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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Arbroath – 30th August 2022

Match Report written by Chris Toner

Partick Thistle welcomed Arbroath to Firhill for a Tuesday night Premier Sports Cup second round clash in the first of a doubleheader between the sides.

The Jags were looking to make it three wins from their last three at home in all competitions and progressed to this stage of the competition after coming top of Group B, beating out Premiership side Kilmarnock. The Red Lichties, on the other hand, have yet to win a game in the cinch Championship so far this season, despite topping Group E with a 100% record, which contained Premiership opposition in St Mirren and off the back of a nearly improbable promotion to the top flight last season.

Ian McCall kept the familiar 4-3-3 formation but made three changes from the side that ran out 2-1 victors over Raith Rovers at the weekend, with Brian Graham making way for Anton Dowds, Kyle Turner coming in for Cole McKinnon and Tunji Akinola dropping to the bench in favour of birthday boy Aaron Muirhead.

In the seventh minute, an errant backpass by the Arbroath defence left Ross Docherty with only the Derek Gaston to beat. The captain rounded the keeper, who then recovered well to gather the ball before it could fall to Anton Dowds who would have only had to tap the ball over the line. Docherty would then have a volley in the box from a free kick blocked in the 14th minute.

Thistle should have scored in the 28th minute as Jack McMillan looked to have an attempt at goal from the right-hand side of the box, but the ball got caught in traffic on the edge of the six-yard box between Dowds and an Arbroath defender, with the 25-year-old deemed to have got the final touch as the ball went high and over the bar.

The visitor’s first chance of the half didn’t occur until the 36th minute, as Keaghan Jacobs put a ball over the bar from some distance. At the other end moments later, Turner’s lay off to Scott Tiffoney fell straight to Gaston and as half time approached, Dowds had a volley turned behind. Thistle could not muster another chance before the half, which ended 0-0 despite the home side having the lion’s share of possession and chances.

In the opening minute of the second half, Tiffoney had a go from distance, but the 24-year-old’s volley was wide of the left post, and the former Morton man would put another one wide of the opposite post five minutes later from the edge of the box.

Tiffoney would almost turn provider in the 58th minute as his cross from the left was just too long for substitute McKinnon as Scott Stewart’s touch saw it behind for a corner before the Rangers loanee could get anything on the ball.

Thistle would come close again in the 64th minute as a cross into the box from McMillan found Dowds, who could only overstretch to see it go wide. On the 70th minute, Dick Campbell’s side looked threatening for the first time in the half as substitute James Craigen put a cross in, but the Englishman couldn’t keep it down.

In the 73rd minute, Docherty won the ball in the middle of the park, and as he bore down on goal played it off to Dowds, who was only denied by a terrific one-handed save from Gaston. With ten minutes to go, a brilliant cross from Lawless into the box found the head of substitute Graham, but the 34-year-old could only head it over.

The breakthrough for Thistle would finally come just three minutes later as Lawless put in another terrific cross, which found the head of substitute Aidan Fitzpatrick, whose header sailed over the outstretched hand of Gaston. But Arbroath would look to find an equaliser, with David Mitchell being called into action for the first time in the game, making a terrific save from a shot inside the box, with the ensuing rebound being blocked.

Thistle held off an Arbroath attack during four minutes of stoppage time and earned a deserved victory, which sees them advance to the quarter finals. We will find out our opponents in the draw tomorrow evening, which takes place following the conclusion of the remaining ties.

The two sides meet again in the league this Saturday, 3rd September at Gayfield, with a 3pm kickoff.

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