New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Saturday 19th March 2016
Hamilton Academical 1 Partick Thistle 2
In a scrappy first half that was pretty even in terms of possession, it was only Hamilton that ever looked like scoring, and they did so twice, with one ruled offside. Greg Docherty put Accies into an early lead when he smashed the ball home from a Kurtaj cut back. Brophy then rocketed the ball past Cerny from a break started by Dougie Imrie, but unfortunately the final pass was marginally offside.
In the second half, Partick scored early on when an unmarked Pogba headed in from close range. The Firhill men weren’t that much better than their first half performance, but managed to hold onto the ball for that little bit longer without giving away possession quite so much. A similar goal robbed Accies from taking something from the game, when an unmarked Edwards headed in from close range.
Martin Canning was forced to make two changes to his line up, with Antons Kurakins and Carlton Morris missing the game along with Jesus Garcia Tena, all due to suspension. Making the starting line up were Eamonn Brophy up front, and Darren Lyon moved into the right back position. Partick’s Liam Lindsay injured himself pre match and was replaced late on by the subsequent winning goal scorer Ryan Edwards.
Within a minute of the kick off, Thistle had a real opportunity to test Michael McGovern in the Hamilton goal. Ryan Edwards sent a cross deep into the Accies penalty area for David Amoo standing all by himself at the back post. Fortune shone Hamilton’s way as the Thistle striker failed to control the ball, and the ball went loose for a goal kick.
From nowhere, Mikey Devlin struck the ball forward toward Gramoz Kurtaj on the edge of the Thistle penalty area. He brought under control and took the ball to the bye line, wrong footing Gary Fraser and cutting back across the penalty area. The ball held up perfectly as Greg Docherty ran in and smashed into the back of the net.
A second chance followed moments later when Eamonn Brophy ran into the corner of the box, touched inside for Imrie who immediately played inside again. Gramoz Kurtaj picked up and weaved one way then another in a vain attempt to create space, his shot on the turn was blocked before being cleared safely away.
Dougie Imrie then had a 20 yard shot from the edge of the penalty area palmed away by Cerny. Then Accies had the ball in the net just before the half hour mark, when Imrie started a break from inside our penalty area. Docherty picked up and ran with the ball, drawing defenders before playing wide to Brophy, who smashed in from 15 yards. But alas, it was ruled offside.
Half Time: Hamilton Academical 1 Partick Thistle 0
The second half began in much the same manner as the first half had ended, scrappy with ball in the air for much of the time. As a touch of complacency began to settle into the match, Thistle levelled on the fiftieth minute. The ball was crossed to the back post for the solitary figure of Mathias Pogba to head past Michael McGovern from a few yards out.
Accies created the next chance on goal, when the ball found Brophy on the outskirts of the Partick penalty area. He touched inside for Darian MacKinnon to strike on goal, but Cerny saved and minutes later Lucas Tagliapietra headed an effort narrowly past the Thistle post. Brophy went even closer when he struck just inches high of the cross bar, after being played on by Greg Docherty.
After a particularly barren spell for both sides, Pogba scooped a chance over the cross bar from six yards. Then with the match sitting on a knife edge, Accies brought on new boy Germaine Agustien for Darren Lyon. Within a couple of minutes Thistle had taken the lead when another simple cross into the six yard box, was met by the head of Ryan Edwards from a couple of yards out.
With the clock ticking down to the end of the 90 minutes, Accies frantically searched for an opportunity to take something from the match. It came when they were awarded a free kick forty yards from goal. Ali Crawford sent the ball to the edge of the Thistle box and Eamonn Brophy chested down, Mikey Devlin raced in and sent the ball flying just wide from 25 yards.
Accies manager Martin Canning said “I thought at half time, that we would go on and win the game if I’m being honest. I think we played well enough in the first half and I asked the boys to be brave in the second half, and go and put their foot on the ball, continue to play and pass it. We didn’t do it well enough in the second half and it’s as simple as that, I thought that maybe the early goal in the second half maybe rocked us a little bit, but that’s part of football and you’ve got to make sure that you’re strong enough mentally to recover from that and we didn’t.”
“You say it’s basic, It really is basics and I don’t think Michael had a save to make in the game, I can’t remember our keeper having a save to make then we lose two from crosses into the box. You’ve got to go and defend your box, that’s the centre backs job and they get paid to do that, you’ve got to make sure that you go and put your head on it. If there’s one guy in the box, you’ve got to go and pick him up, it’s as simple as that and if you defend like that and don’t defend your box well enough, you’re going to concede silly goals like we’ve done today.”
A disappointed Accies goal scorer, Greg Docherty said after the match “It was really poor on our part and wasn’t acceptable, we know that and feel sorry for the fans as they shouldn’t be watching that as everyone knows that isn’t good enough and we need to watch it back again and then go and rectify it.”
“I think if we’d got the second goal, that would have put them to bed a wee bit, and I think we would have definitely went on to be comfortable and then seen the game out and maybe get a few more. But you really need to take your chances when you’re on top, and we’ve punished for that.”
“You never take it for granted, we know that we’ve got to work, but like I said if we’d got that goal in the first half and taken our chances, I think we’d have went on to be comfortable and been in control of the game.”
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie, Kurtaj (Crawford 62), MacKinnon, Brophy, Docherty (Redmond 69), Lyon (Agustien 81), Tagliapietra. Subs Unused: Diaby, D’Acol, Boyd, Martin.
Goals: Docherty 10.
Cautions: Kurtaj, Tagliapietra.
Thistle: Cerny, Miller, Seaborne, Welsh, Booth, Osman, Amoo, Lawless, Edwards, Fraser (Dumbaya 66), Pogba (Doolan 81). Subs Unused: Nesbitt, Wilson, Nisbet, Scully.
Goals: Pogba 49, Edwards 83.
Referee: Willie Collum Assistants: Alan Mulvanny & Ivan Stankovic 4th Official: Colin Steven.