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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Reaction

Ayr United v Partick Thistle – 23rd April 2019

Partick Thistle’s game in hand finally arrived this evening as the Jags travelled to Somerset Park to contest a twice rescheduled game against Ayr United and thankfully for the Maryhill men, it was worth the wait. Thistle followed their win over Alloa on Saturday with a 1-0 triumph over their Ayrshire adversaries, moving up to sixth place in the process. The only goal of the match came after 18 minutes when Shea Gordon fired home a half-volley; his first league goal of the season. As well as climbing to sixth with victory, the Jags are now also five points clear of bottom spot with two games to play. Thistle boss, Gary Caldwell, spoke to following the final whistle:

“That was a very good performance. To be in the position we’re in, under the pressure we are and to play like that shows a lot of character. Nevertheless, it was never about the performance; it was about the three points and we’ve got them.”

Gary singled out Shea Gordon for some praise with the Northern Irishman’s goal ultimately proving decisive in the contest.

“Shea’s been excellent since he’s come back into the team. He’s spent a lot of time out injured and that’s obviously been tough for him but he’s come back with a real determination to make up for lost time. While he was injured, he was going back and forth between here and Motherwell but you could tell he never lost his connection to this team and he’s been giving his all since he’s been back.

“Whenever he’s on the pitch, he puts in 100% so it was good to see him rewarded tonight with that winning goal.”

The gaffer also paid tribute to Kris Doolan who made his 400th appearance as a Thistle player coming off the bench in the first half.

“He’s a brilliant player and professional. It’s brilliant what he’s done for this Club over the years but also what he continues to do each and every day. He’s another extremely hard worker and that showed today. Coming on in the first half is never easy but he got right to it and even ended up playing in midfield towards the end of the game which shows his commitment to the cause.

“He’s a great asset for this football Club and to have someone like him in the squad is invaluable.”

After a dreadful first half of the season on the road Thistle have now lost just once in their last eight league games away from home and Caldwell says that it’s all down to the players.

“It’s about the spirit the boys have shown because in these away games, you’re never going to get everything your own way and there are going to be spells when you have your back against the wall and the team have shown an ability to get through those spells recently that wasn’t there before.”

Gary also gave us an update on the condition of Scott McDonald who was substituted during the first half after picking up a head knock in the lead up to Shea Gordon’s goal.

“He took a pretty hefty hit to the head as he challenged for a cross and although I’m not someone who’ll take players off whenever they get a knock, it got to a point where Scott didn’t know where he was positionally and he was having some vision problems so we’ll assess him tomorrow and see what approach we have to take.”

A more in depth video interview with Gary Caldwell is available now to Jagzone subscribers as well as reaction from Kris Doolana and Shea Gordon – log in now to see them.

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