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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 11 January, 2014. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
2
Stephen O'Donnell
3
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
7
James Craigen
11
Steven Lawless (Kris Doolan (9), 80 mins)
13
Gabriel Piccolo
14
Christie Elliott (Ross Forbes (10), 75 mins)
21
Lyle Taylor
23
Kallum Higginbotham
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ross Forbes
16
Jordan McMillan
22
Gary Fraser
17
John Baird
31
David Wilson
Ross County
20
Michael Fraser
3
Ben Gordon
5
Scott Boyd
7
Filip Kiss (Rocco Quinn (10), 90 mins)
8
Richard Brittain
12
Michael Tidser (Alex Cooper (16), 79 mins)
15
Gary Glen (Stuart Kettlewell (4), 84 mins)
21
Brian McLean
23
Graham Carey
25
Jordan Slew
26
Evangelos Oikonomou
 
Subs
1
Mark Brown
4
Stuart Kettlewell
6
Branislav Micic
10
Rocco Quinn
11
Melvin De Leeuw
16
Alex Cooper
19
Kevin Luckassen
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
9
Kris Doolan
10
Ross Forbes
16
Jordan McMillan
22
Gary Fraser
17
John Baird
31
David Wilson
 
Subs
1
Mark Brown
4
Stuart Kettlewell
6
Branislav Micic
10
Rocco Quinn
11
Melvin De Leeuw
16
Alex Cooper
19
Kevin Luckassen
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 11th January 2014

All games are important over the course of a season but equally there can be no denying that we are entering what looks to be an incredibly important stage of the season. Tomorrow’s fixture with RossCounty, the side immediately below us in the league table, is the first of three in a row at home.
Manager Alan Archibald when speaking to [link:HOME] was hoping that the victory over Hearts last weekend will help instil some extra confidence in the players.

“People talk about us winning ugly against Hearts but I prefer to think of it as doing what you have to do to win a game. We’ve not been in the position to grind out a win too often this season and I was delighted that players showed that they are capable of doing that at Tynecastle. In any case I thought we played very well in the first half and we played the game at a good tempo. I felt that we deserved our two goal lead at the break. That’s a position that we haven’t been in often this season and in a way the players didn’t know whether to stick and twist in the second half and they got bogged down a little. They are young and they are learning all the time. Hopefully they will have learned from that experience.”
Alan went on;
“You can’t always play good passing football and you do need to grind out a result from time to time. Ideally you want to combine the ability to play good football with the ability the work hard and battle for a win.”
The manager has a few selection headaches ahead of tomorrow’s game.
“Stuart Bannigan is suspended which is obviously a blow. Isaac Osbourne had his operation yesterday and it looks as if he will be out long term; his season is possible over. Sean Welsh is still out and while Aaron Muirhead did train today I would rate him as no more than 50/50 to play tomorrow.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
1              1              3              4              8
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 7
Steven Lawless 4
Aaron Muirhead 4
Christie Elliott 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Ross Forbes 1
Kallum Higginbotham 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Lyle Taylor 1
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Sunday January 5th 2014
Hearts 0, Partick Thistle 2
Ross County Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              0              3              3              5
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Richard Brittain 4
Melvin De Leeuw 4
Graham Carey 3
Stuart Kettlewell 2
Rocco Quinn 2
Ivan Sproule 2
Scott Boyd 1
Alex Cooper 1
Darren Maatsen 1
Orhan Mustafi 1
Steve Saunders 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday January 4th 2014
RossCounty 1, St Johnstone 0
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Saturday August 10th 2013
RossCounty 1, Partick Thistle 3
Teams
RossCounty: Brown, Kovacevic, Gordon, Kettlewell, Micic (De Leeuw), Mustafi (Glen), Quinn, Munro, Maatsen (Ross), McLean, Carey.
Partick Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Welsh, Balatoni, Muirhead, Craigen, Bannigan (Higginbotham), Doolan (Baird), Lawless, Fraser.
Scorers
County: Carey (71)
Thistle: Doolan (18), Lawless (53, 59)
Crowd: 3,331

Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Saturday January 11th 2014
Partick Thistle v RossCounty
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Admission Details
Programme £3

Match Officials
Referee: Bobby Madden
Assistant Referees: David McGeachie and Joseph Lawson
Fourth Official: John McKendrick
Other Premiership Fixtures

Hearts v Motherwell
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Dundee United (Sunday)
St Johnstone v St Mirren

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 11th January 2014

After the dust had settled on an entertaining game Thistle were left still looking for their first home league win of the seasons despite having led the match at one point by three goals to one.
Coming on the back of victory over Hearts at Tynecastle manager Alan Archibald made just one change to his team from that game. The suspended Stuart Bannigan was forced to sit the game out with Christie Elliott taking a place in the starting eleven. Gary Fraser meantime had to content himself with a seat on the bench on his Firhill return.
The game’s first chance came in the 5th minute with Thistle a shade unfortunate not to establish an early lead. A dangerous Piccolo cross from the right hand side had only partially been cleared when Kallum Higginbotham saw his shot well saved by Fraser in the County goal.
Although there wasn’t a great deal of action in front of either goal, though Conrad Balatoni did miss a glorious opportunity with a header,  it was Thistle that were having the better of the early exchanges but they found themselves a goal down in the 22nd minute; County opening the scoring through Filip Kiss with their first effort on goal of the game.
Against a side that over the years have been adept a defending a one goal lead at Firhill a quick response was required and Lyle Taylor, on his home debut for Thistle, provided that response lashing home the equaliser just six minutes after Thistle had fallen behind.
County though were close to regaining their lead in the 34th minute when Richard Brittain aimed a free kick from wide on the left to Thistle’s near post and was nearly rewarded by the ball squeezing in.
It was Thistle, however, that would head into the dressing room at half-time with the lead. Lyle Taylor had already see a shot blocked after being set up by a delightful through ball from Steven Lawless but he was celebrating the third goal of his short Thistle career so far in the 38th minute when he bulleted home a header from an excellent Taylor-Sinclair cross.
Just over a minute of the second half had been played when Thistle looked to have taken a huge step towards all three points. Taylor and Elliott combined to set up Steven Lawless and he calmly stroked the ball home from 8 yards.
This time it was County that provided an almost instant response. Conrad Balatoni had headed clear from the Thistle goal line but the ball dropped to Ben Gordon and he was able to find the back of the Thistle net.
What had been looking as potentially a relatively comfortable second half for Thistle was now anything but. Thistle started to drop deeper and deeper as County, who won an increasingly large number of free kicks, increased the pressure on a nervous looking Thistle defence.
Richard Brittain saw one of those free kicks just creep wide of Scott Fox’s left hand post and the same player sent an effort over the bar after he had enjoyed the break of the ball off a Thistle defender.
There were 15 minutes of the game remaining when County did grab an equaliser. Filip Kiss was left with just Scott Fox to beat and he calmly and confidently knocked the ball past the Thistle keeper and into the back of the net.
Thistle sent on Kris Doolan in an attempt to once again establish an advantage and he was quickly involved in the action but at the right hand corner of the County box the ball just wouldn’t sit up for him. Minutes later the same player turned sharply at the edge of the box only to see his shot blocked by a defender.
In the 84th minute County sent on Stewart Kettlewell but the midfielder lasted just one minute 14 seconds on the pitch before receiving a straight red card for his challenge on Ross Forbes.
With a man advantage in the closing minutes it was Thistle that looked the more likely side to snatch a late winner and they did nearly grab a spectacular winning goal with the game in the third minute of injury time when Stephen O’Donnell’s effort flew just narrowly wide of target.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 11th January 2014

The search for our first home league win of the season continues after a 3-3 draw with Ross County in our most recent home game.
Although a point was taken from the game there was a real air of disappointment and frustration at the end of the game with manager Alan Archibald summing up the mood when he spoke to [link:HOME] after the match.
“It feels like a defeat. If you are 3-1 up in the second half you shouldn’t end up drawing the game. When we scored the third goal that should have relaxed us and allowed us to go and enjoy the second half but there looked to be panic out there and obviously they scored almost straight after our third goal. We sometimes miss that experienced head out there to calm things down, especially just after we scored to go 3-1 up.”
County certainly had Thistle under increasing pressure in the second half as they seemed to win free kick after free kick. Said Alan;
“I think that comes from dropping 5 or 10 yards deeper which we did when we were winning 3-2. Dropping deeper is the worst thing that you can do in those circumstances. It makes the game that bit harder but that’s what defenders and midfielders seem to do. It stretched the game and that suited Ross County. It led to free kicks and balls dropping into our box.”
Alan continued;
“If you analyse things I think you will see that Ross County’s first goal was virtually their first effort on goal. I think that actually helped us because Ross County came out a bit after they scored and they wanted to play, whereas before their goal they just sat in.”
On a positive note there were two excellent goals from Lyle Taylor to enjoy on his home debut.
“He scored two very good goals and he gives us a different dimension to our play, especially at home. We used him very well today and we did pass the ball. It was a great delivery from Taylor-Sinclair for his second goal. The two goals were very different types of goals and that shows the different sides to him. His first goal he plays on the shoulder of the centre half and his second goal was all about him being in the right place. I think we saw that last season when he was at Falkirk.”

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