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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 18 January, 2014. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
12
Paul Gallacher
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
James Craigen
8
Stuart Bannigan
11
Steven Lawless (Christie Elliott (14), 80 mins)
15
Lee Mair
21
Lyle Taylor
22
Gary Fraser (Aaron Muirhead (5), 75 mins)
23
Kallum Higginbotham
 
Subs
32
Marc Waters
5
Aaron Muirhead
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ross Forbes
14
Christie Elliott
16
Jordan McMillan
31
David Wilson
Kilmarnock
1
Craig Samson
2
Jeroen Tesselaar
5
Jackson Irvine
8
Sammy Clingan
9
Kris Boyd
10
Chris Johnston (Greg Kiltie (36), 46 mins)
18
Rory McKenzie (William Gros (11), 77 mins)
28
Craig Slater
29
Manuel Pascali
30
Lee Ashcroft
33
Robbie Muirhead
 
Subs
12
Antonio Reguero
7
Barry Nicholson
11
William Gros
16
Sean Clohessy
23
Rory McKeown
25
Michael Gardyne
36
Greg Kiltie
 
Subs
32
Marc Waters
5
Aaron Muirhead
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ross Forbes
14
Christie Elliott
16
Jordan McMillan
31
David Wilson
 
Subs
12
Antonio Reguero
7
Barry Nicholson
11
William Gros
16
Sean Clohessy
23
Rory McKeown
25
Michael Gardyne
36
Greg Kiltie
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Kilmarnock – 18th January 2014

Less than a month has passed since we went down to an unfortunate, and undeserved, defeat at Rugby Park but tomorrow Thistle get the chance to gain some revenge for that defeat when Kilmarnock visit Firhill for the second time this season.
A first home league win of season would mean more than just revenge for a defeat at Kilmarnock in December; there is an altogether more tangible reward available for a successful Thistle side as Alan Archibald explained to [link:HOME];
“A win tomorrow would take us above Kilmarnock and that is a massive incentive for us. We’ve played Kilmarnock twice this season and we’ve taken just one point when we feel it could, and maybe should, have been more. Even Allan Johnston acknowledged after the game at RugbyPark last month that we had been unlucky to have lost after we dominated the game. I’m hoping for a similar performance from us tomorrow but hopefully not with the opposition goalkeeper winning Man of the Match this time.”
Alan continued;
“Kilmarnock are a much changed side from the one that we played at Firhill earlier in the season. They’ve gone with a much younger looking team. The two wide players, Johnston and McKenzie are excellent players and I know the boy Muirhead played last week. Kilmarnock have a threat all over the field. Their threat doesn’t just come from Kris Boyd. We are approaching the game in a confident frame of mind though and are confident that we are capable of getting the three points that we so badly want.”
Alan brought us up to date with the latest team news.
“Stuart Bannigan is available for tomorrow’s game before missing the game with St Johnstone on Tuesday. Lee Mair is fit and raring to go and he will be added to the squad. Isaac Osbourne and Sean Welsh though remain on the injury list. Isaac we know is long term and I think we are looking at another three weeks for Sean. It’s a really awkward groin injury that Sean has and he has been away getting a second opinion on it.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              2              2              6              9
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 7
Steven Lawless 5
Aaron Muirhead 4
Lyle Taylor 3
Christie Elliott 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday January 11th 2014
Partick Thistle 3, Ross County 3
Kilmarnock Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              0              2              8              6
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Boyd 12
Chris Johnston 4
Barry Nicholson 2
Darren Barr 2
Sean Clohessy 2
Rory McKenzie 2
Sammy Clingan 1
Jackson Irvine 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Sunday January 5th 2013
Kilmarnock 0, Aberdeen 1
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Saturday December 21st 2013
Kilmarnock 2, Partick Thistle 1
Teams
Kilmarnock: Samson, Tesselaar, Irvine, Nicholson (Gardyne), Boyd, Jackson (Winchester), Clohessy, McKenzie, Slater, Pascali, Ashcroft.
Thistle: Fox, Taylor-Sinclair, Balatoni, Craigen, Bannigan, Doolan, Lawless (Baird), Piccolo, Elliott (O’Donnell), McMillan, Higginbotham (Forbes).
Scorers
Kilmarnock: Johnston (41), Boyd (70)
Thistle: Doolan (49)
Crowd: 3,865
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Saturday January 18th 2014
Partick Thistle v Kilmarnock
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Admission Details
Match Officials
Referee: Steven McLean
Assistant Referees: Graham Chambers and Frank Connor
Fourth Official: John Beaton
Other Premiership Fixtures
Aberdeen v Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Celtic v Motherwell
Hibernian v St Mirren
RossCounty v Dundee United
St Johnstone v Hearts

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Kilmarnock – 18th January 2014

There was more agony and frustration for Thistle as another home game passed without a league victory being recorded. Last weekend Thistle allowed a two goal lead to slip against Ross County; this weekend they conceded a 90th minute equaliser from a penalty rebound. Football can indeed be a cruel sport at times.
Alan Archibald made a number of changes to the side that had drawn with Ross County seven days earlier. There had been overnight injury doubts surrounding both Scott Fox and Paul Gallacher. The former wasn’t able to play but Gallacher was and he came in to make his second appearance in the Thistle goal. New signing Lee Mair came straight into the side and there were also starting berths for Stuart Bannigan, free from suspension for this game, and Gary Fraser.
Thistle were on the front foot from very early on in this game. The game’s first corner was won inside the first sixty seconds with Kallum Higginbotham’s cleverly worked corner finding Gary Fraser lurking in space at the edge of the Kilmarnock box. His finish, however, let him down and the ball went high over the bar.
Thistle though didn’t have too long to wait for the opening goal; it arriving as early as the third minute. A Stephen O’Donnell long throw from the right caused the Kilmarnock defence problems and when they couldn’t clear Kallum Higginbotham’s acrobatic overhead kick squeezed past Craig Samson and into the net.
With the confidence of that early goal behind them Thistle looked to press home their early advantage and a Stephen O’Donnell shot, after a neat Lyle Taylor pass, didn’t clear the Kilmarnock crossbar with too much to spare.
Some of Thistle’s passing play, switching the game from flank to flank, was excellent but they were unable to find the second goal that their first half display unquestionably merited. Kallum Higginbotham had a chance at the edge of the six yard box when the flag for offside stayed down but unfortunately his shot didn’t and the ball went over the bar.
Higginbotham was able to test the Kilmarnock keeper in the 33rd minute but his effort from the left corner of the Kilmarnock was too straight to genuinely trouble Samson in the Kilmarnock goal.
At the other end Kilmarnock were making little impression against the Thistle defence. It took them until the 35th minute to fashion even a half chance and even then Muirhead mishit shot flew calmly into the waiting arms of Gallacher.
Thistle had one more opportunity before the half-time whistle with Higginbotham managing to work his way to the Kilmarnock bye line but he was unable to find a Thistle player with his cutback.
The early stages of the second half formed a similar pattern to that of the first half with Thistle doing the bulk of the pressing. Pascali was penalised for handball just outside his own penalty box, for which he received a yellow card, and Taylor-Sinclair’s well struck free kick forced Samson into a fine save low near his left hand post.
In the 65th minute Kallum Higginbotham, after brushing aside the attentions of a couple of Kilmarnock defenders, again got himself to the bye line and again couldn’t find a Thistle player with his cutback with this time the goal gapping and players ready to apply the finishing touch.
A goal at the stage may well have sealed the win for Thistle but as the game moved into its’ final quarter Kilmarnock came more into things. Kris Boyd had been kept fairly quiet for much of the afternoon although he did send a shot wide of goal after Gary Fraser had failed to get enough distance to a clearance from a free kick.
With the game in its’ final ten minutes and Thistle nerves starting to jangle Kilmarnock had their first clear cut look at the Thistle goal. Sub Gros and Boyd combined with the latter left with just Paul Gallacher to beat. The Thistle keeper, however, was able to make a fine block with Conrad Balatoni on hand to head Gros’ effort from the rebound behind for a corner.
That had been a major scare for Thistle but there was still time left in the game for Kilmarnock to find an equaliser that they scarcely merited. William Gros, who had been a handful since coming on, managed to get just ahead of Taylor-Sinclair inside the Thistle box and the clip on Gros’ ankles from the defender, who hadn’t long recovered from a spell of treatment, was enough to give Kilmarnock a penalty. The red card that followed for Taylor-Sinclair was fairly inevitable.
Kris Boyd was given the task of taking the penalty and there was brief second when Thistle felt they might have received a reprieve when Gallacher was able to dive to his left and push Boyd’s penalty away. Unfortunately Kilmarnock’s Muirhead was the quickest to react to the loose ball and he tucked it home thus condemning Thistle to another home league game without a win.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Kilmarnock – 18th January 2014

There was a depressing sense of déjà vu at full-time as Thistle once again failed to collect maximum points at home. Once a more a draw was left to feel like a defeat with manager Alan Archibald commenting to [link:HOME] after the game;
“That’s the sorest we’ve felt all season to be honest. Our all round performance was great and we defended really well up until one individual error at the end and it feels like a defeat. The goal that we lost came from a simple long ball. It’s something that the centre backs should deal with, one needs to shout and it’s just about organisation. To be fair they had, to a man, been outstanding up until that point.”
Alan went on;
“We knew the threat that Kris Boyd had and we spoke about that and I thought that they did really well against him. I thought the whole team played very well for 89 minutes. Okay we sat a little deep for the last ten minutes but that perhaps was to be expected.”
Is the failure to win at home in the league starting to pray on the players mind and impact upon their performance, especially in the closing stages of games?
“I thought last week that it prayed on their mind and it was something psychological but this week I don’t think it affected them to be honest. I think the last ten minutes it was just a case of them being 1-0 up with ten minutes to go. I think that’s always the case when you don’t get a second goal you are always liable to lose a goal when you are hanging on.”
The manager included new signing Lee Mair in his starting eleven having just been signed the day before and he was happy with the performance of his newest recruit.
“I thought that Lee came in and did very well. I thought that he came in and organised the back four. I felt that it was a very good debut and he did everything that we asked of him. He organised well and brought a calmness to the back four for most of the game.”
There was also a starting place for Paul Gallacher and as the manager now reveals there was a major goalkeeping headache the day before the game.
“We had a bit of a goalkeeper nightmare yesterday. Paul Gallacher got injured on the Thursday and didn’t train on the Friday and Scott Fox then got injured on Friday. So this morning we had one unfit goalkeeper and one half fit goalkeeper. I thought Paul Gallacher came in and was outstanding. I thought he had got us out of jail when he saved the penalty and it was unlucky for us that our players didn’t help him out because he got them out of jail with a great save. Our players just didn’t react quickly enough. They were still feeling sorry for themselves at that point and thinking about the penalty.”
With Aaron Taylor-Sinclair now suspended for Tuesday game with St Johnstone and Stuart Bannigan also suspended the manager has another selection headache to face ahead of that game.
“Yes it’s a problem but we have Jordan McMillan that can come in and other people waiting to come into the team. It is a sore one that we will miss Taylor-Sinclair and Bannigan on Tuesday night but there’s another guys that can step up to the plate.”

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