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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 19th September 2014

After a terrific 3-1 victory over league leaders, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, last Saturday, hopes were high for our Friday night game against a St Mirren side who were still to score a point coming into the game at Firhill.

Manager, Alan Archibald, made one change to the starting line up with Aaron Muirhead coming in for the injured Dan Seaborne. Meanwhile, on the bench, there was a place for deadline day signing Nathan Eccleston who replaced Declan McDaid after the youngster picked up a knock on Tuesday while in action for the Development team.

Thistle began the half shooting in towards the Jags fans in the North Stand and, within thirty seconds, a great through ball from Steven Lawless found Kallum Higginbotham whose shot was deflected wide for a corner which the Saints defence managed to clear. The visitors forced a corner of their own and, as the Jags’ defence struggled to clear, Teale saw his shot saved well by Fox. Jeroen Tesselaar became the game’s first booking for the visitors after a shockingly late tackle on Jordan McMillan inside the first 10 minutes.

With half time in the first period approaching the deadlock was broken. Higginbotham did well to find Lawless on the left, he then worked the space to send in a peach of a cross and Kris Doolan headed passed Kello from eight yards out to give the Jags a 1-0 lead. It was so nearly 2-0 when Higginbotham’s cut back was beautifully dummied by Doolan and Lawless saw his shot blocked before seeing Kello gather the ball safely. In the 25th minute Thistle should have increased their lead again, good play from Osman found Stevenson who passed to Lawless and his slide rule pass put Doolan clean through. With Thistle fans’ hearts in their mouths everyone in the home end were disappointed to see Dools snatch at his shot and fire wide from 14 yards out. Shortly before the break Stevenson was able to pick out McMillan who had made an enterprising run into the fox and on receiving the ball from his teammate saw his cross evade Doolan by mere inches.

Another chance went begging for the Jags when Lawless cut inside and found Doolan, his lay off saw Stevenson fire wildly over the bar and then, right on half time, McGinn robbed Stuart Bannigan in midfield and fizzed a shot that Fox parried clear leaving Thistle 1-0 up at the break.

Into the second half and it was undoubtedly the visitors who started the brighter. McLean burst into the box but shot wildly over and then Fox punched a Wylde free kick clear when it looked easier to catch. The Buddies had certainly started the stronger but Thistle had chances of their own, a Higginbotham corner picking out Balatoni who couldn’t direct his header on target from 16 yards.

Unfortunately the Jags’ lead wasn’t to last and the visitors equalised on the 60th minute. Tesselaar’s cross from the left found lots of space in the home defence and, with nobody taking command of the situation, substitute, Ball, nipped in and forced the ball wide of Fox from eight yards to make it 1-1. Saints didn’t take their foot off the gas though and continued to come forward with Ball again getting in behind the home defence defying the offside line only to see his effort deflected wide.

It was clear to see that Thistle had not turned up so far in the second half but they did create a chance when Stevenson laid off for Higginbotham who played a neat one-two with Lawless but he fired his cross over when Doolan was waiting in the box for a rolled pass. Eccleston came on for his Jags debut on 77 minutes, replacing Doolan who had worked hard.

Muirhead then gave away a needless free kick 22 yards out central to the goal but Goodwin fired inches wide marking the beginning of a period that would see a flurry of chances. A nice chested lay off from Eccleston found Craigen but he fired wide and, in the 89th minute Fox made a great save from Ball who had his fair share of chances. Into injury time and a great piece of pace saw Eccleston win the ball wide and cut inside Goodwin but ultimately blazed his shot high and wide.

A very soft free kick against the home side saw McLean force a great save by Fox but, from the rebound, Osman was penalised for hand ball and a penalty was given. McLean stepped up and made no mistake to give Saints a 2-1 victory and leave Jags fans dejected.

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