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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Fri 30 January, 2015. Kick Off: - 19:45
Firhill Stadium

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
12
Paul Gallacher
2
Stephen O'Donnell
5
Callum Booth
6
Conrad Balatoni
8
Stuart Bannigan
9
Kris Doolan (Nathan Eccleston79)
10
Ryan Stevenson (c)
11
Steven Lawless
13
Frederic Frans
15
Kallum Higginbotham (Gary Fraser 63)
18
Abdul Osman (Declan McDaid74)
 
Subs
1
Scott Fox (gk)
7
James Craigen
19
Nathan Eccleston
21
Ben Richards-Everton
22
Gary Fraser
28
Declan McDaid
30
Dale Keenan
St. Mirren
12
Mark Ridgers
2
Jason Naismith
4
Marc McAusland
6
Jim Goodwin
7
John McGinn
8
Kenny McLean
9
Steven Thompson (c) (Gregg Wylde 89)
31
Stephen Mallan
17
James Dayton (Lewis McLear 70)
22
Jeroen Tesselaar
13
Isaac Osbourne (Sean Kelly 63)
 
Subs
28
Marian Kello (gk)
3
Sean Kelly
11
Gregg Wylde
14
Thomas Reilly
16
Callum Ball
30
Jack Baird
32
Lewis McLear
 
Subs
1
Scott Fox (gk)
7
James Craigen
19
Nathan Eccleston
21
Ben Richards-Everton
22
Gary Fraser
28
Declan McDaid
30
Dale Keenan
 
Subs
28
Marian Kello (gk)
3
Sean Kelly
11
Gregg Wylde
14
Thomas Reilly
16
Callum Ball
30
Jack Baird
32
Lewis McLear
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 30th January 2015

Ahead of a massive game against St Mirrren tonight, Alan Archibald took time out of his preparations to give ptf.co.uk the latest news.
“Obviously first and foremost we were delighted to get Callum Booth signed up. He was one who we tried to get at the beginning of the window but they were waiting on getting one in before they could let him go. We’re delighted to have him now as left back has been a bit of a problem area for us. He’l go straight into the squad and hopefully do a good job for us between now and the end of the season.
“One of Callum’s biggest strengths is going forward and we like to get our full backs playing up the pitch and making things happen. he’s a fit boy and I’m sure he will have no problem fitting into our system and he has every opportunity to go on and play games for us.
“It was a bit of a no brainer for us, Callum knows the league and has played at a decent level. The only tricky thing is getting him in and used to how we play and how the other boys play as quickly as possible.”
The Thistle boss was quick to dismiss the idea that this was a bigger game for the visitors than it was for his side.
“It’s a massive game for both sides. Obviously Gary Teale will wants a win to try and lift his side above Motherwell but we need all three points to keep us in touching distance of the teams above us and put that extra bit of cushion between us and those underneath. It’ll be a good game and hopefully a decent one for the fans to come and watch. Apart from the cup tie between us, which was a bit of a drab a affair, our games are usually pretty good.”
With transfer rumours abound Archie has had to keep his squad’s focus firmly on the match ahead.
“There has obviously been quite a bit of speculation and rumour going around over the last week or so but the squad have all been very focussed. Obviously we received a bid for Stephen O’Donnell, which we accepted, but Stephen knocked back the move – that would put off some players but Stephen has responded really well. He hasn’t let it put him off and he has performed well both in games and in training since.”
Like many involved with football Alan relishes the Friday night games.
“There is always something a bit special about the Friday night games, playing under the floodlights always adds a bit of atmosphere and the fans are normally that little bit louder too. We’re hoping for a good attendance and a loud home support to help get us over the line and up the road with all three points.”

Match Report

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 30th January 2015

Firhill under the floodlights always brings an extra sense of anticipation and atmosphere and with the addition of the BT Sport cameras, who were televising the visit of St Mirren, it was set up for an intriguing evening of Friday night football. Manager Alan Archibald made three changes to the starting line-up that had secured a 2-2 draw down at Kilmarnock. New signing Callum Booth made his Thistle debut at left back while Conrad Balatoni returned in place of the injured Dan Seaborne. The final change of the evening saw Stuart Bannigan replace James Craigen who dropped to the bench. Scott Fox returned to the bench and there was also a place for Ben Richards-Everton who has returned from his loan spell at Airdrie.
St Mirren kicked the game off and were straight on the front foot forcing the first corner of the game after just 26 seconds. As the ball came in it broke to Mallan but his effort was well wide of the target. Thistle tried to impose themselves more on the game and a long clearance by Gallagher saw Doolan win the header but Stevenson’s 22 yard half volley was saved by Ridgers.
It was the visitors who would strike first though and, in the 6th minute, the Paisley Saints took the lead. A corner from the right was not properly dealt with by the Jags’ defence and St Mirren debutant, James Dayton, took advantage firing home from 14 yards – unchallenged – to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Thistle looked to immediately get back level and good link up play between Lawless and Stevenson saw the latter’s cross find Bannigan in the box. The returning midfielder could not direct his header on target though. Thistle were forcing the play but all too often the final ball was lacking and the team was missing the killer instinct. Bannigan delivered a couple of great balls in from corners which deserved to be attacked more but too often the visitors coped comfortably with the high balls that the home side were launching.
Bannigan saw a volley hit the heels of Lawless six yards from goal after good work by Stevenson. Higginbotham then saw his tame effort go well wide from the edge of the box. The play was positive by the men in red and yellow though and Lawless sent new signing, Booth, away but the Edinburgh lad’s cross evaded Stevenson by inches before O’Donnell saw his 12 yard angled shot saved by Ridgers. It was the visitors’ turn next as Tesselaar broke clear for St Mirren and his cut back to McLean saw his shot go narrowly wide off the post. O’Donnell then sent Lawless clear on the left with a magnificent piece of play, Lawless’s cross found Higginbotham who in turn found Stevenson but his shot failed to trouble the goalie. At half time the score line remained 1-0 to the visitors.
Thistle started the second half pretty much camped inside St Mirren’s half. Stevenson fed Booth and his excellent ball into the box found Lawless, but his shot was weak and Ridgers saved.
Lawless again looked dangerous and fizzed a cross in which was deflected to the back post but O’Donnell’s hooked effort went over the bar. Booth, who was impressing on his debut, found Stevenson with a pass, his cross saw Doolan lay the ball off to Higginbotham but his curling shot was saved by Ridgers.
Still Thistle could not find the breakthrough as frustrations grew and again the final ball was lacking as the visitors were content to sit on their early lead and soak up high balls into the box. St Mirren, who had not made any forays towards Gallacher’s goal in the second half, then saw a Kelly cross land on the roof of the keepers net after 73 minutes.
A long throw from O’Donnell on the right hand side saw the ball fall to the feet of Stevenson but his volley was wild and caused no problems for Ridgers in the visitors’ goal.
Despite Thistle using their full quota of substitutes the pattern of the game remained the same and a 25 yard effort from Fraser was miles off the target. Neither side was able to create any more chances and, as the ref blew for full time, there was a sense of frustration amongst the majority of the 3,864 in the crowd after what was a poor advert for football on a freezing cold evening.
Disappointment for the home side who missed the chance to put more daylight between themselves and the sides below them as well as the chance to move further up the table.

Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 30th January 2015

It was a desperately disappointed Alan Archibald who spoke to ptfc.co.uk after the match against St Mirren. Having dominated possession but lost 1-0 Archie was clearly frustrated with his team’s performance.

“Yea, it was a hard one to take today. we just didn’t hurt them enough. As soon as they got their goal they were able to just manage the game and fair play to them they did that very well.

“We weren’t able to shift the ball quickly enough or get in behind them to hurt them and that’s why we didn’t win the game. We lost a poor goal when we weren’t quick enough to a second ball and from there we really struggled. We had a long time to get back in the game and I just don’t think we did enough to merit all three points.”

It was a Thistle side that seemed flat and one certainly nowhere near its free flowing best.

” We didn’t get the ball out to the wide areas often enough and we were too slow moving the ball around. I think that’s the most disappointing thing to be honest. After we lost the goal the onus was on us to go and break them down. It suited their game to sit in and protect their lead and they did it very well.

“We resorted to hitting long balls but they weren’t sticking for us and to be fair that doesn’t really suit our game. That’s why we were looking to get it out to the wide areas but it just didn’t come off for us tonight.”

One of the few positives from the evening was Callum Booth’s introduction. The on loan left back settled in well and looked dangerous at times going forward – despite only having trained twice with the squad.

“I thought Callum did well and bedded himself into the game. We probably didn’t use him enough actually but when he did get on the ball he delivered some dangerous crosses and a lot of the good stuff came down his side.”

 

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