Sunday 9th September, 2012 at 8:55pm
Today was another highly satisfactory afternoon for Thistle today. After a goalless first half, three rapid fire goals in the second half gave Thistle a 3-0 win over Raith Rovers and a spot in the semi-final of the Ramsdens Cup.
Manager Jackie McNamara was certainly a contented man when www.ptfc.co.uk spoke to him after the game.
“I think the first goal was crucial. I think the fantastic save that Scott Fox made at a corner in the first half gave us a lift. First half I thought was very scrappy. When we did things a little quicker we caused them some wee problems. They had a couple of players booked when we broke at them.”
“Second half we seemed to have a bit more momentum and confidence once we scored the first goal. We seemed to relax and were able to make more passes and look dangerous.”
The manager drew satisfaction from the display at both ends of the park.
“We’ve scored three goals and not conceded any. Simon Donnelly is delighted about the three goals that we’ve scored and I’m delighted about the fact that we haven’t conceded any. Last season I thought that we struggled to find the kind of clinical edge that we had today. I thought that Chris Erskine took both of his goals fantastically well on his so called weaker foot. It was a great tackle from Paul Paton at the third goal and a great ball from him. I thought he was excellent today.”
The youthfulness of the squad is another factor that the manager derives pleasure from.
“A pleasing thing is that we have, with the exception of a couple, that we have a relatively young team. If they are good enough then they are good enough. That’s the way it is in football.”
Was the substitution of Alan Archibald anything to be concerned about?
“No, not at all. He took that bang last week against Hamilton so we took him off just a precaution. We wanted too to give Conrad Balatoni some game time. I thought that he did well. It’s really through no fault of his own that he isn’t in the side at the moment. The players that are on bench or sitting in the stand are aware that those playing are performing well week in week out at the moment and that they will need to be patient and wait until they are called upon.”
Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray meantime admitted that Thistle deserved their win.
“It turned out to be a very difficult game for us. First half went well and managed to prevent Partick from creating the number of chances that they probably have been; they’ve been scoring a lot of goals. We felt that we were right in the game at that stage. Their keeper had one good save from a corner, although to be fair they’ve had a few chances as well.”
“It was obviously very disappointing to lose the first goal and some of the players are saying that it wasn’t a Partick throw in, but that’s just one of those things. We kind of felt sorry for ourselves and crumbled. Losing the second goal was key; when you go two behind in a cup-tie it becomes very very difficult. Partick at that stage started to pick us off. They are a good team, they are good at using the ball and good at using the pitch. They were worthy of their win.”