Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division 1
Sat 24 November, 2012. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Graeme Smith
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Sinclair
4
Hugh Murray
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
Steve Lawless (Jonathon Black (17), 88 mins)
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan (Mark McGuigan (16), 81 mins)
10
Ross Forbes
11
Chris Erskine (David Rowson (15), 88 mins)
 
Subs
12
Trialist
14
Alan Archibald
15
David Rowson
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Jonathon Black
Livingston
1
Andy McNeil
2
Kevin McCann (Kyle Jacobs (15), 69 mins)
3
Callum Booth
4
Jesus Garcia Tena
5
Craig Barr
6
Burton O'Brien (Callum Fordyce (14), 85 mins)
7
Anthony Andreu (Danny Mullen (12), 67 mins)
8
Liam Fox
9
Marc McNulty
10
Stefan Scougall
11
Keaghan Jacobs
 
Subs
16
Jack Downie
14
Callum Fordyce
15
Kyle Jacobs
12
Danny Mullen
18
Darren Jamieson
 
Subs
12
Trialist
14
Alan Archibald
15
David Rowson
16
Mark McGuigan
17
Jonathon Black
 
Subs
16
Jack Downie
14
Callum Fordyce
15
Kyle Jacobs
12
Danny Mullen
18
Darren Jamieson
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Livingston – 24th November 2012

Many people consider it to be a three horse race at the top of the First Division but there is at least one side who will have something to say about that, and they are coming to Firhill tomorrow afternoon.
Unbeaten in the league since September, Livingston will arrive at Firhill as arguably the division’s form team. As we aim to bounce back from our frustrating loss to Hamilton last weekend, Livingston will view tomorrow’s fixture as an opportunity for them to move within just four points of us.
With our fixture last weekend played on the Friday evening that handed our management team the opportunity to take in Livingston’s match with Falkirk and they were suitably impressed. Said Jackie McNamara;
“Myself and Simon Donnelly took in Livingston’s game with Falkirk last weekend and it looks as if Gareth Evans is carrying on the good work done by John Hughes. We were both very impressed with how Livingston played last week, especially during the first half and the game could easily have been over by half-time.”
“I like the philosophy that Livingston have with regard to how they play the game. They like to come out and play and that bodes well for an entertaining game tomorrow. The system that Livingston deployed against Falkirk was entertaining and their movement and passing was excellent. We will need to make sure that we pass the ball well ourselves on Saturday.”
“We are at home though and, as always, it is what we do that matters albeit we will need to make some changes to the team with Paul Paton, for example, suspended. Any changes, however, provide an opportunity for others to come and stake a claim for a place in the team.”
“In addition to the aforementioned suspended Paul Paton we will also be without Sean Welsh, Scott Fox and Ryan Scully. We also have a few players that have been struggling with illness during the week.”
“The good news is that Scott Fox has been responding well to treatment and it now looks as if he won’t be out for as long as we first feared. Ryan Scully tweaked his knee during the warm up at Hamilton and while he won’t feature today we expect that he should be fit for next week’s game.”
“One area that we will need to improve in is in the final third of the park. We got into plenty of promising positions against Hamilton on Friday but we were unable to capitalise on any of them. I felt that the first half of the Hamilton game was a bit scrappy but we played a lot better in the second, except for that last third.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              14           3
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Steven Lawless 9
Chris Erskine 8
Kris Doolan 7
Steven Craig 5
Ross Forbes 3
Stuart Bannigan 2
Aaron Muirhead 2
Sean Welsh 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Aaron Sinclair 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Friday November 16th 2012
Hamilton Accies 1, Partick Thistle 0
Livingston Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              2              0              9              6
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Marc McNulty 7
Iain Russell 7
Jordan Morton 3
Keaghan Jacobs 2
Stefan Scougall 2
Anthony Andreu 1
Bobby Barr 1
Dylan Easton 1
Callum Fordyce 1
Liam Fox 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday November 17th 2012
Livingston 2, Falkirk 1
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday September 15th 2012
Livingston 1, Partick Thistle 2
Teams
Livingston: McNeil, Fordyce (Easton), Booth, Tena, C Barr, Docherty, B Barr, Russell, Andreu, Scougall (McNulty), Morton.
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Bannigan, Paton, Muirhead, Archibald, Lawless (Sinclair), Welsh, Craig (Elliott), Murray, Erskine.
Scorers
Livingston: Morton (59)
Thistle: Lawless (38, 48)
Crowd: 1,745
Match Highlights
Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday November 24th 2012
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: John McKendrick
Assistant Referees: David McGeachie and Paul O’Neill
Other First Division Fixtures
Dunfermline Athletic v Dumbarton
Falkirk v Hamilton Accies
Morton v Cowdenbeath
Airdrie United v Raith Rovers

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Livingston – 24th November 2012

If the mark of potential champions is their ability to bounce back from a disappointing result then there is good reason for optimism inside Firhill. After losing to Morton earlier in the season Thistle promptly won four of their next five games. Yesterday they recovered from losing at Hamilton to defeat an in-form Livingston side.
The Thistle manager made a couple of changes to the side that had lost that game at Hamilton. Hugh Murray, who captained the side, and Stuart Bannigan came in to replace the suspended Paul Paton and Club captain Alan Archibald, who dropped to the bench. There were a couple of surprise inclusions among the five subs; appearing as a trialist was experienced goalkeeper Ludovic Roy and under 19 player Jonathon Black, who would make his first team debut before the conclusion of the game.
A Livingston side unbeaten in their previous six league games were expected to provide the sternest test yet to Thistle’s 100% home record and they did make it uncomfortable at times for Thistle, especially in the first 30 minutes or so, without creating much in the way of clear cut openings.
In the first ten minutes both Liam Fox and Stefan Scougall saw efforts from outside the box go wide or target before, in the 12th minute, Graeme Smith was called into serious action for the first time when he was required to touch an Andreu effort round the post for a corner.
Meantime it took Thistle a little time to get into their stride, and it was the 33rd minute before they truly threatened the Livingston goal. Chris Erskine burst into life and his run took him to the edge of the Livingston box where his shot was just a little on the high side.
Erskine was involved again minutes later, sending over a cross from the left that went agonisingly over the heads of the waiting Thistle players in the box.
These were encouraging signs from Thistle and as they continued to exert a grip on the game Stuart Bannigan was unlucky not to open the scoring with a curling effort that went wide of McNeil’s left hand post.
With half-time approaching there was a reminder of the potential threat that the visitors carried and Smith had to produce a smart save low to his left to keep out a well struck effort from McNulty.
The half-time score, however, remained blank but Thistle would change that inside ten second half minutes.
Thistle had already come close in the 50th minute when Chris Erskine’s neat pass set up Kris Doolan who saw his first time shot saved at the expense of a corner by McNeil.
Four minutes later Thistle would have the lead. Ross Forbes’ free kick just in from the left hand touchline was met by the head of Aaron Sinclair and his header found the back of the net.
Now a goal up Thistle immediately pressed to press home their advantage and, in the kind of swift counter attack that has left many a side floundering, Chris Erskine did well to keep the ball in before sending over a cross that Steven Lawless couldn’t quite direct on target with his head.
In the 62nd minute a confident looking Graeme Smith was well positioned to save a shot from distance from Andreu, but the game’s next incident of note came at the other end and gave Thistle the cushion of a two goal lead.
Sixty-three minutes were on the clock when Stuart Bannigan collected the ball at the edge of the Livingston penalty area and with his right foot lifted the ball over McNeil and into the back of the net.
It was nearly 3-0 just minutes later when a Livingston defender very nearly turned a Chris Erskine cross into his own net.
Conrad Balatoni nearly scored for the second home game in a row when he met a Ross Forbes corner only to see his bullet header go wide of goal.
A third goal would have sealed the Thistle win but even at 2-0 up Thistle couldn’t truly relax with Livingston still a threat. Graeme Smith had to look lively to whip the ball off the toes of an advancing Craig Barr as the game moved into the final ten minutes and Marc McNulty had a chance inside the Thistle box but he sent his shot high over Smith’s crossbar.
This though was a deserved win for Thistle against a Livingston side that look certain to win far more games than they will lose this season.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Livingston – 24th November 2012

It was anticipated that the visit to Firhill yesterday of an in-form Livingston side was going to present us with a tough challenge and with that in mind Jackie McNamara was delighted to have won the three points when he spoke to the press after yesterday’s game.
“I’m delighted with the win as that’s a good Livingston side that we were playing. I thought that in the first half our passing was a little bit slack at times. We tried too many balls from back to front rather than passing it and moving the ball quickly. All credit to Livingston they came and played and they caused us a few problems in the first half. I knew though at half-time if we did things properly in the second half we would win the match.”
“I thought that we had a couple of good chances in the first half, albeit so did Livingston. Second half I felt that we really kicked on. We passed the ball a lot better especially down the left hand side. I thought that Aaron Sinclair was fantastic and caused them a lot of problems with some great balls across.”
With seven home games played so far this season and seven wins recorded Firhill is turning into something of a fortress for Thistle at present. Said the Thistle manager;
“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals at Firhill and the good thing is that we aren’t conceding too many either. All credit to Graeme Smith today; he had a couple of good saves for us at vital times. After last week I was delighted for him.”
The manager was delighted with the contribution too of Stuart Bannigan who, of course, scored our second goal yesterday.
“Stuart is a good footballer who can play anywhere. He was very close with his right foot in the first half but it was a great finish for the second goal. He has a great attitude and shows great desire out on the pitch. He’s a fantastic footballer and a great professional. I was delighted to have him back after being out following the injury he sustained at Falkirk.”
Many people were a bit surprised not to see Steven Craig’s name on the Thistle team sheet yesterday and the manager was able to explain his absence.
“He’s sick and he’s also had a bit of a back spasm. We’ve been tested a bit in the last few weeks with two goalies out and some suspensions. It is important that we have a squad of players for the whole season as everyone is going to be needed and tested. It was great to have young Bannigan back today and Hugh Murray came back into the team.”
Jackie continued;
“We changed things about a bit today. We moved Stephen O’Donnell back to right back and we dropped our Club captain Alan Archibald. Archie is part of the management team with myself and Simon and we talk about things and we felt that the form of Conrad Balatoni merited a place in the team. When you look at the age of the defence you could say it was a bit of a gamble leaving out a player of Archie’s experience but we need to do what we can to try and win each game. We want to win and we also want to entertain the supporters. When we play well hopefully the fans enjoy that and keep coming back.”
Livingston’s Gareth Evans meantime wasn’t too despondent with his side’s performance;
“I thought that we did okay first half. Partick are not top of the league for no reason and I thought that they played very well second half. It was a switch off at a set piece that let us down and ultimately turned the game. In terms of chances I think we had the better chances in the first half.”

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