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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v Kilmarnock – 14th October 2017

Following eight successive Ladbrokes Premiership games without a win to start the league season, Partick Thistle welcomed Kilmarnock to the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill with both sides seeking their first victories of the league campaign. The Jags went into the international break off the back of a 3-0 loss to Motherwell and would be looking to improve on that dismal performance.

Tomas Cerny started in goals once again for Thistle with the defence reverting to a back-four. Jordan Turnbull dropped to the bench with Daniel Devine and Niall Keown starting in centre-half. Paul McGinn started on the left of the backline with Milan Nitriansky on the right. Ryan Edwards and Adam Barton retained their places in midfield while Miles Storey, Chris Erskine and Blair Spittal formed a three in behind lone striker, Kris Doolan.

The match started slowly with Thistle unable to break down Kilmarnock and despite the Jags having the lion’s share of possession, it was the visitors who had the first chance of the game. Jordan Jones found space on the Killie left and the Northern Irishman found Greg Taylor with a pass. Taylor shot from a difficult angle but aimed his effort straight at Tomas Cerny and the Czech ‘stopper held the attempt.

One minute later, the away side had another opportunity to open the scoring. Jordan Jones got the better of Milan Nitriansky on the Killie left and shot at the near post. Tomas Cerny stood tall and made the block but it fell back to Jones who then tried to squeeze it past the ‘keeper at the near post. From the angle, Jones directed it right across the face of goal and the danger was cleared.

In the 32nd minute, Thistle broke the Kilmarnock rear guard for the first time of the match. Kris Doolan slotted a lovely ball through to Ryan Edwards in the Killie box. Edwards then tried the cut-back having run in behind Gordon Greer. With Storey and Erskine available, the Australian couldn’t find either and the danger is cleared.

The next big action of the half was a goal but it came for the visiting Killie team. A quick throw-in by ex-Jag, Stephen O’Donnell found Jordon Jones. Jones then hopefully launched a ball into the box which seemed harmless but Niall Keown horribly misjudged the delivery and headed the ball into the ground with it dropping in the Jags’ area. Kris Boyd was first to it and the veteran marksman stroked it home from ten yards giving the Ayrshire side the lead.

The Rugby Park side should have doubled the deficit before the break, too, as Alan Power went close. A quick turnover of possession gave Kilmarnock a 3-on-2 break. Stephen O’Donnell was given the ball in the Thistle box by Jordan Jones and the former Luton Town defender laid the ball back to the onrushing Power. The midfielder took on the shot first time but fired his attempt well over the bar from just outside the box.

So, the Jags went into the break one down despite having controlled most of the game. Thistle had been fairly toothless in possession while their Ayrshire adversaries had looked dangerous during their short spells with the ball. Ultimately, it was some defensive slackness and an individual error that gave the travelling Killie side the lead. The Jags, with so many creative players in the team, had to up their attacking game in the second period.

Five minutes after the restart, Jamie McDonald was tested for the first time of the game. Blair Spittal’s delivery was cleared by the Killie defence but it fell only to Paul McGinn who then tried a curled effort from range. The attempt was powerful and on target but McDonald was able to turn it away from goal fairly easily, watching the shot all the way.

Just as the home side were getting back into the match, Killie should have made it two. Ryan Edwards’ mistake allowed Rory McKenzie, Kris Boyd and Jordan Jones to break onto Thistle’s two centre-halves. MacKenzie played a square ball for Jones but his flicked attempt was blocked. The ball did fall back to the number 11, however, and he then lifted a cross back across goal. It found Kris Boyd and the experienced frontman headed on goal. The effort was on target but Jags right-back Milan Nitriansky was on hand to clear it off the line.

Despite Milan’s heroics, the visitors would get their second a minute later. The away side win the second ball from a McDonald kick-out and that allowed Frizzell to move forward in the Jags half. He wasn’t challenged and unleashed a devastating strike from 25 yards beating Tomas Cerny all ends up. The goal gave the counter-attacking Kilmarnock team the extra cushion they were looking for as they headed into the final half hour.

Alan Archibald brought Conor Sammon on for Miles Storey in the 64th minute and Andy McCarthy on for Adam Barton in the 77th minute as he looked for an avenue back into the game but there was no way back for his Jags. Kris Doolan and Conor Sammon went close late on but it wasn’t to be as the game ended 2-0 to Kilmarnock.

This defeat not only leaves Thistle still looking for their first win of the season but also puts them at the bottom of the table nine games in. They must now begin preparations for next week’s vital meeting with Dundee at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill. Kick-off is 15:00 In Maryhill.

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