Saturday 19th March, 2016 at 2:37pm
Thistle travelled to Hamilton as the side began a four game mini-season that will determine which half of the division Thistle will spend the final five games of the 2015/16 campaign. Thistle were unbeaten in their last four trips to New Douglas Park and were looking to grab three points to pull away from the sides below them.
Manager Alan Archibald had only intended on making one change to the side which were edged out by Celtic last weekend with Mathias Pogba replacing Kris Doolan up front. His plans were thrown into turmoil with around 15 minutes to go until kick off when Liam Lindsay suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Ryan Edwards. The tactical switch meant Gary Miller moved in to partner Dan Seaborne in central defence with Sean Welsh occupying the right back slot.
Thistle started brightly and should have taken the lead in the first minute when Callum Booth picked out David Amoo deep inside the Accies penalty area. The winger switched off, however, failing to control the ball and the chance was lost. Gary Fraser was next to fire over a cross which was palmed onto the crossbar by Michael McGovern, before the ball nicked off Pogba for a goal kick. Ust over
With just over ten minutes on the clock the home side took the lead. The ball was worked in from the right hand side, before falling to Docherty on the edge of the box. The youngster lashed a high effort beyond the reach of Tomas Cerny.
Accies were buoyed and beginning to bully Thistle a lot with lots of high pressing, not allowing the side to play their customary brand of football. Mathias Pogba, however, was proving a tremendous out ball for Thistle and he showed good skill to nick away from Lucas Tagliapietra who was booked for the high challenge.
Dougie Imrie had a fierce effort from the edge of the penalty area punched away by Cerny as the home side dominated possession. Accies had the ball in the back of the Thistle net through Brophy, but the flag had gone up for offside long before the ball ended up in the box.
Thistle were struggling to make an impact in the first half and were relieved when Willie Collum blew for half time with only a one goal deficit.
Better was required from Thistle in the second half and the side made an immediate impact in the second half. Booth and Lawless linked up well on the left hand side before Steven Lawless delivered an excellent cross to the waiting Pogba who had a free header from six yards. He fired a low header into the ground and it powered beyond McGovern.
Thistle were having more of the ball and looking a more dangerous threat with David Amoo having particular joy against Ziggy Gordon. He swung over a dangerous looking cross, but Michael McGovern was able to beat Ryan Edwards to the ball and claim the cross.
Mustapha Dumbuya made his return from injury to allow Sean Welsh into midfield for the last 25 minutes and after winning a free kick for the side on the half way line, Steven Lawless was only able to fire straight at McGovern.
Hamilton continued to employ a direct style of play and when an Ali Crawford free kick skimmed off a Jags body, it went uncomfortably close to Cerny’s goal. Thankfully, it did go the right side of the post and Accies were forced to settle for a corner.
Thistle were beginning to cut Hamilton open with ease and from a low Booth cross, Pogba was unable to keep his shot under the cross bar. It was to be the powerful striker’s last contribution for Thistle this afternoon as he was replaced by Kris Doolan who had an immediate impact.
Abdul Osman picked up a loose ball and floated a high ball towards Kris Doolan. David Amoo stole in ahead of the striker to flick the ball on. Doolan pulled over a terrific right footed cross which was met by Ryan Edwards who powered home a header to give Thistle the lead.
Thistle were content to sit back, hitting Accies on the break as time was winding down. There was one final scare for Thistle fans as Michael Devlin’s effort from the edge of the box arrowed inches past Cerny’s post. There was to be no final hurrah for Accies and Thistle saw out three minutes of additional time to celebrate a well-deserved three points.