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Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Accies – 23rd December 2017

After a month, or five games, rooted to the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership standings, Partick Thistle finally pulled themselves off the foot of table with a narrow 1-0 win over Hamilton this afternoon. The Jags took a first half lead through Niall Keown as the centre-half bagged his second goal of the season, latching onto Martin Woods’ corner. Thistle were unable to make it two though setting up a nervy end to the game as Hamilton pushed for a leveller. Tomas Cerny was forced into a couple of saves and David Templeton smashed the crossbar from 25 yards but the travelling Accies were unable to find the goal they needed and the hosts held for victory. The win moves Thistle above Ross County and to within just a point of Neil McCann’s Dundee. Jags boss, Alan Archibald spoke to following the match.

Archie started by telling us just how pleased he was to claim victory in a scrappy game that took a few twists and turns.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty for a lot of today. When we played Hamilton earlier in the season it was a similar game; few chances and a lot of battling. I’m delighted for the defence as well, getting the clean sheet because they’ve had a tough time of it lately.”

The gaffer was also happy with Tomas Cerny who, at 1-0, made a good save to deny David Templeton as the visitors searched for an equaliser.

“It was a very good save but it comes from us having the ball. I think it was Steven Lawless who I thought had a great game at wing-back but he smashes the clearance against the attacker and it falls to Templeton. In the end Tomas makes a good save and we get it away. The frustrating thing is that most of their opportunities come from our errors and on another day we might have been punished.”

Along with the three points today, there is the aforementioned bonus of coming off the bottom of the table and Alan thinks that will be a weight off the players shoulders with two games left before the winter break.

“It’s good psychologically for the players. For the first time in a while we have the chance to build on that especially with Ross County coming here next week. It also means that the boys won’t feel so bad about coming back into training after a quick break for Christmas.”

With Jordan Turnbull suspended, Alan Archibald had to do some defensive tinkering this afternoon and the Thistle boss was very happy with the rear-guard performance as the team claimed just their third clean sheet of the season.

“Since Jordan was out, we decided to move Adam Barton back into the defence. It was really the first time this season that we’ve been able to do that and having Martin Woods does allow us to change the shape a bit more that we have previously. I thought Adam was very good in the backline as was Martin Woods in the midfield and they all contributed to our clean sheet.”

The Jags can now enjoy Christmas with a smile after today’s win and prepare for Wednesday night’s clash with Aberdeen. Kick-off is 19:45 from Pittodrie as Thistle look to continue their climb up the table.

A more in depth video interview with Alan Archibald is available now to Jagzone subscribers and will be followed by reaction from Niall Keown and Steven Lawless. Log in now to see it as soon as it is available.

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