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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Championship
Sat 1 September, 2018. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Cammy Bell
2
Christie Elliott
3
James Penrice
5
Niall Keown
6
Sean McGinty
7
Blair Spittal
9
Kris Doolan
10
Chris Erskine (Max Melbourne 90)
17
Craig Slater
19
Miles Storey
39
Brice Ntambwe (Stuart Bannigan 75)
 
Subs
23
Jamie Sneddon
8
Stuart Bannigan
11
Jack Storer
15
Max Melbourne
20
Callum Wilson
21
Aidan Fitzpatrick
30
Daniel Jefferies
Greenock Morton
23
Ryan Scully
2
Lee Kilday (Kerr Waddell 62)
4
Gregor Buchanan
7
Chris Millar
8
Jim McAlister
9
Denny Johnstone (Scott Tiffoney 69)
11
Bob McHugh
12
Michael Tidser (Ben Armour 69)
14
Reghan Tumility
19
Ross MacLean
25
Rory McKeown
 
Subs
1
Derek Gaston
3
Jack Iredale
5
Kerr Waddell
6
Charlie Telfer
17
Scott Tiffoney
21
Ruaridh Langan
22
Ben Armour
 
Subs
23
Jamie Sneddon
8
Stuart Bannigan
11
Jack Storer
15
Max Melbourne
20
Callum Wilson
21
Aidan Fitzpatrick
30
Daniel Jefferies
 
Subs
1
Derek Gaston
3
Jack Iredale
5
Kerr Waddell
6
Charlie Telfer
17
Scott Tiffoney
21
Ruaridh Langan
22
Ben Armour
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 1st September 2018

For the first time in three weeks, Championship football returns to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill tomorrow as Partick Thistle take on Greenock Morton. The Ton are back in Maryhill having taken on the Jags during the Betfred Cup group stages in July but come into this game on a three-game unbeaten run in league action. Thistle, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Dundee United by taking all three points in this meeting with the Cappielow side who sit joint top of the league after three games. Jags boss, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the weekend’s match.

Archie began by mentioning the last time his side faced Morton. On that occasion, the Jags came out on top, winning 2-1. The gaffer hopes that his side take confidence from the previous fixture but also wants to make sure they don’t become complacent and just expect the three points.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game as it was last time. When we played them in the Betfred Cup, we dominated and got our two goals in the first half but let them back into things in the second. Overall, it was very even on the night and we’ll expect a similarly tough game tomorrow.”

He also touched on Morton’s form since their last trip to Maryhill. The Ton have only lost once in their last six games and beat Ross County last week, coming from behind to down the Staggies.

“They’ve made a very good start to the league. Winning against Alloa isn’t going to be easy, especially at their place and beating Ross County is a big result for them so we know they’ll be in a confident mood for the game. We need to come out tomorrow and shut that down early on. We can’t let them build momentum during the game and if we can stamp our authority on the game in the early stages, then that will give us a good platform to build on.”

The gaffer then highlighted the importance of bouncing back from last weekend’s loss. After losing at Somerset Park on the opening day of the league season, the Jags rebounded by beating Falkirk at home the following Saturday and Alan hopes his side respond in a similar way to the Tannadice defeat tomorrow.

“It’s vitally important that we get back on track, especially at home. When we played against Falkirk, no one hid away and we want to see the same again in this game. Last week, we didn’t use the ball anywhere near well enough and I want to see more football being played tomorrow. If we can actually get our foot on the ball then I think we’ll have a very good chance of getting the win.”

He then updated us on the progress of Stuart Bannigan and Brice Ntambwe who both came through over an hour of Reserve League action on Monday as they build towards their first games of the season.

“Both Brice and Stuart are still a bit off it. Anyone who watched the game could tell they aren’t there yet in terms of match fitness and sharpness. They’re both different cases with Stuart coming back from injury and Brice just building up his fitness. Brice should come into the squad for the game but Bannigan is probably slightly behind him so it might be too soon.”

On transfer deadline day, we ended by asking the manager what business he hopes to do before the window shuts at midnight tonight.

“We hope to add to the squad today. We’ve been working all week and a couple of deals we thought would go through hit snags yesterday but that’s the nature of the transfer market. We need reinforcements in defence, that’s clear and we hope to address that before the end of the window. We’re happy that Niall has revised his deal which makes it a bit less hectic for us today as that’s finally sorted but even with that we’re still looking to add to the squad.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Cammy Bell, Chris Erskine and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are available to Jagzone subscribers –  log in now to see them.

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 2:45pm on Saturday.

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 © 2018. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.

94’Full Time Report

An impressive second half display and a goal from Chris Erskine is enough to see Thistle collect all three points at the end of an eventful game. 

Erskine's finish early in the second half was impressive but focus after match might be more on the 'goal' that Kris Doolan scored that was ruled to not have crossed the line. 

That controversy aside this was a positive display from Thistle after a slow start. 

 
94’Full Time
90’+03’Thistle corner from the right
 
90’+03’

Keown's header flies straight at his own keeper as Thistle breaths are held. 

 
90’+01’

Slater's cross drifts out of play for a Morton goal kick. 

89’Thistle substitution: Max Melbourne replaces Chris Erskine
 
87’

McGinty heads clear after Penrice needlessly concedes a corner kick. 

87’Greenock Morton corner from the right
 
87’

The Thistle fans are getting frustrated here at some of the referee's decisions. 

 
85’

Man of the Match: Brice Ntambwe. 

84’Thistle Booking - Miles Storey
 
82’

Bell punches clear under pressure but the referee spots an infringement in any case. Thistle free kick. 

 
81’

Morton free kick near the right corner of the Thistle box. 

 
80’

Penrice heads the corner clear before the referee spots a foul at the edge of the Thistle box giving the home side a free kick. 

79’Greenock Morton corner from the left
 
77’

Bannigan settles in quickly and pushes the ball to Penrice to his left whose shot is saved by Scully. 

75’Thistle substitution: Stuart Bannigan replaces Brice Ntambwe
 
74’

It's a good corner that reaches Buchanan but Bell saves his header at his left hand post. 

73’Greenock Morton corner from the left
 
72’

it could, and maybe should, be 2-0 to Thistle. Scully makes good stops from Erskine and Keown from Slater's first corner and from the second McGinty heads a glorious chance wide. 

72’Thistle corner from the right
71’Thistle corner from the right
69’Greenock Morton substitution: Ben Armour replaces Michael Tidser
69’Greenock Morton substitution: Scott Tiffoney replaces Denny Johnstone
 
68’

Storey uses his pace to get clear down the left. He sends over a good cross that Erskine nods wide. 

 
68’

Doolan can't quite manage to get on the end of a neat Erskine pass. 

 
66’

Spittal's corner is a good one but a defender is able to get his head to the ball and get it clear. 

65’Thistle corner from the left

A Slater shot is touched wide. 

 
65’

Bell safely gathers a header from the free kick that follows. 

 
64’

Morton free kick in from the left touchline in lie with Thistle 6 yard box. 

62’Greenock Morton substitution: Kerr Waddell replaces Lee Kilday
 
60’

Slater's free kick is aimed deep towards McGinty. He heads the ball on and it is clear as far as Spittal,who sends a shot just over the bar. 

 
59’

Thistle free kick about 35 yards out in line with the right hand corner of the Morton box. Slater is over the ball. 

 
56’

As controversial a moment as you are likely to see all season. Spittal's corner causes panic. Doolan has a couple of efforts the second of which goes in, or appears to, via the underside of the bar. Celebrations are well under way when it becomes obvious that all is not well with the 'goal'. Referee Cook consults with his Colin Weir Stand side assistant and play eventually restarts with a Thistle throw. 

 
55’

It looked as if Doolan had scored but now there is debate between the referee and his assistant.

54’Thistle corner from the left
49’Goal Thistle! Chris Erskine
Thistle 1 - Greenock Morton 0

It's a simple goal. Slater crosses for Erskine whose first time shot beats Scully. An excellent finish from Erskine. 

 
47’

Slater and Erskine work a short corner but when Slater crosses it is straight into tje arms of Scully. 

47’Thistle corner from the left
46’Greenock Morton Booking - Jim McAlister
 
46’

Erskine is tripped and Thistle have a free kick about 35 yards out in line with the corner of the box. 

 
45’Kick-Off (2nd half)
45’Half Time Report

Not a first half to write home about. 

Morton were clearly the better side in the early exchanges and had the best chance after 2 minutes when Bell produced a smart save to deny Johnstone. 

Thistle got better as the half wore on but they haven't troubled Scully in the Morton goal although Erskine should have done better than lift a shot tamely into his arms when presented with a chance at the edge of the box. 

 
45’Half-Time
 
44’

Shooting opportunity for Slater at the edge of the box but his shot drifts wide. 

 
43’

Slater's corner doesn't get past the first defender. 

43’Thistle corner from the right
41’Greenock Morton corner from the right
 
40’

Elliott delivers an excellent cross from the right but Storey can't twist his head enough to get his header on target. 

38’Greenock Morton Booking - Ross MacLean

That challenge on Penrice couldn't have been too far away from beig a red card but referee Cook pulls out the yellow card. 

 
36’

Best chance yet for Thistle and it comes from almost nothing. Doolan chases a forward pass. Scully's clearance is hurried and falls to Erskine who can do no more than lift the ball tamely into Scully's arms. 

 
26’

There's a free header for Buchanan when the corner comes over. It slides off his head and well wide but alarming for Thistle all the same. 

26’Greenock Morton corner from the left
 
23’

Storey comes inside from the left and from 25 yards out lifts a shot high over the Morton crossbar. 

 
22’

Erskine's turn gives him space inside the box but his shot is blocked by a defender. Better from Thistle though. 

19’Thistle corner from the left

Great delivery from Pen rice who cuts into the box. His cross is cleared with Doolan lurking to apply the finish. Slater's corner is then cleared. 

 
18’

The second of Slater's corners is cleared to Erskine at the edge of the box. His shoots and Keown tries to deflect the ball goalwards but it goes wide. 

17’Thistle corner from the right
17’Thistle corner from the right
 
14’

Morton look for a penalty when Tidser hits the ground inside the box but there is no real complaint when referee Cook doesn't point to the spot. 

 
10’

McGinty clears as Morton threaten on the break. Thistle haven't got going yet at all. 

 
09’

Storey comes back to defend and does well before sending a ball up to Doolan at the halfway line. 

 
07’

Morton who have started the better have a free kick deep inside the Thistle half. They elect not to play the ball into the box though. 

 
02’

And that should have been a Morton goal. McHugh crosses and it takes a good stop from Bell to prevent the cross from being converted by Johnstone before Ntambwe clears. 

 
00’

Tidser aims a free kick towards the back post where Buchanan heads wide. Half a chance for Morton in the very early stages of the game. 

 
00’Kick-Off
 
00’Introduction

Morton are the visitors to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill and Thistle are aiming to return to winning ways after defeat at Tannadice last weekend. 

Alan Archibald's team selection this afternoon shows a number of changes from that fixture. In come Niall Keown, who replaces the unfortunate Tam O'Ware, Chris Erskine and Brice Ntambwe who makes his Thistle debut. 

Jack Storer and Max Melbourne drop to the bench today where they are joined by Stuart Bannigan, making a welcome return, Callum Wilson, Aidan Fitzpatrick and new loan signing Daniel Jefferies. 

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 1st September 2018

League football returned to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill this afternoon as Partick Thistle took on Greenock Morton in game number four of the new Championship season. The Ton came to Maryhill for the second time this term having visited Thistle in the Betfred Cup group stages with the Jags coming out as 2-1 winners on that occasion. However, since then the Ton had lost just once in six games with no losses in their first three league fixtures of the 2018/19 campaign while the Jags came into the game off the back of a 3-1 defeat by Dundee United at Tannadice.

Alan Archibald made four changes to the side which lost out in Dundee last Saturday with one player brought in to make their debut. Cammy Bell retained his place in goals behind a slightly altered backline. Tam O’Ware dropped out of the squad having received unfavourable injury news during the week with Niall Keown coming back into the starting line-up having revised his contract on Thursday. Sean McGinty started alongside Niall for the second time this season and Christie Elliott remained at right-back while James Penrice returned to his natural left-back role as Max Melbourne dropped to the bench. Craig Slater started in central midfield once again alongside Thistle debutant, Brice Ntambwe who was playing his first minutes for the Jags since penning a one-year deal with the Club near the end of last month. Blair Spittal and Miles Storey retained their places on either wing while Chris Erskine came into the team as a number ten in behind Kris Doolan who also made his return to the starting line-up. On the bench were Jamie Sneddon, Max Melbourne, deadline day signing, Dan Jefferies, Callum Wilson, Jack Storer, Aidan Fitzpatrick and Stuart Bannigan who appeared in a Thistle squad for the first time since last September.

Morton started the game in control and could have had the lead within two minutes. Christie Elliot was caught cold in possession and that gave Bob McHugh the chance to cross into the Jags’ area. His low delivery was met by Denny Johnstone who was only denied the opener by a great Cammy Bell save who turned the striker’s shot away from goal before Brice Ntambwe cleared.

The hosts’ first half-chance of the game fell after 18 minutes and it came from a dangerous Craig Slater corner. The midfielder whipped the ball into the Morton box and it was hastily half-cleared by the away side. It fell to Chris Erskine who struck a first-time half-volley towards goal which was going wide, however, Niall Keown outstretched a leg, trying to divert the ball into the corner of the goal but his effort flew wide of the target.

Another chance fell for Thistle in the 38th minute and this time, it should have ended in a goal. A deflected forward pass almost spun into the path of Kris Doolan but Ryan Scully was out quickly to scupper the number nine’s attack. However, the ball then fell to Chris Erskine on the edge of the box and with Scully 15 yards out of his goal, the ex-Kilbirnie Ladeside man tried to lift the ball into the gaping net. Unfortunately for Chris, he didn’t get enough on the lofted effort and Scully saved the shot denying Erskine a third of the new campaign.

The half ended with honours even although the Jags had ended the half very positively after a rocky start. The biggest chance of the half came within two minutes as Cammy Bell denied Denny Johnstone with Bell doing excellently to maintain his clean sheet. At the other end, Chris Erskine’s misjudged lob represented the home side’s best opportunity but the midfielder wasn’t able to capitalise on Ryan Scully being out of his goal. A continuation of the end of the first half into the second would do the Jags just fine as they built themselves into the game while Morton would be looking to take the sting out of Thistle’s pressure.

They were unable to do so though as Thistle took the lead within four minutes of the restart. Miles Storey played the ball down the Jags’ left to Craig Slater who had made a terrific run, puncturing the Morton rear-guard. The ex-Kilmarnock midfielder then delivered a left-footed cross into the danger area which found Chris Erskine and, unlike in the first half, the number ten made no mistake with his shot, sweeping the ball past Ryan Scully and into the far corner. The goal puts him clear top of the Thistle league scoring charts with two, putting him on three for the competitive season.

The Jags thought they’d made it two six minutes later with Kris Doolan seemingly opening his account for the 2018/19 campaign. A corner from the Jackie Husband Stand side of the pitch caused havoc in the box but it was scrambled away from the goalmouth. Doolan proceeded to pick up the loose ball, move away from his marker and fire a left-footed effort into the net off the underside of the bar. The net rippled as Kris wheeled away in celebration but the jubilation was cut short by the referee who after a period of deliberation with his assistant, called for a Thistle throw to be taken to the bemusement of all in the stadium.

Following that contentious call, the Jags took a few minutes to regroup, however, they quickly regained control of the match with Blair Spittal, Niall Keown and Chris Erskine both missing half chances before Sean McGinty had a golden opportunity to give the Jags the two goal lead that they thought they should have had. Again, it was a corner causing the problems for Morton as Craig Slater’s delivery found Sean McGinty at the front post. Still looking for his first goal in the red and yellow, McGinty aimed for the near post with his attempt but he missed the target completely from close range.

Thistle made their first substitution of the game as Brice Ntambwe was withdrawn from the game to be replaced by Stuart Bannigan in the 75th minute. The Jags number eight was coming on to play his first minutes for around a year after a poorly timed setback in July ahead of the first game of the competitive season. He received a standing ovation from the Thistle faithful as he entered the fray after almost 12 months out.

Then in the 89th minute, Chris Erskine was replaced by Max Melbourne who was introduced to help Thistle see the game out and see the game out they did with the referee blowing the final whistle at 1-0 to the Jags. The win doesn’t change Thistle’s league standing as they remain seventh but they do now move to within three points of top spot ahead of our next league game in two weeks time away to second-placed Inverness.

However, before that trip to the Highlands we have a trip to Methil as we battle it out with East Fife in the Irn Bru Cup. Kick-off is 15:00 from the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium.

THISTLE TEAM: Bell, Elliott, Keown, McGinty, Penrice, Slater, Ntambwe (Bannigan, 75’), Spittal, Erskine (Melbourne, 89’), Storey, Doolan.

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, Jefferies, Wilson, Storer, Fitzpatrick.

GREENOCK MORTON TEAM: Scully, Tumilty, Kilday (Waddell, 62’), Buchanan, McKeown, Millar, Tidser (Tiffoney, 69’), McAllister, MacLean, McHugh, Johnstone (Armour, 69’)

UNUSED SUBS (MRT): Gaston, Iredale, Telfer, Langan

Article Copyright © 2018. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 1st September 2018

Partick Thistle continued their start to the new Championship season with a home clash against Greenock Morton this afternoon. The Jags returned to Maryhill after last weekend’s defeat by Dundee United looking to make amends for that performance by beating the Ton for a second time this term. The Cappielow side came into the game undefeated in their opening three league games, however, they left Glasgow having been served their first loss of the 2018/19 campaign. The Jags took the lead in the 49th minute through Chris Erskine as he turned home a Craig Slater cross and should have had a second six minutes later when Kris Doolan fired home off the underside of the bar but despite the ball crossing the line and rippling the net, the goal was not given. Nevertheless, the hosts held out for the victory with Thistle securing their first clean sheet of the league season as they moved onto six points for the season. Jags boss, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk following his side’s merited triumph.

Archie began by discussing the most memorable moment of the match which was Kris Doolan’s disallowed goal. Everyone in the stadium saw the ball cross the line except the match officials who ruled the goal out to everyone’s surprise.

“I’m calm now because we’ve won the game but had that cost us I might be in a different mood. It was a pretty blatant error and when the referee and linesmen watch it back, they’ll see as much. From my point of view, I was pleased with the way the boys reacted. They didn’t let the anger affect their performance and continued pushing for a second. At the end of the day, it didn’t affect the result and we’re delighted to get the points.”

The gaffer then spoke more about the game as a whole, admitting that the visiting Ton side were the better side in the opening stages.

“They were on top early on and Cammy makes a good save to keep it at 0-0 in the first few minutes. If that goes in it’s a totally different game but we got away with it. We came into the game after about 35 minutes and looked the better side at the end of the first half but we can’t afford to give our opponents 35 minutes of dominance because on another day, we would have been punished.”

However, Alan was pleased with his side’s second half display as they took the lead, came close to extending that lead and then saw the game out.

“We came out for the second half by carrying on what we had started at the end of the first half which was pleasing. This season we’ve been guilty of slow starts to the second half but it was the exact opposite today. Getting the goal while we were on top was key as well and even ignoring Kris’ ghost goal, we had other chances to double the lead. Also, defensively, we gave them very little. Niall Keown and Sean McGinty did very well together and getting the clean sheet will be a boost for them.”

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Kris Doolan. An interview with new loan signing Dan Jefferies will be available on Sunday afternoon. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

Highlights will be added shortly and will be free for Jagzone subscribers.

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 © 2018. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.

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