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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Championship
Sat 29 December, 2018. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
23
Jamie Sneddon
2
Christie Elliott
3
James Penrice
5
Niall Keown (Chris Erskine 45)
6
Sean McGinty
7
Blair Spittal
9
Kris Doolan
16
Andrew McCarthy
17
Craig Slater
19
Miles Storey (Aidan Fitzpatrick 76)
37
Tam Scobbie
 
Subs
12
Aaron Lennox
10
Chris Erskine
20
Callum Wilson
21
Aidan Fitzpatrick
30
Daniel Jefferies
33
Jai Quitongo
39
Brice Ntambwe
Greenock Morton
1
Derek Gaston
2
Lee Kilday
4
Gregor Buchanan
6
Charlie Telfer
7
Chris Millar
8
Jim McAlister
11
Bob McHugh
14
Reghan Tumility
17
Scott Tiffoney (Jack Iredale 84)
25
Rory McKeown
32
Reece Lyon (Robert Thomson 67)
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
3
Jack Iredale
10
Robert Thomson
20
Connor Bell
22
Ben Armour
28
Jack Purdue
38
Ben Eardley
 
Subs
12
Aaron Lennox
10
Chris Erskine
20
Callum Wilson
21
Aidan Fitzpatrick
30
Daniel Jefferies
33
Jai Quitongo
39
Brice Ntambwe
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
3
Jack Iredale
10
Robert Thomson
20
Connor Bell
22
Ben Armour
28
Jack Purdue
38
Ben Eardley
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 29th December 2018

Partick Thistle are looking to bounce back from defeat in the Highlands last week with a win over Greenock Morton this Saturday. The Jags currently sit in ninth place in the Ladbrokes Championship but a win against the Ton could see them clear of the bottom two spots going into 2019. Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the clash:

“We’re looking forward to playing at home again because our home form had picked up before the County game so getting back to Maryhill will be nice.

“We didn’t do enough going forward at County but in the two games before that we scored four so I’ll be looking for a return to that kind of attacking form this week because the boys have shown they’re capable of it.”

With no Boxing Day game this year, Gary was able to give his players a couple of days off for Christmas and he’s hoping that bit of rest will see them return to the pitch re-energised.

“It’s nice to be able to give the team some time off for the holidays, they get to spend some time with their families.

“In training they’ve looked refreshed and eager and we’re looking for that to carry over into the game on Saturday.”

In the Highlands last week, Gary deployed an unorthodox 3-4-1-2 formation which saw Kris Doolan operate in a slightly deeper role and he hopes that the team’s versatility will help to create chances in the games to come.

“I think that adaptability is important for any team. It keeps the opposition guessing and can catch some teams off guard at times.

“It also means you can change things based on who you’re playing and being able to counteract what your opponents are doing can be very useful.

“Whenever you change things up, there are new partnerships forming and it’s about finding the right combination of attacking players. Sometimes you get two players who just click but at the same time, you need the whole team to be working as one if you’re going to be successful.”

Caldwell finished by giving us the team news ahead of the match tomorrow.

“It’s pretty much unchanged in terms of injuries. The long term ones are still out but we haven’t picked up any new ones during the week.

“Of course, Stuart Bannigan misses the game through suspension which is a blow but we’ve got Craig Slater coming back into contention so that softens it a bit.

“I was pleased to get Craig some time on the park last week and it will be great to have him back in full fitness. He wasn’t 100% for the County game but he’s had a full week of training behind him and hopefully he’ll be ready to go if called upon.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Tam Scobbie, Blair Spittal and Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, 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.

93’Full Time Report

A miserable 2018 for Thistle ends in another defeat. 

Craig Slater hauled Thistle level on the hour mark after a desperately poor opening 45 minutes and at that point Thistle were firmly on the front foot. 

They were, however, caught by a sucker punch with 11 minutes remaining when Morton broke clear with Telfer firing confidently past Sneddon. 

 
93’Full Time
 
90’+02’

Appeals for handball as Elliott's cross is blocked by Buchanan. 

 
90’

The corner is headed clear but only as far as Slater. He doesn't make clean contact with the ball but McGinty is able to flick the ball goalwards and it goes just wide of the post. 

90’Thistle corner from the left
 
86’

McGinty sends a shot high over the Morton bar. 

 
85’

Thistle are close again. Elliott advances into the box as things open up for him but his left foot shot is blocked. 

84’Greenock Morton substitution: Jack Iredale replaces Scott Tiffoney
 
82’

Nearly an equaliser as Gaston makes a fine stop to keep out Scobbie's powerful drive. 

 
81’

Spittal's corner is poor and Morton clear. 

81’Thistle corner from the left
79’Goal Greenock Morton! Charlie Telfer
Thistle 1 - Greenock Morton 2

Morton break clear and when Telfer is clean through on Sneddon he makes no mistake with a clinical and powerful finish. 

 
79’

Thistle keep the pressure on the Morton goal even though Slater's corner is cleared but when Slater crosses again it's a poor one and Morton clear. 

78’Thistle corner from the right
76’Thistle substitution: Aidan Fitzpatrick replaces Miles Storey
 
76’

Spittal's corner curls straight out of play. 

75’Thistle corner from the right
 
74’

Storey does well to win the ball from Buchanan but his pass goes behind Erskine. 

 
73’

Thistle look for a penalty as Doolan goes down in the box. Boos ring out as referee Anderson remains unmoved by Thistle's protests, 

 
71’

It's all one way traffic towards the Morton goal at the moment but Spittal doesn't get the free kick he was looking for. 

70’Thistle corner from the right
 
69’

Thistle have the ball in the net but a raised flag for offside halts any celebrations. 

67’Greenock Morton substitution: Robert Thomson replaces Reece Lyon
 
67’

Slater's cross drifts away from an advancing Doolan. 

 
64’

Thistle break quickly as the corner is cleared but neither Storey nor Slater can find the killer pass. 

64’Greenock Morton corner from the left
 
62’

Storey's pace allows him to chase a forward ball and lift a cross into the box but there is nobody that can get on the end of it. 

 
62’

Crowd: 3,074

61’Greenock Morton Booking - Gregor Buchanan
60’Goal Thistle! Craig Slater
Thistle 1 - Greenock Morton 1

Thistle are back on level terms through arguably their best performer of the afternoon. Elliott passes to Slater whose shot from 20 yards finds the back of the net via the inside of the post. 

 
55’

Slater tries to take control of things on his own and his shot from outside the box is just wide of target with Gaston scrambling to reach it. 

 
54’

Bit more life from Thistle but Doolan's pass to Spittal is over hit. 

52’Greenock Morton corner from the right
 
51’

Lyon's first time effort from the corner of the Thistle box strikes a defender and spins clear. 

 
49’

Buchanan is close to extending the Morton lead but he can't make clean contact with his header from Telfer's corner.

48’Greenock Morton corner from the left
45’Thistle substitution: Chris Erskine replaces Niall Keown
 
45’Kick-Off (2nd half)
45’Half Time Report

Scott Tiffoney's early goal separates the sides at the end of a dreadfully poor 45 minutes of football. 

 
45’Half-Time
 
44’

Storey drags a shot wide of goal from the edge of the Morton box. 

 
43’

Spittal's corner finds Keown whose header lacks power and direction and is easily saved by Gaston. 

42’Thistle corner from the right
 
41’

Spittal elects not to go for goal with the free kick and instead tries to find Keown with it who is penalised for a push and Morton have a free kick. 

 
40’

Elliott is fouled and Thistle have a free kick about 10 yards outside the box slightly to the right of centre. 

 
39’

It's another decent corner but Morton are again able to defend it and clear the ball. 

38’Thistle corner from the left
 
38’

Spittal gets into a great position on the left but Storey can't force his cross home. 

 
34’

it's a decent corner from Spittal that Keown nearly gets on the end of but Morton clear. 

34’Thistle corner from the right
 
33’

Spittal takes the free kick. It skims off the top of Scobbie's head and out for a throw on the other side. 

 
33’

This time it is Thistle's turn to have a free kick in a dangerous position wide on the right. 

32’Greenock Morton corner from the right
 
31’

The delivery is excellent and it is a Thistle head that just gets the ball behind to relative safety. 

 
30’

Morton have a free kick wide on the left tochline in line with the Thistle penalty spot. 

 
29’

Penrice and McCarthy exchange passes but when Penrice receives the ball back he slips and the ball goes out for a goal kick. 

 
23’

Doolan is able to touch the ball back into the path of Slater who sees his shot from just inside the Morton box blocked by a defender. 

 
19’

McCarthy sets up Slater for a shot 25 yards out. Slater's effort though is as high as it is wide of target. 

 
17’

Sneddon makes a good catch from Telfer's corner. 

17’Greenock Morton corner from the right
 
16’

Storey finds space on the left but support is slow in getting into the box and his cross is cleared with ease. 

 
15’

Spittal takes the free kick. It comes off a couple of Thistle heads before going behind for a goal kick. 

 
14’

Spittal is taken out of play by a Morton defender who some how escapes a booking. Thistle free kick though near the bye line. 

08’Goal Greenock Morton! Scott Tiffoney
Thistle 0 - Greenock Morton 1

It's a good finish from Tiffoney who lifts the ball into the open Thistle goal from just outside the box but it is a dreadfully poor goal for Thistle to concede. 

 
08’

Thistle have a free kick on the left hand side but Spittalcan only find Gaston when he tries to curl the ball towards a teammate inside the box. 

 
07’

It's Morton's turn to come close. Penrice's poor header is collected by Lyon who pushes the ball to Tiffoney whose shot is only a foot or so wide of target. 

 
05’

Good chance for Thistle. McCarthy is able to get the ball over from the left. The ball is a little behind Doolan who still manages to hook the ball goalwards but only straight at Gaston. 

 
03’

Elliott switches the ball over to Penrice on the left. Penrice us able to advance into a threatening position but his cross is blocked. 

 
00’

Early effort on the Thistle goal from McHugh but he drags his effort well wide of Sneddon's right hand post. 

 
00’Kick-Off
 
00’Introduction

This afternoon signifies the final game of a miserable 2018 although victory today over Morton would at least ensure that it ends on a positive note. 

Gary Caldwell makes three changes to his starting eleven in search of three points. 

Captain Stuart Bannigan is suspended and misses out while Daniel Jeffries and Aidan Fitzpatrick drop to the bench. 

Craig Slater, a sub last week at Ross County, returns to the starting eleven for the first time since picking up an injury while Niall Keown and Andrew McCarthy also start this afternoon. 

Kris Doolan will skipper the side in Bannigan's absence, 

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Greenock Morton – 29th December 2018

Partick Thistle returned to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill for the final game of 2018 as Greenock Morton visited Maryhill. The Jags were looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ross County last week while their opponents were searching for a first win in four.

There were three changes made to the side that started in the Highlands seven days ago and a slight alteration to the shape. Jamie Sneddon retained his spot in goals behind a back three of Sean McGinty, Tam Scobbie and the returning Niall Keown who replaced Dan Jefferies. Christie Elliott and James Penrice started as the wing-backs with Andrew McCarthy and Craig Slater both returning to the side in place of Aidan Fitzpatrick, who dropped to the bench, and the suspended Stuart Bannigan. Up front it was a three consisting of Blair Spittal, Kris Doolan and Miles Storey. On the bench for the Jags were Aaron Lennox, Dan Jefferies, Brice Ntambwe, Callum Wilson, Chris Erskine, Aidan Fitzpatrick and Jai Quitongo.

The game started in a fairly even fashion but Thistle were able to carve out a chance in the fifth minute. The chance came from a forward run by Andrew McCarthy who received the ball on the left flank before lifting a cross into the box. He found Kris Doolan who met it acrobatically after re-adjusting his body but the contact wasn’t convincing and the ball bounced into the arms of Derek Gaston.

Then, out of nowhere, Morton took the lead after eight minutes. The goal sprouted from a Blair Spittal free-kick which Gaston came for and claimed. He then launched a punt in to the Thistle half which Christie Elliott and Scott Tiffoney battled for with the latter coming out on top. However, while that was going on, Jamie Sneddon had come out of his goal to try to deal with the pressure giving Tiffoney the chance to lift it over the goalkeeper’s head and into the back of the net which he did with no problem at all.

For the remainder of the first half Morton defended their 18-yard box admirably and limited Thistle to half chances and long shots which caused their goal little danger. Craig Slater saw a couple of ranged efforts miss the target while Miles Storey and Niall Keown both failed to trouble Gaston with efforts.

Due to this resilient Morton defending, the game went into the break at 1-0. The visitors had been more than happy to sit in and defend their lead after being gifting an opener after just eight minutes. The hosts had lacked imagination and incision when attacking meaning they hadn’t really looked like equalising. Gary Caldwell would make one half time substitute as Niall Keown was replaced by Chris Erskine facilitating a change to the 4-2-3-1 system that Thistle have used regularly over the past few years.

The Jags showed more threat in the second half and were able to pull level on the hour mark through Craig Slater. Wing-back Christie Elliott fed the ball to the midfielder on the edge of the box and with no hesitation, he fired a shot goalwards with his right foot. The bending effort teased Derek Gaston as it flew past the Morton ‘stopper before clipping the inside of the post and finding the back of the net.

Thistle then thought they had the lead in the 69th minute but were denied a second goal by the assistant’s flag. Once again, Christie Elliott was central to things as he nipped past Rory McKeown and got a low cross into the danger area. Miles Storey met the ball with a similar flick to his one against Dunfermline and it looked like his attempt was going to find the far corner but Kris Doolan knocked the ball into the net and number nine was flagged offside.

In the 79th minute, the Jags made a second change of the game as Miles Storey came off to be replaced by Aidan Fitzpatrick.

However, despite that change and a constant one-way charge of pressure, it was Morton who found another goal thanks to Charlie Telfer. Craig Slater’s wayward cross was picked up by Reghan Tumilty and the full-back drove forward, escaping the clutches of Chris Erskine before slotting a well-weighted ball through to Charlie Telfer. Then, the number six made no mistake as he slotted home past Jamie Sneddon.

Thistle had one last big chance to draw level in the 90th minute. An Aidan Fitzpatrick corner was headed clear as far as Craig Slater who tried a shot. It didn’t find the target but was flicked towards goal by Sean McGinty. His instinctive flick almost found the bottom corner but the ball just bounced wide.

After that, Euan Anderson blew the final whistle meaning Thistle ended 2018 with a defeat. The loss leaves them in ninth place, five points behind Alloa and just one ahead of Falkirk.

The Jags will start 2019 with a trip to take on Dundee United next Saturday. Kick-off is 15:00 from Tannadice Park.

PARTICK THISTLE TEAM: Sneddon, Keown (Erskine, HT), Scobbie, McGinty, Elliott, Penrice, McCarthy, Slater, Spittal, Doolan, Storey (Fitzpatrick, 79’).

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Lennox, Jefferies, Wilson, Ntambwe, Quitongo.

GREENOCK MORTON TEAM: Gaston, Tumilty, Buchanan, Kilday, McKeown, Millar, McAlister, Lyon (Thomson, 67’), Telfer, Tiffoney (Iredale 84’), McHugh.

UNUSED SUBS (GMT): Scully, Armour, Purdue, Eardley, Bell.

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 – 29th December 2018

A pair of incisive Morton counter attacks condemned Partick Thistle to a defeat which leaves them in ninth place going into 2019. Scott Tiffoney opened the scoring for the Ton after eight minutes with the visitors holding their lead as they entered the break. The Jags were able to draw level, however, as Craig Slater bent home a sublime effort from 20 yards but despite a barrage on the Morton goal, it was the Greenock side who grabbed the winner through Charlie Telfer with ten minutes to play. Thistle gaffer, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ptfc.co.uk following the final whistle:

“It was a waste of a first half for us. We didn’t play anywhere near what we can and conceded a ridiculous goal. Our play was naïve at times and slow right through the first 45 so I told the players what I thought at half time and got a good reaction.

“I thought we were excellent in spells during that second half but in the end we concede another stupid goal and gift them a win that they didn’t deserve. We were the better team over the 90, especially in the second half and should never have lost.”

At half time, Caldwell brought on Chris Erskine and changed the team’s formation leading to an improved performance but Gary felt that the better showing in the second 45 was more down to the players than the tactics.

“I don’t think it has as much to do with the shape. The difference wasn’t the formation we played, it was the desire and effort that the players put in. In the first half we were lethargic and that got better after half time. The players’ attitudes were better in the second half and that’s what lead to the improvement.”

With Thistle now five points behind Alloa in the league standings, the gaffer is keen to get business done quickly in January to help the team climb the table in the coming weeks.

“It’s my responsibility to get us out of the position we’re in and a big part of that is the transfer window. I want players who are up for the fight and can change the mentality that has hurt the team so far this season.

“We have a nucleus of players who have the right mindset and are good enough but we need to add more players with quality and the right attitude so we can win more games of football.”

A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Chris Erskine and Craig Slater – log in now to see them.

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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