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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Greenock Morton v Partick Thistle – 3rd November 2018

Partick Thistle continued their search for a first win under the stewardship of Gary Caldwell as they travelled to Cappielow to take on Greenock Morton in the Ladbrokes Championship. The Jags came into the match off the back of five straight defeats while their hosts had picked up a 2-1 win against Queen of the South just four days ago.

There was only one personnel change made to the Thistle team that lost to Ayr last Saturday although the formation was significantly altered with Gary Caldwell opting for a 4-1-3-2 set-up with a diamond in midfield.

Cammy Bell started in goals with an unchanged backline in front of him consisting of James Penrice, Sean McGinty, Niall Keown and Christie Elliott. Brice Ntambwe acted as the defensive screen in front of the back four with Stuart Bannigan, Craig Slater and Blair Spittal as the more advanced midfield three. Up front it was a partnership of Miles Storey and Jai Quitongo, the later returning to Greenock for the first time since leaving the Ton this summer.

The travelling Jags started the game brightly and could have had the lead within the opening couple of minutes. James Penrice was fed the ball by Craig Slater on the left wing and the full-back picked out Jai Quitongo with a low delivery. The number 33 controlled at the second attempt after evading two markers and fired across goal, however, his left-footed shot bent wide of the far post.

Then, on five minutes, the away side had another opportunity, this time from a corner kick. It was Craig Slater who hit a looping cross into the danger area, finding the head of Sean McGinty. The big number six tried to direct a header low into the corner but missed the mark by a few yards.

Morton didn’t learn their lesson from that opportunity though and, in the 16th minute, Thistle took the lead from a similar situation. Once again, Slater delivered an out-swinger into the Morton box, finding Brice Ntambwe on this occasion. The Belgian midfielder rose well above Gregor Buchanan and bulleted a header home, netting his first goal in Jags colours.

Unfortunately for the Maryhill men, their lead didn’t last long with Gary Oliver pulling the home side level seven minutes later. The equaliser came down Morton’s left hand side with Jack Iredale at the centre of the play as he shifted away from Craig Slater and whipped in a cross. The ball found Gary Oliver who had peeled away from his marker and was able to slam home from a few yards out.

On 39 minutes, the hosts came close to a second of the game as Charlie Telfer was denied by Cammy Bell. It came from a ball that was allowed to drop in the Jags 18-yard-area where Telfer then pinched the ball and got a low shot away. The effort was going back across Bell but the ‘keeper did well to get down to it and make the save before collecting the loose ball.

However, the Ton would take the lead ahead of the interval with Jack Iredale providing the assist once again. The hosts’ number three skipped down the left wing once again and this time delivered a lofted cross into the box. It looked like it was going to float over everybody but the heavy wind stopped the ball right above the six yard box and as it dropped, Bob McHugh was the quickest to react with the number 11 nodding home into the top corner to give his side the advantage.

As such, the teams went into half time with the score at 2-1 and the visitors would have been feeling slightly unlucky to be behind having created a few decent chances through Jai Quitongo, Sean McGinty and Miles Storey that all went begging. However, the clinical finishing of Morton saw them score two goals from just three decent chances.

At the break, Gary Caldwell made his first change of the game introducing Andrew McCarthy for Sean McGinty with the youngster slotting in at right-back while Christie Elliott moved to central defence.

The change couldn’t help Thistle re-assert dominance on the game and Morton continued their positive play from the end of the first half by adding to their lead in the 55th minute. It came from a quick turnover of possession in the middle of the park which saw the Ton enjoy a four-on-two attack. Michael Tidser had the ball on the right-hand side and he cut inside before crossing to Jack Iredale at the far post. The wing-back was able to find the back of the net despite Bell getting something to it and in the process added a goal to the two assists he got in the first half.

In the 59th minute, the Jags made another substitution with Aidan Fitzpatrick coming on for Brice Ntambwe, putting a more attacking slant on the team.

Nevertheless, Morton stayed on top and added a fourth in the 65th minute. It came from a miscued Christie Elliott clearance which fell to Bob McHugh near the half-way line. The number 11 then battled his way past Elliott before slotting home past the outrushing Cammy Bell.

Jonatan Johansson’s side wasted no time in adding a fifth as Michael Tidser got himself on the scoresheet. James Penrice’s throw-in was headed into the air by Reghan Tumilty and after a second aerial challenge, it fell to Tidser. The experienced midfielder then instantly struck the ball on the half-volley, beating Cammy Bell from 40 yards as the Thistle goalkeeper slipped on the wet surface at Cappielow.

Jack Storer replaced Jai Quitongo with 15 minutes to go but the away side couldn’t create anything and the game finished 5-1 to the hosts. The game represented another away day to forget for Thistle and a sixth straight defeat in the Championship.

The Jags now turn their focus to next week’s home meeting with Inverness Caley Thistle as they look to pick up their first victory under Gary Caldwell. Kick-off is 15:00 from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.


PARTICK THISTLE TEAM: Bell, Elliott, Keown, McGinty (McCarthy, HT), Penrice, Ntambwe (Fitzpatrick. 59’), Bannigan, Slater, Spittal, Storey, Quitongo (Storer, 74’).

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, Scobbie, Wilson, Erskine.


GREENOCK MORTON TEAM: Gaston, Tumilty, Waddell, Buchanan, Kilday, Iredale, Tidser, McAlister, Telfer (McGrattan, 87’), McHugh, Oliver (R. Thomson, 80’).

UNUSED SUBS (GRM): Scully, McKeown, K. Thomson, MacLean, Tiffoney.

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