Partick Thistle 3 - 1 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, September 13th, 2014, 3:00 PM at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Attendance: 2,917
Referee: Stephen Finnie
Partick Thistle Inverness CT

Steven Lawless (19)
Abdul Osman (23)
Kallum Higginbotham (72)
Aaron Doran (13)

Team Managers
Alan Archibald John Hughes

Starting Eleven
Scott Fox
Jordan McMillan
Dan Seaborne
Conrad Balatoni
Jake Carroll
Kallum Higginbotham
Stuart Bannigan
Abdul Osman
Steven Lawless
Kris Doolan
Ryan Stevenson
Dean Brill
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
David Raven
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Greg Tansey
Ross Draper
Ryan Christie
Marley Watkins
Billy Mckay

Paul Gallacher
Stephen O-Donnell
Aaron Muirhead
James Craigen
Chris Elliott
David Wilson
Declan McDaid
Ryan Esson
Daniel Devine
Carl Tremarco
Nick Ross
Liam Polworth
Danny Williams
Alasdair Sutherland

James Craigen -> Ryan Stevenson (76)
Chris Elliott -> Kallum Higginbotham (84)
Declan McDaid -> Steven Lawless (90)
Danny Williams for Ross Draper (56)
Liam Polworth for Ryan Christie (72)

Stuart Bannigan (45)
Kallum Higginbotham (51)
Ross Draper (11)
Marley Watkins (80)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dean Brill (GK) 51 apps -
Gary Warren 83 apps9 goals
Josh Meekings 110 apps -
David Raven 81 apps1 goal
Ross Draper 87 apps7 goals
Ryan Christie 23 apps4 goals
Graeme Shinnie 150 apps5 goals
Aaron Doran 120 apps17 goals
Greg Tansey 66 apps10 goals
Marley Watkins 39 apps1 goal
Billy Mckay 121 apps53 goals
Danny Williams (sub) 30 apps1 goal
Liam Polworth (sub) 30 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (23 years 129 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2016 years 46 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 288 days
Domestic Players:6 (54.55 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Alasdair Sutherland (17 years 363 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2016 years 46 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 333 days
Domestic Players:11 (61.11 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


Just Like Buses

Absolutely. You see none for long enough then three come along at the same time. Partick rubbished their recent poor form to hand Inverness their first defeat of the season. Not only that, but our first goal conceded, then another, and another in a 3-1 reverse.

Aaron Doran had given Inverness an early lead but before the interval Partick had ended our goals against record with strikes from Steven Lawless and Abdul Osman. Danger-man Kallum Higgenbotham completed the scoring with a second half goal which was sufficient to knock Inverness off our perch at the top of the table and hand the onus to Hamilton Academical. Partick had the luxury of missing a late penalty, but were never threatened by Inverness who were obviously afflicted by the curse of the Manager of the Month award.

RossP has a full match report ready for us...................

Manager of the Month curse strikes...

In a week where many of the country have filed complaints to the bias reporting of our BBC (with regards to a certain vote coming up), I would anticipate a similar level of grievance from the ICT fans watching today's refereeing performance. John Rowbotham lookalike Stephen Finnie spent the game awarding a variety of baffling decisions, from turning a blind eye to Partick players' dangerous challenges and time wasting tactics; whilst also strangely letting the likes of Watkins and Warren away with very physical retaliation! This was a game that reminded me of the semi-final against Hearts last season where we were naive, conceding cheap free kicks and allowing Partick to disrupt the tempo of the match.

Inverness began in a positive fashion however, where we took an early lead - an outstanding interchange between Raven and the forward players, leaving Doran with a chance to sweep the ball into the bottom corner. An excellent goal where we moved the ball up to the final third quickly and incisively. Unfortunately that was one of the very few times we showed that level of urgency.

Partick were soon on level terms with an equaliser from the diminutive Lawless. Shinnie was hugely at fault for not noticing early on that Lawless only had a left foot. This lack of a awareness led to him giving the right midfielder the freedom of Firhill to come inside and aim a shot into the bottom corner of the net. Incredibly disappointing to lose such a cheap goal after so many minutes of resolute defending.

A few minutes later ICT had an excellent opportunity to equalise with Tansey dithering over a shot from outside the box, with Fox stranded after a failed attempt to dispossess Mckay. Immediately following this chance, Partick won a corner and edged ahead with a powerful header from Abdul Osman who rose above his markers. Several children in the crowd voiced their dismay at the lack of cover on the post... I'm sure there was a tactical reason for Hughes to leave it empty that us armchair tacticians (and infants) wouldn't understand.

Chances for both teams came and went before the end of the half, with Mckay failing to convert Doran's wayward chip and fashioning a weak overhead kick. The whistle to complete the half was met with boos from the away crowd, directed at the antics of Higginbotham and the reluctance of Finnie to discipline his behaviour.

Half Time 2-1

ICT came onto the pitch early for the second half, eager to atone for the poor first half. It was clear however that Draper was not fit to continue, feeling his right knee/thigh while he moved. Despite this, it took 10 minutes for Williams to take the place in the centre of midfield. This was the moment that ICT then lost the middle of the pitch, allowing Partick to collect the loose balls and keep the majority of play in our half. The writing was further on the wall with Osman losing control of his legs after getting an elbow injury, Higginbotham not able to move one metre to the byline when grounded and Fox time wasting from the very beginning of the half.

Partick sealed the result with an opportune 3rd goal, where villain of the day Higginbotham converted a cut back following a wild clearance from our defence. Chances to get back into the game were few for ICT and tended to come from the cross field passes from defence to the wide midfielders. Watkins had a goal rightly ruled out for offside and Shinnie was one of many players to dither too long on the ball near the 18 yard box. A cheap penalty was conceded by Warren in the final moments, with Brill saving well from the Partick No. 9, Kris Doolan.

A deserved loss, where Partick were by far the more effective team. We were lackadaisical in possession and when closing down the opposition. Christie found himself dropping very deep to get possession and Mckay didn't display the same kind of movement and sharpness he'd shown earlier in the campaign. Naive defending and reaction to 'sportsmanship' led further to our demise. Very few players achieved pass marks today, with only perhaps Raven and Watkins on the right hand side performing to our high expectations.

This was the game for Hughes to use the likes of Ross, Williams and Polworth to freshen up the team. Now he has a selection headache for Tuesday v Rangers in the cup, where he has to decide whether to keep a team that showed lethargy today or bring in fresh legs against a team full of confidence. Whatever his decision, this game will likely have a huge baring on getting our season back on track.

Match report written by RossP

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Hamilton Academical 6 4 1 1 11 5 6 13
2. Inverness CT 6 4 1 1 8 3 5 13
3. Dundee Utd 6 4 1 1 12 9 3 13
4. Celtic 5 3 1 1 12 4 8 10
5. Dundee 6 2 4 0 5 3 2 10
6. Kilmarnock 6 3 1 2 7 7 0 10
7. St. Johnstone 6 3 0 3 4 6 -2 9
8. Partick Thistle 5 2 1 2 9 6 3 7
9. Aberdeen 6 2 1 3 7 8 -1 7
10. Motherwell 6 2 0 4 3 7 -4 6
11. St. Mirren 6 0 1 5 3 11 -8 1
12. Ross County 6 0 0 6 4 16 -12 0