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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Hamilton Academical v Partick Thistle – 1st November 2014

On the back of a forgetful night at Celtic Park it was back to league business for Thistle with a trip to New Douglas Park to face a high flying Accies side who had made an impressive start to their first season back in  the top flight.

Archibald made changes to the side with Kris Doolan and Jake Carroll coming back into the starting line-up replacing Nathan Eccleston and the injured Stephen O’Donnell with Jordan McMillan moving to right back. Stuart Bannigan was able to take his place in the starting line-up after an appeal was launched against his red card from the League Cup game. On the bench, Gary Fraser, and club captain, Sean Welsh, joined Kallum Higginbotham to give the subs bench a very strong look to it.

Christie Elliott was the first to threaten in the early minutes after he cut inside but saw his shot blocked, shortly after that Antione-Curier saw a  speculative effort from distance fly well wide. There was a chance for Thistle to take the lead when Canning was short with a headed back pass which Doolan got on the end of, rounding McGovern while Doolan was forced wide and the home defence cleared for a corner.

After a scrappy opening Accies took the lead in the 23rd minute. Thistle lost possession inside the Accies half and, with nobody pressing the ball, it took only two passes to allow McKinnon to fire low past Fox from the edge of the box. Worse was to follow just 71 seconds later when Redmond fired home to make it 2-0. On the back of a heavy defeat to Celtic on the Wednesday night this was not the best of starts, but there is a gritty and determined character to this team and so it proved as the half progressed.

Kris Doolan used his strength in a challenge for a high ball with Garcia-Tena and the ball broke to the onrushing Jordan McMillan whose half volley into the ground took a slight deflection on its way into the back of the net to make it 2-1 with 33 minutes gone. Elliott then went through behind the defence but dithered too long on the ball before a poor touch allowed the home side to clear. Bannigan curled a shot just wide as the half time whistle blew with Hamilton leading 2-1.

Bannigan again saw an effort blocked after good work by Doolan before Crawford tried his luck from 20 yards after the Jags defence failed to clear properly. The game became quite niggly with Canning, Carroll and McMillan all going into the book in a short period of time. Andreu then tested Fox from 25 yards and Crawford saw his effort saved by Fox as the home side pressed for a killer third goal.

But on 67 minutes, Thistle were level. Dan Seaborne was off the pitch receiving treatment when Lawless collected the ball before slipping in Craigen who calmly stroked the ball past McGovern to make it 2-2. Better was to come from Thistle who now had their tails up, Lawless lofted a lovely pass over the top and behind the home sides defence and Elliott let the ball bounce once before firing past McGovern and sparking wild celebrations in the away end.

Club captain, Sean Welsh, made his long awaited comeback replacing Carroll with Bannigan moving to left back. There were loud and vociferous appeals from the Jags players and support for a penalty after the ball appeared to strike Hendrie’s hand inside the box but nothing was given, much to the disgust of the away support in particular. Kallum Higginbotham who had replaced Doolan earlier in the half was unlucky to see the flag raised as Thistle looked to attack, the decision being very marginal.

The Jags were doing the right thing in trying to play possession deep inside the home side’s half and pegging them back as the game moved all too slowly towards a close. Unfortunately, as has been the case in a number of games so far this season disaster would strike.

With just four seconds of injury time left, a long ball found Andreu 25 well outside the box, he controlled the ball with his back to goal and spun and fired a low shot past Fox to break Thistle hearts and make the final score 3-3. A great comeback from the Jags but ultimately heartbreak at the end.

It was a real roller coaster for the Jags on Saturday as the team lost two first half goals in a matter of seconds only to score three of their own to be leading the game with less than a minute to go until a last minute Andreu ensured the points were shared in the end.

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