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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Alloa Athletic – 15th December 2018

Partick Thistle looked to build on their first win under Gary Caldwell as they took on Alloa at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill this afternoon. The Jags picked up their first win in 10 last Saturday by beating Dunfermline 2-0 with the victory lifting them off the foot of the Championship table and into eighth.

There was one change made to the side that started the game seven days ago with the fit again, Aidan Fitzpatrick, replacing Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo in the starting XI. Jamie Sneddon continued in goals with Cammy Bell still sidelined behind the unchanged back five of James Penrice, Sean McGinty, Tam Scobbie, Dan Jefferies and Christie Elliott. In the middle of the park, Stuart Bannigan and Blair Spittal started with a front three ahead of them consisting of the returning Aidan Fitzpatrick, Miles Storey and Kris Doolan. On the bench for the hosts were Jamie Stevenson, Niall Keown, Andrew McCarthy, Brice Ntambwe, Callum Wilson, Chris Erskine and the aforementioned, Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo.

The match began in an end-to-end fashion with Thistle forging the first opportunity on four minutes. James Penrice was fed the ball on the edge of the box and the defender tried to fire a shot low across goal. He found the target but Alloa ‘stopper, Neil Parry was equal to it and he turned it away from goal.

Neither team really took control of the game but the Jags were able to win a penalty in the 17th minute through Christie Elliott. Blair Spittal played the ball down the channel for Elliott and as the number two cut back inside, Liam Dick brought him down, prompting Alan Newlands to point to the spot.

Thistle striker, Kris Doolan stepped up to take the spot kick after eight games without a goal but made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Neil Parry the wrong way to give the Jags a one-goal advantage.

The lead would only last six minutes though as Alloa battled their way back onto level terms. The goal came from a miscued Tam Scobbie clearance which handed the Wasps possession in the Thistle half, allowing Alan Trouten to drive into the box. He manoeuvred away from a couple of challenges before cutting the ball back to Kevin Cawley who had a simple finish to equalise for the away side.

The home team were once again denied by Neil Parry shortly after the leveller as he got a hand to Blair Spittal’s shot. Miles Storey laid the ball off to Spittal and he fired a powerful effort towards the top corner but Parry was once again well placed to save as he turned the attempt round the post.

Spittal would have his second goal in two games, though and he got it in the 36th minute. Initially it was the number seven’s free kick which rebounded back off the wall but Spittal was alert and got to the second ball, drilling a low shot towards goal. The drive flew through a few bodies, unsighting Neil Parry and the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop the shot finding the back of the net.

With that goal, the real action of the first half ended and the teams went into the interval with the score at 2-1. The Jags had started shakily but recovered to control the latter stages of the half, however, Alloa had looked dangerous in possession and could have scored more than one with some better finishing.

The second period started tepidly and there wasn’t much goalmouth action until Alloa bagged another equaliser two minutes before the hour mark. The Wasps worked some space excellently in the Thistle half and Iain Flannigan found Dario Zanatta with a pass to the edge of the box. The ex-Raith Rovers loanee then turned and shot with his effort deflecting off Tam Scobbie into the far corner.

In the 70th minute of the game, Thistle made their first change of the game as Aidan Fitzpatrick was replaced by Andrew McCarthy. Then, ten minutes later a second substitution came as Chris Erskine came on for Kris Doolan.

Apart from substitutions, there was very little to talk about after Zanatta’s goal and the game petered out to a 2-2 draw after a fairly exciting first half. Alloa looked content with a point away from home while Thistle didn’t look good enough to carve the Wasps’ defence open.

As such, the game ended in a draw and with every team in the league drawing, it made for no changes in the Championship standings. The Jags remain in eighth a point above both Alloa and Falkirk.

Next up for Gary Caldwell’s side is a long trip north to take on second place Ross County in the Highlands. Kick-off is 15:00 at Dingwall.

PARTICK THISTLE TEAM: Sneddon, Elliott, Jefferies, Scobbie, McGinty, Penrice, Bannigan, Spittal, Fitzpatrick (McCarthy, 70’), Storey, Doolan (Erskine, 80’).

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Stevenson, Keown, Wilson, Ntambwe, Mbuyi-Mutombo.

ALLOA ATHLETIC TEAM: Parry, Taggart, Roscoe, Graham, Dick, Flannigan, Hetherington, Cawley (Shields, 66’), Hastie, Trouten (Robertson, 83’), Zanatta.

UNUSE SUBS (ALA): Henry, Brown, Aloulou, Burt, Spence.

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