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

Hibernian v Partick Thistle – 5th August 2017

Since the conclusion of the Betfred Cup group stages, Alan Archibald has had a busy week. An open day, two new signings and a huge amount of preparation for today’s Ladbrokes Premiership opener. However, the day had finally arrived, the beginning of the 2017/18 league season and to open things for the campaign, Thistle faced the daunting task of travelling to Easter Road to take on newly-promoted Hibernian.

The Jags lined up with just one of Alan Archibald’s summer signings in the starting eleven. Niall Keown made his debut as a fully fledged Jag after re-signing on a two-year deal this summer, alongside Daniel Devine at centre-half. Callum Booth and Christie Elliott were the Thistle full-backs while Abdul Osman, Stuart Bannigan and Adam Barton created a trio in the centre of midfield. Blair Spittal picked up a knock during the week and as such it was a front three for Thistle rather than the four that they’ve deployed during the Betfred Cup. Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless started wide on either side of the central striker, Kris Doolan. Along with Blair Spittal, Ryan Edwards also missed out through suspension. Thistle new boys, Jordan Turnbull and Milan Nitriansky both made the bench for the game.

The home side seemed right up for it after the unfurling of the Championship title winners flag but it was the Jags who started brightly in the contest and the Maryhill men were duly rewarded as they took the lead in the sixth minute. Thistle used some patient passing involving a number of Jags players before making the killer pass. After some build-up, Steven Lawless slid a through ball into Chris Erskine who managed to turn his man. The number ten then slotted past Marciano with his left foot finding the far corner and putting his side a goal to the good.

Falling behind gave Hibs the impetus to improve and it didn’t take them long to equalise following a spell of improved play. John McGinn started the attack by bursting forward powerfully and trying to slot the ball into Simon Murray. Ex-Dundee United striker, Murray, couldn’t control but the loose ball deflected fortuitously into the path of Martin Boyle off Daniel Devine and Boyle wasted no time, slotting home at the near post to level matters.

In the 22nd minute, Hibs almost took the lead. Simon Murray laid the ball off for John McGinn who was making a foray into the box but Abdul Osman made a great challenge to stop the Scotland international, however, the ball went straight to Steven Whittaker, 20 yards from goal. The defender shot low but it was straight at Cerny who held comfortably.

In the 28th minute, Thistle were hit by a huge injury dilemma. Kris Doolan was forced off with a hamstring issue and was replaced by Kevin Nisbet.

Just four minutes after the substitution, the hosts took the lead. Swanson was played the ball on the right of the Thistle box and he threaded a perfect cutback towards the penalty spot. Running onto it was Steven Whittaker who after his earlier chance, wasn’t going to miss this time. Using the outside of his right foot he redirected the ball, finding the bottom corner and putting the Hibees ahead.

There was to be no more action before the break with the score staying 2-1 as the teams went for the break. Thistle had started well but their performance levels dropped fairly quickly but their struggles were not helped by the loss of their talismanic striker, Kris Doolan.

The visitors would be looking to start the second half as energetically as they did the first but in actual fact it was Hibs who got off to a good start in the second period. Martin Boyle got in behind Callum Booth and as he looked to create some danger in the Thistle box, the Jags’ left-back tripped Boyle and the penalty was awarded. Simon Murray was the man to step up and the number 15 sent Tomas Cerny the wrong way making it 3-1.

The Edinburgh side came close to a fourth on the hour mark when they struck the woodwork. Hibs hit the Jags on the counter and Martin Boyle found Simon Murray with the cross. Murray took it down and shot but it came back off the post and was cleared.

The Jags best chance to pull a goal back came in the 65th minute. Steven Lawless played a through ball allowing Callum Booh to get in behind and cross. His looped delivery found Kevin Nisbet who headed on goal but Ofir Marciano tipped the ball over the bar. The resulting corner found Chris Erskine and Thistle’s goalscorer struck quickly. The shot was saved by Marciano but the ‘keeper spilled it. Unfortunately, no one was on hand to tap home and the danger was cleared. Shortly following this chance, Steven Lawless was replaced by Milan Nitriansky who sat in at right-back allowing Christie Elliott to play on the left wing.

That would be the last notable chance of the game as Hibernian ran out 3-1 winners on the day. The Jags came out of the game with no points and an injury to Kris Doolan so it was an all-round frustrating day for the Maryhill men.

Thistle now look towards Tuesday’s Betfred Cup meeting with St. Johnstone at McDiarmid Park

< Back