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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC
Match Report

St Mirren v Partick Thistle – 25th January 2014

It was stalemate at New St Mirren Park as Thistle and St Mirren provided plenty of endeavour, often in terrible conditions, but no goals.
After losing at home to St Johnstone midweek Thistle manager Alan Archibald made three changes to his starting eleven. Stuart Bannigan and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, both of whom who had missed the St Johnstone game through suspension, returned to the side while Aaron Muirhead also found a place in Archibald’s starting eleven. Stephen O’Donnell, Steven Lawless and Gary Fraser were the three players to drop to the bench to make way for them.
Heavy rain had been falling for much of the morning and although the rain had stopped in the hours immediately prior to the game by the time it kicked-off the wind and rain was back with a vengeance and that made it far from easy for the players.
It was Thistle though that had the better of the early exchanges. As early as the second minute Aaron Taylor-Sinclair managed to work himself into a good position down the left hand side but couldn’t find a Thistle man with his cross.
A Stuart Bannigan shot took a touch of a St Mirren defender on its’ way past the post as conditions started to ease and Kallum Higginbotham saw a couple of efforts go wide of target with a Chris Erskine shot from distance suffering a similar fate.
In the 26th minute Thistle suffered a blow when Kallum Higginbotham’s involvement in the afternoon’s proceedings came to a swift halt. Heading towards the St Mirren goal he was hauled down by Jason Naismith, who collected a yellow card for his crude challenge, on the edge of the St Mirren box. It quickly became clear that Higginbotham would be unable to continue, it was later confirmed that he required six stitches in a would just above his knee joint, and he sadly left the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Steven Lawless. Play resumed with Thistle making something of a mess of the free kick.
It was in the closing stages of the opening half that clear cut openings started to be created and it was the home side that had the clearer chances. Paul Gallacher made fine stops to deny Campbell and McGowan, the Thistle defence just about scrambled a cross clear with Thompson lurking to knock the ball home before Thompson’s touch deserted him when right in front of the Thistle goal and only Gallacher to beat.
At the other end James Craigen wasted Thistle’s best chance of the half after Taylor-Sinclair and Erskine had combined to give Craigen an opportunity at the back post; the Thistle player sending the ball high over the crossbar.
The second half followed a very similar pattern to that of the first with both sides expending plenty of energy but finding themselves out of luck in front of goal.
Paul Gallacher was once again called into action in the 51st minute when he had to save low down to prevent a Thompson effort from finding the back of the net.
The Thistle keeper, however, was beaten in the 78th minute as the game really started to open up in the closing stages, but McGowan’s effort smacked off the base of the Thistle post.
Two minutes later it was Thistle’s turn to hit the frame of the goal with a tremendous effort from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair from fully 30 yards out clipping the top of the crossbar.
Both sides did all they could to find a late winner and with legs tiring and conditions worsening again there were times when Thistle struggled to clear their lines. Thistle, however, were also able to exert pressure on the opposition goal. Kris Doolan did momentarily manage to get clear of the St Mirren defence but was quickly closed down and the game finished with Kello well positioned to save a James Craigen shot from the edge of the box.
Ultimately a point apiece was a fair reflection on a game that neither side would have deserved to have lost. From a Thistle perspective a point away from home is never a poor result, it’s Thistle’s home form that continues to cause concern.

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