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Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

Rangers v Partick Thistle – 4th November 2017

Since picking up a late win against Dundee, Partick Thistle have experienced an upturn in form. That win was followed by a solid draw with Hamilton and then another victory at home against St. Johnstone. Now, heading into the final international break of 2017, the Jags looked to pick up their maiden away win of the Ladbrokes Premiership season at Ibrox.

The hosts came into the game off the back of a managerial change and a win. The Gers won impressively at Hearts last weekend despite losing the first goal.

Thistle made no changes to the team that defeated St. Johnstone seven days prior. Tomas Cerny remained in goals and the back five was unchanged; Paul McGinn, Niall Keown, stand-in captain Daniel Devine, Jordan Turnbull and Steven Lawless. Adam Barton and Ryan Edwards sat at the base of the midfield with Blair Spittal beginning the match just ahead of them in the number ten role. Up top, Conor Sammon retained his place alongside double match-winning striker, Miles Storey.

The game started slowly, with the first serious chance of the match not falling until the 15th minute. Ryan Jack found time on the ball just outside the Jags’ box and he shot low from range. The ball skipped up off the turf but Tomas Cerny made the save, turning the shot past his right-hand post.

Rangers went close again in the 24th minute as Morelos saw a shot saved. The ball broke to the Colombian in the Thistle box and he struck a powerful effort from the angle. His attempt flew goal wards and looked dangerous but Tomas Cerny turned it over the bar with a smart save once again.

Despite Cerny’s early saves, the Jags would fall behind on 28 minutes. A short corner routine between Daniel Candeias and Kenny Miller allowed the former to bend an inch-perfect ball into the centre for Ross McRorie to nod home confidently. A momentary lapse in focus cost the visitors as Rangers grabbed the all-important opener.

The Gers weren’t content with just the solitary goal either as they made it two in the 38th minute. Jason Holt picked up the ball in the middle of the park and drove directly through the away side’s backline. He ran and ran and ran before shooting from around ten yards. Tomas Cerny came out to make a strong save but the rebound fell directly to Daniel Candeias who stroked the ball home via the post, giving the Gers a two goal advantage.

The match stayed at 2-0 as the teams entered the break with Thistle the architects of their own downfall in the opening 45 minutes. Poor concentration was punished for the deadlock-breaking goal and allowing Jason Holt time on the ball was the mistake for the second. Alan Archibald implemented a change of shape during the interval as his side went to a flat back four with Jordan Turnbull at left-back, giving Steven Lawless a bit more attacking freedom, at left midfield.

The Thistle boss’ tactical alterations proved initially ineffective when Rangers made it three, a minute into the second half. A high clearance by a Rangers defender was headed into the air by Daniel Devine. Jordan Turnbull then tried to head the ball backwards to Tomas Cerny but he horribly misjudged it, playing it into the path of Josh Windass who found himself in on goal. Windass burst into the box, finishing under Tomas Cerny to give the Gers a three goal advantage.

Looking to get back into the game, Alan Archibald made his first personnel change of the day when he brought Kris Doolan on for Conor Sammon in the 57th minute.

Things didn’t get much better for the Jags though as Rangers went close to a fourth of the afternoon a minute later. Daniel Candeias broke down the right win, drilling a cross into the middle. He found Windass and the ex-Accrington Stanley man laid the ball back for the onrushing Kenny Miller. Miller struck it first time but skied his effort, missing the target by quite a bit.

There were half chances to follow for the likes of Kris Doolan and Ryan Edwards but the visitors struggled to work Wes Foderingham as the game went on. In the 71st minute, Thistle made their second change of the game. Miles Storey made way and replacing him was Gary Fraser who was making his first senior appearance since April of last year. Kevin Nisbet also came on, replacing Steven Lawless.

The changes didn’t make a difference though as Rangers rode the game out, winning 3-0. Late half opportunities for Gary Fraser and Ryan Edwards failed to find the net and Thistle fell to their first defeat in four games.

The Jags now have two weeks to prepare for their next game with the international break now in progress. Thistle’s next fixture is a league clash with Hearts on Sunday 19th November.

THISTLE TEAM: Cerny, McGinn, Keown, Devine (c), Turnbull, Lawless (Nisbet, 84’), Barton, Edwards, Spittal, Sammon (Doolan, 57’), Storey (Fraser, 71’).

UNUSED SUBS (PTH): Scully, Nitriansky, C. Wilson.

RANGERS TEAM: Foderingham, Tavernier, McRorie, D. Wilson, John, Holt, Jack, Miller, Candeias, Windass (Kranjcar, 69’), Morelos (Hardie, 85’).

UNUSED SUBS (RNG): Alnwick, Herrera, Alves, Barjonas, Hodson.

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