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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership
Sat 31 August, 2013. Kick Off: - 15:00
St Mirren Park, Paisley.

Match Preview

St Mirren v Partick Thistle – 31st August 2013

Thistle tomorrow will make their first trip to Paisley for a competitive first team fixture against St Mirren since January 1st 2005.
It’s a fixture that is being keenly anticipated by fans and manager alike; Alan Archibald commenting to [link:HOME] this afternoon;
“There’s a lot of interest in the fixture especially with St Mirren’s current poor form. That poor form will make them a very dangerous opponent tomorrow. When a team is on a poor run you know that that bad run will end at some point; you just hope that it doesn’t end when you play against them.”
Alan continued;
“By all accounts St Mirren started well last weekend against Ross County and they will be looking to do the same tomorrow. We didn’t start well at all against Motherwell last Saturday and that is something that we have spoken to the players about. You simply don’t get away with starting like that at this level; last season we perhaps could have got away with starting poorly but not this season. The margins between success and failure are just so fine you can’t afford not to start well and the first goal is vitally important.”
Going in tomorrow’s game the manager doesn’t have too many fresh injury worries to deal with as Alan explained;
“Sean Welsh still has his haematoma and he will miss but with the international break he’ll have a bit more time to get fit and hopefully he should be available for the Aberdeen game. Jordan Mcmillan meantime has trained each of the last two games and it is now a case of him building up his fitness having missed much of pre-season training. That’s the good thing about the break that is coming up; it gives players a bit of time to recover from knocks.”
Alan continued;
“The only other injury worry that we have is Aaron Taylor-Sinclair who is struggling with a calf injury.”
With the transfer window closing tomorrow the search for new players continues but it is proving to be a frustrating experience. Said Alan;
“We still trying to bring someone in but it is very frustrating. We thought that we had someone but that deal has fallen through. Part of the problem we are facing is the different date that the transfer window closes in Scotland and England. This year the SFA have changed things and the window closes earlier here in Scotland than it does in England. Players in England are holding on until they see what happens at their own clubs and if they hold on until Monday, when they window closes in England, we aren’t then in a position to sign them.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              1              1              9              5
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Steven Lawless 3
Aaron Muirhead 2
Conrad Balatoni 1
Kris Doolan 1
Christie Elliott 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Last Game
League Cup Second Round
Tuesday August 27th 2013
Partick Thistle 3, Cowdenbeath 1
St Mirren Stats
Current Form – Last Four Games
W            D             L              F              A
0              1              3              2              9
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Gary Harkins 1
Steven Thompson 1
Last Game
League Cup Second Round
Tuesday August 27th 2013
Queen of the South 2, St Mirren 1
Last Meeting
First Division
Saturday March 19th 2005
Partick Thistle 0, St Mirren 0
Thistle: Arthur, Snowdon, Milne, Dowie, Murray, Brady, Mitchell (One), A Ross, Escalas (J Gibson), McConalogue (Hinds), Fleming.
St Mirren: Hinchcliffe, Reid, Broadfoot, Millen, McGowne, Reilly, Murray, Lappin, Russell (O’Neill), McGinty, Ellis (Baird).
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Saturday August 31st 2013
St Mirren v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Adult £20
Concessions  £10 (over 65, full time student, U18, unemployed)
12 and under £5
Ambulant/wheelchair £10 – includes carer.
This match is ALL TICKET for Thistle fans.
Ticket Details
Directions to St Mirren Park
Supporters Buses
Other Premiership Fixtures
Aberdeen v St Johnstone
Dundee United v Celtic
Hibernian v Ross County
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Hearts
Motherwell v Kilmarnock
Match Officials
Referee: William Collum
Assistant Referees: George Drummond and Ross Haswell
Fourth Official: George Salmond

Match Report

St Mirren v Partick Thistle – 31st August 2013

Thistle’s first ever trip to St Mirren Park proved to be a memorable one. Trailing 1-0 with just ten minutes of the match remaining Thistle struck twice to record a thoroughly deserved 2-1 win.
Manager Alan Archibald brought Conrad Balatoni, Isaac Osbourne and Steven Lawless back into his starting eleven following the League Cup win over Cowdenbeath.
St Mirren’s poor start to the season has been well documented and they made a frantic start to this match with the sheer pace of the game inside the opening minutes ensuring that there was little in the way of quality football produced by either side.
It was the home side though that had the game’s first chance in the 11th minute. Thompson was able to head the ball on for Bahoken who was able to out muscle Conrad Balatoni. Bahoken was able to knock the ball past the advancing Scott Fox but the aforementioned Balatoni was on hand to clear.

Thistle, as has been a feature of the season thus far; were able to enjoy the majority of the possession and they switched the ball from flank to flank as they attempted to stretch the St Mirren defence. James Craigen was the first to truly threaten the St Mirren goal when, after 20 minutes, his shot from the edge of the St Mirren box cleared the bar by a couple of feet.
Thistle did have the ball in the net in the 26th minute but the flag for offside had gone up against John Baird before he knocked the ball into the back of the net. Five minutes later the Thistle striker was appealing in vain for a penalty after he and Goodwin had gone shoulder to shoulder inside the St Mirren box.
The longer the first-half went on the more Thistle dominated although they were nearly caught on the counter attack when Bahoken’s angled drive went wide of Scott Fox’s left hand post.
The chances in the main though continued to come Thistle’s way. Taylor-Sinclair sent a shot over the bar after he had peeled off his marked to connect with a near post Baird corner and Steven Lawless found his route to the St Mirren goal blocked after he had evaded one challenge inside the St Mirren penalty area.
Thistle’s best first half chances came as the half-time whistle approached. In the 42nd minute James Craigen couldn’t keep his header from a Bannigan cross down and two minutes later Steven Lawless was inches away from a goal after Taylor-Sinclair had headed the ball down for him.
After a goalless first half Thistle should have been in front just 90 seconds into the second half. John Baird was able to collect a misdirected pass back but when he looked set to score he lifted the ball over the bar.
Thistle were ruing that, and other missed chances, when St Mirren opened the scoring three minutes later. It was a poor goal from a Thistle perspective to lose. Van Zanten had a little too much room down the right to send over a cross that Thistle defence should have dealt better with; Kenny McLean firing across Scott Fox and into the net.
Despite the loss of that goal the pattern of the game changed little with Thistle continuing to dominate. After 66 minutes Cornell in the St Mirren goal did well to push away a fiercely driven James Craigen shot and with 15 minutes left a Kallum Higginbotham shot dipped just too late.
Substitute Kris Doolan saw a shot saved by Cornell as time continued to pass with Thistle receiving no reward for their dominance. Would this game result in an undeserved defeat?
The answer to that was an emphatic no. The equaliser arrived with ten minutes remaining with Kallum Higginbotham opening his scoring account for Thistle in spectacular fashion as he found the net with a shot that entered the net via the inside of the post.

There was no question of Thistle settling for a point at this stage. Kris Doolan tested Cornell with a shot from the left corner of the box before Doolan was involved in the goal that gave Thistle full points.
Stephen O’Donnell came forward down the right before setting up Doolan. Doolan in turn knocked the ball back into the path of fellow sub Ross Forbes whose well placed shot found the corner of the St Mirren net.

There was a touch of anxiety when the fourth official’s board indicated a minimum of 4 minutes of additional time but it was Thistle that were the closest to scoring in that period of injury time; Kris Doolan being just unable to connect with a Stephen O’Donnell cross to the back post.
When the full-time whistle sounded the players showed their appreciation of the backing of the 1,613 Thistle fans at the game who provided such marvellous support throughout the game.

Match Reaction

St Mirren v Partick Thistle – 31st August 2013

The Thistle goals may have been a little late in coming yesterday at St Mirren but when manager Alan Archibald spoke with after the game he was in no doubt that the victory had been a deserved one.
“I thought it was a richly deserved three points for us. I thought that their goal came against the run of play and I felt that we deserved to take the victory. I was delighted too in the manner in which they did it. It was two great goals and they kept on playing football.”
We asked Alan if it was the desire of his players not to settle for a point at that late stage that pleased him the most.
Alan replied;
“That and the fact that they kept on trying to pass the ball. That was a very pleasing thing. It would have been easy for them to change the tactics. That sometimes happens when you go a goal down; you start to panic and do things that you are not good at; and go back to front.”
For Kallum Higginbotham his goal yesterday was his first as a Partick Thistle player; an earlier ‘goal’ at Ross County being disallowed in controversial circumstances. It was no bad way for a player to open his scoring account for a new club although as his manager revealed it was scored with the weaker of his two feet.
“We were laughing about that in the changing room after the game. We moved Kallum over to the right wing and he ends up scoring with his weaker foot. That’s just one of these things; we took the gamble and it was either Kallum or Stevie Lawless that we took off to get Christie Elliott on. It worked for us and we’re delighted with that.”
The manager was delighted that Ross Forbes was the player to have scored the winning goal yesterday.
“We’ve got a good squad and they are good lads. I was delighted for Ross today as he had a big part to play last season. He’s been on the periphery a bit this season but we know what he is capable of doing. It wasn’t an easy chance that he had today either, although he made it look easy.”
Both Thistle goals yesterday were of the highest quality but there was just one thing that disappointed the manager about them.
“I was delighted to get the goals for the fans as well; I would just loved us to have scored them at the other end. It can be a bit patronising when a player or a manager comes out and says that the fans make a difference but they do make a difference when the support is positive. Believe or not a player doesn’t like someone shooting at them but the support we’ve been getting has been all positive and we are delighted to receive that kind of backing.”
Yesterday’s game was our last for a fortnight and we wondered having won yesterday whether it was disappointing not to have a fixture next weekend?
“It would have been different had we lost because it would have been a long two weeks stewing on a defeat. The fact that we won means that we go into the break with a good feeling and it also gives us a couple of weeks to get the likes of Sean Welsh and Jordan McMillan fit again.”
Will the players can’t a few days off?
“We’ll have the players back in on Monday and then maybe give them a couple of days off before the end of the week and give them a bit of a rest and allow the injuries to heal and see what injuries we’ve got.”

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