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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Falkirk – 25th August 2015

After the disappointing performance at Tynecastle on Saturday, Thistle were looking to put it behind them and progress through to the next round of the League Cup. Between Alan Archibald’s side and a place in the third round lay a Falkirk side who have had an indifferent start to the season, including a surprise defeat to Peterhead the previous week in the Challenge Cup.

Archibald made three changes from the side that had lost against Hearts with Stuart Bannigan suspended, Sean Welsh out with a toe injury and Frederic Frans dropped to the bench. Into the team came Jack Hendry, Abdul Osman and Steven Lawless while Mathias Pogba had recovered enough from his hamstring injury to return to the bench.

Thistle forced a couple of early corners but they missed their intended targets and came to nothing. The early spell was in keeping with Thistle’s overall performance with the home side proving very wasteful with their passing. When they were able to find space in the wide areas the final ball was poor.

Hendry did well to block an Alston shot as Thistle continued to struggle and indeed it was the visitors who looked the more comfortable and composed, albeit without really creating anything of note. However, in the 32nd minute, Falkirk took the lead. Thistle only half cleared a corner and the ball was played wide into the Thistle box, Baird had time and space to look up and find Grant who guided his effort with the outside of his left foot past Cerny to make it 1-0.

There was controversy when Doolan knocked a ball behind Watson 25 yards from goal and Watson blocked him from getting on the end of his own fine work. Referee, Steven Thomson gave nothing – much to the surprise of everyone in the ground. Just on half time some excellent work by Lawless saw his cross cleared by Grant as Doolan was about to pull the trigger but ultimately it was not enough to get the Jags back on level terms and the teams went in with the score 1-0 to the visitors.

Manager, Alan Archibald, made a change at half time with Mathias Pogba replacing David Amoo as Thistle fans and players looked for an improvement in the second half. The substitute was straight into the action and cut in on to his right foot but dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box. Things were looking better from the home side as Lawless fired over from 20 yards after more good work by Pogba.

In the 54th minute Thistle should have equalised. Fraser played a terrific cross field pass which found Pogba in space as he drove forward. With Rogers advancing Pogba could have fired with his left foot but instead chose to cut inside the defender which meant he was forced across the box by the keeper and, by the time he had steadied himself, his shot was blocked by the visitors’ defence which had got back into their six yard box. A glorious opportunity spurned.

Booth wasted a chance to pull the ball back into the box, electing a shot from a tight angle and Doolan saw a header drift well wide of goal from a Seaborne pass. As time went on there was a growing sense that this was not going to be Thistle’s night and the Bairns seemed content to defend and try to hit Thistle on the counter. The visitors were clever and were able to kill a bit of time which eventually led to a booking for goal scorer, Grant. With three minutes left, Pogba could not quite get enough on a shot after a good turn in the box while the last chance of the game saw Taiwo fire over from just six yards out following an Alston cross, a chance which, in truth, he should have buried.

As referee Thomson blew the final whistle it was the visiting support celebrating while the home support made their feelings known.

An extremely disappointing performance from Thistle who did not deserve anything having created very little with sloppy passing and a slow tempo.

Thistle: Cerny, Miller, Hendry, Seaborne, Booth, Osman, Fraser (McDaid), Lawless, Amoo (Pogba), Stevenson (Wilson), Doolan

Subs: Scully, Frans, Lindsay, Leyden, McDaid (82), Wilson (74), Pogba (45)

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