SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 19 September, 2015. Kick Off: - 15:00
Victoria Park, Dingwall.
Thistle make the longest trip of the season tomorrow, heading north to Dingwall to take on Ross County. Thistle have a good record at the home of The Staggies, losing only one of the four games they’ve played there in the Premiership.
The Global Energy Stadium has been upgraded as per the rules of the Scottish Premier League(which was when Ross County first played in the top tier of Scottish football meaning Thistle supporters are no longer able to enjoy standing on the terracing at the North end of the ground.
Entry to the Global Energy Stadium is similar to the Firhill in that all spectators must acquire a ticket from the ticket office prior to entering the ground. Once entering the ground the toilets are located to the left hand side, with three snack bars offering a variety of hot and cold food and drinks. Thistle supporters climb into the stand on the right hand side emerging half way up into the stand.
Ross County’s away day prices are one of the lowest in the Premiership and are priced as follows;
Concessions (Over 65, Under 18 & Students in Full Time Education): £12
Under 16s: £10
Dingwall is now well served by public transport meaning that the trip to the Highlands isn’t as fraught as it once was.
If you haven’t already booked train travel for tomorrow’s journey north then you are in for some fairly hefty fares, with all the advance tickets already being scooped up. There are three trains which depart from Glasgow Queen Street which will get you to Dingwall in time for kick off, leaving at 07:10, 08:41 and 10:10. The 08:41 requires a change in Perth but the other two are direct to Inverness. Once in Inverness, a change is required for the connecting train to Dingwall or, alternatively, you can go to Inverness Bus Station for the stagecoach bus to Dingwall which travels twice an hour.
On the way back it will be a late finish with the train not leaving Dingwall until after 19:00 or, if you opt to leave sharp a Stagecoach bus will be able to take you to Inverness where you can catch the train to Glasgow, via a connection in Perth, at 18:46
North West Bus
Milngavie Station: 09:00
Esquire Anniesland: 09:15
Maryhill CC Halls: 09:30
Full Fare: £25.00
(School aged children, to
Station bar: 09:00
Non members welcome, to book call Duncan on 07979496154
Parent and child: £30.00
To make a booking contact Alistair on 07817612563 /. Booking is essential. For general enquiries contact Iain on 07779668357 / .
It’s a pretty straight road to Dingwall from Glasgow with the A9 providing the bulk of the journey. Upon arriving in Inverness, Dingwall is well signposted and Thistle supporters will pass the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium as they make their way over the Kessock Bridge. Fans should continue along the A9 before turning left at the Tore roundabout onto the A835.
There is extremely limited car parking at the Global Energy Stadium, so on street parking away from the ground is best utilised.
Pubs & Eating
Dingwall has a variety of pubs for Thistle fans to enjoy both pre and post-match. The Mallard is the nearest pub to the ground for away supporters and is conveniently located on the platform of Dingwall train station, making it a popular haunt for Jags fans as they arrive, and prepare to leave, Dingwall. It has all the usual selections of drinks and shows live football on television, although there is the drawback of plastic tumblers on the orders of the British Transport Police.
The Viking is the other, well used, option for Thistle supporters. You are always sure of a good atmosphere and a warm welcome from behind the bar, while there is a pool table to get the competitive spirit flying.
There are plenty more options of public houses as you progress down Dingwall high street as well as plenty of local bakeries and shops to catch a bite to eat. The most intriguing place for a pre-match lunch has to be the Wimpy located in Dingwall, widely believed to be the only Wimpy open during regular hours in Scotland.
Thistle make the long trip to Dingwall for the latest Ladbrokes Premiership match of the season, in the unwanted position of being bottom of the league. Ptfc.co.uk caught up with Alan Archibald to see how the mood was in the camp.
“Training has been good, the players have worked hard and have tried to improve on the things that they didn’t do so well last week. All in all the lads have been in good mood and will be looking to put the training into practice.”
“The league table doesn’t make good reading. The good thing is that it is early on and we’re still in touching distance of the teams above us. A couple of wins will climb you up half the table but we know a gap can emerge pretty quickly.
“It’s strange as, apart from a couple of games, we’ve created chances against our opponents but we just can’t seem to find the back of the net. I’m confident that when we get a lucky break in front of goal, that the confidence will come back and the players will be able to get themselves out of the position we’re currently in. “
Archie was keen to stress that the importance that Thistle grab the opening goal of the game when they are doing well in matches.
“In this league, the first goal is absolutely vital. It gives us something to defend and a platform to build on for matches. We’re creating plenty of chances but we’re just unable to get ourselves in front and our shooting has to improve.
“We’ve had spells where we’ve absolutely battered teams but we haven’t made our dominance pay in terms of goals and it has come back to haunt us.”
Alan is aware of the test that Ross County pose tomorrow afternoon and knows his team will have to be on top form to take anything from the game.
“Ross County are a quality side, they went on a tremendous run from January to play their way out of the relegation slots and finish where they did. They have retained their key players, and added a few more to their squad and they’ll be dangerous opponents.
“That said, we do know their weaknesses and we’ll be looking to exploit them to the full. It’ll be a hard fought game as they will be determined to fight for every loose ball and work hard to put us under pressure. The lads know they’ll have to work ever so hard to match that work rate”
It’s almost a full Thistle squad which will travel north in the hope of getting the first win of the season.
“Christie Elliott is still long term injured, Gary Fraser is missing with an ankle knock he picked up against Falkirk and we’re assessing Mathias Pogba but will give him every chance to make the game.”
Thistle travelled to Dingwall heartened by a good performance against Dundee seven days earlier, looking to maintain a strong record against the Staggies.
Alan Archibald was forced to rejig his side as illness deprived him of the services of Liam Lindsay, Dan Seaborne returning to the starting lineup, while Sean Welsh returned to the heart of the midfield as Robbie Muirhead dropped to the substitutes bench.
The game got off to a fast, frantic start with both sides being scrappy and loose with possession, but for the opening stages there wasn’t any clear opportunities for either side in front of goal. Thistle were keen to play expansive football against their hosts, with Lawless and Booth linking up well down the left hand side, with only a poor delivery bringing the attack to an abrupt end.
With just over a quarter of an hour gone, Ross County marched ahead. Jamie Reckord took a poor County free kick, but the ball found its way back to him and he arched a dangerous cross into the heart of the box. Liam Boyce made an unmarked run deep into the box and his head flew past Cerny before he had time to react.
Thistle were shocked at the concession of an early goal and took a while to get back into their stride, being fortunate that the hosts were unable to take advantage of several presentable opportunities in front of goal. The Jags best chance of the first half was to follow shortly, as Lawless slid in Welsh who did well to force a good low save from his angled drive.
The remainder of the first half descended into a scrappy midfield battle with County more than matching a poor showing in the Thistle midfield.
Thistle came out with a renewed vigour in the second half, but for all their attacking play, struggled to create a clear cut opportunity to test Scott Fox in the County goal in the opening stages of the second half.
Chris Robertson came close to adding a second for Ross County when he got on the end of a corner, but in truth the game was lacking in urgency with little to excite the 3,500 strong crowd at the Global Energy Stadium.
Alan Archibald tried to inject energy in his side with the introduction of Amoo, Muirhead and a debut for development squad striker Kevin Nisbet to his side as he looked to salvage a point from the game. Muirhead showed willingness and directness being encouraged to shoot on sight.
Thistle had two chances to get level in the dying embers of the game with Kevin Nisbet key in both. Firstly he picked out Muirhead who fired over despite having time and space on the edge of the box. Then deep into injury time he teed up Steven Lawless who flicked the cross wide of goal.
Thistle will be disappointed to have conceded such an avoidable goal and emerge back to Glasgow with no points and still sitting at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table
Frustration was the main emotion being felt by Alan Archibaldshortly after the full time whistle when he spoke to ptfc.co.uk.
‘That was extremely frustrating to watch. We started poorly, conceded an entirely avoidable goal, and struggled to match their workrate during the first half. We came into the game more as it wore on but the damage was already done.
‘We had told the lads that they would need to work hard and match the energy of Ross County. They were battling for every ball, and at times in the first half they were picking up every second ball too’
Liam Boyce’s goal seperated the sides and Archie was disappointed at the manner of conceding it.
‘It’s come from a free kick which we dealt with decently. They pressured us and we gift the ball right back to him[Jamie Reckord] and he has delivered a good cross into the box. Boyce has stolen a march on one of our defenders and headed home under very little pressure.
‘The game didn’t have many chances in it and we knew they would defend their lead with everything they had. We had a lotof the ball but we didn’t look like carving them open until the late stages of the game.’
Robbie Muirhead was brought on as a substitute and he injected some creativity into Thistle’s attacking play.
‘We put him on and told him to be direct and force them onto the back foot. All of our subs were intended to attack, which left us a little bit vulnerable at the back at times.
‘We’ve had a couple of good chances with Welshy in the first half before Muirhead and Lawless had the best chances in the latterstages.’Thistle take on Motherwell next week and Archie is keen tomake amends for a poor performance.
‘We’ll go in and pick the bones out of it on Monday, which we always do regardless of result. We know Motherwell is a massive game and we’ll work hard to formulate a plan which can see us emerge victorious from a very tough game at Fir Park.”
Finally, the manager had a special mention for Thistle’s debutant, Kevin Nisbet.
‘Kevin did well when he came on, he showed no fear and presented them with problems and he showed good awareness to create chances for others. Hopefully he’ll take confidence from today to continue his good start to the season in the Development League.’