy Dowie’s thinking he’s going to shoot and he’s turned inside. I wouldn’t blame Forbes too much for the penalty as I thought it was a fantastic save way down in the corner. You then think that it is going to be your day but we should have had them dead and buried before the penalty. ”
“I think that the first half an hour proved to Partick Thistle that Dunfermline are a good side. They were excellent the last time we played them, the played the best they have played this season. Today we’ve seen a better formation against them and even when they had eleven on the pitch they knew it was going to be a hard game. I think that this game proved, and Morton will have something to say as well, that this league is going to be keenly contested and there’s not a lot between the teams. It will be about who plays better on the day.”

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