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Match Reaction

Partick Thistle v Hearts – 23rd September 2017

After a slow start to the Ladbrokes Premiership season, Partick Thistle have finally found an upturn in form. Following four straight league losses, the Maryhill men had gone two games without defeat in the Premiership going into today’s game and although they remained winless, draws against Ross County and Rangers meant things were looking up for the Jags. On the back of those draws, Thistle came very close to a first league victory of the new campaign as Hearts came to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. An 18th minute goal from Blair Spittal the lead and they would hold that advantage until the 79th minute when Ross Callachan’s header brought the visitors level. The game ended all square and the Jags went another match without victory but extended their unbeaten league run to three games. Alan Archibald spoke to after the match to give his thoughts on the clash.

The Hearts equaliser was a rather controversial one. Ross Callachan’s header looped over Ryan Scully but was headed by Daniel Devine on the line. It seemed, at first glance, that he had cleared it but the referee conferred with his assistant and decided that it was a goal. Although it was a tight call, Archie was more disappointed that his side allowed Hearts to get to that position than the decision itself.

“I’ve seen it back quickly and it’s hard to tell whether the ball crossed the line. To be honest, I’m more upset with our defending leading up to it. We had defended well under pressure for about 15 minutes before and it felt like we were coming back into it a bit. From our point of view, it’s more than preventable, as well. It’s our kick-out then they catch us out with a quick corner so we should have done better.”

The gaffer also said that when tight calls go against you, it’s even more difficult to take when you’re so desperate for a first league win of the season.

“When you’re in a tough run of from, it always feels like these tight calls go against you but that’s just football. All in all, it was a positive performance today. At times, we really came into our game and created some good openings. I thought Blair Spittal was outstanding, too, and deserved his goal.”

Although Thistle dominated much of the first half and probably created more than Hearts, Alan thinks that a point was fair for both sides when you look at the entire game.

“We created a couple more chances than them, I thought, but on the balance of play, a draw was fair in the end. When you create a few good chances and only get one goal, it always feels like you could have got more but I can’t fault the team’s effort and application today.”

Archibald also gave us an update on Christie Elliott’s condition. The number 14 was forced off the park with an injury in the second half following an aerial duel with John Souttar.

“He went away for a precautionary x-ray after he went off and we’re hoping there isn’t a major problem. It was his ankle and there was some swelling but we hope it will just be a minor issue for the physio to see to.”

Archie and the Thistle squad now turn their attentions to next Saturday. The Jags travel to Fir Park to take on Motherwell as they continue searching for the illusive first league win of the season. Kick-off is 15:00 from Fir Park.

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