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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Fri 19 September, 2014. Kick Off: - 19:45
Firhill Stadium

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Scott Fox
5
Aaron Muirhead
6
Conrad Balatoni
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan (Nathan Eccleston 77)
10
Ryan Stevenson (James Craigen 74)
11
Steven Lawless (Christie Elliott 83)
15
Kallum Higginbotham
16
Jordan McMillan
17
Jake Carroll
18
Abdul Osman
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
2
Stephen O'Donnell
7
James Craigen
14
Christie Elliott
19
Nathan Eccleston
23
David Wilson
30
Dale Keenan
St. Mirren
28
Marian Kello
2
Jason Naismith
5
Ellis Plummer (Marc McAusland 57)
6
Jim Goodwin
7
John McGinn
8
Kenny McLean
10
James Marwood (Callum Ball 53)
11
Gregg Wylde (Thomas Reilly 53)
13
Isaac Osbourne
21
Gary Teale
22
Jeroen Tesselaar
 
Subs
12
Mark Ridgers
3
Sean Kelly
4
Marc McAusland
14
Thomas Reilly
16
Callum Ball
17
Adam Drury
29
Ross Caldwell
 
Subs
12
Paul Gallacher
2
Stephen O'Donnell
7
James Craigen
14
Christie Elliott
19
Nathan Eccleston
23
David Wilson
30
Dale Keenan
 
Subs
12
Mark Ridgers
3
Sean Kelly
4
Marc McAusland
14
Thomas Reilly
16
Callum Ball
17
Adam Drury
29
Ross Caldwell
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 19th September 2014

Confidence is high in the camp following Saturday’s win against Inverness and it was a happy, relxed looking Alan Archibald who joined ptfc.co.uk to preview Friday night’s game – the first of a league and cup double header against St Mirren.
Alan said: “It’s been a great week, really positive. There’s nothing better than to come in on a Monday having had a good result and good performance from the boys on a Saturday. The boys have been in good form all week and we’re looking forward to another home game and hopefully we can go and build on it.
“We spoke to the guys straight after the Inverness game – in fact it was the first thing we said to them, we can’t go from beating Ross County comfortably and playing like we did on Saturday to losing game we were ahead in with five minutes to go. We have to get a level of consistency to our game and the home match tomorrow gives us the perfect opportunity to do that.
“So far we haven’t had the problem we had last year with getting results at home, but we need to take the results we’re getting at Firhill and build on them. Winning back to back games and climbing up the league is the only way to do that.”
St Mirren’s poor run of form is well publicised but Archie is only focussed on his team’s performance.
“It happened to us at times last season as well, bad runs happen and they aren’t nice when they do, no matter who you are. Having said that St Mirren’s poor run is going to come to an end at some point and we just need to make sure it isn’t against us.
“The St Mirren games that I’ve analysed so far this season haven’t been games that they have played poorly in, I just don’t think they have had the luck so far. A win gives us the chance to move 10 points ahead of them which is a great cushion at this stage of the season.”
Archie is clear in his aims and wants to be able to start looking up the table rather than just over his shoulder the whole time.
“We spent a lot of last season focussed on the teams below us and I want everyone at the club to be looking up this season, trying to catch the teams above us. A win on Friday night would put us in a great position to achieve that.”
Finally we checked in with the gaffer for his all important team news.
“One of the young boys, Declan McDaid, picked up a knock on Tuesday night in the development squad game. Conrad Balatoni has a niggling hamstring injury that he’s trying to shake and Sean Welsh remains sidelined but is making good progress. Nathan Eccleston trained for the latter part of this week and has a chance of making the squad.”

Match Report

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 19th September 2014

After a terrific 3-1 victory over league leaders, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, last Saturday, hopes were high for our Friday night game against a St Mirren side who were still to score a point coming into the game at Firhill.

Manager, Alan Archibald, made one change to the starting line up with Aaron Muirhead coming in for the injured Dan Seaborne. Meanwhile, on the bench, there was a place for deadline day signing Nathan Eccleston who replaced Declan McDaid after the youngster picked up a knock on Tuesday while in action for the Development team.

Thistle began the half shooting in towards the Jags fans in the North Stand and, within thirty seconds, a great through ball from Steven Lawless found Kallum Higginbotham whose shot was deflected wide for a corner which the Saints defence managed to clear. The visitors forced a corner of their own and, as the Jags’ defence struggled to clear, Teale saw his shot saved well by Fox. Jeroen Tesselaar became the game’s first booking for the visitors after a shockingly late tackle on Jordan McMillan inside the first 10 minutes.

With half time in the first period approaching the deadlock was broken. Higginbotham did well to find Lawless on the left, he then worked the space to send in a peach of a cross and Kris Doolan headed passed Kello from eight yards out to give the Jags a 1-0 lead. It was so nearly 2-0 when Higginbotham’s cut back was beautifully dummied by Doolan and Lawless saw his shot blocked before seeing Kello gather the ball safely. In the 25th minute Thistle should have increased their lead again, good play from Osman found Stevenson who passed to Lawless and his slide rule pass put Doolan clean through. With Thistle fans’ hearts in their mouths everyone in the home end were disappointed to see Dools snatch at his shot and fire wide from 14 yards out. Shortly before the break Stevenson was able to pick out McMillan who had made an enterprising run into the fox and on receiving the ball from his teammate saw his cross evade Doolan by mere inches.

Another chance went begging for the Jags when Lawless cut inside and found Doolan, his lay off saw Stevenson fire wildly over the bar and then, right on half time, McGinn robbed Stuart Bannigan in midfield and fizzed a shot that Fox parried clear leaving Thistle 1-0 up at the break.

Into the second half and it was undoubtedly the visitors who started the brighter. McLean burst into the box but shot wildly over and then Fox punched a Wylde free kick clear when it looked easier to catch. The Buddies had certainly started the stronger but Thistle had chances of their own, a Higginbotham corner picking out Balatoni who couldn’t direct his header on target from 16 yards.

Unfortunately the Jags’ lead wasn’t to last and the visitors equalised on the 60th minute. Tesselaar’s cross from the left found lots of space in the home defence and, with nobody taking command of the situation, substitute, Ball, nipped in and forced the ball wide of Fox from eight yards to make it 1-1. Saints didn’t take their foot off the gas though and continued to come forward with Ball again getting in behind the home defence defying the offside line only to see his effort deflected wide.

It was clear to see that Thistle had not turned up so far in the second half but they did create a chance when Stevenson laid off for Higginbotham who played a neat one-two with Lawless but he fired his cross over when Doolan was waiting in the box for a rolled pass. Eccleston came on for his Jags debut on 77 minutes, replacing Doolan who had worked hard.

Muirhead then gave away a needless free kick 22 yards out central to the goal but Goodwin fired inches wide marking the beginning of a period that would see a flurry of chances. A nice chested lay off from Eccleston found Craigen but he fired wide and, in the 89th minute Fox made a great save from Ball who had his fair share of chances. Into injury time and a great piece of pace saw Eccleston win the ball wide and cut inside Goodwin but ultimately blazed his shot high and wide.

A very soft free kick against the home side saw McLean force a great save by Fox but, from the rebound, Osman was penalised for hand ball and a penalty was given. McLean stepped up and made no mistake to give Saints a 2-1 victory and leave Jags fans dejected.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 19th September 2014

On Friday night Thistle failed to push on from the excellent win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle when, for the second time at home this season, they let a one goal lead slip before conceding an injury time winner.

It was hugely frustrated Alan Archibald then that [link:HOME] spoke to after the final whistle.

“Obviously the way that the game ended was just awful for us with us losing a goal in the last minute but I did think that there were positives to take from the first half performance. We spoke before the game about the fact that St Mirren had to win a game eventually but I thought that we reacted well to that situation. We started the game really well , we were the better team and I thought that we controlled the game and created a lot of chances.”

Thistle had been in control up to up to St Mirren’s equaliser on the hour mark which almost changed the pattern of the game completely.

Said Alan;

“That’s what goals do. If we take our chances and go 2-0 up then it is a different game but they got their goal and hats off to them, they probably started the second half the better, and they kicked on from their goal while we took a bit of time to settle after that.”

Alan continued;

“If truth be told we simply gave the ball away far too often in the second half. Our players who are good on the ball and can hurt teams and can look after the ball didn’t do so and the turn overs were far too many for our liking. I don’t know if that was done to an eagerness to get on the ball and get forward as quickly as possible but we gave the ball away far too often in the middle area of the pitch where if we take care of the ball we can go and counter attack on them.”

There was more than just a hint of controversy surrounding the penalty award that gave St Mirren their late winner and we asked the manager how he had viewed the incident.

“I’m more angry with the free kick leading up to it. I thought it was a terrible decision and I felt the referee made a few of them throughout the game. It was a very soft free kick where I think Conrad just goes and wins the ball. When the ball goes into the box Abdul reacts and his hands are up in the air in front of him. It’s one of those things; he’s a yard away and there isn’t much he can do about it. Yes, they can say that his hands shouldn’t be up there but he probably loses his balance otherwise. Kenny McLean doesn’t miss many from the spot, he scored with a penalty here last season, so we kind of knew what was coming when the penalty was given. It’s a really sore one to take with it coming in the last minute of the game. ”

We are back here on Tuesday with St Mirren again the opposition, this time in the League Cup

“That should be an interesting one” said Alan before continuing:

“There were enough positives to take from tonight’s game going into Tuesday’s match. I think we know that we can go and hurt St Mirren when we are at our best and when we move the ball quickly but equally we know that if we don’t do that then they can hurt us and that’s what happened tonight.”

Will the manager be making changes for Tuesday’s game?

“We’ll see what the next couple of days bring with injuries, I think we’ve a couple of knocks from tonight’s game so we’ll need to wait and see on that front.”

It was injury that kept Dan Seaborne out of the side on Friday as the manager confirmed.

“He got injured in training on Thursday when he went over his ankle. These things happen but it was frustrating although I felt that Aaron Muirhead came in and did okay albeit we lost a poor goal but it was the defence as a whole that lost the goal. We don’t know how long Dan will be out for but hopefully it won’t be for too long.”

 

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