Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
24th October 2015
Partick Thistle 1 Hamilton Academical 1
Another week, another red card and goal down scenario, with another 1-1 draw for the battling Accies. And after having played the best football of the first half, looking comfortable in possession and producing the bulk of the creative play. Unfortunate big Lucas Tagliapietra, attempted a volleyed clearance but misjudged and missed the ball completely, then grabbed the shirt of David Amoo, conceding a free kick and earning himself a red card for denying a clear or obvious goalscoring opportunity in the process.
Accies again started the second half well, but we conceded a fairly simple goal during a short period when Thistle were in the ascendancy. David Amoo sent a cross into an empty Accies six yard box, for Mathias Pogba to tap in from a couple of yards, hard to take as he never look like scoring throughout the match. We then fought back and equalised through a well taken Dougie Imrie goal.
Martin Canning started with two enforced changes from the line-up that faced Dundee at New Douglas Park last week, Ali Crawford was still feeling the effects from last week’s groin strain and Darian MacKinnon missing due to suspension. In their place came Louis Longridge for Ali Crawford and Greg Docherty, making his 20th first team appearance.
In the home bench, Thistle manager Alan Archibald was forced to replace the suspended Abdul Osman and Gary Miller, with Mustapha Dumbuya and Ryan Edwards. Both players just having returned from International duty with Sierra Leone and Australia respectively. Ryan Edwards was making his Thistle debut, whilst 23 year old midfielder Stuart Bannigan was making his 150th appearance for the Glasgow club.
The sides were evenly matched during the early encounters, Dougie Imrie creating a half chance when he sent a dangerous cross into Thistle’s penalty area, but the flight of the ball just managed to beat Ziggy Gordon for pace. Mathias Pogba then made a decent run before playing wide to Ryan Edwards, the Aussie then struck a decent ball to the back post for David Amoo, but the Thistle striker could only volley well over the cross bar.
Dougie Imrie was putting his usual shift and a half in, when he intercepted a poor pass by Stuart Bannigan, he then ran with the ball before unleashing from 25 yards, the ball passing narrowly wide of the upright. The same player then initiated a good Accies move when he played to Longridge on the edge of the Thistle penalty area, Louis then passed inside to Carlton Morris who touched on for Greg Docherty.The Accies midfielder was able to bring the ball under control despite the close attention shown by a Thistle defender, he struck a little earlier than he probably would have liked and his shot crept over the cross bar as a result.
In the 25th minute we were having by far the best of the match and Thistle looked lost at times. From a Gordon throw in, the ball went to Longridge who played inside for Antons Kurakins to blast wide from 25 yards. Gramoz Kurtaj then tried his luck from outside the penalty area, but his shot was parried back out by the Thistle keeper, the ball rebounded back out to Longridge whose 15 yard strike was deflected wide for a corner kick.
Quick thinking Thistle keeper Tomas Cerny released David Amoo with a ball sent wide, he passed inside and the ball was then struck to the back post, Steven Lawless was then presented with a golden opportunity to give Partick a 1-0 lead, but could only head over from six yards. Our former ‘keeper Cerny was soon to depart injured and be replaced by Ryan Scully.
Accies were awarded a free kick that Grant Gillespie quickly sent to Kurakins, the defender played forward to Morris who then delivered an almost perfectly timed ball across the penalty area for Imrie, but the Accies midfielder was unable to connect by the narrowest of margins.
The match had now entered the lengthy additional time at the end of the first half and Hamilton were caught in possession, Thistle played the ball over the top of the Accies defence, David Amoo ran clear with the ball at his feet. Fortunately, his touch on the ball was poor, and Jesus Garcia Tena somehow managed to catch up and get himself between Amoo and the goal, and blocked the shot with his body.
With three minutes of added on time played, recent history was about to repeat itself. Tagliapietra attempted a volleyed clearance that didn’t work out, leaving Thistle’s David Amoo potentially with an opportunity on the Hamilton goal. Lucas instinctively obstructed the player, but the referee showed the Accies man a red card and award Partick a free kick.
Accies started the second half well, earning ourselves a chance when the ball was played into Thistle’s penalty area for Morris, passed back out for Imrie on the corner of the penalty area, but his flighted attempt toward the back post went a foot wide of the goal. Then a moment of controversy arose for Hamilton, when Carlton Morris looked to have been pushed in the back and sent sprawling to the ground inside Thistle’s penalty area, but referee Euan Anderson decided to wave away all appeals.
Thistle fought themselves into the match for a spell and created a couple attempts for Steven Lawless to send over the Hamilton cross bar, Sean Welsh then teed up Muirhead for a strike that was tamely sent toward McGovern. Then almost on the hour, Thistle scored the opener. David Amoo sent a lofted ball toward Accies back post and Mathias Pogba was on hand to tap past McGovern for his first Thistle goal, 1-0.
Dougie Imrie then won the ball in midfield before sending out wide for Carlton Morris, the big striker cut inside and shot from 25 yards, but substitute keeper Ryan Scully comfortably saved. Boss Martin Canning, on as a sub for his first outing of the season, headed over from a corner kick, then Grant Gillespie had a 20 yard strike deflected wide for a corner kick, another Accies fight back was on the cards.
With 13 minutes left to play, Dougie Imrie levelled for Accies with his fourth goal in five matches. Gramoz Kurtaj released Imrie with a beautiful long ball into a wide gap that had opened up in Thistle’s defence, Imrie angled his run and skilfully took the ball around Scully, then slotted into the net, 1-1. Cue a good celebration! We were by this time looking like the side with the man advantage, and the side most likely to take all three points.
A nice move and chance came for Accies, when Imrie played the ball up the wing for Christian Nade, and he played inside for Gillespie to shoot from 20 yards, but Scully got down to make a fantastic save with his outstretched arm. Accies could feel aggrieved when another good penalty shout fell on deaf ears, seven minutes from time. Gramoz Kurtaj, with his back to goal had to contend with a defender wrapping his arm around his waist and obstructing his movement in the box, but it was not to be and both sides had to be content with a share of the points.
Accies boss Martin Canning said of Imrie’s effort “He runs the most every week, so it’s great when guys like that get their rewards and get the headlines, they deserve it. His attitude is second to none but, although he got the goal today, it’s hard to single out anybody, everyone one of them was different class.”
Martin said of Accies performance “It’s the second week in a row that we have been a man and a goal down, and came back. From a manager’s point of view it’s very pleasing. The work rate and endeavour in the second half was really good, we always pride ourselves on getting the ball down and passing it. It was a cheap goal that we lost, a ball into the box which we generally deal well with all day. A lot of teams would let their heads go down when they lose a man and a goal, but our lads didn’t.”
Partick Thistle: Cerny (Scully 32), Seaborne, Welsh, Booth, Amoo, Bannigan, Lawless, Dumbuya, Lindsay, Edwards (Muirhead 51), Pogba (Doolan 84). Subs Unused: Miller, Stevenson, Frans, Fraser.
Goal: Mathias Pogba 59.
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Gillespie, Imrie, Kurtaj, Morris (Nade 72), Longridge (D’Acol 88 ), Docherty (Canning 62), Garcia Tena, Tagliapietra. Subs Unused: Martin, Turner, McMann, Boyd.
Goal: Dougie Imrie 77.
Cautions: Gillespie, Canning. Sent off: Tagliapietra
Referee: Euan Anderson Assistants: Graeme Stewart & Mark McLean 4th Official: John Beaton