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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Hamilton Accies v Partick Thistle – 15th October 2021

It was a trip to the Fountain of Youth Stadium for the first time since 2019 for Partick Thistle as they looked to put the disappointment of SPFL Trust Trophy elimination behind them against Hamilton Accies.

Both sides came into the contest following victories in their most recent league games with the Jags having beaten Ayr United 4-0 while Accies had defeated league leaders Inverness 2-1.

There were three changes made to the side which started against Queen of the South in the Challenge Cup with Lewis Mayo, Richard Foster and Stuart Bannigan all brought back into the starting line-up.

Thistle started on top and got a reward for their early positivity when Zak Rudden gave them the lead in the seventh minute. A Cammy Smith corner made its way into the six-yard box and bobbled up in the goalmouth area with both Zak Rudden and Kevin Holt going for it. Between them the pair forced the ball over the line with the former seemingly getting the telling touch. Unfortunately for the Jags, Holt picked up a facial injury as he went for the ball and had to be replaced by Ciaran McKenna.

The away side went very close to a second goal after 27 minutes as Brian Graham sought his tenth goal of the season. The Thistle number nine was able to meet a Richard Foster cross into the box but his header spun agonisingly wide of the far post.

Hamilton’s best effort of the opening 45 minutes came when Josh Mullin tried his luck from 25 yards. The former Livingston midfielder got away from Ross Docherty in the middle of the park for once and found enough space to take a shot. The number 16 looked to drill it low into the bottom corner but Jamie Sneddon was down sharply to hold.

After a strong end to the first half, Hamilton would have been hoping to kick on after the break but it wasn’t to be as the Jags made it two in the 52nd minutes. Scott Tiffoney picked the ball up on the left flank and drove towards the byline, firing the ball across the face of goal. All it needed was a slight touch to take it into the back of the net and Brian Graham applied that touch to take his goals tally into the double figures for the season.

Buoyed by that lead-doubling goal, the Maryhill men added a third five minutes later. A long throw into the box was flicked on by Ross Docherty into the feet of Brian Graham who in turn fed the ball to Zak Rudden. The number ten let the ball run across his body before slotting home with his left foot past the despairing goalkeeper.

A fourth sharply followed with Scott Tiffoney getting a goal to go with his earlier assist. The winger won the ball in a 50/50 challenge against Miko Virtanen, bursting towards the box and playing a one-two with Brian Graham. The return pass was perfectly weighted for Tiffoney and he was able to produce the finish to match, making it 4-0 to Ian McCall’s side.

There was still more to come from the Jags and substitute Connor Murray was next to get in on the act. Zak Rudden was the provider this time as he held the ball up well near the half-way line and played a terrific through ball into Murray’s path. The number 17 raced away from the Accies defence and coolly finished past Ryan Fulton.

Thistle had one more goal in them and it was Brian Graham who got it as he secured his third brace of the season. Again Scott Tiffoney was central to things as he bamboozled two Hamilton defenders at the corner of the box before squaring the ball to Connor Murray who tried to find the back of the net from ten yards. His shot ricocheted off the post into Brian Graham’s path and the striker made no mistake in poking the ball home from close range.

Hamilton did manage to get a consolation through David Moyo in the 89th minute but it didn’t take the gloss off of an absolutely tremendous victory for the Jags.

Next up for Ian McCall’s team is the visit of Dunfermline Athletic to Firhill next weekend as the club celebrates the 50th anniversary of our 1971 League Cup triumph. Kick-off is 3pm.

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