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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Betfred Cup
Sat 29 July, 2017. Kick Off: - 15:00
Firhill Stadium

Fixture details:

Admission Prices:

Adults – £10

Concessions – £5

A concession qualifies as a person aged under 16, 65 or over or disabled.

Thistle season ticket holders can watch this game absolutely FREE

PlayerZone: 

There is no PlayerZone at this fixture. Junior Jags can meet the first team squad at Sunday’s Open Day.

Aitken Suite: 

Opens to all supporters at 12:00

Blast from the Past

24th April 1971 
Half Time Legend performing 50/50 draw: 

Robert Dunn
Programme: 

Available around Firhill for only £2.

Find out what is inside Saturday’s issue

Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle
1
Tomas Cerny
3
Callum Booth
6
Abdul Osman
7
Blair Spittal
8
Stuart Bannigan (Ryan Edwards 69)
10
Chris Erskine
11
Steven Lawless (Neil McLaughlin 79)
13
Adam Barton
14
Christie Elliott
15
Daniel Devine
20
Kevin Nisbet (Kris Doolan 52)
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
5
Niall Keown
9
Kris Doolan
19
Ryan Edwards
21
James Penrice
24
Andrew McCarthy
26
Neil McLaughlin
Stranraer
13
Max Currie
2
Scott Robertson
3
Liam Dick
4
David Barron
5
Morgyn Neill
8
Steven Bell
22
Jamie Hamill
11
Grant Anderson (Paul Woods 60)
16
Kyle Turner (Danny Stoney 83)
23
Ryan Thomson
14
Stephen Okoh (Scott Agnew 73)
 
Subs
1
Ryan McLaren
7
Paul Woods
10
Scott Agnew
12
Chris McGowan
15
Danny Stoney
17
Jai Holland
18
Zak Simpson
 
Subs
12
Ryan Scully
5
Niall Keown
9
Kris Doolan
19
Ryan Edwards
21
James Penrice
24
Andrew McCarthy
26
Neil McLaughlin
 
Subs
1
Ryan McLaren
7
Paul Woods
10
Scott Agnew
12
Chris McGowan
15
Danny Stoney
17
Jai Holland
18
Zak Simpson
Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Stranraer – 29th July 2017

The Betfred Cup group stages have proven to be a tricky test for Alan Archibald’s side as they gear up for the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign beginning next Saturday at Easter Road.

The Jags can clinch a slot in the last 16 of the competition with victory against Stranraer at Firhill tomorrow afternoon.

Manager Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk after training concluded on Friday afternoon with the squad ready for a tough final test in Group H.

“We’re ready to take on Stranraer tomorrow and the players know that if we win we’ll be in the next round of the competition. There will be no nervous waiting for other results to creep through, we know that if we win, we’re in which is the position we want to be in.

“Ideally, we’d have won the group but credit to Livingston, they won all three of their group games after beating us on penalties to finish as group winners. We know that we can qualify as best runners up tomorrow, although that means we won’t be seeded. We won all four group games last season and were seeded but drew Dundee United so it shows you the tough ties you can get on both sides of the draw.”

Stranraer haven’t picked up a point in the Betfred Cup so far but Archie knows the squad will be fired up ahead of the trip to face Premiership opposition. A strong start will be needed to stop any nerves creeping around the stadium.

“Stranraer haven’t had the results they wanted so far in the group but they won’t need any motivation for tomorrow’s game. They have a number of players who have played at a higher level and will want to show that they can still perform against a high quality of opponent.

“It’s an opportunity for them to showcase what they can do. They’ll come and play without any fear to give it a go at Firhill. We’ll have to be strong and focussed on the task in hand to give ourselves the best chance to do what we want to achieve.

Abdul Osman returns from suspension and the gaffer admits that it is likely to be more of the same from the squad on Saturday.

“Abdul comes back into contention after his suspension but the squad is the same as the one that took on Airdrie on Tuesday. We were hoping to use this group to give some of the youngsters more game time but we’ve been in a position where we’ve had to win every game. We need to get the games won before we bring on young player.

“James Penrice started against Airdrie on Tuesday and did really well in what was a tough battle. He hasn’t done his chances any harm and he is the example for the other young players in how they can give me good selection headaches.”

More exclusive preview interviews with Abdul Osman as well as Jags gaffer Alan Archibald are now available to Jagzone subscribers. Log in now to see them. Jagzone members will also be able to watch highlights of the game.

Can’t make it to Firhill? Jagzone members can listen to live audio commentary of the match. JagZoneLIVE begins at 2:30

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

Alan has committed, will you join him? 2017/18 season tickets are still on sale.

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.

93’Full Time Report

Thistle secure their place in the knockout stage of the Betfred Cup but needed a Christie Elliott goal three minutes from the end to do so. 

 
93’Full Time
 
90’+01’

Currie makes an excellent stop to deny McLaughlin. 

 
89’

Spittal his the side netting with the free kick. 

 
88’

Barton is fouled right on the very edge of the Stranraer box. 

87’Goal Thistle!
Thistle 1 - Stranraer 0

Elliott lashes home a loose ball inside the box. 

 
86’

Booth's teasing cross is cleared. 

 
84’

Edwards curls a shot just a foot or so too high but with time rapidly running out we need a goal. 

83’Stranraer substitution: replaces

Turner is replaced by Stoney. 

 
82’

Spittal's cross is just out of reach for Barton. Booth collects the ball wide on the left and knocks a pass inside to McLaughlin whose effort his too high. 

79’Thistle substitution: replaces

Lawless comes off for McLaughlin. 

 
79’

Booth's cross goes behind the Thistle players in the box. 

 
75’

A clearance falls to Edwards at the edge of the box but he never has the ball under control and fires well wide. 

73’ substitution: 0 replaces 0

Agnew on for Okoh. 

 
72’

Thistle give the ball away cheaply and are thankful thatr Okhoh can do no more than shot tamely at Cerny. 

 
70’

Erskine does well to get the ball from under his feet but his shot though well hit is straight at Currie. 

69’ substitution: 0 replaces 0

Edwards replaces Bannigan. 

 
68’

Into the final quarter of this game and Thistle are far from certain to advance. A bonus point from a penalty shoot out might prove to be sufficient but that situation is changing all the time. 

 
66’

Booth does well to keep the ball in on the left but Erskine is off balance and can't divert the ball towards goal. 

 
63’

Okhoh misses a good chance for Stranraer as he tamely drags a shot wide of goal. 

 
62’

Currie can't make a clean catch inside his 6 yard box and that nearly presents Thistle with an opening but frustration is really starting to grow here. 

 
61’

Good footwork from Doolan but he is crowded out as he tries to advance towards goal. 

60’Stranraer substitution: replaces

Anderson goes off to be replaced by Woods. 

 
58’

Spittal plays the ball back to Erskine at the edge of the box but he skies his shot well over the bar. 

 
56’

Doolan tries to curl a shot into the top corner from the corner of the box but Currie is able to get a cross his goal to collect the ball. 

 
55’

Currie gets down quickly to save Spittal's low drive. 

 
53’

Doolan is quickly involved in the action and see his effort blocked in 6 yard box. 

52’Thistle substitution: replaces

Doolan replaces Nisbet. 

 
49’

Barton gits possession to Hamill and Cerny needs two attempts to safely grab hold of the shot that follows. 

 
48’

Currie doesn't have to come too far off his line to claim Spittal's corner. 

48’Thistle corner from the left
 
45’Kick-Off (2nd half)
45’+01’Half Time Report

We've had sunshine and showers at Firhill but no goals in a dull first half. 

Thistle have been the better side but have created very few chances. 

 
45’+01’Half-Time
45’Thistle corner from the left
 
44’

Lawless tries to take matters into his own hands and cuts inside before curling a shot wide of goal. 

 
43’

It's a good corner and Thistle just get the ball clear. The ball is knocked backed into the box and eventually runs through to Cerny. 

43’Stranraer corner from the left
 
41’

There isn't enough curl on Spittal's free kick and play restarts with a Stranraer goal kick. 

 
40’

Nisbet is clipped and it is a Thistle free kick right at the left corner of the box. 

 
39’

Thistle take a quick free kick but Lawless' ball to the back post can't find Osman and Stranraer have a goal kick. 

 
39’

Spittal is pushed to the ground an Thistle have a free kick just in from the right touchline. 

 
38’

Dick is unable to collect an Anderson ball into the box after some slack play from Thistle. 

 
36’

Lawless lifts the ball into the box but it is too high for Nisbet which allows Currie to collect the ball. 

 
34’

Erskine pushes through a pass to Elliott whose shot from just outside the box dips just as it goes over the crossbar. 

 
33’

Bannigan is back on and immediately collects a pass. 

 
31’

Play is stopped for Bannigan to receive a spot of treatment. 

 
29’

Lawless finds Erskine with a neat pass. Erskine though can't find a Thistle player with his chipped cross. 

 
27’

Cerny doesn't make a clean catch from the free kick but he gets enough of a hand to the ball to get it away from the danger area. 

 
26’

Stranraer free kick near the right hand corner of the Thistle box. The visitors have been growing in confidence in the last few minutes. 

 
20’

The free kick is lofted deep into the thistle box. Okoh is able to get his head to the ball but is streatching to reach it and as a result it goes over the bar. 

 
20’

Stranraer have a free kick deep inside the Thistle half on the right hand side. 

 
17’

Devine escapes his marker to reach Spittal's corner but he can't keep his header down. 

16’Thistle corner from the right

Lawless takes the free kick and Currie is forced to tip it round for a corner. 

 
15’

Spittal,is fouled at the right edge of the Stranraer box. 

 
14’

A long ball forward from Lawless skips over the turf and just out of the reach of Erskine's forward run. Erskine catches the ankles of a defender and Stranraer have free kick. 

 
13’

A teasing Spittal cross falls in between two Thistle players and is cleared. 

 
12’

It's a better corner from Spittal but is headed clear. 

12’Thistle corner from the right

Good move from Thistle ends with Elliott's cross knocked behind for a corner. 

 
10’

it's a good corner from Turner. It gets a touch to it and that touch takes the ball across the face of the Thistle goal and out for a goal kick. 

09’Stranraer corner from the left
 
09’

Spittal plays a good ball through to Erskine. Erskine delays just for a second and when he does take a touch towards goal he knocks it out for a goal kick. Thistle well on top but no chances yet. 

 
07’

A Booth cross aimed for Nisbet at the edge of the 6 yard box is headed clear. 

 
04’

Erskine is able to get the ball out wide to Booth. Booth cuts inside but his shot is blocked by the legs of a defender. 

 
02’

Spittal's near post corner isn't a great one and although Devine is able to get down low to connect with it the ball goes well wide of the Stranraer goal. 

02’Thistle corner from the right
 
01’

First effort on goal comes from Stranraer but Cerny is able to make a comfortable stop from Okoh's effort after some hesitation from Barton. 

 
00’Kick-Off
 
00’Introduction

The sectional stage of the Betfred Cup comes to an end this afternoon and the task facing Thistle is a simple, on paper at least. Secure a win against Stranraer and qualification for the knock-out stages will be secured. 

Three changes from the match against Airdrie have been made for this afternoon's encounter at a windy Firhill. Into the starting eleven come Abdul Osman, Stuart Bannigan and Kevin Nisbet. 

Dropping to the bench are Kris Doolan, Ryan Edwards and James Penrice. They are joined by Ryan Scully, Andrew McCarthy, Neil McLaughlin and making a very welcome return Niall Keown. 

Match Report

Partick Thistle v Stranraer – 29th July 2017

After procuring just a single point from their opening Betfred Cup fixture of the season, Partick Thistle have bounced back impressively. A 5-0 win over St. Mirren and a narrow 2-1 victory against Airdrieonians meant that all the Maryhill men needed from today’s clash with Stranraer to ensure progression, despite being unable to top the group, was a win. Stranraer came into the fixture off the back of three losses in three games so far in the competition meaning they had absolutely no chance of getting through to the next round regardless of their result today.

Alan Archibald made three changes to the side who won at the Excelsior in midweek. James Penrice, Ryan Edwards and Kris Doolan all dropped to the bench while Abdul Osman, Stuart Bannigan and Kevin Nisbet came into the starting XI. Kevin Nisbet was started to give the young striker the chance to impress from the start while Doolan was rested. Niall Keown was fit enough to make the bench after training for a couple of days since the Airdrie clash but wasn’t quite ready to go in from kick-off.

The Jags got things underway but were given an early warning sign when Stephen Okoh got in behind Adam Barton and shot a low effort across goal. Tomas Cerny had it covered, though, and held at the first attempt.

Despite dominating possession, Thistle were struggling to create many opportunities and saw their goal under threat once again in the 11th minute. A Stranraer corner was whipped in from the Blues’ right and it was flicked on at the front post. Stephen Okoh was the man looking to get on the end of it but the number 14 couldn’t reach the ball after getting away from his man.

Thistle continued to command control of the ball without creating much as they seemed to miss the guile and in-box movement of Kris Doolan. They did finally create their first good chance in the 35th minute through Christie Elliott. The ex-Whitley Bay player was fed the ball by Chris Erskine after which he decided to strike the ball on the bounce. His shot was powerful and dipping but looped just over the Stranraer goal.

The Jags would have one more opportunity to score before the break as Steven Lawless picked the ball up in the defensive half and drove forward. He threatened to offload the ball a few times but continued forward with the ball himself before unleashing a shot. He rather cut across the ball and saw his shot curl the wrong way and wide of the post just before the half time whistle.

The score was 0-0 at half time and it was a frustrating half for the Thistle players and fans alike. A compact Stranraer side were making it very difficult to create anything but with players like Kris Doolan and Ryan Edwards on the Jags’ bench Alan Archibald had plenty of scope for change in the second 45 and just eight minutes of the second period gone, that change came as Doolan replaced Kevin Nisbet.

Doolan almost made an instant impact as well as just a minute after coming on he had a chance to open the scoring. A Blair Spittal cross was headed partially clear by a Stranraer defender but the clearance fell straight to Doolan, eight yards out. He took a touch and shot but his shot was blocked at close range.

The substitution improved the team tenfold and Thistle suddenly looked much more dangerous with the ball. An example of this amplified danger in possession came in the 58th minute when Blair Spittal was able to take down a long ball from the back and hold it up as he waited for support. The former Queen’s Park man then laid it off for Chris Erskine but the number ten then blazed a left-footed effort well over the bar from 20 yards.

Chris Erskine had another opportunity in the 65th minute. Steven Lawless expertly found Callum Booth with an incisive ball towards the by-line which the left-back latched onto the pass and cut the ball back towards Chris Erskine with a first time cross. Erskine then attempted an acrobatic shot but he missed the ball and it ricocheted off his body, going out for a goal kick.

As the final whistle got closer, Alan Archibald made two further substitutions in an attempt to give his attack some more variance and energy. Neil McLaughlin and Ryan Edwards came on for Stuart Bannigan and Steven Lawless.

With the minutes slowly dwindling away, it was looking as if the game might have to go to penalties which would mean Thistle would be relying on other results to get through. Late attempts from Ryan Edwards and Neil McLaughlin missed the target and it felt as if the goal wasn’t going to come, however, in the 87th minute the Jags got their goal.

Neil McLaughlin picked up the ball at the corner of the box and lifted a ball into the six-yard area. Under pressure, Stranraer ‘keeper Max Currie failed to claim the cross and the ball fell to Christie Elliott. The right-back then stroked home at the near post to bag his first goal since November 2014 and netting the winner that would see Thistle into the last 16 of the Betfred Cup.

The cheers at the final whistle were more of relief than of joy but the team had won nonetheless and are now in tomorrow night’s draw for the next round of the Betfred Cup with just two games between the team and Hampden.

Thistle now put their cup aspirations on the backburner as they look towards their league opener against Hibs next weekend at Easter Road. Kick-off is at 15:00 on Saturday.

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 Stranraer – 29th July 2017

With the final Betfred Cup game of the group stages today, Partick Thistle knew their position going into the fixture. After a disappointing draw with Livingston followed by a penalty shootout defeat by the Lions, it was imperative that the Jags bounced back and that they did. A 5-0 win over St. Mirren and a slightly tighter affair against Airdrie where the Firhill side came out 2-1 victors meant that it was clear what was needed from their clash with Stranraer.

Livingston had topped the group, confirmed with a midweek win, however three points for Thistle would undoubtedly be enough to see them through as one of four best runners up from the group stages. The match was a nervy one in which the Blues defended well but a late Christie Elliott strike saw the Jags through. Thistle boss Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk following the tense encounter.

Despite a less than ideal performance from his team, Archie knows that the most important thing coming out of the game was the win.

“We’re glad to be through. At the end of the day, we got the job done and won the game. We made heavy work of it but we’ve seen a few big teams lose games you’d expect them to win so I’m glad that we got over the line in the end.”

Alan’s side struggled to break down a resolute Stranraer team but the gaffer knew that the Blues were going to play in a reserved manner and believes his team can’t use that as an excuse for their lack of incision.

“It was down to us to break them down and we weren’t good enough in the final third. Stranraer deserve plenty of credit because they were very well-organised and made it difficult for us. I was disappointed that we didn’t cause them as many problems as I’d hoped we could. I thought our movement of the ball was very pedestrian in the first half and every player seemed to take a touch too many which let them recover whenever we did create some space.”

After that lacklustre first half performance, Archie spoke to his players during the break and was pleased to see some improvement for the second 45.

“I thought we played at a higher tempo in the second half and our full-backs were getting much further up the park but, frustratingly, we still weren’t hurting the Stranraer defence enough. Thankfully, we did get that goal in the end and I was pleased to see that young Neil McLaughlin was involved as I thought his play was very good when he came on.”

After getting a taste of a cup run last season in the Scottish Cup, Alan is keen to take his side even further this year as he hasn’t got a great record in the domestic cups.

“We got a wee taste of it last year when we got a fairly kind draw against Formartine and then put in a great performance against St. Johnstone before Aberdeen put us out. We want to go on in this competition too although we aren’t seeded but that isn’t the be all and end all as we were seeded last year and went out in the first round after the group stages.”

The Jags boss said that although Stuart Bannigan took a bang to the knee and was later subbed off, there is nothing to worry about from an injury point of view.

“He took a hit to his knee but it was just a collision and it was his other knee so there’s no cause for concern there though I know that some of the fans might have been worried when they saw him holding that part of his leg. We took him off because we didn’t want him to pull a muscle as later in the game, Stranraer were trying to hit us on the counter and Stuart was chasing everything so we just wanted to take him off so he didn’t push himself that bit too far.”

Arguably, Thistle’s most impressive summer signing was that of Niall Keown. The central-defender re-joined on a permanent deal, penning a two-year contract. An injury has meant he’s yet to appear for Thistle this season but Archie says that he isn’t far from making his second debut.

“Niall isn’t too far away. He’s been training for the last couple of days and the plan was to bring him on if we were in a comfortable position but it wasn’t to be because we had to bring attacking players on.”

Alan now turns his attention to the opening game of the Ladbrokes Premiership season as he must prepare his side for an opening day trip to Easter Road to take on Hibs. Kick-off is 15:00 next Saturday.

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

Jagzone subscribers can rewatch the full 90 minutes at 10pm.

Highlights will be added at midnight 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.

Alan has committed, will you join him? 2017/18 season tickets remain on sale.

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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