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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Fri 4 May, 2018. Kick Off: - 19:45
The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill

Fixture details:

HOME Ticket prices(Jackie Husband and John Lambie Stands):

Adults £22

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

Under 16s FREE

AWAY Ticket prices(Colin Weir Stand):

There will be a cash gate in operation for away supporters.

Adults £22

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

Under 16s £5

Match Sponsor: 

PlayerZone: 

As tonight’s game is an evening game there is no PlayerZone.

Aitken Suite:

Opens to all supporters at 17:00

Programme: 

Find out what is inside tonight’s issue

Available around The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill for only £3

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomas Cerny
4
Baily Cargill (Adam Barton 57)
9
Kris Doolan (Miles Storey 74)
10
Chris Erskine
14
Christie Elliott
15
Daniel Devine
16
Paul McGinn
18
Conor Sammon
19
Ryan Edwards (Blair Spittal 65)
24
Andrew McCarthy
37
Martin Woods
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
2
Mustapha Dumbuya
6
Abdul Osman
7
Blair Spittal
11
Steven Lawless
13
Adam Barton
39
Miles Storey
Ross County
1
Scott Fox
2
Marcus Fraser
3
Jason Naismith
5
Harry Souttar
7
Michael Gardyne
10
Alex Schalk
17
Ross Draper
18
Jamie Lindsay (Mattias Kait 82)
22
Billy Mckay (Craig Curran 86)
32
Liam Fontaine
35
Max Melbourne (Davis Keillor-Dunn 69)
 
Subs
31
Aaron McCarey
9
Ryan Dow
11
Craig Curran
14
David N'Gog
25
Jim O'Brien
40
Davis Keillor-Dunn
47
Mattias Kait
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
2
Mustapha Dumbuya
6
Abdul Osman
7
Blair Spittal
11
Steven Lawless
13
Adam Barton
39
Miles Storey
 
Subs
31
Aaron McCarey
9
Ryan Dow
11
Craig Curran
14
David N'Gog
25
Jim O'Brien
40
Davis Keillor-Dunn
47
Mattias Kait
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 4th May 2018

As the thistle squad build up to one of the biggest games of recent seasons, it is clear that Friday night’s match is absolutely massive. Alan Archibald took time out of a busy training week to speak to ptfc.co.uk about the clash with bottom of the table Ross County.

“I’ve been in charge of a lot of games here and I think this could well be the biggest, the enormity of it speaks for itself. It’s very similar to the last time we played them when we were up there. We’re just ahead of them but they could leapfrog us with a win while we could open some ground up if we win. It’s a huge game.

“The big thing for me is momentum. If we can win on Friday night it gives us the momentum to keep going and build into the next one. Conversely a win for us also takes any momentum they might build right out of them. We said that after Saturday’s draw in Perth, that point in itself might not mean anything come the end of the season but not losing a game keeps things going in the right direction.”

Plenty of Thistle fans will have a close eye on Saturday’s fixtures but Archibald is focussed exclusively on Thistle’s own fixtures.

“It’s at that stage of the season where it’s difficult to tell what the best result is in terms of the other games. We just need to concentrate on ourselves and go win the game – that’s all we can do. We’ll be focussed on Friday night and make sure we get the win for Partick Thistle, one way or the other the other fixtures will look after themselves so we just need to look after us.”

The last time the two sides met Thistle went down 4-0 to the Staggies in a match that many predicted would derail the Jags’ survival plan. Things didn’t quite turn out like that but everyone in the Thistle camp knows there are lessons to be learned from the encounter.

“I think we’re in a far better frame of mind than we were after the trip up north a month ago. We had a couple of meetings after the game. It all went wrong that night but we’ve had a chance to reflect on it and we got a fresh start after the split to try and go turn things around. Getting the winning start gave us a great platform on which to build and we just need to take it a game at a time now.

“Don’t get me wrong though, there was plenty to learn from in terms of the mistakes made in that game and we haven’t forgotten about it by any manner or means. It was a tough night and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again on Friday.”

Some people might expect the size of the game to have a negative impact on the players’ mentality but Archibald insists his players thrive off the big games and the atmosphere that comes with them.

“I think nerves do have an impact and you sometimes see that in terms of the quality in a game disappearing. There will be tension and nervousness but we need to get that settled early and get our heads in the game.

“As a player you want to play in these big games, they’re what you look for. Granted you’d rather be playing in them at the other end of the table the pressure brings great atmosphere and hopefully we can enjoy that and thrive upon it.

“The support has been absolutely terrific in recent weeks and you saw that with the game last week. We also took 950 to Perth and that kind of backing can make a real difference.”

Thistle have conceded first in each of their post split games and, while they have come back in each, it isn’t something Archie wants to go through for a third match in a row.

“We were delighted with the spirit we showed to get back in the last two games but we don’t want to make a habit of going a goal down – it gives you a mountain to climb. If you get the first goal and get on the front foot we can hopefully go and build on it and give the supporters something to sing about.”

Finally, the manager gave an update in terms of the fitness of his player, including Callum Booth who was forced off in the last match.

“It’s much the same as last week on the fitness front and we have pretty much a full squad to pick from. Callum Booth picked up a wee issue in his groin on Saturday but we’ll give him every chance to be involved on Friday night.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Ryan Edwards, Steven Lawless and Jags gaffer, Alan Archibald, are now available to Jagzone subscribers – log in to see them. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game.

Can’t make The Energy Check Stadium at 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 also 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 © 2018. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate written permissions, source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.

94’Full Time Report

It's a result that suits neither side.

Thistle remain 2 points above County at the foot of the table but can only close the gap on Hamilton and Dundee, who play tomorrow, to 3 points.

Two games to go and sure to be plenty more twists and turns before the season's end.

 
94’Full Time
90’+04’Thistle corner from the right
 
90’+02’

Elliott wastes a cross from the right.

 
90’

Thistle are throwing everything at County as we go into injury time

 
90’

Minimum of 4 minutes additiolnal time

89’Thistle corner from the right
89’ corner from the right
88’Thistle corner from the right
85’Ross County substitution: Craig Curran replaces Billy Mckay
 
83’

Man of the Match: Chris Erskine

 
83’

Easy catch for Fox from the Woods corner.

82’Thistle corner from the right
82’Thistle corner from the left

Fox tips over Storey's effort.

81’Ross County substitution: Mattias Kait replaces Jamie Lindsay
 
77’

The Thistle fans are doing all they can to lift their team.

76’Ross County corner from the left
 
76’

Half hearted appeals for a penalty when a Storey shot strikes a County defender.

73’Thistle substitution: Miles Storey replaces Kris Doolan
 
72’

Another effort on the Thistle goal. This time it is Schalk who has a go but the ball clears the bar with a bit to spare.

 
71’

A poor clearance is siezed upon by Gardyne and from the edge of the box he sends a shot a foot or so over the Thistle bar. County are sensing victory.

69’Thistle Booking - Paul McGinn
69’Ross County substitution: David Keillor-Dunn replaces Max Melbourne
 
68’

Woods' corner is firmly headed clear. The ball is worked back out to him and he skips past a challenge before sending over a cross that Doolan can't get the right connection on.

67’Thistle corner from the right
 
66’

Mckay isn't far away from connecting with a ball in from wide on thew right. County firmly on the front foot at the moment.

 
65’

Cerny gets a firm fist to the second corner but Melblourne collects the ball on the right and pressure remains opn until Spittal clears.

65’Ross County corner from the right
65’Ross County corner from the right
 
64’

Thistle appeal for handball but plays rages on and Cerny saves from Gardyne.

64’Thistle substitution: Blair Spittal replaces Ryan Edwards
 
63’

Erskine looks to play a pass to his right but instead turns to his left and creates a shooting opportunity but lifts the ball over the bar.

 
61’

The ball is safely in the hands of Cerny but it is County that are on top at the moment.

60’Ross County corner from the right
59’Ross County corner from the right
 
57’

It's getting more than a little tense out there.

56’Thistle substitution: Adam Barton replaces Baily Cargill
 
55’

It's a good spell from County and Mckay sends a shot wide of Cerny's right hand post from just outside the Thistle box.

 
51’

Elliott cuts in from the left but slices his shot horribly wide of target.

 
49’

doolan does well to get the ball over from the left. Sammon makes a near post run to meet the cross but can't direct the ball towards goal and County have a goal kick.

 
45’Kick-Off (2nd half)
 
45’+02’Half-Time

Woods is able to find Cargill at the back post but there is no power in Cargill's header and Fox saves.

 
45’+01’

Thistle get a free kick about 35 yards from the County goal.

 
45’

Minimum of 2 minutes additional time to be played.

42’Goal Ross County! Billy Mckay
Thistle 1 - Ross County 1

Mckay looks yards offside when he collects the ball in front of the Thistle goal but there is no flag.

 
40’

Sammon tries to squeeze his way through almost on the County bye line but is crowded out

37’Thistle corner from the left
35’Thistle corner from the right

Another Thistle corner. Woods aims for the back post this time. Sammon heads the ball on but Fox gathers.

 
35’

Woods' near post corner is cleared but Thistle pick up the ball and McCarthy sends over a decent ball that is cleared.

34’Thistle corner from the right
 
33’

The Thistle fans are in full vloice at the moment. Brilliant support.

 
27’

Fontaine gets his head to a free kick from wide on the right but Cerny saves low  down on his goal line.

22’Goal Thistle! Chris Erskine
Thistle 1 - Ross County 0

Two County defenders miss a simple forward pass. That gets Doolan clear on the left. He picks out Erskine with a cross and Erskine volleys crisply into the net.

 
19’

Thistle struggle to clear their lines and Naismith has a shot but it goes high over the bar.

 
17’

Sammon burts clear down the left but can't find Erskine with his cross.

 
15’

It's still very hectic out there. Thistle having ther better of things but no clear cut chances yet.

 
07’

Sammon stoops low to connect with an Edwards' cross but his header drifts wide of goal.

 
06’

There is a good sized crowd inside Firhill with the Thistle fans in good voice.

 
04’

It's all very hectic as first County have Thistle under some pressure until Devine steps in to clear. Thistle break quickly and Sammon has the ball in the net but the whistle had already sounded for an earlier foul from the big Thistle striker.

 
02’

Thistle have looked eager in the opening minutes.. McGinn gets into a good position on the right but over hits his cross.

 
00’Kick-Off
 
00’Introduction

It's a lovely evening. The pitch looks in magnificent condition and all is set for a match the importance of which cannot be underestimated.

There is no shortage of talking points either in Alan Archibald's team selection.

Injury sadly rule out both Callum Booth and Niall Keown and that means starts for Paul McGinn and Daniel Devine.

Blair Spittal and Steven Lawless also drop out of the side that drew 1-1 with St Johnstone last weekend. Those two drop to the bench allowing Conor Sammon and Ryan Edwards to come into the starting eleven.

Kris Doolan is the Thistle skipper on this night of huge significance for our survival hopes.

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Ross County – 4th May 2018

With the Ladbrokes Premiership season drawing ever closer to its conclusion, Partick Thistle welcomed fellow top flight strugglers, Ross County to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. Thistle looked to push the Staggies closer to automatic relegation with a win while the Highlanders aimed to leapfrog the Jags with two further games in the league season.

Alan Archibald made four changes to the side that drew at St. Johnstone last Saturday with a couple of those alterations being enforced. Tomas Cerny remained in goals behind a back four that saw two changes. Niall Keown and Callum Booth both missed the game through injury, being replaced by Daniel Devine and Paul McGinn in the starting line-up. Baily Cargill retained the centre-half spot beside the returning Devine while Christie Elliott shifted over to the left to allow McGinn to play on his natural right side. In the midfield, Andrew McCarthy and Martin Woods remained in the sitting midfield roles with Chris Erskine and Ryan Edwards slightly ahead of them. Edwards replaced Steven Lawless in the starting XI and allowed the midfield unit to form something of a diamond which was characterised by its fluidity as Edwards, Erskine and McCarthy moved around fairly freely during the game. For the first time since the Jags last played County, they started with a two-man strikeforce. Conor Sammon came in for Blair Spittal as he partnered stand-in captain, Kris Doolan.

The game began rather frantically but with little quality as both teams looked to take control. Half chances fell the way of Conor Sammon and Jason Naismith but there were few clear cut chances until the deadlock was broken on 21 minutes by Chris Erskine. A long ball forward flew towards Conor Sammon and the Irishman simply left it. That seemed to surprise two County men who saw the ball skip past them into the path of Kris Doolan. Thistle talismanic number nine then lifted a perfectly weighted ball into Chris Erskine who struck the ball first time on the volley, beating Scott Fox and giving Thistle the lead.

County almost found a leveller with five minutes of Erskine’s deadlock-breaking goal. A deep free-kick into the Thistle box found Liam Fontaine who had got the better of Baily Cargill and the ex-Hibs man tried to direct his header towards goal. He managed to get the effort on target but it lacked power and Tomas Cerny was able to save easily.

The Staggies would pull level though, in the 42nd minute, through Billy McKay. It was another deep free kick causing Thistle problems and this time, although nothing came of the initial ball in, a failure to clear the second ball led to Fontaine lifting the ball back towards goal. It was at this point that Billy McKay peeled away from the Thistle defence and slammed the ball past Tomas Cerny from close range. The former Inverness Caley Thistle striker had timed his run to perfection and finished well in a tight situation.

Thanks to that equaliser, the sides went into the interval with the score at 1-1. Thistle had dominated large parts of the game but, similarly to their last home game against Hamilton, had failed to convert dominance into good chances. County, on the other hand, had done well with the possession that they had. They had looked dangerous following quick turnovers of possession and seemed happy to scrap with Thistle for every ball.

The hosts were dealt a serious blow as they were forced into a substitution early in the second half. Baily Cargill had been struggling with a bad gash on his leg and had to be replaced by Adam Barton in the 56th minute.

Thistle then made another alteration on 66 minutes as Blair Spittal was introduced, replacing Ryan Edwards who had given everything to the game for over an hour.

Thistle nearly carved out a goal-scoring opportunity for legendary marksman Kris Doolan in the 70th minute. Martin Woods picked up the ball on the Jags right and tried to bend a ball into the box. Doolan made a diagonal run towards the front post and leapt to try and meet the ball but the delivery was marginally too high for the number nine and his very slight touch was only enough to put the ball behind for a goalkick.

That would be Doolan’s last meaningful contribution to the game as he was withdrawn in the 73rd minute to be replaced by Miles Storey with Thistle changing to a 4-2-3-1 formation for the remainder of the game.

With both teams pushing for a vital winner, there were half chances going both ways. Miles Storey, Billy McKay, Jason Naismith and Martin Woods all went close from difficult situations but the biggest chance to win the game came in the 90th minute. Blair Spittal whipped a right-footed corner in from the Colin Weir Stand side of the stadium, finding Daniel Devine. The defender, who has never scored competitively for Thistle, headed towards goal but Scott Fox pulled off a good save to deny him. The ball then fell to Miles Storey who shot from a tight angle but Marcus Fraser got something in the way of the shot and deflected it behind for a corner. There were appeals for handball against Fraser from a number of Jags men but Kevin Clancy gave nothing and the game ended 1-1.

Thistle remain in 11th place two points ahead of Ross County and three behind both Hamilton Accies and Dundee with two game remaining.  They now turn their attentions to Tuesday night’s game against Motherwell which gives Thistle another chance to keep County in 12th. Kick-off is 19:45 from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.

THISTLE TEAM: Cerny, McGinn, Devine, Cargill (Barton, 56’), Elliott, Woods, McCarthy, Edwards (Spittal, 66’), Erskine, Doolan (Storey, 73’), Sammon.

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Scully, Dumbuya, Osman, Lawless.

ROSS COUNTY TEAM: Fox, Naismith, Fontaine, Souttar, Fraser, Melbourne (Keillor-Dunn 69’), Lindsay (Kait, 82’), Draper, Gardyne, McKay (Curran, 86’), Schalk.

UNUSED SUBS (RCO): McCarey, O’Brien, Dow, N’Gog.

Article Copyright © 2018. 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 – 4th May 2018

After two games without defeat to kick off the post-split fixtures, Partick Thistle welcomed Ross County to Maryhill looking to push the Staggies to the very edge of the drop. In the end, the Ladbrokes Premiership battled to a 1-1 draw as the race for survival trundles on. The Jags took the lead in the 21st minute as Kris Doolan fed Chris Erskine, who volleyed home from close range past ex-teammate Scott Fox. Unfortunately for the hosts, they couldn’t reach half time with the lead as Billy McKay levelled things with three minutes left of the opening 45. The two relegation candidates fought out a scrappy second half but despite both sides creating, neither team could find a crucial winner and the match ended in a draw. Thistle boss, Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk following an exhausting 90 minutes of football.

We began by asking Alan about his view of the first half as his side dominated, took the lead and then suffered a major setback in the form of County’s equaliser.

“We started well, I felt. We were on the front foot and matched them excellently. I definitely thought we deserved our goal but we seemed to slowly fall away after we scored. Our decision-making got worse and we became slightly panicky. I think you could maybe see that we haven’t led too many games recently and, in the end, we lose a disappointing goal.”

Archie was pleased with the way that his side stuck to their task. The Jags didn’t give away too many clear cut opportunities and even managed to create a couple of their own chances in the dying moments of the match.

“I was generally happy with what the players put into the game. They showed a bit of that dig and fight although County had their spell. I think that when Baily Cargill had to come off, we looked a bit shaken and took a while for us to re-adjust but that’s only natural. We rode their pressure well and ultimately, could have taken all three points if one of those chances at the end go in.”

The gaffer mentioned that although his team didn’t pick up all three points, going another game without defeat keeps his side undefeated since the split which can only be positive psychologically for his squad.

“I said the same after last week’s draw; it keeps us on a little mini run which we were looking for coming into the split. Obviously, we need to turn these into wins but we’ve at least shaken that losing habit that we had struggled with for a very long time.  Also, we’ve now scored in three consecutive games which is a massive positive because we had gone a very long time without scoring ahead of the Hamilton game.”

Alan ended by talking about the final two games of the season and discussing what he wants to see from his side as they fight for survival.

“There are two huge fixtures still to play and we need to take full advantage of them as opportunities to get points. We have to show fight and spirit but also be more clinical when we’re on top. While we don’t control what happens with tenth, we can control whether we finish bottom and that has to be the motivation for the lads. No matter what County do, they can’t catch us if we do the business so it’s down to us now.”

The first of those two enormous games comes on Tuesday night at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill once again as Thistle host Motherwell. Kick-off is 19:45 in Maryhill.

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 Martin Woods. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

Jagzone subscribers will be able to rewatch the full 90 minutes soon

Highlights will be added shortly and will be free for Jagzone subscribers.

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 © 2018. 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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