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Match Reaction

Hamilton Accies v Partick Thistle – 24th February 2018

It was more late heartbreak for Partick Thistle this afternoon as the Jags conceded late to drop points for the second week in a row. After losing two late goals to Dundee last Saturday, Thistle were beaten by another injury time winner today as David Templeton struck in the dying moments of the Jags’ clash with Hamilton to give Accies the win. The match started well for Thistle with Conor Sammon putting the Maryhill men ahead with a ninth minute penalty, however, the away side didn’t enjoy the lead for long, though, as their hosts equalised just two minutes later through Antonio Rojano. The game then ebbed and flowed for a long period until Thistle retook control in the second half. The travelling Jags passed up opportunity after opportunity with Niall Keown, Callum Booth and Mustapha Dumbuya all missing chances. The misses would come back to bite Thistle too as David Templeton scored for Hamilton in additional time to nab the points for his side. The loss leaves Thistle in 11th spot with Hamilton leapfrogging them in the Ladbrokes Premiership table. Jags boss, Alan Archibald, spoke to following the match.

Archie started by telling us about how disappointed he is that, despite a lot of work in training, his side didn’t learn from their mistakes last week.

“It’s two weeks in a row now and we can’t make excuses; it’s no one’s fault but our own. We haven’t actually learned from last week which is the most disappointing thing. We had three centre-halves on and I thought that we had enough experience and know-how in the team to avoid another late goal. We were the better team for much of the second half and I thought that we looked comfortable for most of that time too but that counts for absolutely nothing when you defend like we did in added time.”

The gaffer was also very unhappy with how quickly the Jags allowed Hamilton back into the game following Conor Sammon’s opener.

“The manner in which we lose that goal was very disappointing in itself and then when you consider how soon it was after our goal, it makes it even worse. It comes straight from our kick-off; they launch a ball forward and then get a corner from it. After that, we have to defend the corner much better. Hamilton are a tall side and we knew that. We’d worked on defending set-pieces through the week especially after conceding to one against Dundee but still we get done by a corner. It’s extremely frustrating and we clearly need to work more on set plays.”

At 1-1 there was a goal that Thistle had ruled out much to the chagrin of the scorer Kris Doolan. He nodded home a Blair Spittal free-kick from close range, however, the assistant referee flagged him offside. Alan admitted that he couldn’t tell whether the forward was off or not but said that those are the decisions that feel a lot harsher when you’re scrapping for points at the bottom of the table.

“Kris says that he was onside but from the dugout there’s no way of knowing. Even our video footage doesn’t help to clear it up but you have to trust the linesman’s call. Obviously, it was tough to take as that could have set on the path to victory but it’s not like we didn’t have other chances to retake the lead and in the end we should have scored at least once from those opportunities.”

The Thistle manager then told us of how important next week’s clash with Ross County has now become. The Jags currently sit three points clear of the Staggies and another three points added onto that would take a tiny bit of the pressure of the players’ shoulders going into a tough run of games.

“It intensifies the pressure for next week’s game, without a doubt. It was already massive but now it’s 11th against 12th and a win could draw them level on points with us. We’ll get the lads in on Monday, try to analyse what went wrong today and build towards next Saturday.”

As Archie discussed, the Jags now prepare for a lengthy trip up North to take on Ross County at the Global Energy Arena. The two teams currently occupy the bottom two spots of the Ladbrokes Premiership so the game is one of huge importance. Kick-off is 15:00 from the Highlands.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Baily Cargill and Daniel Devine. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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