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Partick Thistle FC
Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 21st April 2018

There was a feeling of overwhelming relief and pure ecstasy at ten to five in Maryhill this afternoon. Following ten long games without a win, Partick Thistle finally tasted victory once again as they came from behind to defeat Hamilton at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. The Jags started the game well on a day that was spent remembering legendary ex-Thistle and Hamilton boss, John Lambie but failed to capitalise on early control and actually fell behind with just a few minutes left until the interval as David Templeton curled the ball past Tomas Cerny. The hosts didn’t give up though and two second half goals turned the game on its head. Firstly, Kris Doolan found a couple of yards of space in the Accies box and nodded a Callum Booth cross past Gary Woods then, after a scramble in the box, the ball fell to Ryan Edwards who lashed home the winning goal. The victory takes Thistle off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table, one point above Ross County and now just two points behind Hamilton. Following the tense encounter, caught up with Jags boss, Alan Archibald.

We began by talking to Archie about the spirit his side showed in coming from behind despite having been on a dismal run of form coming into the game.

“The boys showed excellent character today and we need that with the position we’re in. We started really well, coming out the blocks quickly and I think the atmosphere around the tributes to John Lambie spurred us on. The crowd were really up for it and I think that the players felt that and fed off it. Accies came into it towards the end of the first half but I still think we were unlucky to be behind and overall, I feel we deserved the win.”

The Thistle manager admitted that he was worried at half time with his side having failed to capitalise on a lot of possession before then falling behind to a rather simple goal, however, he did trust his team to get back into things.

“We put a lot into the game early on and when you then go 1-0 down after putting so much into the game, there is that worry that you’re not going to have enough left to get back into it. The lads had a little wobble after Accies’ goal went in but we were able to get them in at half time to just encourage them a bit because the signs were there and all we needed was that killer ball which we thankfully found in the second half.”

Kris Doolan’s 65th minute header was Thistle’s first goal end of February when Conor Sammon struck home a penalty kick away to Hamilton and Alan reckons the first goal was the perfect confidence booster to push his team towards the second.

“We asked the lads to try to forget what had come before but when you’ve been on a run like we have, that’s very difficult. The fact that we hadn’t scored in so long was always going to be playing on our lads’ minds, especially the creative players so I’m sure that when the Doolan header hit the back of the net, it gave everyone that little lift and little bit of extra belief that allowed us to get the second.”

The gaffer is delighted to have moved off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table but is also pleased to have dragged Hamilton right back into the mix with Accies now in a precarious position just three points above bottom spot.

“We knew coming into the game that a win would condense that bottom section of the table. We’ve been in Hamilton’s position before. We’ve went into the first game after the split slightly ahead of other teams and lost which suddenly made the final four games really nervy so hopefully they’ll be feeling us creeping up on them now.”

Archie and the team are back in action for fixture 35 of the season next Saturday as the Jags travel to Perth to take on Tommy Wright’s St. Johnstone. Kick-off is 15:00 from McDiarmid Park.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Kris Doolan and Ryan Edwards. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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