Thursday 13th October, 2016 at 10:45am
On a bitterly cold winter’s evening, ace marksman Kris Doolan warmed the hearts of the Thistle faithful with an outstanding striker’s display, claiming no fewer than four goals. Since he played only 75 minutes, one can only speculate how many more goals he might have scored if he hadn’t been substituted. We mustn’t get too carried away. After all, it’s a team game and on the night Thistle were certainly firing on all cylinders.
There wasn’t a failure throughout the following side:- Paul Gallacher, Stephen O’Donnell, Dan Seaborne, James Craigen, Kris Doolan, Ryan Stevenson, Steven Lawless, Frederic Frans, Christie Elliott, Kallum Higginbotham, Abdul Osman. Hamilton had simply no answer to a rampant Thistle team.
Reference to Kris Doolan’s achievement poses the question as to whether any other Thistle players have matched or even surpassed the total of four goals in a game. The answer is, of course, yes. Without delving too far into the distant past, I can recall in my Thistle-supporting lifetime the following instances: –
Alex Stott v Raith Rovers on 18th October 1952(4-1)
Jimmy Walker v Hibernian on 13th December 1952(5-4)
Willie Sharp v Queen of the South on 2nd January 1954 (6-2)
George Smith v Stirling Albion on 4th September 1954 (9-1)
Dougie Somner v Forfar Athletic on 3rd April 1976 (4-2)
Billy Dodds v East Fife on 26th December 1987 (4-2)
George Shaw v Dundee on 29th August 1992 (6-3)
Ian Cameron v Albion Rovers on 11th August 1993 (11-1)
There are some significant factors worth mentioning. All of the above matches were played at Firhill, except for Queen of the South (Palmerston Park) and Albion Rovers(neutral Fir Park, Motherwell). Only one(George Shaw) was in the Premier League. The first three mentioned were in the First Division, the highest-ranked league at the time. George Smith’s goals were in a League Cup tie, Dougie Somner’s in the Spring Cup and Billy Dodds’ in the First Division(second tier).
I hesitate to claim that the above is an exhaustive list covering the period stated. If it isn’t, no doubt someone will let me know.
Now for a final word on the featured match. Thistle’s fifth goal was scored in the final minutes of the match by Nathan Eccleston, who had replaced the man of the match Kris Doolan.