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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle U20 v Aberdeen U20 – 3rd October 2017

After picking up their second league win of the season against Hamilton at the SuperSeal Stadium, Partick Thistle’s development side returned to the Excelsior Stadium to take on Aberdeen.

The Jags line up with a back five similar to last time out. In goals was the same trialist as last week while another trialist filled the rightmost centre-half slot of the three. The other two centre-backs were Harry Granger and John Kelly while Ross Fleming and James Stokes filled the wing back positions. Antony Eadie, Callum Wilson and Mark Lamont filled the centre of the park and Connor Higgins played alongside Neil McLaughlin up top.

The match started slowly but burst into life in the 13th minute when Neil McLaughlin found the net. The Jags’ trialist defender slotted a fine ball forward into Neil’s path and the number nine reversed it, guiding past the goalkeeper and into the net to give his side the lead.

Thistle’s jubilation was cut short though as the Dons pulled one back just two minutes later. Aberdeen won a free-kick in a central position, 25 yards out. The visitors’ number three Toby Wells stepped up to take and attempted a low curling effort. It would have been a routine save for Thistle’s trialist ‘keeper had it not taken a sizeable deflection on the way through, wrong-footing the goalie allowing the ball to squeeze past him.

The hosts were not deterred however as they retook the lead with their next clear-cut chance. After some Thistle possession Mark Lamont took the ball to the byeline on the right flank and cut the ball back into the danger area. His pass found the prolific Neil McLaughlin who slotted home coolly past the goalkeeper grabbing his tenth goal of the season in all competitions and putting the young Jags ahead again.

McLaughlin had the chance to complete his hat-trick in the 32nd minute when he got his shot away in the box. McLaughlin let fly from a tough angle, finding the target with a powerful shot. Aberdeen’s goalkeeper was on hand however to turn the attempt away from goal for a corner.

Things stayed at 2-1 going into the break with the young Jags just edging things. Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes but on the balance of opportunities the home side probably deserved the lead.

The first big chance of the second period fell one minute short of the hour and it came for the away team. Dons attacker, Antoniazzi, rolled a back-heel into the path of Bruce Anderson. He proceeded to leather a shot on goal but it deflected behind off a Jags’ body as the chance went begging for Aberdeen.

Neil McLaughlin found himself coming close to a hat-trick goal once again in the 73rd minute. Connor Higgins found the 18-year old with a pass into the box. Neil then took a touch away from goal before bending an effort towards the goal. His shot came off the underside of the bar before bouncing out. The ball seemed to be on the very edge of crossing the line but the referee gave nothing and the play went on.

Scott McKenzie made a double sub with 15 minutes left as he looked to hold the lead his side had. Aidan Fitzpatrick and Ian Stokes replaced Ross Fleming and Antony Eadie.

Aberdeen pushed for the final ten minutes with half-chances falling to Dangana and McLennan but their efforts were futile in the end as the referee blew the final whistle to secure Thistle’s first home league win of the season. Neil McLaughlin added to his goal tally as he continues to impress in the Development League while giving his all on loan with Stirling Albion.

The young Jags now turn their attentions to next Tuesday’s clash with Kilmarnock. Kick-off is at 19:00 from Rugby Park.

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