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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Partick Thistle v St Mirren – 9th November 2013

It was another 90 minutes of deep frustration for Thistle as they somehow contrived to lose a game they had dominated long spells off 3-0.
Alan Archibald made two changes to the team that had lost 4-0 at Aberdeen. Both Conrad Balatoni and Steven Lawless had missed that game but they returned for the visit of St Mirren. Sean Welsh was injured and missed out while Aaron Muirhead dropped to the bench.
Thistle started this game firmly on the front foot and their first effort on goal came as early as the third minute although James Craigen’s effort, after good work from Steven Lawless, was well off target.
There were more positive signs from Thistle four minutes later. Higginbotham and Lawless combined well with the latter crossing for Kris Doolan who saw his shot blocked for a corner. From the corner that followed a Gabriel Piccolo header drifted wide of goal.
Still the early pressure came from Thistle and an excellent Stephen O’Donnell cross was nodded wide by James Craigen.
St Mirren had offered little up to this point but they were nearly able to profit from a Piccolo error in the 13th minute. Three minutes later, however, and they were in front. A Kenny McLean free kick swerved in front of Scott Fox who was forced to turn the ball round the post for a corner and from that corner Steven Thompson was able to head the ball into the bottom corner of the Thistle net.
Despite that goal the pattern of the play changed little with Thistle still very much on top but not creating too much in the way of the clear cut opportunities.
A Steven Lawless cross to the back post was just a little too high for Kris Doolan and Kallum Higginbotham was a little unlucky not to hit target with a fierce drive from outside the St Mirren box.
The best chance of an equaliser, however, arrived in the 34th minute. After a corner had been partially cleared the ball was knocked back into the St Mirren box. The flag for offside stayed down which gave Kris Doolan the opportunity to turn and shoot. His low shot though was well saved by Kello in the St Mirren goal.
Two minutes later Thistle again spurned a great chance to level the scores. A Higginbotham corner from the left was missed by Taylor-Sinclair and then Balatoni before falling nicely into the path of Piccolo but he could do no more the lift his shot high over the crossbar.
The second half began in much the same fashion that the first 45 minutes had ended with Thistle still dominating in terms of possession. Few things though were breaking for them in and around the St Mirren goal. In the 52nd minute a superb turn inside the St Mirren box gave James Craigen a shooting chance but his effort was deflected away from goal and another unproductive Thistle corner kick.
Five minutes later and Thistle again threatened the St Mirren goal with Higginbotham’s shot, after things had opened up in front of him, saved by Kello.
Just prior to the hour mark Thistle made their first change with Christie Elliott replacing Gabriel Piccolo as they continued to press hard for an equaliser. Elliott was quickly involved in the action exchanging passes with Higginbotham down the Thistle left hand side but he found his route to goal blocked.
There was controversy in the 64th minute when a Kallum Higginbotham shot looked to have been clearly handled by a St Mirren player inside his own penalty box. Despite vociferous appeals from players and fans alike referee Beaton waved play on as St Mirren received a major reprieve.
There was worst to follow for Thistle. Stephen O’Donnell, booked in the first half, picked up a second yellow card in the 69th minute leaving Thistle to complete the game with ten men.
Two minutes after O’Donnell’s dismissal St Mirren were able to extend their lead when Connor Newton fired past Scott Fox.
Although now two goals and one man down Thistle continued to try and find a way back into a game but this was clearly not going to be Thistle’s afternoon. Kello needed two attempts to save a Craigen  shot and twice in the space of a few minutes Higginbotham came close; his first effort deflected for a corner his second going wide of Kello’s right hand post.
St Mirren though were close to a third goal with five minutes remaining; McGowan’s effort from a Newton cross going narrowly wide.
They did, however, grab a third goal with the game deep in injury time. Steven Thompson was in the right place to take advantage of a slip in the Thistle defence and he slammed the ball home to complete a miserable afternoon for Thistle.

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