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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Inverness CT v Partick Thistle – 2nd February 2019

Partick Thistle looked to continue their unbeaten start to 2019 as they travelled north to take on Inverness at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. The Jags picked up their first Championship win of the New Year a week ago as they overcame Queen of the South thanks to goals from Joe Cardle and Miles Storey but faced another stern test in the form of the fourth-placed Caley Jags on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Caldwell made two changes to the side which got the win over Queens with the goalscorer, Cardle, missing through injury while Kris Doolan dropped to the bench. Conor Hazard maintained the spot between the sticks behind a back five with debutant, Steven Anderson, at the heart of it. On either side of the new Jags number five were Jack McMillan and Steven Saunders with James Penrice and Christie Elliott operating as wing-backs.

Stuart Bannigan and Craig Slater anchored the midfield in behind Blair Spittal with Miles Storey and Aidan Fitzpatrick acting as inverted wingers. On the bench for the away side were Jamie Sneddon, Sean McGinty, Andrew McCarthy, Gary Harkins, Lewis Mansell, Souleymane Coulibaly and, the aforementioned Kris Doolan.

In a tepid opening 15 minutes the only notable effort came when Liam Polworth fired a powerful shot towards goal from 25 yards. The Caley number seven scored an excellent goal against Ayr in midweek but saw this shot saved comfortably by Conor Hazard.

The game then burst into life in the 19th minute when Blair Spittal forced Cammy Mackay into a terrific save. It came from Craig Slater’s corner which was cleared to the edge of the box. Spittal then opened his body, moved the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a shot that looked destined for the back of the net but deputy ‘stopper Mackay tipped it over the bar for another corner.

From the resulting set piece, Slater decided to take it short to Stuart Bannigan. The Jags skipper laid it back to Slater and he whipped it into the danger area where Steven Anderson was lurking. And sure enough, on his first appearance for his new club, the experienced Scotsman bundled the ball home to make it 1-0.

Just five minutes later, it was 2-0. Aidan Fitzpatrick was the goalscorer and it was a goal of his own making. It all began with Brad McKay held onto the ball for too long in the middle of the Caley half, allowing Fitzpatrick to pinch it from the number 22. Thistle’s 17-year-old winger then broke through on goal, slotting past Cammy Mackay to net his first league goal as a senior player.

In the 29th minute, it could have been three as Cammy Mackay was forced into action again by Craig Slater. The Thistle midfielder moved infield from the right flank and took aim with his left foot. His effort dipped and swerved but was well-read by Mackay who tipped it over the bar.

The away team then had another chance to extend their advantage on 33 minutes. A ball in behind the hosts’ defence found Aidan Fitzpatrick as he ran into opposition territory before getting his head up to pick out a pass. He slotted the ball into the path of Blair Spittal who had made a late run into the Caley box, however, the ex-Queen’s Park man dragged his attempt wide of the far post.

That’s how things stayed going into half time as the visitors held their two goal lead. After a fairly balanced start to the game, Steven Anderson’s goal boosted the Maryhill men, leading to them dominating proceedings from then on. Aidan Fitzpatrick’s second all came from his hard work and gave Thistle an invaluable cushion. A Caley double substitution at half time was evidence of how they had failed to get to grips with the game.

Like the first half, it took 15 minutes for a chance to present itself during the second period. It fell to Miles Storey after the Englishman received the ball from a throw-in. He turned his man and got into the goalmouth area but was challenged well by Kevin McHattie before he could get his effort away from point blank range.

Gary Caldwell’s side would be rueing their missed chances with 13 minutes to go as Inverness pulled themselves back into the game through Darren McCauley. The goal came from a good forward pass into the midfield by Brad McKay before it was spread to Joe Chalmers on the left wing. He then tried a cross into the Thistle box which Steven Anderson got a foot to, turning it off his own post. The ball then rebounded straight to the waiting McCauley who had a simple finish to make it 2-1.

In the closing stages of the game, Andrew McCarthy and Kris Doolan were brought on in place of Steven Anderson and Miles Storey as the Jags went to a four-at-the-back. Even with the impressive Anderson off the field for nearly ten minutes, the away side were able to hang on and take all three points.

The victory keeps the Jags above Falkirk and moves them to within a single point of Alloa who they face in their next league fixture. Before that, the Maryhill men travel to Methil for a Scottish Cup tie with East Fife – a quarter-final place on the line. Kick-off is 15:00 at Bayview with entry pay at the gate.


PARTICK THISTLE TEAM: Hazard, Elliott, McMillan, Anderson (McCarthy, 81’), Saunders, Penrice, Bannigan, Slater, Spittal, Fitzpatrick (Harkins, 70’), Storey (Doolan, 89’).

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Sneddon, McGinty, Coulibaly, Mansell.


INVERNESS CT TEAM: Mackay, Rooney (Trafford, HT), B. McKay, McCart, McHattie, Welsh, Chalmers, McDonald (Donaldson, HT), Polworth, Austin (McCauley, 68’), White.

UNUSED SUBS (ICT): MacKinnon, Tremarco, D. McKay, McGregor.

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