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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Hamilton Accies – 6th August 2022

Following on from a 3-2 win against Dundee in their cinch Championship opener, Partick Thistle returned home to take on Hamilton Accies at Firhill looking to build on the success at Dens.

The visitors were looking to get their first three points of the new season having drawn at home against Greenock Morton the previous week, with Shaun Want’s red card from that game seeing him miss the trip to Maryhill.

For Thistle, it was an unchanged starting line-up with David Mitchell retaining his place in goal behind the makeshift back four of Kyle Turner, Jack McMillan, Kevin Holt and Harry Milne. Cole McKinnon, Stuart Bannigan and Ross Docherty continued as a midfielder trio behind the front three of Aidan Fitzpatrick, Steven Lawless and Brian Graham. Darren Brownlie was fit enough to take a spot on the bench having missed the league opener in Dundee through injury.

The Jags made a thrilling start to their game against the Dee the week prior but the first half an hour passed without incident at Firhill as each team struggled to create anything outwith set pieces. The closest Thistle had come was through a Kyle Turner free-kick wherein the number six tried to catch Accies ‘keeper Ryan Fulton out at his near post from 35 yards but the Englishman got across in plenty of time to gather.

The match then suddenly kicked into life in the 37th minute with Kyle Turner again the source of Thistle’s threat. The ball was worked nicely from left to right via Aidan Fitzpatrick with Turner receiving the ball 20 yards outside the box. The number six cut infield and drove towards the edge of the box where he fired a low left-footed shot towards the bottom corner with Fulton again on hand to foil his effort impressively down to his left.

Two minutes later Fulton was called into action again. Steven Lawless got the ball on the right touchline and moved onto his left foot before lifting a cross-field ball into Aidan Fitzpatrick’s direction. Hamilton defender Michael Doyle missed the defensive header allowing Fitzpatrick to control in the box. The winger took an extra touch to evade Brian Easton’s pressure before rifling an attempt towards goal which Fulton was well-placed to bat away.

Then in the 40th minute the Jags late first half barrage continued. The ball made its way to Cole McKinnon in the centre of the pitch 30 yards from goal and the 19-year-old took a touch to set himself before letting fly. The low drive had Ryan Fulton worried but it just skipped past the goalkeeper’s right-hand post.

It all seemed to be pointing towards a Thistle opener, however, barely 60 seconds after that McKinnon attempt the Maryhill men were behind. A long ball forward by the Accies goalkeeper was flicked backwards by Jack McMillan. The ball ran towards Thistle ‘stopper David Mitchell who stepped out of his box to clear the ball. Unfortunately for the hosts, Mitchell’s kick ricocheted back off McMillan and rebounded all the way into the Jags’ net from 30 yards out. A most bizarre own goal which had Ian McCall’s side trailing just a few minutes before the interval.

Despite that shock to the Thistle system, they could very easily have been back on level terms before the break. Brian Graham had two chances in quick succession with the first being direct from a corner as Fulton tipped the number nine’s header over the bar. The second chance fell to him in the six-yard box as Kevin Holt’s deflected header came his way but he could only send a shot over the top with his right foot at full stretch.

Thistle pushed and pushed during the second half with Scott Tiffoney and Darren Brownlie being brought on to try to help the team towards an equaliser. The former almost found that leveller on 64 minutes as he looked to get on the end of an Aidan Fitzpatrick delivery, however, Michael Doyle covered well and smothered the substitute’s efforts.

It was nearly all one-way traffic during the second period but as time ticked away a Jags goal was looking less and less likely. Entering the final 10 minutes things were looking rather bleak for Thistle but then, all of a sudden, Brian Graham struck to restore parity in Maryhill. Aidan Fitzpatrick got the ball from Ross Docherty on the right flank and swung a teasing ball into the near post area which Graham attacked from Dan O’Reilly’s blind side. The striker met the ball on the volley and guided it under the goalkeeper, into the back of the net to reinvigorate the Firhill crowd.

Thistle pushed on trying to find a winner but it wasn’t forthcoming. Aidan Fitzpatrick hid the side netting in the 84th minute before Ryan Fulton produced another save to deny Scott Tiffoney during injury time as the game finished 1-1.

Next up for the Jags is a trip to face Queen’s Park at Ochilview. That game is a 3pm kick-off next Saturday, 13th August.

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