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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 1st August 2015

As the rain fell ahead of kick off at New Douglas Park there was certainly an air of nervous anticipation from the 1,321 travelling Jags fans ahead of the 2015/16 season finally got under way. Ultimately it would be a match defined by a decision – or, more precisely, two decisions – made by referee Brian Colvin.

Alan Archibald’s first team selection of the season saw three players make their Thistle debuts. Tomas Cerny started in goal against his former team, Gary Miller filled the right back slot and David Amoo also made his debut.

On the bench Gary Fraser was by far the most experienced of the seven listed, with Ryan Scully, David Wilson, Jack Hendry, Declan McDaid, Jordan Leyden and Kevin Nisbet making up the rest of the subs.

In a game of few chances the first fell to the home side when Imrie could only put his header well wide while under strong pressure from Callum Booth. Hamilton had the best of the opening 10 minutes but failed to make their dominance pay, only testing the Jags’ keeper once. A shot from Crawford that Cerny saved comfortably.

On fourteen minutes Frederic Frans fouled Christian Nadé just outside the home team’s box after the Frenchman had taken the ball past the Thistle centre half. The Belgian was booked for the foul – a decision that many would have said was soft.

As the first half ticked on the only chance that would fall the visitors’ way was when a free kick was awarded some 35 yards from goal. Stuart Bannigan touched the ball to Stevenson but the attacker’s shot was high and wide – never troubling the Accies’ net.

Just minutes later came the decision that would kill the game as a spectacle. Frans, already booked for the earlier incident, clipped Kurakins 30 yards from goal only to see Brian Colvin pull a second yellow and dismiss the Thistle player on 25 minutes. Gary Miller deputised at centre back before the Thistle bench could bring Jack Hendry on for Stevenson and restore some balance to the back line.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half Hamilton had a series of chances. First, Lindsay was required to divert a Kurakins cross away from goal before Turner, who should perhaps have done better, put his header wide of goal. The home side saved the best for last though as Thistle lost possession cheaply only to see Crawford squander a good chance to put his side one up.

Half time came and Thistle would have been the happier of the two sides having, on the whole, coped very well with Accies’ threat.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half contained very little action and only really an Accies penalty shout in terms of action as Bannigan challenged Gordon in the box. Declan McDaid replaced David Amoo just before the hour.

Crawford was creating a lot of the best moves for Thistle but nobody could get past Cerny who saved a shot low from the same player. The best save was still to come though. Crawford again hitting a shot which looked for all the world a goal only to see the Czech keeper tip the ball over the bar – a save that could already be a contender for stop of the season.

As the second half progressed, Accies really turned up the pressure but the Jags’ defence held strong. Thistle were definitely on the back foot though and chances came at a premium. Once or twice McDaid did use his pace to beat his man only for his crosses either to be snuffed out or to find Doolan unable to convert.

The final real chance came in the 84th minute when Hamilton came so close to taking the lead. Docherty’s shot hit the inside of the post and bounced out to a Thistle defender who cleared the danger leaving Jags’ fans hearts in mouths.

Hamilton might have dominated possession for the closing minutes but Thistle never really looked like losing the game and, as the full time whistle went, it was a hard fought and well-earned point for the team in the light blue away kit.

Thistle: Tomas Cerny, Gary Miller, Sean Welsh (Wilson), Callum Booth, Abdul Osman, David Amoo (McDaid), Stuart Bannigan, Kris Doolan, Ryan Stevenson (Hendry), Frederic Frans (S/O, 25), Liam Lindsay.

Subs: Ryan Scully, David Wilson (65), Jack Hendry (29), Declan McDaid (56), Jordan Leyden, Gary Fraser, Kevin Nisbet.

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