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Match Preview

Dumbarton v Partick Thistle – 2nd May 2013

Tomorrow afternoon’s fixture away to Dumbarton marks the end of season 2012-2013; a season that will go down as one of the most memorable in the Club’s long history.
Just a few weeks ago tomorrow’s fixture looked like being a vital one for both clubs; albeit a different ends of the table. However, Dumbarton retained their First Division status for next season with a 3-2 win at Cowdenbeath last weekend. We meantime, of course, clinched the First Division title just under a fortnight ago at Falkirk and go into the final game of the season ten points clear at the top of the table.
If you think that tomorrow’s game will amount to nothing more than a 90 minute stroll for both teams then you would be very much mistaken. [link:HOME] caught up with manager Alan Archibald after the final training session of the season and made it plain that he wants to finish the season on a positive note.
“If nothing else we want to keep the unbeaten run going and get ourselves up to the 80 point mark for the season. That’s 17 league games unbeaten now and that’s a great record to have. I was delighted that the players were able to come from 3-1 down last week and maintain the unbeaten record.”
As previously mentioned we go into tomorrow’s match 10 points clear at the top of the table and earlier in the week no fewer than five players, six if you include Jordan McMillan, were included in the PFA Scotland First Division Team of the Year. It’s impossible, therefore, not to view Thistle as the best team in the league. Said Alan;
“I think that we have over the course of the season proven to be the best team in the league and it’s great to see so many selected in the Team of the Year; someone said to me that with Jordan we had five and a half players in the team! Seriously though, it is great that the players of other teams think highly of our players.”
Players is something though that the manager is more than a little short of going into tomorrow’s game.
“We’ve been lucky this season with injuries and suspensions and I suppose if we were to be hit with injuries, we had virtually a whole midfield wiped out with injury last weekend, then this is as good a time as any but it does give us problems for tomorrow.”
Alan went on to provide a little more detail.
“Scott Fox is out. The Thistle fans might have noticed that he was struggling a bit last week against Dunfermline. Indeed he has been struggling for the last four weeks or so. His injury gives Glenn Daniels the chance to come in and I’ll need to double check with Ian Maxwell that Ryan Scully is allowed to sit on the bench for us.”
“Stephen O’Donnell picked up an ankle injury in training and he’ll also miss out tomorrow and joins Hugh Murray, Paul Paton and Sean Welsh on the injury list. James Craigen too misses out again but the good news is that his injury isn’t a serious as we feared it might be and he should be back in time for pre-season training.”
Alan continued;
“I’ve told Steven Craig that he won’t be part of our plans for next season and he’ll likely not be involved tomorrow. I’ve also told Andy Dowie that he’ll not be with us next season. It’s horrible having to tell players this especially when they’ve played a big part in getting us promoted us in the first place and it does take the gloss off the celebrations. If we had stayed in the First Division then I would definitely have kept Andy Dowie but going up a league I just feel that we need to strengthen. Andy’s contribution wasn’t just limited to his goal at Falkirk. His performance against Morton alone helped us win promotion.”
There’s also a Firhill departure for Bradley Halsman.
“Bradley’s really unlucky. He’s just too old to be part of our under 20 side next season and in terms of his own development we can’t keep him at the club just to be standing around.”
On a more positive note some of the younger players are added to the squad for tomorrow’s game.
“Liam Lindsay, Jordon Leyden and David Wilson are all added to the squad and we of course welcome Aaron Muirhead back after his period of suspension.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              2              0              8              4
Scorers Season 2012-2013
Chris Erskine 16
Kris Doolan 15
Steven Craig 14
Steven Lawless 14
Conrad Balatoni 6
Stuart Bannigan 4
Ross Forbes 4
Aaron Muirhead 4
Christie Elliott 3
James Craigen 2
Stephen O’Donnell 2
Aaron Sinclair 2
Sean Welsh 2
Andy Dowie 1
Jordan McMillan 1
Own Goal 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday April 27th 2013
Partick Thistle 3, Dunfermline Athletic 3
Dumbarton Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
3              0              2              11           8
Scorers season 2012-2013
Jim Lister 15
Bryan Prunty 13
Scott Agnew 11
Mark Gilhaney 6
Steven McDougall 5
Garry Fleming 3
Chris Turner 3
Andrew Graham 2
Alan Lithgow 2
Paul McGinn 2
Own Goals 2
Andy Graham 1
Marc McCusker 1
Last Game
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday April 27th 2013
Cowdenbeath 2, Dumbarton 3
Last Meeting
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday March 9th 2013
Partick Thistle 3, Dumbarton 0
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Sinclair, Forbes (Elliott), Muirhead, Balatoni, Welsh, Bannigan (McGuigan), Craig (Doolan), Lawless, Craigen.
Dumbarton: Grindlay, McGinn, Creaney (Lister), Graham, Lithgow, Tuirner, Gilhaney, Smith, Fleming (McCusker), Winters (Agnew), McDougall.
Thistle: Lawless (10, 74), Doolan (81)
Crowd: 2,715
Match Highlights
Match Details
Irn-Bru Scottish League First Division
Saturday May 4th 2013
Dumbarton v Partick Thistle
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Adults £15
Concessions £8
Supporters Bus Information
Match Officials
Referee: John Beaton
Assistant Referees: Stuart Macaulay and David Lowe
Other First Division Fixtures
Dunfermline Athletic v Airdrie United
Falkirk v Morton
Hamilton Accies v Cowdenbeath
Livingston v Raith Rovers

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