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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Dundee United v Partick Thistle – 6th February 2016

Thistle travelled to Tannadice to take on Dundee United in the 5th round of the Scottish Cup with Alan Archibald’s side looking to make the Quarter Final stage of the tournament for the first time since 2007/08.

Manager Alan Archibald sprang a tactical surprise pre-match by reverting to a 3-5-2 system for the first time this season. Frederic Frans and Dan Seaborne were joined in defence by Liam Lindsay, the young defender having served his two match ban. Gary Miller and Callum Booth were the fullbacks in the system with the regular midfield combination of Abdul Osman, Stuart Bannigan and Sean Welsh comprising the heart of the side’s midfield. Steven Lawless was tasked with the job of providing support to Kris Doolan as Thistle looked to get the goals needed for cup progression.

Thistle took a while to settle into the game, perhaps the unfamiliarity of their new formation taking some time to get adjusted to. United took advantage of the early spell in the game. From an early corner Donaldson had the first opportunity of the game, but his header sailed over the crossbar.

Thistle were slowly growing into the game and a couple of early opportunities from Welsh were the first indications of Thistle as an attacking force.

After 18 minutes, John Rankin had an effort deflected behind for a corner after a succession of Thistle blunders as they failed to clear their lines on several occasions. In a half of few chances, Sean Welsh came closest to giving Thistle the lead. A Callum Booth cross evaded everyone and Welsh flung himself at the ball, only to miss by a fraction. Any sort of contact towards the United goal would surely have resulted in a goal.

With time running down in the first half, Tomas Cerny made his first stop of the game, getting down quickly to deny a low angled Simon Murray effort.

United started the second half quickly, with Murray having an effort blocked by Lindsay with just over sixty seconds on the clock.

Similar to the first half, Thistle grew into the half and started to dominate the game. Miller was getting forward strongly and had a half-hearted appeal for a penalty after his cross struck the hand of a United defender.

Thistle forced a succession of corner, the third of which saw United break quickly. John Rankin got to the bye-line and drilled a cross along the fact of the Thistle goal, but Simon Murray was unable to turn the ball home at the back post.

Thistle, who by this point had introduced Mathias Pogba and Gary Fraser to the action, were struggling in the final third in a match where there wasn’t an abundance of quality in the play.

David Amoo had the best opportunity to win the game for Thistle when a simple ball into the box found him clean through. With Kawashima advancing quickly, the winger was unable to direct the ball goalwards to take full advantage of the opportunity.

There was to be a match winning goal in this game but disappointingly for Thistle it was to come at the other end. Blair Spittal retrieved a Paul Dixon cross before linking up with Scott Fraser who curled a shot into the far corner of the net.

With just under five minutes for Thistle to grab a leveller, Gary Fraser took the challenge to United with a rampaging run but his effort from distance was off target. With four minutes of injury time on the clock for Thistle to hit back, the side tried hard to grab a replay inducing leveller. Despite a succession of balls into the box, Kawashima and the United defence held firm and it will be the Dundee club who take a place in Monday’s Quarter Final draw.

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