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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Blast From The Past – Greenock Morton

Scottish Premier Division

9th December 1978

Partick Thistle 2 Greenock Morton 1

Thistle’s first season in the Premier Division was 1976/77 and it is worth mentioning that we finished in 5th position. A lot of attention has been given to the fact that the season before last we made the magical top six. Most people seem to have forgotten that in 1978/79 we achieved an even high position. The featured match took place in the third season of a six-year stay in the top flight, so again that’s oone season longer than our recent sojourn among the elite. We finally lose out place in 1982 when two teams were relegated out of ten and of course there were no play-offs or anything like that, in those far-off unenlightened days.

Getting back to the match in question, you will see that we were fortunate to have a pretty strong team, as follows:- Alan Rough, David McKinnon, Brian Whittaker, Andy Anderson, Colin McAdam, John Marr, Bobby Houston, Jim Melrose, Alex O’Hara, Dougie Somner, Donald Park.

Thistle got off to a whirlwind start, with Bobby Houston netting after 4 minutes. The score remained unchanged until half-time. Dougie Somner made it two eleven minutes into the second-half, but before we had the opportunity to savour the moment, Morton pulled one back through Ally Scott, later to put pen to paper at Firhill.

It is interesting to note that at the time when the match was played, Thistle were sitting in 4th position in the league, one place above Rangers, and of course against Morton two points were added to the tally.

I must make mention of No11 for Morton – the one and only Andy Ritchie – what an outstanding talent! Fortunately we managed to keep him fairly quite in the match we are looking at today. It hasn’t always been the case in other matches against the Greenock men, but that’s another story.

Also in the Morton squad were two familiar faces Jim Holmes and Billy McLaren, both of whom appeared for Thistle, albeit on a very small number of occasions, in fact 9 appearances between the two of them, with Billy edging Jim out 5-4.

This final statistic isn’t exactly earth-shattering. The weather was relentless throughout. The Morton goalkeeper Dennis Connachan got such a soaking in the first-half that at half-time he changed his jersey from green to yellow. I’ll bet you didn’t know that vital piece of information.

Robert R.

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