William Hill Scottish Cup
Sat 19 January, 2019. Kick Off: - 15:00
The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill
Tickets for Thistle’s William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round tie against Stranraer are on sale now. Tickets, which will be available in advance as well as on the day of the match, are priced as below:
Concessions (65+*, under 16 and full-time students): £5
You can buy yours online, over the phone (0141 579 1971) or by visiting the Executives offices at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.
Season tickets are not valid for this fixture.
Season ticket holders can add the game to their season ticket card online, over the phone (0141 579 1971) or by visiting the Executives offices at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.
Stranraer supporters will be accommodated in the north section of the Jackie Husband Stand.
*Please note that bus passes are not a valid proof of ID for 65+ concession. Valid forms of ID for 65+ concession are: standard UK Driver’s license, passport, Birth certificate, VALIDATE UK proof of age card, NUS card, National ID card.
This weekend, Partick Thistle go into their first cup competition of 2019 as they begin their William Hill Scottish Cup journey for this season. The Jags face Stranraer at home as they seek to secure progression in Scotland’s oldest cup competition.
Thistle beat Stranraer 5-0 in the Irn Bru Cup earlier this season but know that they can’t take anything for granted against a good Blues side.
Jags boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ptfc.co.uk ahead of the fixture.
The gaffer began by explaining that even though Stranraer are from the league below Thistle, the Jags have been treating them with the same respect that they do any other opponent.
“The focus and desire is very much the same from the boys. There is always a certain buzz about cup games and everyone will be ready to give their all during the match.
“The cup gives us a bit of respite from the league and gives us the chance to get that win which will hopefully boost everyone’s confidence a bit. Having said that, we know that we can’t just take the win for granted, we will need to work hard to make sure we are in the hat for the next round.”
Although Caldwell thinks that Stranraer will give the Maryhill men a tougher game than they did back in August, he feels that the experience of playing against them previously could be useful for his squad.
“Footage isn’t as easy to come by for League One games but we have watched their last few games and had reports on them as well. The fact that have played them already this season should be a help too.
“It’s the same manager and players for the most part so that Irn Bru Cup game will have given the boys a taste of their style of play and will hopefully help them in dealing with Stranraer this time round.”
This week, Gary made his sixth signing as manager of the Club in the form of Lewis Mansell and he says the squad is getting closer to what he was looking for at the start of the window.
“I think there’s been improvement with the new boys coming in but I don’t think it’s happening quickly enough. Our performances have been good since the turn of the year but, crucially, that’s not translated into wins and that has to change.
“Lewis coming in represents another piece of the puzzle in place. He offers something a bit different as a tall, physical striker who also has decent mobility and hopefully he can contribute plenty in his time here.”
Nevertheless, the Jags manager feels there’s still more needed to get the team to where he wants them to be.
“We’ve had a few players leave the Club this month which means there are still funds there for me to use. We do still need at least another couple of bodies in to improve the squad and we’re constantly looking for the right signings.
“We had a clear plan at the start of the window which has put us in good stead in terms of transfer dealings but that plan hasn’t been completed yet.”
The Thistle boss rounded off his update by touching on the fitness of his squad.
“Credit to our physio and sports science department. Since I joined there have been very few issues with injury other than the continued recovery of the long term guys. It’s the same again this week with a full consignment of fit players.
“Coulibaly will feature on the bench against Stranraer. Soul’s fitness has improved and although he still isn’t fully fit he is fit enough to possibly play a role tomorrow.”
More exclusive preview interviews with Gary Harkins, Callum Wilson and Jags gaffer, Gary Caldwell, are available to Jagzone subscribers – log in now to see them.
Jagzone members will also be able to watch extended highlights of the game.
Can’t make it to the The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:45pm on Saturday.
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 © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.
Thistle are comfortably through to the next round with a 4-1 win although there were spells in the second half, with the score 2-1, whetre Thistle made things difficult for themselves and Stranraer were twice c,lose to an equaliser.
McGinty is on the end of Spittal's corner but his header goes wide.
Hamill heads behind just as Coulibaly looks set to nod home.
Spittal takes the free kick and isn't too far wide of target with it.
Thistle have a free kick at the right corner of the Stranraer box.
Elliott misses a good chance for Starnraer withna shot straight at Hazard despite Anderson clearly having taken the ball over the line for a goal kick before crossing.
Penrice tries his luck from 25 yards out but his shot is well wide.
Not for the first time Currie saves from Cardle with no Thistle player able to reach the rebound.
Spittal's shot is too straight to truly trouble Cuirrie.
Man of the Match: Aidan Fitzpatrick
That will surely be enough to secure Thistle's place in the next round. Fitzpatrick feeds Elliott who advances into the box. His cross is eventually knocked home by Spittal.
Doolan stretches to try and connect with a Cardle cross but can't quite make contact.
Fitzpatrick misses a great a chance to extend the lead further as he drags a shot across goal and wide.
A well worked goal restores the Thistle two goal lead. Harkins finds Bannigan out wide with a free kick and Bannigan's cross to the back post is headed home by Saunders.
Fitzpatrick does well to get a cross over from the right. Doolan gets his head to it but is off balance as he headers the ball and it goes wide.
A Turner shot is blocked by Saunders.
Thistle are under pressure as O'Keefe lifts a cross to the back post but the ball is eventually cleared.
Currie needs two attempts to hold on to a left foot Elliott shot.
Elliott tidies up for Thistle as Stranraer, pushing forward through Turner, fail to make the most of a situation where they have spare men to the left of Turner. Thistle have fallen right out of this.
Hazard gathers the corner from right underneath his crossbar.
Strantraer with their tails firmly up. Lamont's shot is blocked before Crossan's shot is deflected just wide of the Thistle goal.
Stranraer nearly grab an equaliser. A free kick into the box is headed on and Brownlie looks set to score only for Hazard to block. Second good save the keeper has had.
Currie can't hold a Cardle shot but no Thistle player is able to knock the loose ball home.
Stranraer immediately hit back. Slack defending gives Crossan a chance to shoot and he buries a powerful shot past Hazard.
The second goal has been coming for some time and it is a well deserved goal for Joe Cardle although that effort from 15 yards may have taken a deflection on its way in.
McGinty comes forward and pushes a pass through to Roy. Roy in turn gives it to Cardle who can't get the ball totally under control and can't get his effort on target.
Fitzpatrick looks to get clear down the right but has his ankle clipped and Thistle have a free kick just in from the touch line.
Thistle lead at the break through Aidan Fitzpatrick's 16th minute strike.
It's been a good display thus far from The Jags though there must be concern that they couldn't find the second goal that their play has merited.
Stranraer meantimne have shown enough going forward to suggest that one goal may not be enough to win this tie.
Cardle's shot from 30 yards out is wide of Currie's right hand post.
Cardle is fouled near the half way line and is down holding his ankle.
Crossan finds a bit of space at the edge of the box but can only drag a shot well wide of goal.
Fitzpatrick's effort thumps off a defender's ankle as Thistle continue to search for a second goal.
Cardle is fouled 25 yards from goal. Thistle take a quick free kick and Currie pushes away Spittal's shot.
Spittal's corner falls nicely for Saunders but his effort is straight at Currie,
Currie in action again this time saving a Cardle shot low at his rigt hand post.
Fitzpatrick's pace gets him clear of Mcmanus and he advances to the edge of tjhe box where ot takes a decent stop from Currie to deny him a second goal of the afternoon.
Lamont takes a free kick from deep inside the Thistle half. His free kick finds Cummins at the back post and he may feel that he could have done better than head tamely wide.
Slater tries to find the top corner of the net from the left corner of the Stranraer box and his effort is only a matter of inches too high.
Spittal's inswinging corner is right on top of Currie who makes a good catch.
Cardle whips in a cross from the left that Roy can't make clean contact with and his glancing header goes wide of goal.
Currie saves with his feet as Cardle tries to flick in a mishit Spittal shot but the flag goes up for offside in any case.
Cardle is looking more and more of a threat. He runs at the Stranraer defence from the left corner of the box before sending a shot a foot or so over the bar.
Thistle make use of the full width of the pitch before a Penrice cross uis headed clear.
Currie makes a meal of trying to save a long range effort from Slater. Roy gathers the rebound but can't manage a shot and instead lays the ball back to Spittal who lifts a shot over the crossbar.
It's a lovely goal. Cardle's pass picks out Fitzpatrick who confidently steers the ball beyond Currie for his third goal of the season against Stranraer.
Currie is able to get a hand to a low shot from Cardle.
Saunders comes across to make a excellent chal;lenge on Cameron as Stranraer break quickly.
Thistle break quickly and Elliott has the ball wide on the right but his cross is too strong.
Cardle plays a good pass out to Spittal on the right but Spittal over hits his cross.
A first time pass from Spittal is just too strong for Fitzpatrick who makes a good effort to keep the ball in and get a cross over.
And nearly a goal at the other end. Crossan crosses from the left and it takes an excellent stop from Hazard to deny Cameron a goal from 8 yards out.
Stranraer clear the corner that follows.
Nearly an early goal for Thistle. Roy cuts in from the left and his shot is saved at his near post by Currie.
On a day where there has already been a big Scottish Cup shock, Thistle start their Scottish Cup campaign with a home fixture against League One Stranraer.
Gary Caldwell malkes three chjanges to his starting eleven for this fixture with Aidan Fitzpatrixck, Joe Cardle and Alistair Roy all starting the latter two doing so for the first time as Partick Thistle players.
Gary Harkins, Miles Storey and Kris Doolan drop to the bench where they are joined by sub keeper Jamie Sneddon, Andrew McCarthy, Callum Wilson and Souleymane Coulibaly.
Partick Thistle began their William Scottish Cup journey for the 2018/19 season this afternoon as Stranraer visited the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. The game represented these sides’ second meeting of the season after the Jags won 5-0 at Stair Park earlier this term in the Irn Bru Cup. The Blues, however, came to Maryhill having secured victory in the third round with an impressive 1-0 win away to League One leaders Arbroath.
Gary Caldwell made three changes to the side which drew with Falkirk the previous week as Kris Doolan, Gary Harkins and Miles Storey dropped to the bench. Conor Hazard maintained his starting berth in goals behind the unchanged backline of Christie Elliott, Steven Saunders, Sean McGinty and James Penrice while Stuart Bannigan, Blair Spittal and Craig Slater formed the midfield. It was up front where all the changes were made as Aidan Fitzpatrick returned to the starting XI while Joe Cardle and Ally Roy came into the team, making their first starts since signing for the Club.
The game started quickly and the Jags were almost struck on the break within two minutes. P.J. Crossan made a terrific run down the channel and was found by a well-weighted pass which took Steven Saunders out of the game. The number 20 then delivered a cross into the box which Innes Cameron flicked goalward. It looked a certain goal but on-loan ‘keeper, Conor Hazard spread himself well and made an excellent save to keep things goalless.
That chance was followed by a period of pretty timid football from both sides until the hosts took control and got the opening goal on 16 minutes. Joe Cardle was the creator as he cut in from the left and slotted a sensational defence-splitting pass through to Aidan Ftzpatrick. The 17-year-old then lifted the ball past Max Currie with a confident left-footed finish as he bagged his first home goal as a Jag.
The Maryhill men could have doubled that lead on 26 minutes as Ally Roy endeavoured to score his first goal as a Thistle player. Once again, it was Cardle looking to create as he whipped a wicked cross in from the left flank but as Roy tried to nod home, his glanced effort skipped past the far post.
Fitzpatrick then could have had another in the 34th minute as he showed off all of his pace and trickery. The number 21 picked up the ball around the half-way line and galloped forward, leaving Connor McManus in his wake. He then cut inside, using Ally Roy’s run as a decoy, and tried a low shot, however, Max Currie got down well to parry away before the ball was cleared.
The Jags had one more golden opportunity in the first half as Steven Saunders missed a huge chance to open his Thistle account. It was Blair Spittal’s corner delivery which carved out the opening, finding Saunders about two yards from goal. The defender tried to lunge at the ball and poke it into the net but he didn’t catch it properly and only ended up laying it into the goalkeeper’s hands.
So the game went into the interval at 1-0 with the Jags missing some decent chances to go further ahead. The visiting Blues started the match well but faded towards the end of the half.
The hosts would be looking for more of the same in the second period with more end product and that’s exactly what they got in the 50th minute as Joe Cardle doubled the advantage. The move all started with a 50- yard pass by Sean McGinty which found James Penrice with pinpoint accuracy. The left-back then played a low ball across the box aiming for Ally Roy. The ball was hustled away from Roy but did fall the way of Cardle who found the back of the net, albeit via a deflection, for his first in Thistle colours.
However, the red and yellow delight was short lived as P.J. Crossan pulled a goal back for the away side two minutes later. After the ball ricocheted off the shins of James Penrice, it fell to the number 20, Crossan. He then took one touch before firing a well-struck finish past Conor Hazard at the near post.
The Blues could very easily have been level in the 55th minute as David Brownlie went close. A high free-kick towards the box was flicked on by Innes Cameron and then knocked down by Jamie Hamill towards Brownlie. The defender then tried to knock it home from around five yards but Conor Hazard was out quickly to make a block before collecting the loose ball.
Shortly thereafter, Thistle made two substitutions as Kris Doolan and Gary Harkins were introduced in the 60th and 68th minute respectively, replacing Ally Roy and Craig Slater.
The alterations would pay off with 16 minutes to play as Gary Harkins played a key role in Thistle’s third goal. The number 11 played a smart through ball to Stuart Bannigan from a free kick which completely caught out Stranraer’s defence. The skipper, Bannigan, then lifted a cross to the back post which was then headed home from close range by Steven Saunders.
Gary Caldwell’s men were then able to add a fourth thanks to the Jags’ top scorer, Blair Spittal in the 80th minute. Christie Elliott charged forward with the ball, moving into the Stranraer box before trying to manufacture some space. He eventually decided to fire the ball into the six-yard box but it was deflected away from goal. Nevertheless, it came to Blair Spittal who had the simple task of guiding the ball home from a matter of five yards. Shortly after the fourth goal, Souleymane Coulibaly made his return from injury, coming on for Joe Cardle with six minutes left.
The game ended 4-1 though and the Jags secured their place in the next round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. Thistle scored four or more goals for the second time this season with the last time coming against Stranraer in August. The last 16 draw takes place tomorrow afternoon following Hearts vs. Livingston.
Thistle now look forward to a return to league action next week as they take on Queen of the South. Kick-off is 15:00 from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.
PARTICK THISTLE TEAM: Hazard, Ch. Elliott, Saunders, McGinty, Penrice, Bannigan, Slater (Harkins, 68’), Spittal, Cardle (Coulibaly, 84’), Fitzpatrick, Roy (Doolan, 60’).
UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, Wilson, McCarthy, Storey.
STRANRAER TEAM: Currie, Smith, Brownlie, Cummins, Hamill, O’Keefe (Ca. Elliott, 76’), Turner, McManus, Lamont (Anderson, 69’), Cameron, Crossan.
UNUSED SUBS (STR): Avci, McDonald, McGowan.
Partick Thistle navigated their way through the Scottish Cup fourth round for the fifth year running this afternoon as they beat Stranraer 4-1 at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. The Jags took a one-goal lead into the break thanks to Aidan Fitzpatrick before adding to that in the 50th minute through Joe Cardle. However, Stranraer battled back and made 2-1 with P.J. Crossan firing home from 15 yards. The Blues’ comeback was quelled though with the hosts adding two more goals as Steven Saunders opened his Jags account and Blair Spittal got his seventh this term.
The Maryhill men now go into tomorrow’s last 16 draw to see who they face when the Scottish Cup returns next month. Thistle boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to ptfc.co.uk after the final whistle.
He began by complementing his side after a well-earned victory over the Blues.
“These games against lower league opposition are never easy and it wasn’t today. They worked very hard and did excellently in spells but I always felt we had enough to beat them.
“We had a bit more than them in the last 20 minutes or so; a bit more energy. We continued to attack in numbers and create decent chances and deserved our two late goals.”
The gaffer was also pleased with the way his side weathered the Stranraer storm as the Stair Park side threatened to equalise early in the second half.
“They did well to fight back and at that point I’m sure they were thinking about causing one of the big cup upsets but, for us, it was about maintaining our composure and just defending well for that little spell that they had.
“We saw that pressure off well and then took control of the game again. I think Gary Harkins helped that, coming off the bench and, as I’ve said, the difference in fitness levels showed from that point on.”
Gary then continued to praise Harkins as he lauded the ingenuity from the number 11, in partnership with Stuart Bannigan, that led to the Jags’ third goal.
“It looks like a routine off the training ground but they’ve come up with it on the spot which is very impressive. They’re both very creative players who have experience and are confident in their ability and that has all come together to produce a goal which is brilliant.”
As well as Harkins coming on as a substitute, Kris Doolan and Souleymane Coulibaly also made appearances off the bench today and Caldwell says that’s a sign of the improved squad he now has having made six signings in the last few weeks.
“The squad is getting there and we had a very strong bench today. We still need more but we’re constantly looking at players who can come in and make a difference. Today, five of the six guys we’ve brought in played a part and they all did very well.
“Seeing guys like Aidan Fitzpatrick and Joe Cardle perform like that means that we can rotate things if we want and, as such, the players have to be at the top of their game to keep their place. Competition is a big thing in any squad and we now have that.”
A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Aidan Fitzpatrick and Steven Saunders – log in now to see them.
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 © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk