SPFL League One
Sat 21 November, 2020. Kick Off: - 15:00
In line with Scottish Government guidelines, this match is a closed doors match. It is imperative that all fans support the club and protect the squad by staying away from the stadium and enjoying all content safely from home.
Season Ticket Holders
Any supporter who wishes to watch our League 1 match against East Fife can purchase a pay-per-view pass, priced at £10, from https://ppv.ptfcpass.co.uk/events
Audio Commentary will be available for supporter on JagZone.
Starting at 2:30, tune in to hear Michael Max take you through the ninety minutes of action, with thirty minutes of comprehensive build up before the game.
In Game Coverage
We’ll have our usual in-depth text commentary right here on ptfc.co.uk. Social Media Updates will also be available through our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.
After the 90 minutes of action we’ll have post match reaction from the Jags camp on JagZone following the full time whistle. A full game replay and comprehensive highlights package will also follow on JagZone.
Due to members of our media team self-isolating, our post match coverage may be later than normal.
Match programmes are available to purchase online through our programme production partner Curtis Sport.
Half Time 50/50 draw
Our 50/50 draw will be conducted at half time during Saturday’s match. Tickets are available to purchase until 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.
During this unique but exciting season we are looking forward to bringing you extensive matchday coverage throughout the campaign. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, our coverage may change or be impacted if a member of our media team is required to self-isolate at short notice. We thank you for your understanding and patience around this situation.
After taking on Morton in the Betfred Cup last Saturday, it’s back to league action this week for Partick Thistle as East Fife make the trip from Methil to Maryhill. The Jags sit level on points with Darren Young’s side after four games and either team could jump into the promotion play-off spots with a victory. Thistle boss Ian McCall spoke to ptfc.co.uk to preview the clash:
“For us, it’s a chance to start building a bit of momentum but East Fife will not be easy, I think they’ll be looking forward to the game too. If you look at our last two league games, the table could look very different if we don’t lose two late goals in the 94th and the 89th minute so it’s very thin lines for us at the moment.
“At Firhill we’re unbeaten and we want to keep that going. We had a good comeback win against Airdrieonians and would have had another one against Falkirk had it not been for that late goal and then with 13 outfield players available we manage to beat a Championship side in Morton on penalties so we obviously want to continue with the unbeaten home start.”
Having completed their Betfred Cup campaign, McCall’s side now have a straight run of five matches to take them to the end of the first round of fixtures and he’s keen to see his side climb the table over the course of this stretch.
“I think as we get to the end of the first third of the games as it is this season we have to cement ourselves in the top four and get to within touching distance of the top. To do that we need to go out and win games and that’s what we’re looking to do this weekend first and foremost.”
When Blair Spittal picked up an injury in the first half of the game against Morton last week it was Blair Lyons who took his place and the gaffer says he has high hopes for the winger.
“It’s important to remember he was playing for his university just a couple of years ago and he’s making his first move into full-time training this year which is very demanding for someone who isn’t used to it and it can take time to adjust. He’s had a couple of little injuries that prove that but he’s got talent which is clear to see and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in the future.”
Having been very limited in his options for the game against Morton, Ian gave us an update on how the squad’s looking this week.
“Brian Graham and Ross Docherty come back in but everyone else who was missing will still be out. We’re just hoping we can get over this situation. We’ve already modified training so that we’re doing minimal contact work but still we get another injury this week so we can only hope that it evens itself out eventually.”
The manager then expanded on the importance of having Graham and Docherty back from suspension as two of the more experienced heads in the squad.
“Those two have been excellent. I think Ross Docherty has been our best player this season and is so important in that spine of the team and Brian will make a big difference too. Not having any strikers last weekend really limited what we could do going forward so bringing Brian back in gives us a whole new dimension.”
More exclusive preview interviews with Thistle assistant manager, Alan Archibald and Darren Brownlie are now available for JagZone subscribers to watch – log in to view.
We’re streaming our clash with East Fife on Saturday afternoon. A pay-per-view pass costs just £10 for this match. Click here to purchase your pay-per-view pass.
Article Copyright © 2020. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.
Two Brian Graham goals, the first a penalty, are enough to secure a thoroughly deserved win for Thistle.
Into injury time now.
A member of the East Fife coaching staff receives a red card for what presume is something he said to the Colin Weir Stand side assistant referee.
Davidson blazes a shot high over the Thistle crossbar after receiving a pass from Swanson.
Man of the Match: Brian Graham
Thistle clear Watt's corner.
Foster takes the ball away from the feet of Watt just as it looks as if the East Fife sub might have a chance of a shot.
Graham deftly lifts the ball over the head of Hart for his and Thistle's second goal of the afternoon.
Cardle and Bannigan work a quick, short, corner and when Cardle does deliver a cross the ball is cleared.
A Foster cross drifts away from Graham.
Cardle thumps a shot off the frame of the goal after receiving a cut back from Penrice. Docherty collects the ball and there are loud appeals for a second Thistle player as he crashes to the ground.
Hamilton is late on Docherty and collects a yellow card.
Cardle's corner is cleared but Thistle pick the ball up again only for the referee to stop play for an East Fife player to receive treatment.
Cardle's shot is deflected wide for a corner.
Agnew's free kick is a good one and it takes a good header from Graham, who is back defending, to get the ball clear.
East Fife have a free kick wide on the right and the chance to exert some pressure.
Williamson bursts into the East Fife box but his cross is behind Cardle who can't twist his body enough to divert the ball towards goal.
East Fife have certainly been much more in the game so far in the second half and it takes some good defending from Williamson to prevent Davidson's pass from finding Agnew inside the Thistle box.
Cardle takes the free kick but it is well defended. Thistle continue to put the East Fife goal under pressure though.
Murray is fouled by Murdoch and Thistle have a free kick on the left hand side not far from the corner of the East Fife box.
There are East Fife appeals for handball and a penalty as Agnew's shot comes off a Thistle defender.
The Thistle goal is under some early pressure in the second half before Brownlie steps in to clear.
It's been a positive first half Thistle performance and they will be wondering why they have just Brian Graham's 16th minute penalty to show for their first half dominance during which they have played some excellent football at times.
Hamilton has the ball in the net for East Fife but the flag had long since gone up for offside. Some slack play from Thistle all the same.
Bannigan takes a quick free kick and gets the ball out to Cardle to his left. Cardle crosses but Graham can only nod the ball wide of target.
Slattery is booked for a late challenge on Murray.
Thistle deal easily with Agnew's corner.
Hart is off his line to get to Murray's cross from the right ahead of Penrice.
Hart doesn't make a clean catch from Cardle's corner. East Fife do clear but Thistle pick up the ball again and Penrice is close with a shot from just outside the box.
Cardle's cross is cleared ahead of Graham waiting to apply a headed finish from close range.
Brownlie does well to get his foot to the ball before Hamilton and get it back to Wright who completes the clearance.
Thistle are close again. Williamson delivers an excellent cross to the back post where Penrice is unlucky to see his header blocked by a defender.
Thistle are a fraction away from what would be a deserved second goal. Murray's deep cross finds Graham who nods the ball back to Cardle who shoots narrowly wide of Hart's left hand post.
It's a good delivery again from Cardle but the referee spots a push and awards East Fife a free kick.
Williamson's cross is deflected wide after some good work from Cardle.
Cardle's shot is blocked by the legs of a defender as Thistle look for a second goal.
Cardle looks for a free kick at the edge of the box but instead of a free kick he receives a yellow card. Looked a bit harsh at first viewing.
It's a good corner from Cardle but it is cleared. Thistle pick up the ball again but when it is worked wide to Murray the flag goes up for offside.
Graham may have missed his last penalty but he makes no mistake this time slamming the ball low and powerfully to Hart's right hand side as the keeper goes the other way.
Murray goes down in the box under the challenge of Murdoch and referee Williams points to the spot.
Wright makes a confident catch to claim Agnew's corner.
Cardle's corner goes deep and when Brownlie heads back towards goal the ball is cleared.
Thistle are close to taking the lead from that free kick. Cardle finds Niang with the free kick and Hart makes an excellent save to keep his header out. Docherty is unable to force the loose ball home from close range.
Murray is fouled and Thistle have a free kick in a threatening position.
A good challenge from Niang halts the progress of Denholm.
After a flurry of early action we can confirm that Niang is lining up alongside Brownlie in central defence with Foster occupying a left back role.
Agnew takes the free kick and sends the ball high over the bar.
East Fife free kick right on the edge of the Thistle box.
Positive opening from Thistle as Foster gets the ball over from the left but it is cleared.
East Fife get the game underway and Thistle will be shooting towards the John Lambie Stand in the first half.
Twenty one years have passed since East Fife last visited Firhill to face Firhill. On that occasion Scott Houston and Kemajl Avdiu scored the Thistle goals in a 2-2 draw.
It is maximum points that Ian McCall will be looking for this afternoon although he hasn't been helped any in that regard by a lengthy injury list. An injury list that since this time last week has the names of Blair Spittal and Rhys Breen added to it.
On a more positive note both Brian Graham and Ross Docherty are free from suspension and as expected return straight to the starting eleven this afternoon.
Mouhamed Niang is also added to the Thistle starting eleven on a day of sunshine and showers at Firhill.
After completing their Betfred Cup commitments with a penalty win over Morton last week, Partick Thistle returned to league action against East Fife this afternoon at Firhill. The Jags were looking for a win which would continue their unbeaten home record this season while the visiting Fifers sought to avoid a third defeat in 11 days.
Ian McCall made three changes to the side which faced Morton seven days prior with Ross Docherty and Brian Graham once again available having missed the cup clash due to suspension.
Thistle started the game well on top and could have gone in front after just 10 minutes as Joe Cardle’s free-kick caused East Fife problems. The number seven’s in-swinging delivery found the head of Mouhamed Niang who was denied his first Jags goal by the goalkeeper before Ross Docherty then put the ball over the bar as he stretched for it in the six-yard box.
The hosts wouldn’t have to wait too long for the opener though as they broke the deadlock in the 17th minute. On a quick break from an East Fife set piece, Kieran Wright dished the ball out to Joe Cardle on the right flank and after evading the challenge of one opponent he played a low cross in towards Connor Murray. The winger got to the ball before his marker and was bundled over in the process prompting the referee to point to the spot. Brian Graham stepped up to take the spot kick and he confidently fired into the net with Jordan Hart diving the wrong way.
After 27 minutes the Maryhill men were close to a second as Brian Graham set up Joe Cardle. The opportunity came from Stuart Bannigan’s cross which was knocked down by Graham towards Cardle. The wideman then tried to volley home but his bouncing effort skipped just past the post.
Just a minute later there was another opening for the home side with Ryan Williamson the provider as he bombed down the right wing. The full-back lifted a lovely cross to the back post where James Penrice was rushing in, however, the header he sent towards the bottom corner was blocked well at close range.
James Penrice had another sight of goal in the 33rd minute as a Jags corner wasn’t properly cleared and the number three picked it up 20 yards out. He set his sights on the bottom left corner of Jordan Hart’s goal but unfortunately his effort flashed wide.
The second half started rather slowly with neither team creating much coming out of the half-time interval but things burst into life with around 20 minutes to play. James Penrice moved into space on the left and cut the ball back to Joe Cardle as he hit the by-line. Cardle controlled and switched onto his left foot before trying to squeeze a shot in at the near post but his attempt ricocheted off the post and was eventually cleared.
Ian McCall’s side were able to increase the advantage though after that near thing as Brian Graham notched his fourth of the league season in the 78th minute. Darren Brownlie stepped up out of defence and headed the ball forward into the path of Graham who found himself in a bit of space 10 yards outside the box. With a defender closing him down and the ball sitting just right, he tried an ambitious lob over the goalkeeper and the number nine found the back of the net via the inside of the post. His second of the match takes his tally to seven goals in 10 league appearances as a Thistle player since signing in January.
The game ended 2-0 to the Jags and the margin of victory was enough to see the Firhill side move into fourth in the league ahead of next week’s trip to face Montrose at Links Park.
It was a return to winning ways for Partick Thistle as they climbed to fourth in the League One table thanks to a 2-0 win over East Fife this afternoon at Firhill. Brian Graham was the difference maker for the Jags as he converted a first half penalty before adding a second with a resplendent lob with just over ten minutes to play. Thistle’s manager, Ian McCall, spoke to ptfc.co.uk following his side’s second win of the league campaign:
“I thought we should have been out of sight in the first half to be honest. We could have had three goals and if we had stuck our chances away the second half would have been a bit easier for us but we got back on the front foot midway through the second half and it was terrific finish from Brian to make it two and that made things a touch more comfortable late on.”
Mouhamed Niang had to fill in at centre-half as a consequence of Thistle’s injury issues but the gaffer was very pleased with the 21-year-old’s performance.
“I was very pleased for Sena; I thought he did brilliantly. He carried himself very well and didn’t look out of place at all. He needs to learn that he can’t go and win every single ball that comes his way but he was a big part of our clean sheet. As much as I thought Kieran Wright had a good game in the way he went about things, I can’t remember him having a save to make which is to the credit of the defenders.”
With his squad seriously depleted by injuries Ian has been happy with the way the remaining players have performed in recent weeks.
“I think today was a lot closer to where we want to be. It’s a long list of important players we’re missing but looking at our last three games: we’ve won today, won on penalties against a team from the league above and then really should have beaten Falkirk so there are good signs there and we’re only going to get better as the injured guys come back.”
Having played against Morton last weekend without a recognised striker McCall was able to welcome Brian Graham back to the fold today and he was very happy with his frontman.
“Brian was very good getting his two goals. He’s a key part of our team and you’ve seen how much we miss him when he’s not playing. I thought our attacking play was much better overall and him coming back in definitely helped that.”
He was also impressed with a number of his other players who he now hopes can replicate today’s showing every week.
“I thought Ross Docherty and Stuart Bannigan were terrific in the middle of the park. Richard Foster was excellent too and looked very assured at the back. Connor Murray and Joe Cardle were both full energy and caused danger right throughout the game so now for all these guys it’s about getting that consistency week in week out.”
Rhys Breen was the name added to the substantial injury list this week and Ian says the problem is a tough one to get to the bottom of.
“We’ve already changed things the past couple of weeks to try to lessen the intensity and minimise the contact work but even with that we’ve had injuries so we feel like we’ve been quite unlucky on that front but hopefully we’ll have good news on the guys who are out just now in the next few weeks.”
A further reaction interview with Thistle gaffer Ian McCall, Ross Docherty and Brian Graham will be available for JagZone subscribers to watch – log in to view.
Article Copyright © 2020. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.