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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle U20 v Hamilton Academical U20 – 30th August 2016

Following a 2-1 away victory against Dundee United in the first SPFL Development League match of the new season, the Thistle youngsters were looking to score their first home victory of this new campaign.

Hamilton were the visitors looking for their first points of the campaign having been beaten last Tuesday by Ross County. There was a familiar face on the opposing team as Dan Seabourne lined up at centre-back for the visitors.

Christie Elliott started for Thistle as he continues his recovery from injury. David Wilson started alongside Dominic Docherty and Andrew McCarthy in the midfield while David Syme and Michael McMullin were the Jags’ central defenders.

Hamilton got the game underway on a windy evening at Firhill. During the opening minutes neither team was able to take control of possession and pass the ball effectively with the aforementioned wind having a big effect on the play.

The first clear-cut chance of the game fell around 18 minutes in when Rakish Bingham found himself with the ball 10 yards from goal. His first shot ricocheted off a man in red and yellow but it fell back to the Hamilton man and his second shot was only blocked by a heroic slide by David Syme.

Three minutes later, the deadlock was broken. Thistle gave away a free kick 25 yards from goal and Eamonn Brophy, who scored against Thistle on the final day of last season’s Premiership, stepped up to take it. He hit it on the goalkeeper’s side with his right foot and although Conor Cullen got a touch on the ball, it wasn’t enough to keep the ball out of his net.

The lead wouldn’t last long however. With 25 minutes gone, David Wilson floated in a cross to the back post which was met by Dominic Docherty. The midfielder looped a header over the stranded Gary Woods in goals.

After a slow start to the game, it was goals galore as Hamilton retook the lead just three minutes after Docherty’s equaliser. It was Rakish Bingham who would score the goal. He was fed the ball by Steven Boyd and Bingham calmly stroked the ball under Conor Cullen as he attempted to make the save.

The quick-fire goals weren’t ready to stop quite yet, though. Another David Wilson cross from the right-flank garnered the same results as Dominic Docherty rose highest and headed into an empty net with the opposition goalie caught in no man’s land.

That would be it in terms of goals for the first half. Most of the play had taken place in the midfield with not much goalmouth action apart from the goals. David Wilson and Dominic Docherty were impressive in the first half, linking up twice to score the team’s goals.

Declan McDaid got the second 45 underway as both teams looked to build on the improvements made towards the end of the first half. It was Accies no. 10, Steven Boyd who came close four minutes after the restart. He made a winding run from the right-wing towards the box, cutting across the field in the process. He managed to reach the edge of the box but his shot was fairly tame and was held easily by Cullen.

The Jags entered a short spell of good chances around the 54-minute mark. Firstly, Michael McMullin had a header from a James Penrice corner tipped over the bar by Gary Woods. Then Andrew McCarthy had a shot from inside the box deflected onto the roof of the net.

Thistle’s next chance fell to Christie Elliott as the game approached the hour mark. Declan McDaid made a fantastic run in behind the visitors’ defensive lines and hit a left footed cross towards Elliott but the Englishman couldn’t get enough on it and he headed wide of the Hamilton goal.

Persistence would pay off for MacKenzie’s team. After Thistle regained possession in the midfield Neil McLaughlin picked up the ball and played an inch perfect pass between the Accies defenders to Declan McDaid who took the ball and ran towards goal. McDaid used some trickery to turn his marker inside out before curling home off the far post.

Thistle’s seemed to have found a rhythm as some excellent passing play led to Declan McDaid having a shot skid wide of the goal but the rhythm was lost when Hamilton found an equaliser.

Daniel Redmond decided against taking a shot and instead elected to pass to the man in space, Rakish Bingham who was stood 15 yards from goal. Bingham opened his body and placed the ball past Conor Cullen into the far corner, bagging his second of the match in the process.

In the final 15 minutes, James Stokes and Callum Wilson were both brought on in place of Neil McLaughlin and Andrew McCarthy respectively.

The final action of the match came with three minutes to go. Lewis Smith made a burst towards the by-line and squared the ball across the six-yard line and it seemed that the onrushing attacker was destined to score a tap-in for the winner but a crucial interception by David Syme, rescued the draw.

The game would end 3-3. A result that both teams would probably see as fair with neither team able to assert real dominance on the game. Dominic Docherty, David Wilson and Declan McDaid were the standout performers on a night where the attackers impressed most.  The draw leaves Thistle’s development squad on four points after two games.

Scott MacKenzie and the young Jags now begin preparing for their Youth Cup clash with Heriot Watt University before preparing for a trip to Rugby Park to face Kilmarnock on the 6th of September

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