Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Hearts vs Partick Thistle – 19th November 2017

Having suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Rangers to begin November, Partick Thistle had two weeks to dwell on the loss as the Ladbrokes Premiership went on its final international hiatus of the year. The jags’ return to action came at the reopened Tynecastle Park as they took on Hearts in their second and final game of the month. Much like Thistle, the hosts came into the clash off the back of a loss having been beaten 2-1 by Kilmarnock at Murrayfield two Sundays prior to this afternoon’s meeting.

Alan Archibald made but a solitary change to the line-up who started at Ibrox with Conor Sammon, who was ineligible for the game as he is on-loan at Thistle from Hearts, dropping out and being replaced by Chris Erskine who returned to the squad after overcoming a calf problem which saw him miss the Jags’ trip to Ibrox. The only other alteration to the team who began the match in Govan was a positional one with Blair Spittal filling in at left wing-back as Steven Lawless occupied a more attacking role on the Thistle left.

Hearts kicked the game off following some pre-match pyrotechnics and it was the hosts who threatened first in front of the redeveloped Tynecastle Park main stand, ten minutes in. David Milinkovic burst down the left wing into space before cutting inside. He laid the ball off to Kyle Lafferty who then saw his attempt blocked. No effort on target for the hosts but a statement of intent from the Jambos early on.

Lafferty had another opportunity in the 18th minute. Thistle’s stand-in skipper, Daniel Devine, failed to clear a low cross from the right and Kyle Lafferty was able to control. The former Norwich forward moved onto his left foot and tried a shot but his effort bent wide of the target.

The match then went quiet for around 25 minutes with only half chances to be had for either side as they both struggled to break the other down. However, the best chance of the match so far fell with a minute to go until half-time and it fell for the visitors. Aaron Hughes’ sloppy touch allowed Miles Storey to nip in and steal the ball. He then burst goalward, breaking into the box and as he did so, he attempted to reverse the ball into the far corner. He shot with his left foot but shot a couple of yards wide of Jon McLaughlin’s left-hand post and that’s how things stayed going into the break.

The first goal of the game came just eight minutes after the restart and it came for the home side. Arnaud Djoum fed the ball to Isma Goncalves on the left wing and the Portuguese attacker used some quick footwork to create space as he cut inside. The ex-St. Mirren man then fired a low, right-footed shot goalward beating Tomas Cerny as Kyle Lafferty leapfrogged the shot. The goal represented the first time that Hearts had taken the lead against Thistle in four meetings dating back to December of last year. Quickly following the goal, Alan Archibald made his first substitution of the afternoon as Kris Doolan came on for Miles Storey in the 57th minute.

With chances few and far between for either side between the hour mark and the 80th minute, Archibald made his remaining two changes as his side looked to get back into things. Kevin Nisbet and Gary Fraser came on for Steven Lawless and Chris Erskine.

As the Jags pushed they would get their levelling goal and it came through earlier substitute Kris Doolan. Blair Spittal whipped in a free-kick from the Thistle left and a number of bodies went up for it. The ball fell in the box and bounced towards Doolan and the ever-lively striker struck it home expertly to make it 1-1 with just five minutes of normal time remaining.

There was to be no further goal mouth action as the match ended in a draw on Hearts’ return home. Kris Doolan was the Jambos’ party-pooper as his late strike salvaged a point for the travelling Jags which moves them to within a point of Kilmarnock in tenth position.

Thistle’s next game comes in two weeks’ time due to the Betfred Cup final as the Jags take on Hibernian on Saturday the 2nd of December. Kick-off is 15:00 from the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.

< Back