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

Partick Thistle v Aberdeen – 22nd February 2014

It was, almost, worth the long wait; Thistle recording their first home league win of the season in scintillating style against second placed Aberdeen.
Although defeated in heart breaking seven days earlier at Motherwell there was enough in that performance for Alan Archibald to select the same starting eleven; the only changes coming on the bench where Gabriel Piccolo and George Moncur replaced Aaron Muirhead and James Craigen.
In three previous meetings this season with Aberdeen, The Dons had won all three scoring eight goals without reply and they looked set to take a 17th minute lead in this match; albeit in fairly controversial circumstances. Paul Gallacher, much to his obvious fury, was adjudged to have pulled down Adam Rooney with the result that the visitors were awarded a penalty. After being booked though, Gallacher simply dusted himself down and blocked Barry Robson’s spot kick with, for once, Thistle receiving a break when the rebound was fired off target.
Aberdeen were, however, starting to take a grip on proceedings at this point and Thistle hearts were in mouths when Rooney again appealed for a penalty under a challenge from Gallacher after Conrad Balatoni had been short with a headed pass back. Referee Muir though this time elected not to point to the spot.
Paul Gallacher has been in excellent form since coming into the starting eleven and he further underlined that with an excellent save low down to keep out a Rooney header in the 36th minute.
As much as Aberdeen had the better of the opening 45 minutes it wasn’t all one way traffic and Thistle showed enough in the final third in the first half to suggest that they were capable of troubling the Aberdeen defence. Kallum Higginbotrham was out of luck when he saw a well struck volley hit the back of Lyle Taylor and Prince Buaben also saw a shot blocked, though this time by an Aberdeen defender.
Thistle’s best chance of the first half though fell to Lyle Taylor. With half-time just a couple of minutes away Thistle nearly caught Aberdeen on the break. Chris Erskine was able to send Taylor clear but the Thistle striker didn’t make clean contact with the ball and his shot went wide of Langfield’s right hand post when he really should have hit target.
The first chance of the second half fell to Aberdeen with Chris Erskine having to make an important clearance from deep inside the Thistle penalty box but the initiative in this game quickly shifted to a Thistle side that was growing in confidence and belief all the time.
Play started to open up in front of Prince Buaben in the 48th minute but his final shot lacked any real power and Langfield was able to make a comfortable save.
Two minutes later loud Thistle appeals for handball and a penalty kick fell on deaf ears before, as Thistle remained firmly on the offensive, Kallum Higginbotham forced Langfield into an excellent save with Chris Erskine seeing his effort from the rebound blocked.
Thistle continued to press and some sublime skill in the middle of the park from Stuart Bannigan set up another attack that finished with Buaben’s effort, after he had turned inside the box, creeping wide of the Aberdeen goal.
The opening goal though arrived in the 58th minute and few could claim that it was an undeserved goal on the balance of play. Aberdeen had only been able to partially clear a corner kick and when the ball was returned to the Aberdeen box Conrad Balatoni was able to gather the ball, turn and send a low show past Langfield and into the corner of the net.
As Thistle looked to press home that advantage there were appeals for a penalty as Aaron Taylor-Sinclair found his route towards the Aberdeen goal blocked as he entered the Aberdeen box; the referee again unimpressed by Thistle’s protestations.
Thistle though were celebrating a second goal in the 64th minute. Kallum Higginbotham crossed from the Thistle right and Lyle Taylor was in precisely the right spot to bullet home a shot to put Thistle 2-0 ahead.
The comfort of a two goal lead though was something that Thistle were only able to enjoy for just over a minute. Barry Robson sent over a free kick from the left and Adam Rooney was able to find the back of the Thistle net with a header from inside the Thistle six yard box.
Thistle, however, was back to being two goals in front with 18 minutes of the game remaining with Lyle Taylor once again the scorer. Left with just Langfield to beat he angled a shot across the Aberdeen keeper and into the far corner of the net; an excellent finish from the on loan Jags striker.
Two minutes later Taylor missed an excellent chance to complete a memorable hat-trick as he scooped a shot over the bar from six yards out. A further two minutes later he was again denied a hat-trick, this time by the outstretched foot of Langfield and, as Thistle at times tore the Aberdeen defence apart, Taylor hit the side netting in the 79th minute.
Aberdeen tried to find a way back into the game in the closing stages but only once were they able to trouble the impressive Paul Gallacher in the Thistle goal; Gallacher doing well to push away a fiercely struck effort from Hayes with just a minute of the 90 remaining.

< Back