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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 1 April, 2017. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow

Matchday Information:

HOME Ticket prices:

Adults £22

Concessions (Over 65s, students, disabled supporter including carer) £15

Under 16s FREE

Match Sponsor: 

Ball Sponsor: 

PlayerZone: 

Mustapha Dumbuya and Niall Keown.

More information

 

Aitken Suite: 

Opens to all supporters at 12:00

 

Community Champion: 

Danny Hutcheson

Find out why he was nominated.

 

JagzoneLIVE guest: 

Sean Welsh

 

Half Time Legend performing 50/50 draw: 

Tommy Rae

 

Programme: 

Available around Firhill for only £3.

 

Find out what is inside Saturday’s issue

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomas Cerny
2
Mustapha Dumbuya
5
Liam Lindsay
6
Abdul Osman (Daniel Devine 45)
9
Kris Doolan
10
Chris Erskine (Ade Azeez 63)
11
Steven Lawless
13
Adam Barton
14
Christie Elliott
17
Niall Keown
19
Ryan Edwards
 
Subs
35
Mark Ridgers
3
Calum Booth
7
David Amoo
15
Daniel Devine
16
Ade Azeez
27
Kevin Nisbet
30
Andrew McCarthy
Ross County
1
Scott Fox
2
Marcus Fraser
3
Jason Naismith
4
Christopher Routis
5
Jay McEveley (Michael Gardyne 76)
8
Martin Woods
10
Liam Boyce
11
Craig Curran (Ryan Dow 82)
15
Andrew Davies
23
Alex Schalk
28
Kenny Van Der Weg
 
Subs
31
Aaron McCarey
6
Jim O'Brien
7
Michael Gardyne
9
Ryan Dow
27
Milan Lalkovic
52
Reghan Tumility
63
Dylan Dykes
 
Subs
35
Mark Ridgers
3
Calum Booth
7
David Amoo
15
Daniel Devine
16
Ade Azeez
27
Kevin Nisbet
30
Andrew McCarthy
 
Subs
31
Aaron McCarey
6
Jim O'Brien
7
Michael Gardyne
9
Ryan Dow
27
Milan Lalkovic
52
Reghan Tumility
63
Dylan Dykes
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 1st April 2017

With no game at the weekend due to the international break, Alan Archibald and his side return to action this Saturday with a crucial match against Ross County which could see his side strengthen its grip on a top six place ahead of the split.

Speaking to ptfc.co.uk after training it was clear that Archibald and his players were well aware of exactly how big Saturday’s game could be.

“These home games are massive because we don’t want to be going into the final day of the season needing a result. We needed that last year and everyone knows how it turned out. It’s in our own hands but they are going to be tough, tough games. Everyone is fighting for something and every week seems to get bigger and bigger not only for us but also for those around us in the table.

“We know how hungry County will be for the points and we always have close games with them. I think Jim came out in the week and said that if they didn’t win that might be them out of the top six race so I’m sure they will be throwing everything at it.”

There doesn’t tend to be much between Thistle and County when the two sides do meet and the Jags boss knows this weekend will be no different.

“Every time we play them there is a goal here and there that separates it. We’re at home and we have started to turn our home form around so that is definitely a positive. We’re on a good run of form so we go into the game full of confidence and ready to make the most of the opportunity.

“We’re in a better position than we were last season. Back then we were waiting on other results and relying on teams doing us a favour but this year it is firmly in our hands and we know we can keep it that way if we get the results. On the flip side though if we don’t win and others do we will quickly drop back out of that top six position. It’s been like that for the last 10 weeks or so but we have the opportunity to really stamp ourselves on that last spot with the right result on Saturday.”

Although normally sides on a good run don’t want the international break to disrupt the momentum, Archibald is happy to admit it came at the right time for his side.

“The break came at a good time for us just in terms of injuries. We were down to nine or 10 bodies ahead of the Killie game but we’re back up to not far off full strength now so the bit of time off definitely did us some good. Callum Booth, Abdul Osman and Steven Lawless have all had a bit of recovery time and we’re now back to 18 and we’ll need every one of them.

“We have a massive target to aim for and everyone one of the boys wants to be involved. They each push each other and it’s a really good feeling we have around the squad. It’s vital that that keeps going though and we absolutely must maintain our focus going into this final pre-split run.

“We said around the St Johnstone and Aberdeen games that we were basically down to a mini season and that was the challenge to the players. Go out there and compete in the games and give us everything you’ve got. From there we went on the good run and we’re now in a superb position to make the top six. For now though we’re just focussing on Saturday and making sure we put everything into the 90 minutes.”

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is now available to Jagzone subscribers. Log in now to see it. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game from midnight.

Can’t make Firhill? Jagzone World members (outside the UK and Ireland) can watch the game live – the stream is also available on a PPV basis. Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match.

For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.

Article Copyright © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk

 
94’Full Time
50’Full Time Report

It's a special day for Thistle and Kris Doolan. 

Thistle come from behind to claim a vital 2-1 win and move that bit closer to securing a top six finish. 

Not only did Kris Doolan claim his 100th Thistle goal to tie scorers after 63 minutes he had to wait just 15 minutes to net 101. 

 
90’+03’

Great turn by Azeez and he takes the ball down towards the corner flag. 

 
90’+01’

A long ball comes into the Thistle box but Cerny is off his line to claim it. He collides with a County player and both need a bit of time to recover. 

 
90’

Lindsay heads the corner clear. 

90’Ross County corner from the right
 
90’

Minimum of 4 minutes additional time to be played. 

 
88’

Man of the Match: Kris Doolan. 

 
87’

Lindsay looks to be caught late in the face but there is no free kick but the referee does half play for Lindsay to receive some treatment. 

 
86’

Azeez holds the ball up in the box before firing a powerful shot at an angle over the bar. 

 
85’

Thistle break through Lawless. He ignores Elliott to his left and shot strikes a County defender with Doolan unable to gather the loose ball inside the box. 

83’Ross County Booking - Marcus Fraser
82’Ross County substitution: Ryan Dow replaces Craig Curran
79’Ross County substitution: Jim O'Brien replaces Christopher Routis
78’Goal Thistle! Kris Doolan
Thistle 2 - Ross County 1

Mr Goal is at it again. Barton sets him up and Doolan fires Thistle into a 2-1 lead. 

76’Ross County substitution: Michael Gardyne replaces Jay McEveley
76’Ross County Booking -
 
74’

Doolan under pressure is able to push the ball back into the path of Devine whose shot is blocked by a defender. 

74’Thistle corner from the right
73’Thistle Booking - Steven Lawless
 
72’

Fox stretches out a hand to push away a Lindsay header. 

72’Thistle corner from the left
 
71’

Lawless finds space after good work by Azeez. He squares for Doolan who miskicks 18 yards out. 

67’Thistle Booking - Ryan Edwards
 
65’

Thistle's tails are up and Azeez powers his way into the box and his effort is blocked by Fox. 

64’Thistle Booking - Kris Doolan

Doolan's, hardly over the top, celebrations earn him a rare yellow card. 

63’Goal Thistle! Kris Doolan
Thistle 1 - Ross County 1

And that's goal number 100 for Kris Doolan and more importantly Thistle are back on level terms. It's a typical Doolan finish. He controls the ball, turns and buries a law shot into the net. 

62’Thistle substitution: Ade Azeez replaces Chris Erskine
57’Goal Ross County! Craig Curran
Thistle 0 - Ross County 1

Thistle have been the better side second half but they fall behind with Curran finding the net from 12 yards out after good work initially from Woods on the right hand side. 

 
54’

Edwards' clever ball in nearly finds the head of an advancing Lawless but Fox is able to punch clear. 

 
52’

The corner is initially defended well but Erskine gets the ball back. He is able to play a pass into the feet of Doolan who touches the ball back to Lawless who lashes an effort well over the bar. 

51’Thistle corner from the left
 
49’

Wood tries his luck for County but his effort from nearly 30 yards out is well wide of Cerny's left hand post. 

 
48’

This time Erskine does shoot and it takes a good stop from Fox to prevent the ball from finding the bottom corner of the net. 

 
46’

A twist of his hips gets Erskine clear and in space but instead of shooting he tries to find Doolan and the ball is cleared. Good opportunity wasted. 

46’Ross County corner from the left
 
45’Kick-Off (2nd half)
45’+03’Half Time Report

It's a game that hasn't quite caught fire so far and it remains goalless at the break. 

Both sides have had spells on top but if anything it has been the visitors from Dingwall that edged the opening 45 minutes. 

Indeed they were the closest side to scoring when a Fraser header, in first half injury time, hitting the Thistle crossbar. 

Thistle have had to shuffle their pack already with Abdul Osman picking up and injury and being replaced by danny Devine. 

 
45’+03’Half-Time
 
45’+03’

The ball is lifted towards Fraser at Thistle's back post and his header clips the crossbar. 

45’Thistle substitution: Daniel Devine replaces Abdul Osman
 
45’

Minimum of 2 additional minutes to be played. 

 
44’

Erskine's corner won't drop for a Thistle player and the ball eventually goes out for a goal kick. Osman again picks up a knock and needs another spot of treatment. 

43’Thistle corner from the left
 
40’

Lawless floats the free kick towards and finds Keown's head but his header doesn't loop over the head of Fox. 

 
39’

Erskine has a heels clipped as he turns sharply and Thistle have a free kick about 30 yards out and in a central position. 

 
38’

Elliott's shot breaks into the path of Doolan but he is well offside. 

 
37’

Some excellent defending from Elliott leads to a swift Thistle counter attack that ends with Fox clearing at the edge of his box ahead of Doolan. 

 
36’

Edwards aims a free kick towards the back post and Keown but Fox comes off his line to claim the ball. 

 
35’

Van Der Wag crosses from the right and Routis, under pressure, heads over the bar. 

 
34’

Thistle haven't really got going yet but Lawless finds a bit of space at the edge of the County box but drags his effort well wide. 

 
33’

County again look unsuccessfully for a penalty. 

 
32’

Just for a second it looks as if Doolan has managed to find space inside the County box but the referee stops play for a County free kick. 

 
25’

Erskine pushes the ball to Lawless on his left. Lawless is able to get a shot on target but it doesn't have the power or direction to trouble Fox. 

 
22’

Elliott does well cutting inside from the left and he is able to find Lawless who sees a shot blocked by a defender. 

 
19’

County appeal in vain for a penalty as Schalk goes down at the edge of the box. 

 
18’

Osman is back on and Thistle are back to eleven players on the park. 

 
17’

Osman is back on his feet but looks to be struggling. 

 
15’

County threaten again and the referee stops play for an infringement inside the box that takes most people by surprise but Osman is left on the ground and needs a spot of treatment. 

 
14’

Action at the other end now as Cerny gets down low to grab a shot from Woods. 

 
13’

Edwards is able to whip over a cross from the right that Lawless is able to twist his head to meet but Fox is able to save. 

 
10’

Curran plays the ball to Schalk at the edge of the Thistle box and Schalk knocks the ball back to Curran who can't get enough curl on his shot to get it beyond Cerny who saves with ease. 

 
08’

Dumbuya pushes forward with purpose but his cross is poor and goes out for a goal kick. 

 
04’

An Erskine cross from the right is cleared. It's been an open, if untidy, game so far. 

 
03’

Thistle under a bit of pressure but in steps Lindsay to clear. 

 
01’

Bit of confusion inside the County box between Fox and Davies but Thistle are unable to profit from that. 

 
00’Kick-Off
 
00’Introduction

Thistle return from the international break with an unchanged starting eleven from the side that drew with Kilmarnock 14 days ago. 

Victory this afternoon would go a long way towards Thistle securing a top six berth.

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 1st April 2017

Partick Thistle 2-1 Ross County

Two weeks after their disappointing draw with Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle returned from the international break looking to extend the gap between themselves and the bottom six with a huge game against Ross County at Firhill. Thistle were unbeaten in their previous five Ladbrokes Premiership outings but a reappearance of the late-goal syndrome that had hampered the Jags’ early season form, had cost Alan Archibald’s men four points in their last two games.

Ross County had won just one of their last nine in all competitions, scoring less than a goal a game in the process. They sat six points below Thistle in the table before play, with the top six still very much still a mathematical possibility for the Staggies.

Thistle started with a back four of Mustapha Dumbuya, Niall Keown, Liam Lindsay and Christie Elliott. Adam Barton and Abdul Osman began the game as the two holding midfielders with Ryan Edwards, Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless forming a midfield three in behind the sole striker in Kris Doolan who would continue his search for his 100th Partick Thistle goal in all competitions.

It was Doolan who got the game underway but the forward wouldn’t have much to work with early on as the play was pretty awful in the opening minutes. Misplaced passes and poor touches from both sides were symptomatic of the scrappy first half that was to come.

The first real chance of the match presented itself in the 14th minute. Ryan Edwards latched onto a loose ball and whipped a cross into the box. He found Steven Lawless who headed the ball towards goal but Scott Fox made an easy save at his near post.

In the 31st minute the fans turned their focus from the match to remembrance. A minute’s applause was held in memory of Robert Watson, a loyal Jags fan who passed away recently aged just 31. It is always sad to hear of the passing of a dedicated member of the Jags family and everyone at Partick Thistle were saddened by the news. Both sets of fans carried out the applause as a tribute to Robert.

With nine minutes left until the interval, Ross County had their first meaningful opportunity. Kenny van der Weg crossed the ball into the Jags’ box finding Alex Schalk. The visiting attacker tried to direct a header on target but his attempt cleared the bar safely.

In the 45th minute Thistle were dealt a serious blow as skipper, Abdul Osman, was forced off the pitch after a collision in the County area. The midfielder was taken off as it was suspected that he may have dislocated his shoulder, however, the extent of the injury is unclear at the moment and he will be assessed by the medical team as soon as possible. He was replaced by Daniel Devine as the home side morphed into a five-at-the-back formation.

After losing their captain with a minute left of the first half, Thistle’s misery was almost compounded by a goal for the away side. Liam Boyce lifted a well-weighted ball to the back post which eluded Christie Elliott and found Marcus Fraser. The defender headed at Cerny’s goal but his attempt rebounded off the crossbar and, when the ball was cleared, the referee brought the first half to a close.

It was a first 45 minutes with few talking points. Good play was scarce and both teams struggled to create with passing moves and the half’s best chances came from crosses. The loss of Abdul Osman was a difficult one to deal with for the hosts as his presence in the middle of the park was sure to be missed.

After a disappointing first half, Thistle almost got off to an excellent start in the second. A fortunate deflection fell into the path of Chris Erskine who found himself with a clear run on goal. The midfielder had a chance to shoot with his left foot but opted to attempt a squared pass to Kris Doolan which was intercepted and the opportunity passed.

Two minutes after that attack, Erskine did have a shot on goal. The number ten picked up the ball around 35 yards out and unleashed a left footed shot towards the far bottom corner. It looked destined to find the net but ex-Thistle ‘keeper, Scott Fox, got a strong left hand to it and collected afterwards.

Despite a promising start to the second half, Ross County would take the lead 13 minutes after the restart. Martin Woods was in possession and managed to get in behind Liam Lindsay who had been dragged out of position. Woods then cut the ball back looking for a teammate in the Jags box but it ricocheted off a couple of bodies before finding Craig Curran. The Staggies’ forward then turned home, finding the corner of Tomas Cerny’s goal and putting his side in pole position.

Five minutes after the goal, Thistle made their first change. Chris Erskine was withdrawn and was replaced by Ade Azeez as Alan Archibald looked to inject some energy into the attack.

It seemed that the introduction of Azeez had some sort of motivational impact on the team as Thistle equalised before he could even touch the ball. After a poor Edward free kick, the Australian had a second chance to whip the ball in. He found Liam Lindsay and the centre-half used a clever flick to knock the ball on to Kris Doolan. The marksman then shuffled to gain a yard of space and blasted a left-footed shot in at the near post. The goal was a landmark strike for Doolan as he netted his 100th for the Jags. The goal also made him the Thistle’s all-time top league goal scorer.

Doolan wasn’t given long to bask in the glory of his 100th goal as just 15 minutes later he grabbed his 101st. Doolan was fed the ball on the edge of the box and he played the it to Adam Barton before spinning off his man and running into the area. Barton then headed back into the path of Doolan who controlled before simply stroking the ball home at the near post.

With just a one goal lead, the game wasn’t over by any means and after conceding late goals in their last two games the Thistle players had to stay completely focused to avoid a similar fate against the Highland outfit and that’s exactly what they did. As the opposition piled on the pressure late on, the Jags kept pushing and chasing to protect their lead and the out-ball of Ade Azeez was a great tool to have as the Englishmen held the ball in the County half on several occasions.

In the dying moments of the game, the visitors were launching the ball forward at every opportunity but before they could create anything, the referee blew for full time. The victory sent Thistle four points clear of Kilmarnock in sixth after Killie could only manage a draw with Inverness. The three points represented a huge step towards the Firhill side’s prospective top six finish.

Alan Archibald’s men are next in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Parkhead to face the reigning champions of Scotland, Celtic. The game is Thistle’s third last match before the split and kick-off is at 19:45.

THISTLE TEAM: Cerny, Dumbuya, Keown, Lindsay, Elliott, Barton, Osman (Devine, 45’), Lawless, Erskine (Azeez, 63’), Edwards, Doolan.

THISTLE SUBS (N/U): Ridgers, Booth, McCarthy, Amoo, Nisbet.

ROSS COUNTY TEAM: Fox, Naismith, Fraser, Davies, McEveley (Gardyne 77’), van der Weg, Routis (O’Brien, 79’), Woods, Boyce, Schalk, Curran (Dow, 83’).

ROSS COUNTY SUB (N/U): McCarey, Tumility, Dykes, Lalkovic.

Article Copyright © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 1st April 2017

After giving away four points in their last two games as a result of late goals, Partick Thistle were glad to pick up a victory against Ross County at Firhill. With Kilmarnock hot on their tails in the race for sixth, it was important that they weren’t left rueing missed opportunities.

Things weren’t looking great when Ross County took the lead through Craig Curran early in the second half but two goals from Kris Doolan – the first of which was his 100th competitive Thistle goal – secured the three points for the Firhill side and, with Kilmarnock having drawn away at Inverness, the Jags now move four points clear of the bottom half. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald, spoke to ptfc.co.uk following the match to offer his view of the game.

After a sub-par first half showing, Archie was happy with the way that his team turned their performances around.

“We weren’t at the races for the first half. The credit goes to County as they were probably the better side. I think the fact that Abdul Osman picked up a small injury early on, well before being taken off, didn’t help. However, I was happy with the lads in the second half, we asked them to take a bit of responsibility and I think they did that.”

The gaffer was also very complimentary when talking about Kris Doolan who, as previously mentioned, netted his 100th and 101st competitive Jags goals.

“I just touched on players taking responsibility and no one does that better than Kris. He also takes it upon himself – maybe sometimes too much – to score our goals but it’s a fitting way for him to hit 100, with two goals to turn the game around.”

Doolan wore the captain’s armband as he struck twice to give his side the win and Alan Archibald identified the striker as a role model to young players.

“He’s done brilliantly for us and nothing we can give him would equal what he’s done for the club. If there are any young boys who want someone to look up to at our club, on and off the pitch, no one is a better professional than Kris. You won’t hear anyone say a bad word about him and many people say that good guys don’t get rewards but thankfully Kris is being rewarded for the work he puts in.”

Archie was also pleased that his team saw the game out well after conceding late goals in their last two matches.

“We had our captain missing, so we lacked a bit of height late on and County were throwing everything at us in the dying minutes but I thought we saw the game out very well. I thought that Ade Azeez came on at the end and caused their defence some major problems and wound the clock down for us which is something we asked him to do.”

Despite increasing the gap between his side and the bottom six, the manager realises that his team may well need that cushion considering the games they have between now and the split.

“We will need the breathing space we have now. We know the run that we have. We’ve got Celtic and Rangers coming up with Motherwell sandwiched in between so it is a tough run. However, we must give the lads credit. After the St. Johnstone cup game, we asked them to put a run together for the final 10 games and they’ve done that. We haven’t lost a league game so far since then so we’ll go to Parkhead in good confidence.”

Although Archie endeavours to stay grounded at all times, he is under no illusions as to how important a top six finish would be to Partick Thistle Football Club.

“It would be massive for the club but I’d rather get there first and then talk about it, to be honest. We’re not over the line yet, Killie and Dundee aren’t far behind and a couple of results could change things very quickly.”

The boss also gave a quick update on the health of Abdul Osman who was forced off in first half stoppage time with an injury.

“I’m not 100 percent sure yet. I’ve spoken to the physio quickly and we think it might be a dislocation but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Alan Archibald’s Thistle side are next in action against Celtic on Wednesday night at Parkhead as they look to become just the third team to take points from the league leaders. Kick-off is at 19:45.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Kris Doolan and Christie Elliott. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.

Article Copyright © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.

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