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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Academical – 29th November 2014

It was a break from Premiership action for the Jags as they welcomed Hamilton back to Firhill looking to avenge the late goals that cost us all three points the last time the two sides met at Firhill.

Manager, Alan Archibald, made three changes to the side that had narrowly lost to Aberdeen the previous Sunday. Gary Fraser, Kallum Higginbotham and Ryan Stevenson all started the game in exchange for James Craigen, Steven Lawless and Kris Doolan who all dropped to the bench. Paul Gallacher kept his place in goal as Scott Fox, who had recovered from illness, had to settle for a place on the bench. Dan Seaborne captained the side.

The home team started the brighter and, while not creating anything clear cut in the opening stages, they were certainly on the front foot as Bannigan and Elliott did well to work an opening down the right before Accies eventually scrambled clear the danger. Crawford then went close for the visitors when he was allowed to advance on the Thistle defence from a move that started just inside the Jags’ half. Thankfully his curling effort from 18 yards went just wide.

It was Imrie who had a chance next collecting the ball after a poor pass from Frans. Luckily Bannigan was alert and sharp enough to snuff out the danger after the ball was played through to MacKinnon.

Despite some pressure from Hamilton it was Thistle who drew first blood, opening the scoring on the 19th minute. Great play by Higginbotham saw him win a corner and, from Fraser’s delivery, he found Stevenson at the back post who rose to challenge for the ball. When the ball broke kindly for the former Hearts man he smashed an unstoppable half volley past McGovern to open his thistle account in spectacular style and make it 1-0.

A couple of minutes later and it should have been 2-0 when that man again, Stevenson, should really have doubled his haul. Frans rose well in the box and his header down found Stevenson just eight yards out but he fired wildly over from a position that was much easier to score from than his earlier effort.

The Jags then broke at pace from an Accies corner when Bannigan found Stevenson who sent a wonderful ball out right but O’Donnell and Fraser could not create anything as the Accies players got back to defend. Crawford had the games next chance when he saw his 30 yard effort go a yard wide of the target as the game became a little bogged down in midfield.

Just before half time there were chances for both sides. Firstly, Stevenson did well to hold up the ball for Higginbotham in the box not once but twice with the latter’s spectacular shot being blocked. But then it was Accies’ turn as Scotland, who looked suspiciously offside, forced a great tackle from Seaborne who berated the linesman to such an extent that he found himself going into the book.

Into the second half and, with the Jags leading 1-0, they continued to force Hamilton deeper. A Stevenson left foot shot was blocked after Higginbotham carved the chance, however a second goal was not long round the corner.

In the 53rd minute, Bannigan started the move with a lovely pass to Higginbotham who skipped past a dangerous challenge and then slipped a great ball into Jake Carroll. The Irishman looked up and found Stevenson with his cut back who slotted home from 10 yards out with the inside of his right foot to make it 2-0.

Stevenson then tried his luck for a hat trick from 25 yards but fired well over. At the other end, as Accies tried desperately to get themselves back into the game, Gordon fired high from 20 yards before Tena clipped a well struck curling free kick off the top of the bar – much to Paul Gallacher’s relief.

Gary Fraser had a chance to make it three with a vicious dipping 25 yard shot which beat McGovern but went just inches over. Accies’ keeper was nearly embarrassed by his defender when Hendrie miss-judged a back pass and looked a relieved man when he watched the ball dribble an inch wide of goal.

There were to be two further chances before full time – both for Thistle.

O’Donnell forced a good save from McGovern and, from the resulting corner, Doolan forced McGovern into a world class one handed save high to his left.

There was still time for Imrie to be sent off for a shocking challenge on Carroll as the Jags ran out comfortable winners.


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