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Match Report

Dundee v Partick Thistle – 1st March 2017

A William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final match with Aberdeen was edging ever closer for Partick Thistle but there was still league action for the Jags to deal with as they faced sixth place Dundee at Dens Park. The game represented a chance for the Firhill side to leapfrog the Dees, making a return to the top half of the division.

Thistle have enjoyed a good record against Dundee this season, beating Paul Hartley’s men 2-0 on both occasions that the teams have met during the current campaign. Kris Doolan has scored in both of those meetings and as the marksman moves towards his 100th competitive Thistle goal, the Jags could use his scoring power.

Alan Archibald’s men had been in good form of late but Dundee had also found their stride. In their last Ladbrokes Premiership match, the Dees had scored five in a rampant performance against Motherwell so it would be interesting to see a firing Dundee attack against a Thistle defence that’s been resolute in recent weeks.

One change was made to the side that overcame Hearts on Saturday. Mustapha Dumbuya, who was substituted off as a precaution against the Jambos, wasn’t risked. He was replaced in the starting eleven by Christie Elliott who was making his first start since being sent off against St. Johnstone at the beginning of February.

Thistle kicked the game off and the first opportunity of the match fell to the travelling side. Callum Booth was fed the ball on the left flank and he cut inside, laying the ball into Chris Erskine. The midfielder hit the shot first time and it curled towards goal, however, Scott Bain got a cross well to catch the shot first time.

In the 14th minute, the visitors had another chance to open the scoring. Abdul Osman whipped a cross into the box, picking out Ryan Edwards. The ball was missed by the Dee defenders but Edwards took his eye of the ball and guided a volley well wide of the post from 15 yards out.

Dundee had their first good opportunity of the match in the 21st minute. Henrik Ojamaa found some space ten yards outside the box and opted to shoot. Unfortunately for the Estonian international, his shot flew a few yards wide of Tomas Cerny’s right hand post.

Two minutes after Ojamaa’s attempt, Kris Doolan had his first sight of goal. Chris Erskine turned cleverly past his man before poking the ball through to Doolan. The striker then tries to shoot with his left foot but he cuts across the ball and shoots high and wide.

One minute before the half hour mark, the scoring was opened. Abdul Osman spotted Kris Doolan run down the right hand side of the box. The forward then out muscled opposition defender, Darren O’Dea, and tried to play the ball across the goal to allow the onrushing Ryan Edwards a tap in. However, Julen Etxaberugen of Dundee attempted to intercept the cross and in the process, inadvertently turned the ball into his own net making it 1-0 to the Jags.

There would be one final chance of the half and it fell to Ryan Edwards. Callum Booth crosses in form the left finding his teammate, Edwards. The midfielder then went up for the header but lifted the ball safely over the bar.

The game would see no further action before the interval with the score remaining 1-0. The Jags back three has been as solid as ever, dealing well with the long balls aimed at Marcus Haber. Dundee had been restricted to long range efforts while Chris Erskine’s movement on the ball meant that Thistle looked dangerous. There were no substitutions made at half time.

Seven minutes after the restart, Dundee had another long range opportunity. James Vincent picked up the ball and has time 25 yards from goal. He then set to shoot and unleashed an attempt towards Tomas Cerny’s goal. The Czech stopper was able to parry the shot away from danger and eventually the danger was cleared.

In the 77th minute, the Jags made their first change with Chris Erskine being withdrawn and being replaced by Steven Lawless.

With ten minutes left of the regulation 90, Kris Doolan had the ball in the back of the net. Abdul Osman was cleverly played forward by Steven Lawless and had space in the box. He squared the ball to Kris Doolan who directed the ball into the back of the net but the offside flag was up to deny Doolan his 99th competitive Jags goal.

In the 84th minute, Dundee had a golden opportunity to level the game through the captain, Darren O’Dea. On the second phase of a corner the ball was lifted towards the back post where O’Dea is waiting but he somehow headed wide from two yards wide.

With four minutes left to play, Kris Doolan was taken off. As he walked off, to be replaced by Ade Azeez, he was met by a standing ovation from the travelling Thistle crowd who appreciated the hard work he had done on the night.

Within the closing moments of the game Dundee mustered up a couple of late chances. Firstly, the ball bounced around the box eventually rebounding to El Bakhtaoui who tried an acrobatic attempt, shooting across goal but the attempt went wide of Cerny’s goal, not troubling the Thistle keeper. Secondly, Marcus Haber was played into the box and cut past Niall Keown before shooting at the near post but the attempt went straight at Cerny who caught safely.

Despite six minutes of added time, Thistle stood strong and the game ended 1-0. That meant that Alan Archibald’s side had kept their fourth clean sheet in a row with all of those games being won. The result takes Thistle into the top six until the 11th of March at least.

The midweek also gives the Jags momentum as they now look towards Sunday’s quarter-final against Aberdeen at Pittodrie with kick-off at 15:00.

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