Saturday 29th April, 2017 at 8:10pm
It was a proper end to end contest at Tynecastle on Saturday as Thistle visited the capital in search of three points to close the gap on Hearts. It was a competitive affair that saw both sides create a number of chances but it would ultimately end a draw.
Alan Archibald spoke to ptfc.co.uk after the match and certainly felt that his side might have snatched all three points having twice gone in front and despite Daniel Devine being shown a second yellow card on 68 minutes.
“I thought we maybe did about enough to hold out for all three points there but with 10 men it was always going to be tough.”
Devine was given his second yellow for a handball inside the box, Hearts scored from the resulting penalty, despite vigorous protests from the Jags’ players, bench and support.
“The penalty didn’t come as a surprise to me but it’s the lack of consistency that is most frustrating. You’ll see another 10 of those over the course of next season and they might all be different decisions. If it hits his hand it should either be a penalty or not. As I say, you could see the same or a similar incident again in a couple of weeks and it isn’t a penalty. I just think there needs to be a bit of clarity – it needs to be a bit more black and white.”
Although Hearts dominated periods of the game, Thistle also had their own time on top and the game was as tight as the score line suggests.
“We were under a lot of pressure at times but I actually thought we had the clearer of the chances. Erskine’s one on one is a big one and I think that was at 1-0 so that could have made a big difference. We had a couple of chances to slide players through too which just didn’t quite come off. Our players have showed great character all season though so I wasn’t surprised to see that again today.”
With a few surprises on the Thistle teamline it was clear that injuries had affected the gaffer’s options.
“We had six injuries today – seven including our sub keeper, Ryan Scully, so we were up against it a bit. Young Andy McCarthy did brilliantly in the centre of the park and his energy was big for us today. Doolan ended up playing in the wide area too but that’s sometimes what you need to do when you’re struggling on the injury front.
“I was delighted for Andy. He only found out he was playing this morning as Liam pulled out with a dead leg this morning. We’d worked on a different shape in training yesterday so it was totally different today but we had to go and play so it’s a big credit to Andy as I thought his performance was very good.”
Tomas Cerny was again at the centre of things, particularly after the sending off, keeping the team in red and yellow in the match with a string of outstanding saves.
“Tomas was outstanding again today and pulled off a number of absolute first class saves. He’s been massive for us since he came back from injury at the start of the season and it’s brilliant to know that you have that quality behind your back four.”
For a full list of all the great content you can access from just £5.99 per month as a Jagzone member, click here.
Article Copyright © 2017. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to ptfc.co.uk.