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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Tue 19 February, 2013. Kick Off: - 19:45
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Paul Paton
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Sean Welsh
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Steven Craig (Kris Doolan (14), 81 mins)
10
Steve Lawless (Ross Forbes (15), 89 mins)
11
Chris Erskine
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Kris Doolan
15
Ross Forbes
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Alan Archibald
Hamilton Academical
1
Kevin Cuthbert
2
Ziggy Gordon (Ali Crawford (15), 81 mins)
3
Stephen Hendrie
4
Martin Canning
5
Jonathan Page
6
Jon Routledge
7
Louis Longridge (Jon McShane (16), 81 mins)
8
Grant Gillespie
9
Stevie May
10
Alex Neil (Gary Fisher (14), 68 mins)
11
Darian MacKinnon
 
Subs
17
Scott Christie
14
Gary Fisher
15
Ali Crawford
16
Jon McShane
13
Mikey Devlin
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Kris Doolan
15
Ross Forbes
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Alan Archibald
 
Subs
17
Scott Christie
14
Gary Fisher
15
Ali Crawford
16
Jon McShane
13
Mikey Devlin
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 19th February 2013

For some time now we have been talking about the games we have in hand, the points that they might produce and the potential significance of those points.
Tonight the first of those games in hand will be played and as Alan Archibald explained when he spoke to ptfc.co.uk it’s time to turn those games in hand into points.

“This is when it really counts. With Morton not playing we need to take advantage of that and get the three points. We know that it is going to be a very difficult game. Hamilton’s situation isn’t too dissimilar to our own. Like us they’ve had a lot of games postponed and because of that they’ve found themselves dragged into the relegation battle although I do believe that their current league position is a bit of a false one.”
Alan continued;
“Hamilton need the points just as much as we do and I’m not sure how they will approach this game. They were content to sit in and play on the counter attack and use the pace of Steven May when we played them at Hamilton but I wouldn’t be surprised that if their need of points means that might have a go in this game. They’ve got a lot of really good experienced players like Martin Canning and Alex Neil and have a really solid spine to their team. Steven May is obviously a good player and was a real threat the last time that we played them.”
“We’re at the stage of the season where getting the win is all that really matters. The Thistle fans have been great all season and I expect that they will come out for this match as well but there is unlikely to be the same kind of atmosphere as there was at Morton on Saturday. We’ll need to create our own atmosphere and make sure that we are really up for this game.”
It does look as if Alan will have virtually a full squad to select from.
“Hugh Murray is obviously suspended after his red card on Saturday but him aside I’m hoping that every should be fit. Sean Welsh took a couple of knocks on Saturday and we’ll need to wait and see how he is but I’m hoping he’ll be fine. Aaron Sinclair and Steven Craig also picked up knocks on Saturday but they should be fine. I probably should have taken Steven off before I did on Saturday but I wanted to keep his physical presence at set plays.”
“Stephen O’Donnell came off the bench on Saturday and did fine and he is getting fitter all the time and he is available for this match.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              2              1              10           8
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Chris Erskine 12
Steven Craig 10
Steven Lawless 10
Kris Doolan 8
Conrad Balatoni 4
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 3
Aaron Muirhead 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday February 16th 2013
Morton 2, Partick Thistle 2
Hamilton Accies Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              1              2              8              7
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven May 11
Ali Crawford 6
Jonathan Page 3
Jon Routledge 3
Grant Gillespie 2
James Keatings 2
Louis Longridge 2
Darian MacKinnon 2
Michael Devlin 1
Alex Neil 1
Own Goal 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Friday November 16th 2012
Hamilton Accies 1, Partick Thistle 0
Teams
Hamilton: Cuthbert, Gordon, McGlinchey (Ryan), Canning, Page, Devlin, Longridge (Gillespie), Routledge, May, Crawford, Finnie (Fraser).
Thistle: Smith, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Paton, Muirhead, Archibald, Lawless (McGuigan), Balatoni, Doolan, Forbes, Erskine.
Scorer
Hamilton: Crawford (40)
Crowd: 2,450
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Tuesday February 19th 2013
Partick Thistle v Hamilton Accies
Kick-off: 7:45pm
Prices
Adults: £17
OAP (65+): £12
16-21: £12
Full Time Education: £12
Programme £1
Match Officials
Referee: Des Roache
Assistant Referees: John Gilmour and Lorraine Clark
Other First Division Fixture
Falkirk v Livingston

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 19th February 2013

Points in the bag are always much more preferable to games in hand and Thistle were able to turn the first of their three games in hand over league leaders Morton into three points with victory in this game against Hamilton, and in doing so close the gap at the top to five points. The 1-0 victory over Hamilton although narrow was a richly deserved one and as well as earning Thistle full points it provuided Alan Archibald with his first win as Thistle manager.
In his second game in charge Archibald made two changes to the side that had drawn 2-2 with Morton. The suspended Hugh Murray was obviously unavailable while Ross Forbes dropped to the bench. In their place came Stephen O’Donnell and Steven Lawless; two players who have missed a fair bit of football recently due to injury.
On a cold night Thistle made something of a nervy start to the match and the first half chance of the evening fell to Hamilton’s Darian MacKinnon who shot over the bar after Stevie May had managed to knock the ball back into his path.
Thistle though were soon into their stride and were in almost total control during the first 45 minutes but were unable to make the breakthrough that their play clearly merited.
The closest the came to a first half goal was an Aaron Muirhead header from a Stuart Bannigan free kick in the 18th minute that Cuthbert in the Hamilton goal somehow managed to prevent from entering the back of the night.
There were other close things in and around the Hamilton box with the ball on numerous occasions just not falling right for Thistle inside the Hamilton penalty area. Aaron Sinclair wasn’t too far away with a shot from the left hand corner of the box before the same player saw an effort blocked by a Hamilton defender after he had been set up by Steven Lawless.
The ball was cleared off the line following a Lawless corner on the right in the 38th minute with Aaron Muirhead rather snatching at the opportunity that came his way when the ball was cleared into his path.
At the other end Hamilton offered very little, although Scott Fox had to turn a shot round the post for a corner and excellent defending from Conrad Balatoni rescued a potentially dangerous situation as May advanced into the Thistle box after possession had been given away cheaply in midfield.
The half-time score, however, remained goalless.
Thistle were close to finally opening the scoring just five minutes after the restart when Steven Craig headed over a Stuart Bannigan cross. The game’s opening, and ultimately only, goal though would soon arrive, and it came via the penalty spot.
Steven Craig was able to work the ball into the path of Chris Erskine and as Erskine drove at the heart of the Hamilton defence he had his legs taken away from him with the result a rather obvious penalty kick.
Aaron Muirhead was the player entrusted with the spot kick and he tucked the ball into the bottom right hand corner with the minimum of fuss.
A second Thistle goal would have provided them with a degree of comfort and they would have had it in the 68th minute had Cuthbert not produced another excellent stop; this time to prevent Chris Erskine from finding the back of the net.
Ten minutes later Stuart Bannigan spurned a great chance to score the second Thistle goal that would have settled a few nerves.  Bannigan, recent capped at under 21 level for Scotland, was unable to force the ball past Cuthbert from inside the six yard box.
You can never be truly comfortable when your lead is just a solitary goal and there was some anxiety as Hamilton pushed men forward in the closing stages of the game. Scott Fox, however, was never seriously called into action although he did watch nervously as a deflected shot slid past his right hand post with the game deep into the final five minutes.
Thistle though would claim the three points and extend an unbeaten run to a fourth game while increasing the pressure on the one side above them in the league table.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 19th February 2013

In a long Partick Thistle career Alan Archibald has had some notable firsts; first appearance, first goal (yes he has scored a few) and first championship medal to name but a few. Last night he added first win as a manager to the list.
The first question then that [link:HOME] asked him after the game last night was how did it feel to have won his first game as ‘gaffer’?
“It’s a brilliant feeling. It was a bit scary for the last ten minutes there and I think that is the horrible side of management; having to stand at the side unable to affect the game other than by making substitutions. I thoroughly enjoyed the win.”
How does winning as a manager compare to winning as a player?
“I think it felt better to be honest with you. There was a lot of relief at the end of the game. It felt really good tonight especially on the back of the draw down at Morton. The win tonight made that point a good point.”
Victory last night extended an unbeaten run to a fourth game with three of those four games finishing in Thistle victories.
“I think people forget that we are on a good run. I think people thought that when Jackie left that we would just roll over and die and I think the players were a bit hurt by that. Some people seemed to think that the league was over because we had so many games in hand but we are in good form. We had won back to back games at home before Jackie left and that victory tonight makes, as I said, the point at Morton on Saturday a good one.”
There was delight that finally one of those games in hand had been played and won. Said Alan;
“A game in hand is just a statistic and we’ve turned one of them into three points. Hamilton made it really hard for us but the ground out the result. We were patient when we needed to be patient and the goal came.”
Although the margin of victory was a narrow one, on another night Thistle could easily have scored a few more goals.
“It was frustrating at times. Their goalkeeper had been outstanding against us twice previously this season and made world class saves. Tonight he had saves from an Aaron Muirhead header in the first half and one from Stuart Bannigan in the second half that were outstanding saves. For me tonight’s win was more enjoyable than a 5-0 win would have been. Maybe the fans wouldn’t enjoy that so much, but we really ground out the win tonight and it was pleasing for me to see them do that and keep a good clean sheet. I thought on Saturday that losing two goals was harsh on the back four because as a unit I thought that they defended very well. Tonight as well they defended really well.”
Next up is a meeting with Airdrie United at Firhill on Saturday and Alan is expecting another very tough fixture.
“They are going to make it very difficult for us, we know that and it will be down to us to break them down. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of the fans sticking with us. I know sometimes it can be not that great but be patient. We’ll see a lot of the ball and we’ll need to take care when we are in possession of the ball and don’t give much away. I’m always confident that we can score goals.”
Will much, if any, attention be paid to how Morton are getting on in their fixture at Dunfermline on Saturday?
“All we can do is take care of what we are doing. If we don’t win then there is no point in us looking at Morton’s results. The main thing is that we go out and win the game. Win the game, deal with that first and then see what happens. As I’ve said before I think some people are being disrespectful to other teams in the league. We’ve still 42 points to play for this season and every team in the league is going to have a say in how it finishes. Bottom can beat top just as easily as top can beat bottom. There’s a long, long way to go.”
Finally, we asked Alan if there were any injuries to worry about after last night’s game?
“There was nothing obvious although there were a few tired legs at the end of the game. Kenny Crichton will have them in tomorrow and have a closer look and see if there are any problems. We’ll obviously have to adjust the training schedule anyway with all the games that are coming up.”

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