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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 21 March, 2015. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
5
Callum Booth
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
James Craigen
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan (Lyle Taylor (29), 66 mins)
10
Ryan Stevenson
11
Steven Lawless (Ben Richards-Everton (21), 90 mins)
13
Frederic Frans
18
Abdul Osman
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher (GK)
21
Ben Richards-Everton
22
Gary Fraser
23
David Wilson
28
Declan McDaid
29
Lyle Taylor
30
Dale Keenan
Inverness CT
1
Ryan Esson
2
David Raven (Edward Ofere (7), 86 mins)
3
Graeme Shinnie
5
Gary Warren
6
Josh Meekings
8
Ross Draper
14
Daniel Devine
15
Marley Watkins
16
Greg Tansey
19
Danny Williams (Aaron Doran (10), 68 mins)
22
Ryan Christie (Tarmo Kink (25), 65 mins)
 
Subs
12
Dean Brill (GK)
4
James Vincent
7
Edward Ofere
10
Aaron Doran
11
Nick Ross
18
Carl Tremarco
25
Tarmo Kink
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher (GK)
21
Ben Richards-Everton
22
Gary Fraser
23
David Wilson
28
Declan McDaid
29
Lyle Taylor
30
Dale Keenan
 
Subs
12
Dean Brill (GK)
4
James Vincent
7
Edward Ofere
10
Aaron Doran
11
Nick Ross
18
Carl Tremarco
25
Tarmo Kink
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Inverness CT – 21st March 2015

As his team prepare to play the top three sides in the Premiership over the next three fixtures Alan Archibald knows how tough a run his side have. But, with confidence high in the camp after a stunning victory over St Johnstone, he knows his team won’t be easy to beat.

“We knew how tough our run was as we prepared for the St Johnstone game and it was vital to get the three points last week. Having said that it is equally important that we kick on now and make the most of that victory on Saturday.

“We’ve got two games coming up against top teams in Aberdeen and Celtic so we have to make the most of the run going in to those matches and build the confidence as we go. Outside a couple of teams I think anybody is capable of beating anybody in this league but you have to be on your game against the top teams to do it.”

Archibald has a 100% Premiership record against Inverness this season and, apart from the Scottish Cup tie, the Highlanders are a team that Thistle have played very well against.

“We’ve had a couple of good results against Inverness, albeit they won the cup tie and were very good against us that day, but I think it will be a close match. We have played each other a few times now and I think both teams know each other inside out now.

“John Hughes has strengthened his side, I think you saw that the other day. They have a good squad and have had an outstanding season but we do know that we can hurt them if we go about things the right way.”

Although Archie is reluctant to rule his team out of being dragged back into the relegation scrap altogether he knows that another win or two will all but banish that prospect.

“I think we’re only maybe a couple of wins away from safety. We do have a tough run of games but so do the other teams around us and we can only try and look after ourselves and it is vital that we do that at home.

“We need to be targeting our home games for three points and that is vital. We have two more games at Firhill before the split and if we take six points from them we’ll be delighted. The one thing we won’t be is complacent. You saw last year that around this time every team at the bottom hit a bit of form and teams can so easily get dragged into it when that happens. All the teams at the bottom are capable of putting a run together and we need to use our home games to make sure we are OK at the end of the season.”

Unfortunately Archibald doesn’t have a full squad to choose from ahead of Saturday with Kallum Higginbotham still suspended and Seaborne (ankle) and Elliott (hand) both out. There are also fitness doubts over Lyle Taylor who got a knock to his knee in training and Ben Richards-Everton who picked up a knock in |Monday night’s Development League game against Hamilton Accies.

Tickets for the Thistle end are still on sale and are available online (ptfctickets.co.uk), on the phone (0141 579 1971) or in person by visiting the Partick Thistle offices before 1:30pm on Saturday or the |ticket booth at the Jackie Husband Stand thereafter. Cash turnstiles will be in operation for the North Stand. Tickets are priced:

Adults: £22
Concessions: £15
U16s: FREE

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Inverness CT – 21st March 2015

Having comprehensively dispatched St Johnstone the previous weekend, Thistle went in to the game against Inverness with confidence sky high and the Jags were looking for the elusive back to back victories in the league. For the first time since manager, Alan Archibald, took the reigns he was able to name an unchanged starting eleven with Conrad Balatoni making his 150th appearance in a Thistle jersey.

Thistle started brightly and the visitors’ keeper, Esson, had to look sharp to turn an O’Donnell cross over the bar for a corner, which Inverness subsequently cleared. Thistle continued to come forward and good patient build up play between O’Donnell, Bannigan and Lawless saw Craigen burst forward to win a corner. Bannigan’s excellent delivery into the box was just cleared by the head of Raven at the back post, only six yards out.

The visitors slowly got themselves into the game and a long ball from Shinnie found Raven who cut inside the box, but a good challenge by Booth stopped him in his tracks and, while the ball broke to Watkins, his shot had no power or conviction and Fox gathered easily. Shinnie was then allowed to burst forward unchallenged and saw his effort blocked by Booth before a Meekings cross found the head of Christie only for Fox to save comfortably. Doolan saw a header from a Bannigan cross go just over the bar and Craigen forced another excellent save from Esson at his right hand post to keep the scores level.

Ominously, Shinnie was being allowed a lot of space on the left hand side but the Jags defence dealt well with his crosses into the box. When a cross ball did evade the home side’s back four Fox was there to welcome the ball gratefully into his arms. From a long throw by O’Donnell Thistle claimed for a penalty when Stevenson’s shot was blocked, but the referee was not interested in the claims. A very tight first half saw the teams go in level at half time.

It was Inverness who got the second half underway but the first chance fell to the home side. Thistle won a free kick 30 yards from goal and Stevenson’s blistering effort forced a great save from Esson who tipped his effort over the bar. From the resulting corner, Frans met Bannigan’s cross and headed just wide but the referee had spotted an infringement anyway and blew for a free kick.

A driving run from Williams saw him get to the edge of the box but he pulled his weak effort well wide of the target and couldn’t give the visitors the lead. As the balance of the match continued to fluctuate, Doolan played a one-two with Stevenson but he fired well over from a promising position.

On the hour mark, a brilliant piece of skill on the bye-line from Lawless saw him dance away from two defenders and lay the ball back to Doolan whose shot was blocked. Booth then saw his driving run forward create space for himself and his effort from 22 yards was only a foot or so wide of the target. Esson then needed two attempts to gather a miss-hit effort from Frans after he fumbled the initial shot from a Bannigan corner. Thistle were looking the stronger side as the game went into the final ten minutes but it was clear that there was very little between the two sides and one goal looked as though it would be enough to win the game.

A Bannigan pass found Stevenson who nodded down for Lawless before collecting the pass back from the winger whose curling right footed shot was only just too high of goal.

However, in the 84th minute the deadlock was broken, and it was the home support who were celebrating. A long pass from Osman found substitute Taylor who controlled the ball with his back to goal and layed off to Lawless at the edge of the the box and his first time left foot shot was buried in the bottom corner past a helpless Esson as Thistle took the lead.

All in attendance at Firhill knew that it was going to be a long six minutes plus injury time however, despite a succession of high balls into the box, the visitors could not break down the stubborn home defence who were superb again throughout the game. The referee’s whistle brought with it scenes of wild celebration both on and off the park as Thistle finally put together back to back victories in the top flight.

 

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Inverness CT – 21st March 2015

No match reaction.

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