Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 23 March, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
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 (Ross Forbes (14), 79 mins)
8
James Craigen
9
Steven Craig (Kris Doolan (15), 46 mins)
10
Steve Lawless
11
Chris Erskine (Christie Elliott (16), 74 mins)
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Ross Forbes
15
Kris Doolan
16
Christie Elliott
17
Alan Archibald
Livingston
1
Andy McNeil
2
Andy McNeil
3
Callum Booth
4
Paul Watson (Jason Talbot (16), 74 mins)
5
Craig Barr
6
Burton O'Brien
7
Kyle Jacobs
8
Liam Fox
9
Marc McNulty
10
Anthony Andreu (Jordan Morton (12), 61 mins)
11
Iain Russell (Danny Mullen (15), 46 mins)
 
Subs
12
Jordan Morton
14
Ross Gray
15
Danny Mullen
16
Jason Talbot
18
Darren Jamieson
 
Subs
12
Glenn Daniels
14
Ross Forbes
15
Kris Doolan
16
Christie Elliott
17
Alan Archibald
 
Subs
12
Jordan Morton
14
Ross Gray
15
Danny Mullen
16
Jason Talbot
18
Darren Jamieson
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Livingston – 23rd March 2013

The wintry conditions outside may tell a different story but we are fast approaching what is generally referred to as the ‘business end’ of the football season. Although we still have a couple of outstanding fixtures, last Saturday’s match at Hamilton signalled the start of the final quarter’s round of fixtures.
Tomorrow we welcome to Firhill a Livingston side that have been involved in three highly entertaining fixtures with Thistle already this season and tomorrow’s match, our last home game prior to the Ramsdens Cup Final, is another eagerly anticipated fixture between two young talented teams.
Said Alan Archibald when speaking to ptfc.co.uk after today’s training session at Toryglen;

“I’m hoping that tomorrow’s game won’t be quite as open as the previous matches with Livingston . They are a good side though and the game should be a good advert for the First Division.”
Getting the three points though is naturally the manager’s priority tomorrow.
“We’re at the stage of the season where you want the win no matter how you get it. We are a good football side, as are Livingston, and if we can play good football then we will but all that matters now if getting the win. We started the last quarter last Saturday at Hamilton and we saw how difficult it was on the surface there. It could be something similar tomorrow.”
Alan was able to provide us with the latest team news.
“Stuart Bannigan is suspended and away with the Scotland Under 21 side in any case. I think Billy Stark shows a bit of give and take when he selects his squads and I think he took into consideration that Stuart was suspended when he picked his squad. The game is on Monday and it will obviously depend on how long Stuart plays in the game, but he should be back with us on Wednesday if needed.”
“Elsewhere Hugh Murray will miss out tomorrow as he has taken a knock on his foot but we are hopeful that Paul Paton should be able to come back into the squad.”
Alan continued;
“We are going to need everyone between now and the end of the season; we are going to pick up injuries and wee niggles here and there. It’s a squad game and I’ve been delighted with the way that both James Craigen and Christie Elliott have really stepped up to the mark in the last few games. The way the players celebrated Christie’s goal last week I think shows the real sense of togetherness that there is within the squad.”
It’s not just his full squad of players that Alan is looking to step up to the mark.
“The fans were brilliant last week at Hamilton. We outnumbered the home support by what looked like almost double and they really got behind us. They’ve been like that all season and that kind of support tomorrow would be very much appreciated.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
5              0              0              11           0
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Craig 13
Chris Erskine 13
Steven Lawless 12
Kris Doolan 9
Conrad Balatoni 5
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 4
Aaron Muirhead 3
Christie Elliott 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 16th 2013
Hamilton Accies 0, Partick Thistle 2
Livingston Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              10           4
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Iain Russell 16
Marc McNulty 8
Anthony Andreu 6
Stefan Scougall 6
Jordan Morton 5
Jesus Garcia Tena 2
Keaghan Jacobs 2
Bobby Barr 1
Craig Barr 1
Dylan Easton 1
Callum Fordyce 1
Liam Fox 1
Daniel Mullen  1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 9th 2013
Raith Rovers 0, Livingston 2
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday January 5th 2013
Livingston 2, Partick Thistle 2
Teams
Livingston: McNeil, McCann, Booth, Garcia Tena, Barr, O’Brien, Andreu, Fox (Mullen), McNulty, Scougall, Russell (Morton).
Thistle: Smith, Muirhead, Sinclair, Paton, Balatoni, Archibald, Bannigan, Welsh, Craig (McGuigan), Forbes (Lawless), Doolan (Erskine).
Scorers
Livingston: Andreu (29), McNulty (90)
Thistle: Doolan (25), Craig (32)
Crowd: 1,762
Match Highlights

Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 23rd 2013
Partick Thistle v Livingston
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Prices
Adults: £17
OAP (65+): £12
16-21: £12
Full Time Education: £12
Programme: £2.50
Match Officials
Referee: George Salmond
Assistant Referees: Douglas Ross and Alan Frame
Other First Division Fixtures
Airdrie United v Raith Rovers
Dunfermline Athletic v Dumbarton
Falkirk v Hamilton Accies
Morton v Cowdenbeath

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Livingston – 23rd March 2013

Thistle celebrated Alan Archibald’s permanent appointment as Jags boss in fine style with a clinical display against Livingston; the side sitting third in the league table.
Archibald made two changes to the side that had defeated Hamilton 2-0. Suspension plus Scotland under 21 duties ruled out Stuart Bannigan but on the plus side captain Paul Paton was able to return after a period on the sidelines through injury. The other change saw James Craigen get the nod over Ross Forbes who dropped to the bench.
Thistle were in a positive mood right from the start with Chris Erskine in particular causing the visiting defence no end of problems, and he was heavily involved in the move that so nearly gave Thistle a 5th minute lead. Erskine pushed the ball out wide to Aaron Sinclair and his cross from the left was met by Steven Craig who saw his first time shot brilliantly stopped by Andy McNeil.
Despite the pitch understandably cutting up both teams were playing some good passing football and in the 19th minute we had the game’s first goal. Steven Lawless’ shot struck the arm of Paul Watson and referee Salmond pointed to the spot. Aaron Muirhead has a 100% record from the penalty spot this season and he made no mistake with this one either, slamming the ball low into the net.
Just three minutes later Thistle had a second goal and were well on the way to three points. Sean Welsh was able to pick out Steven Craig with time and space in front of the Livingston goal and Craig steered his header into the corner of the net for his 14th goal of the season.
Although 2-0 down Livingston were still in the game at this point, though Scott Fox was rarely pressed into any serious action. The third Thistle goal, however, in the 36th minute all but secured the victory.
Livingston were caught on the break and when James Craigen’s shot deceived McNeil Thistle had a three goal lead and James Craigen had his first goal for the Club.
Seven minutes later and a rampant Thistle side claimed a fourth goal. Steven Craig did well to prevent himself from being flagged for offside as Chris Erskine moved in on goal. Erskine was able to set up Steven Lawless who calmly knocked the ball home.
After not conceded a goal in any of their previous five games there was disappointment when Livingston pulled a goal back just two minutes after the restart. A free kick from the right was headed back towards goal where Paul Watson had the space to pick his spot behind Scott Fox.
A second Livingston goal early in the second half and things might have become a little interesting, and they did have an opportunity to score again. Marc McNulty though was denied by an excellent Scott Fox save.
Thistle though would bounce back in fine style from their sluggish start to the second half and in the 57th minute they were once again four goals in front. James Craigen started the move wide on the right hand side but it was a delightful interchange of passes between Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan that once again opened up the Livingston defence. Chris Erskine was duly left with just McNeil to beat and he tucked the ball past him and into the net.
Livingston were still showing spirit and sub Danny Mullen wasn’t too far away from scoring with a shot that clipped the outside of Scott Fox’s right hand post.
Thistle, however, were still in the mood for more goals. An Aaron Sinclair cross from the left found no one on hand to divert the ball into the net for the goal that cross deserved and a Steven Lawless shot from the edge of the box skimmed the Livingston crossbar.
A sixth Thistle goal though was not too far away and it arrived in the 70th minute, and it was another cracker. Aaron Sinclair’s cross was controlled on his chest by Kris Doolan. Doolan then turned before burying the ball into the back of the net.
It was understandable that with a five goal cushion and a tough schedule of fixtures ahead that Thistle took the foot of the gas in the time remaining; electing to simply maintain possession of the ball and conserve energy for more arduous tasks ahead. For 70 or so minutes though this was as clinical and as an impressive display as Thistle have produced all season.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Livingston – 23rd March 2013

A little later than normal after a game [link:HOME] caught up with manager Alan Archibald to reflect back on what had been a couple of eventual days for the freshly installed permanent manager of Partick Thistle.
As Alan reveals the events of Friday afternoon took him a little by surprise.
“The news came out of the blue quite late on Friday. I think it was about 4pm that it all happened. I knew that David Beattie had been out of the country and was coming back on Friday morning so it might have been something to do that. It’s an honour and a privilege to be named as Partick Thistle manager and I’m absolutely delighted to have been given the job. It’s been a great weekend.”
Alan continued;
“I was a little worried that after being given the job that we might end up getting a bad result on Saturday; things sometimes work out that way. The reverse actually proved to be the case. I felt that we started the game really well and were excellent for the first five minutes. We weren’t so good in the ten minutes after that but I think that the penalty helped settle us down. Against the team that are third in the league we were excellent. Some of the movement and interchange of play was fantastic. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way that we played.”
There was, however, one thing that the manager, and the players; were disappointed about.
“It’s just been a bit picky but we were disappointed to have conceded a goal. It wasn’t a wonder goal that we conceded either. Conrad simply slipped and that gave Livingston their chance. I suppose if you are going to concede a goal then you want to do it in a game where you score six goals of your own but we really wanted to keep another clean sheet.”
The manager went on to explain his thinking behind some of the substitutions that he made during the game.
“We took Steven Craig off at half-time as he had been feeling his groin in the ten minutes or so prior to half-time. He had also picked up a wee knock in training. So it was combination of giving him a rest and a precaution against injury that we took him off. It was the same with Sean Welsh who picked up a wee injury during the warm up.”
Alan was happy with the contribution that his substitutes made.
“It was always our plan to give Kris Doolan some game time and I felt that he looked really sharp during his time on the pitch. I thought all the subs looked sharp when they came on. Everyone I feel realises that it is a squad game. Players are naturally disappointed if they don’t start but there is no anger from them; they just get on with things.”
James Craigen is one player that has had to wait patiently for his chance in the team but he did his chances of establishing himself in the team no harm at all with a performance yesterday that pleased his manager.
“You can really see the benefit of the time that James spent on loan with Forfar Athletic where he was playing games. It was good too to have Paul Paton back in the team. Paul hasn’t played much football in the last month but he made a big contribution. We look as if we will be close to having a full squad for Wednesday’s game with Cowdenbeath and it’ll be no easy decision to decide who will play.”

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