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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 18 February, 2017. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Matchday Information:

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Adults £22

Concessions (Over 65s, students, disabled supporter including carer) £15

Under 16s FREE

PlayerZone: 

Adam Barton and Sean Welsh.

Aitken Suite: 

Opens to all supporters at 12:30

Programme: 

Available around Firhill for only £3. More information available here > /ptfc-news/match-programme-on-sale-tomorrow-night/

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomas Cerny
2
Mustapha Dumbaya
15
Daniel Devine
5
Liam Lindsay
3
Callum Booth
6
Abdul Osman
13
Adam Barton
7
David Amoo (Kris Doolan 45)
19
Ryan Edwards
11
Steven Lawless
16
Ade Azeez (Chris Erskine 59)
 
Subs
35
Mark Ridgers
17
Niall Keown
30
Andrew McCarthy
10
Chris Erskine
27
Kevin Nisbet
9
Kris Doolan
Hamilton Academical
34
Gary Woods
3
Giannis Skondras
4
Michael Devlin
7
Dougie Imrie
10
Daniel Redmond (Grant Gillespie 65)
15
Rakish Bingham
16
Craig Watson
18
Darian MacKinnon
20
Eamonn Brophy (Blair Adams 75)
21
Massimo Donati (Gramoz Kurtaj 75)
23
Scott McMann
 
Subs
1
Remi Matthews
2
Dan Seaborne
6
Grant Gillespie
12
Gramoz Kurtaj
28
Ross Cunningham
30
Steven Boyd
39
Blair Adams
 
Subs
35
Mark Ridgers
17
Niall Keown
30
Andrew McCarthy
10
Chris Erskine
27
Kevin Nisbet
9
Kris Doolan
 
Subs
1
Remi Matthews
2
Dan Seaborne
6
Grant Gillespie
12
Gramoz Kurtaj
28
Ross Cunningham
30
Steven Boyd
39
Blair Adams
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 18th February 2017

After the excitement of a William Hill Scottish Cup victory against St Johnstone last week it’s back to Ladbrokes Premiership action this Saturday and Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, knows just what a massive game the clash with Hamilton Accies is.

A victory on Saturday could see Thistle sitting pretty in a top six place but Archie told ptfc.co.uk that his side will simply be focussing on getting the right result at Firhill.

“If we win on Saturday we can go sixth and if we don’t win it we can go 11th – it’s crazy. All the teams around us have got similar games coming up and it is going to be an absolutely massive period for us. It’s vital that we take three points on Saturday, especially at home, and if we can do that then we can look to build.

“It can give us a psychological lift if we win as we can potentially start opening up a bit of a gap over Hamilton and Inverness. On the flip side though, they’ll be thinking the exact same thing in that they can start cutting the gap. We simply have to perform and make sure we come out with the result.”

On Thursday it was four years to the day since Archibald first took charge of a Thistle match and, for the Jags boss, there are a number of key factors behind his longevity.

“I think my relationship with the board is a big part of it. They’re always willing to help where they can and we are very much both on the same page with regards to the direction in which the club is moving. We’ve also always had a very good group of players and that helps a massive amount. We have a great relationship and they always give us their best.

“We’re always working as a club to keep things moving forward and it’s important that we keep that going. Whether it’s on the pitch, on the training ground, behind the scenes or through the academy if we can always keep things moving in the right direction that’s the most important thing.

“There is a lot for the club to be proud of in terms of the continuity and the stability around the place at the moment and hopefully we can keep that going. The biggest part of keeping that going is making sure we stay in the league, that’s why games like Saturday’s are so important.”

Archibald has a solid record against Accies during his time in charge having only lost one game but that isn’t something he holds too much sway by.

“I don’t think there’s much in it to be honest. We know them and they know us but the last few games have been really tight. They are usually really tough games and we just need to do what we can to make sure we come out on top.

“Accies have got a lot of good players and they play an aggressive physical game. We know it’s going to be a battle and that means we need to be clinical.”

The Thistle side that faced St Johnstone in the cup last week was deeply affected by injury but luckily the manager has a few more of his regulars to call on for the return to league football.

“We’re much better this week. Obviously Christie is still suspended but our full back situation is looking a bit stronger which is good because we were left quite short on that front last week.”

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is now available to Jagzone subscribers. Log in now to see it. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game from midnight.

Can’t make Firhill? Jagzone World members (outside the UK and Ireland) can watch the game live and Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match.

For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.

Saturday’s match will also be available on a pay per view basis, details of which can be found here.

Article Copyright © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to www.ptfc.co.uk

92’Full Time Report

it's a thoroughly merited three points for Thistle who struck twice through Kris Doolan in a second 45 minutes that they almost completely dominated. 

They were, however, close to falling behind before the first of Doolan's two headed goals with Cerny producing a smart save to deny Brophy. 

Doolan's 96th and 97th goals of his Thistle career came courtesy of a Erskine assist for the first and a Booth cross for the second. 

it's a win that takes Thistle back into the top six at least for the next 24 hours. 

 

 
92’Full Time
90’+01’Hamilton Academical corner from the left
 
90’

Minimum of 2 additional minutes to be played. 

 
88’

Man of the Match: Kris Doolan. 

 
88’

Booth allows a ball to run across his body and out of play for a goal kick. 

 
86’

Skondras sends a long range effort wide of target that Cerny looked to have covered anyway. 

80’Thistle Booking - Steven Lawless
78’Goal Thistle! Kris Doolan
Thistle 2 - Hamilton Academical 0

This time it is Callum Booth that is the provider with a cross from the left but the header from Kris Doolan, as his 100th Thistle goal gets that bit nearer, is almost identical to that of his first goal of the afternoon. 

75’Hamilton Academical Booking - Giannis Skondras
74’Hamilton Academical substitution: Blair Adams replaces Eamonn Brophy
74’Hamilton Academical substitution: Gramoz Kurtaj replaces Massimo Donati
 
71’

Thistle break and there are appeals for handball against Watson as Doolan tries to find Erskine to his left. 

67’Goal Thistle! Kris Doolan
Thistle 1 - Hamilton Academical 0

The two subs combine. Chris Erskine chips the ball over and Kris Doolan twists his head to place a header past Woods and into the net. His 96th Partick Thistle goal. 

 
65’

Thistle miss a glorious chance to take the lead. Booth's free kick finds Devine whose header is saved by Woods. The loose ball falls to Lindsay who shots over the bar. 

64’Hamilton Academical substitution: Grant Gillespie replaces Daniel Redmond
63’Hamilton Academical Booking - Craig Watson

Doolan winds the ball from Watson and heads towards goal but he is fouled by a retreating Watson who is probably happy enough to collect the yellow card that inevitably follows. 

 
62’

The free kick that follows the foul on Osman is pumped into the Hamilton box. Devine wins the ball in the air but Doolan can't get on the end of his knock on. 

61’Hamilton Academical Booking - Michael Devlin

Devlin catches Osman late and there is an angry reaction from the Thistle players closest to the challenge. It's just a yellow card though. 

 
59’

Lawless passes to Erskine at the edge of the box. There's no real power in Erskine's shot though and woods makes an easy save. Thistle's first shot at goal all the same. 

56’Thistle substitution: Chris Erskine replaces Ade Azeez
 
56’

A Doolan cross is cleared by Watson. 

 
54’

Cerny completes the job when he makes a confident catch from the corner. 

53’Hamilton Academical corner from the right

Cerny makes a fine stop to deny Brophy who skipped past Lindsay. 

 
48’

Brophy's header has Cerny scrambling across his goal but the ball goes wide in any cAse. 

45’Thistle substitution: Kris Doolan replaces David Amoo

Thistle start the second half with Doolan on for Amoo

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

It's goalless at the break which is an accurate reflection of a first half almost devoid of any goalmouth action. 

 
45’Half-Time
 
45’

Booth's effort tamely strikes the wall. 

 
44’

Azeez is barged to the ground and Thistle have a free kick near the left corner of the Hamilton box about 20 yards out. 

 
39’

It's an excellent corner that flies across the 6 yard box without a touch from a player from either side. 

38’Hamilton Academical corner from the right
 
37’

Thistle easily deal with the free kick but Hamilton keep the pressure on and Barton comes across to make a neat interception inside the box. 

 
37’

Mackinnon is clipped by Lawless and Hamilton have a free kick midway inside the Thistle half. Lawless is lectured but not booked. 

 
32’

The corner is whipped in towards the Thistle front post but goes out for a goal kick. 

32’Hamilton Academical corner from the right
 
31’

Booth's corner is headed clear from a packed 6 yard box. 

30’Thistle corner from the right
 
27’

A decent move from Thistle ends with Amoo's cross trying to find Azeez at the back post being cleared. 

 
26’

Good touch from Azeez at the edge of the box and he manages to find Osman whose shot is blocked by a defender. 

 
20’

Not been even a hint of a chance for either side so far in what has been an untidy game. 

 
16’

Redmomd pushes a pass out wide to Imrie on the Hamilton left and he fires a cross across the face of the Thistle goal. 

 
12’

Woods palms away a Dumbuya cross that looked to be heading for Azeez. 

 
09’

Lindsay breaks up a Hamilton attack and pushes forward. He passes to Amoo whose first attempt at a cross is blocked. His second slides off the head of Azeez and out for a goal kick. 

 
03’

Azeez nearly forces Devlin into an error but Devlin's clearance rebounds off the Thistle striker and out for a goal kick. 

01’Thistle corner from the left
 
00’

Devine heads clear as Thistle defend an early Hamilton free kick. 

 
00’Kick-Off
 
00’Introduction

Such is the tight nature of the Premiership Thistle could end the weekend sitting in 6th position but could also end the weekend in 11th place in the league table. 

Draws have been the dominant outcome of clashes with Hamilton Accies recently and in hoping to record a welcome win this afternoon Alan Archibald has made a number of changes from the side that dumped St Johnstone out of the Scottish Cup last weekend. 

Back from injury come Mustapha Dumbuya and Callum Booth but Sean Welsh misses out while Niall Keown starts this game on the substitute bench. 

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 18th February 2017

Partick Thistle had secured their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup Quarter-Finals against St. Johnstone last Saturday but had to cast that away from their minds as they looked to distance themselves from the teams at the foot of the table in their clash with Hamilton at Firhill today. Like Thistle, Accies had also progressed into the quarter-finals of the cup but they did the hard way. Martin Canning’s men were taken to extra time and penalties by Dunfermline on Tuesday night but ultimately came out on top, winning the shootout.

The Jags were looking to claim their elusive first league win of 2017. A win would take the Firhill side into the top six, if only until tomorrow’s fixtures. Alan Archibald would be hoping for a better showing from his attack, his team hadn’t netted a league goal since their meeting with Dundee on December 28th of last year.

The home side lined up in a much different shape to last week’s game in Perth. Thistle reverted to a four-at-the-back formation with two midfielders lying deep. This week the management team had full-backs at their disposal. Callum Booth and Mustapha Dumbuya were fit enough to feature and feature they would, playing at left-back and right back respectively. Niall Keown dropped to the bench while, due to injury, Sean Welsh didn’t make the squad. Jason Banton also missed out as he picked up a knock in training. Ade Azeez maintained his starting role as the sole striker with David Amoo and Steven Lawless on the flanks. Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine remained on the bench.

As the away side got the game underway neither team took control at an early stage. Both sides were struggling to hold onto the ball for extended periods. In the tenth minute, the game saw its first half chance. David Amoo rushed down the right flank as the Jags countered and tried to cross. The first attempt was blocked but the right midfielder had a second chance to find a teammate. The second cross did find Ade Azeez but he could only glance a header well wide of the back post.

In the 17th minute, Hamilton showed a flash of attacking threat. Dougie Imrie found space on the visitors’ left and fired a dangerous ball down the infamous ‘corridor of uncertainty’. The ball came across and all it needed was a touch to cause Tomas Cerny some serious problems but no one made a move and the ball went out.

The teams were both seemingly timid as the first half went on with neither side willing to give the other an inch. The passing play was poor and Thistle had been unable to transition from the midfield into attack with success.

The final chance of the opening 45 fell to Hamilton. A corner came in from just in front of the tunnel finding Michael Devlin at the front post. The captain of the travelling Accies team then flicked the ball on hoping that a teammate had made a move to the back post to head into an empty net, however, no one had and the chance went begging.

The game went into half-time as a goalless affair with no real clear chances for either team. Both sides had struggled to convert what possession they had into opportunities. In an attempt to inject some energy into the attack, Alan Archibald brought Kris Doolan off the bench, replacing David Amoo.

Contrary to the first half, the second period started with a chance just five minutes in. A Hamilton cross from the left found Eamonn Brophy who directed a header towards goal. Tomas Cerny was left scrambling across goal but the attempt was a couple of yards wide. Then again in the 54th minute, Eamonn Brophy was the danger man for the travelling side. He ran into the box and jinked onto his right foot, creating space to shoot. He fired a powerful shot at the near post but Cerny stood firm and turned it behind for a corner.

In the 57th minute, the Jags made their second change of the game. Chris Erskine came on for Ade Azeez as Thistle looked for someone to offer some incisive creativity as the match progressed.

Six minutes after the hour mark Thistle should have taken the lead. Daniel Devine got his head to a Callum Booth free-kick and directed the ball on target. Gary Woods made a good save but the ball dropped to Liam Lindsay who stood just outside the six-yard box. From there, Lindsay hit a half-volley on the stretch but he couldn’t keep his shot down and it flew high over the bar.

Luckily for Liam Lindsay his blushes were spared by Kris Doolan three minutes later. Chris Erskine was played in behind Accies full-back, Giannis Skondras, before lifting a cross to the far stick. His ball found Kris Doolan who was able to simply redirect the cross into the corner of the net putting his side one goal to the good. This goal was the first time a substitute had found the net for Thistle since their clash with Aberdeen back in August.

Hamilton made two changes as the game entered the last 15 minutes but to no avail as the lead was doubled in the 79th minute. Steven Lawless played the ball into the path of Callum Booth who then crossed the ball into the centre where, once again, Kris Doolan was in position for a header. He turned it home, finding the same corner that he found for his first and in the process he grabbed his 97th competitive goal for Partick Thistle.

Hamilton tried to get themselves back into the game but a resolute Jags backline allowed them no space. Their only opportunity was 35-yard half-volley by Giannis Skondras which flew wide of the near post. When the two sides met at Firhill earlier this season, a late Eamonn Brophy goal allowed Martin Canning’s side to take a point home from Maryhill but there would be no such problem here with Thistle seeing the game out and collecting all three points.

The win lifted the Jags into the top six and moved them seven points clear of Inverness in 12th place. The squad’s focus now turns to next Saturday’s clash with Hearts at Firhill. The game kicks-off at 15:00 and a win could do wonders for a top six challenge that Alan Archibald’s men want to put together.

 

THISTLE TEAM: Cerny, Dumbuya, Devine, Lindsay, Booth, Osman, Barton, Amoo (Doolan, HT), Edwards, Lawless, Azeez (Erskine, 57’).

THISTLE SUB (N/U): Ridgers, Keown, McCarthy, Nisbet.
HAMILTON ACADEMICAL: Woods, Skondras, Devlin, Watson, McMann, Donati (Kurtaj, 75’), Redmond (Gillespie, 65’), MacKinnon, Imrie, Bingham, Brophy (Adams, 75’).

HAMILTON ACADEMICAL SUBS (N/U): Matthews, Seaborne, Cunningham, Boyd.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 18th February 2017

After the previous weekend’s cup success, it was a triumphant return to league action for Alan Archibald’s Partick Thistle side as they defeated Hamilton 2-0, moving into the top six. Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine were the main men as they changed the game in the Jags favour after coming off the bench. Doolan grabbed two goals, bringing him to 97 competitive Thistle goals. The Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, spoke with ptfc.co.uk after the game.

Archie started by stressing the importance of a win on a crucial day for the club’s season.

“I’m very happy with the result. I have to admit; it was a terrible game of football but we’ve lost games where we’ve played a lot better than that. It always feels good when we pick up points despite not being at our best.”

He was very complimentary of his two impact substitutes, Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine, who managed to change the game.

“I think the way the game was going it was ideal to bring them both on. The game suited them when they came on whereas it might not have suited them in the first half. I imagine that they’ve not been happy having been left out recently so it was good to see a reaction.”

The gaffer was also happy that the aforementioned Kris Doolan was back amongst the goals after a substantial drought, by his standards.

“We’ve struggled to find the net recently but Kris is someone who can rely on to score and he always comes up with the goods when you need him to. He tends to go on scoring runs and hopefully this is the start of another one.”

Archibald then spoke about how his team seamlessly changed formation throughout the match, to his players’ credit.

“We had to change our shape in the first half. We weren’t passing the ball how we wanted to and we weren’t using the wide areas effectively. We changed again in the second half when we made our substitutions and credit to the lads for being able to go with the changes.”

Despite a fairly average performance, Alan noted that as the season creeps into the latter stages points are the priority.

“I think that’s one of the reasons for the game being so poor. There’s so much at stake and with the table so tight, three points can be massive and we’re just pleased that not only have we got the win but we’ve also moved further away from the today’s opponents.”

The Jags boss was also pleased with the fact that his side are now in the top six and are very much in with a chance of finishing there, come the end of the season.

“Obviously I’m happy that we’re in the top half but we’ve climbed up there and dropped out again a couple of times already this season so we certainly can’t rest easy. Last time we were in sixth I think it lasted three days so we can’t dwell on it. I said to the lads before the game, this was the first of nine games before the split and if we are still close to sixth towards the end of those nine then we’ll be in with a shout.”

He also recognised that everything is still up for grabs among the bottom seven teams as it’s been so tight this season.

“I think most of the teams in the bottom half have aspirations of grabbing that sixth position. If we want to make it then we have to put a run together and get a bit of consistency. Hopefully we can create some good home form off the back of this win and we also have to make sure we win the games against those around us, as is always the case.”

The manager was also impressed by his team’s defensive solidarity. In the early parts of the season, his side had a tendency to lose late goals but they seem to have eradicated that habit.

“I thought that we looked quite comfortable, I didn’t feel nervous late on, to be honest. Our defending was one of the things that I felt went well today. I was really happy with the defenders who played today.”

Thistle now look forward to a clash with Hearts at Firhill next week on Saturday 25th with kick-off at 15:00 for that game.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Chris Erskine and Liam Lindsay. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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 © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to www.ptfc.co.uk

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