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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 30th January 2015

Firhill under the floodlights always brings an extra sense of anticipation and atmosphere and with the addition of the BT Sport cameras, who were televising the visit of St Mirren, it was set up for an intriguing evening of Friday night football. Manager Alan Archibald made three changes to the starting line-up that had secured a 2-2 draw down at Kilmarnock. New signing Callum Booth made his Thistle debut at left back while Conrad Balatoni returned in place of the injured Dan Seaborne. The final change of the evening saw Stuart Bannigan replace James Craigen who dropped to the bench. Scott Fox returned to the bench and there was also a place for Ben Richards-Everton who has returned from his loan spell at Airdrie.
St Mirren kicked the game off and were straight on the front foot forcing the first corner of the game after just 26 seconds. As the ball came in it broke to Mallan but his effort was well wide of the target. Thistle tried to impose themselves more on the game and a long clearance by Gallagher saw Doolan win the header but Stevenson’s 22 yard half volley was saved by Ridgers.
It was the visitors who would strike first though and, in the 6th minute, the Paisley Saints took the lead. A corner from the right was not properly dealt with by the Jags’ defence and St Mirren debutant, James Dayton, took advantage firing home from 14 yards – unchallenged – to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Thistle looked to immediately get back level and good link up play between Lawless and Stevenson saw the latter’s cross find Bannigan in the box. The returning midfielder could not direct his header on target though. Thistle were forcing the play but all too often the final ball was lacking and the team was missing the killer instinct. Bannigan delivered a couple of great balls in from corners which deserved to be attacked more but too often the visitors coped comfortably with the high balls that the home side were launching.
Bannigan saw a volley hit the heels of Lawless six yards from goal after good work by Stevenson. Higginbotham then saw his tame effort go well wide from the edge of the box. The play was positive by the men in red and yellow though and Lawless sent new signing, Booth, away but the Edinburgh lad’s cross evaded Stevenson by inches before O’Donnell saw his 12 yard angled shot saved by Ridgers. It was the visitors’ turn next as Tesselaar broke clear for St Mirren and his cut back to McLean saw his shot go narrowly wide off the post. O’Donnell then sent Lawless clear on the left with a magnificent piece of play, Lawless’s cross found Higginbotham who in turn found Stevenson but his shot failed to trouble the goalie. At half time the score line remained 1-0 to the visitors.
Thistle started the second half pretty much camped inside St Mirren’s half. Stevenson fed Booth and his excellent ball into the box found Lawless, but his shot was weak and Ridgers saved.
Lawless again looked dangerous and fizzed a cross in which was deflected to the back post but O’Donnell’s hooked effort went over the bar. Booth, who was impressing on his debut, found Stevenson with a pass, his cross saw Doolan lay the ball off to Higginbotham but his curling shot was saved by Ridgers.
Still Thistle could not find the breakthrough as frustrations grew and again the final ball was lacking as the visitors were content to sit on their early lead and soak up high balls into the box. St Mirren, who had not made any forays towards Gallacher’s goal in the second half, then saw a Kelly cross land on the roof of the keepers net after 73 minutes.
A long throw from O’Donnell on the right hand side saw the ball fall to the feet of Stevenson but his volley was wild and caused no problems for Ridgers in the visitors’ goal.
Despite Thistle using their full quota of substitutes the pattern of the game remained the same and a 25 yard effort from Fraser was miles off the target. Neither side was able to create any more chances and, as the ref blew for full time, there was a sense of frustration amongst the majority of the 3,864 in the crowd after what was a poor advert for football on a freezing cold evening.
Disappointment for the home side who missed the chance to put more daylight between themselves and the sides below them as well as the chance to move further up the table.

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