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Partick Thistle 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Partick Thistle 2 - 0 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Partick Thistle scorers: McLaughlin 7, Nisbet 34
Aberdeen scorers: Anderson 46.

18/04/2017 | KO: 18:00

Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium played host to Partick Thistle and Aberdeen in the Development League with the Young Dons seeking revenge for a 2-1 defeat back in December. The Jags currently sit two places beneath us in ninth place in the table some four points worse off than Paul Sheerin's side so a close encounter was on the cards. The Dons made two changes from the starting eleven against St Johnstone, Scott Wright and Frank Ross taking over from Sam Robertson and David Dangana who were on the bench.

Partick Thistle carved out the first chance of the game when Mark Lamont broke clear after the home defence had cleared a Dons free kick but David Craddock narrowed the angle well as he blocked the wingers shot from ten yards.
Thistle took the lead in the 7th minute when left back Ross Fleming played a dangerous ball into the box which found its way to Neil McLaughlin and the winger showed good composure to slip the ball past Craddock - the first goal the Dons have conceded in open play in just over four games.
Wearing their change strip, Aberdeen almost snatched an equaliser two minutes later when the ball broke into the path of Frank Ross and his fine shot from 25 yards dipped just over the top.
Thistle were looking bright going forward and a long range free kick from Michael McMullin sailed just over as they pressed for a second goal. Scott McKenna had to be sharp to avert the danger as Fleming tried to burst down the left.
A swift break by Aberdeen on 16 minutes saw Bruce Anderson play Scott Wright in for a shot at goal but Scott just got under the ball and lifted it over. A chance missed for the men in black.
Joe MacPherson picked up a yellow card on 20 minutes after pulling back Fleming as the full back tried to break down the left. A nice ball from Lamont picked out Kevin Nisbet in the box but the Jags skipper's shot on the turn was too high.
Thistle were dominating, playing some fine football and the Aberdeen strike force were forced to feed off only scraps as they tried to get back into the game.
Scott Wright was inches away from grabbing a leveller on 31 minutes when he turned on the edge of the box to fire in a fine left footed effort which clipped the outside of Conor Cullen's right hand post with the keeper beaten all ends up. The keeper was called into action again a couple of minutes later needing two attempts to grab the ball after a fine shot by Bruce Anderson.
Thistle went two up on 34 minutes when Nisbet raced through on to a long ball from McMullin to evade Craddock at the edge of the box and run the ball into the unguarded net - a body blow for the Dons after they had seemed to be getting themselves right back into the game.
Having started with a three man central defence, the Dons changed to a back four with MacPherson and McKenna flanking Mbayo and Roscoe.
Wright once again threatened the Thistle goal when he cut in from the left but the shot was just too high. On 42 minutes it was Wright again with the shot at goal after a Seb Ross cutback but Cullen was well positioned to save. Nisbet was booked for dissent a minute later.
Toby Wells pulled a great save from Cullen just before the break forcing the keeper to tip his 25 yard free kick over the top. A tough first half for the Dons against an impressive Thistle side who were worthy of their lead at the interval.

Half time Partick Thistle 2 Aberdeen 0

Neither side made any changes for the second half. The Dons took only thirty seconds to get themselves on the scoresheet, Bruce Anderson wriggling clear in the area to slip the ball past Cullen to make it 2-1. That's 15 goals this season for the Banff youngster and exactly the response Paul Sheerin and his coaching staff would have demanded.
On 48 minutes a coming together of Mbayo and Nisbet saw the Dons skipper booked and his opposite number shown a second yellow card to leave his side with ten men. Four minutes later Fleming also picked up a yellow for a late challenge on Mbayo as Thistle tempers frayed.
Having the man advantage Aberdeen were starting to enjoy a lot more of the ball and Wright threatened to break clear before a tug on his shirt by Docherty halted his progress, resulting in another Thistle booking.
Frank Ross tried his luck with a long range free kick on 62 minutes but couldn't get the ball to dip quickly enough. The Dons were totally dominating possession now but the Thistle defence were holding firm.
A clumsy foul on Anderson by McMullin saw the centre back become the fourth Jags booking as their discipline threatened to fall apart. From being completely in control, Thistle were now hanging on by their fingertips.
Anderson fired a shot over after Wright knocked a MacPherson cross into his path before Chris Antoniazzi came on for Wells in 74 minutes. Referee Stuart booked Frank Ross and Thistle's McLaughlin after a clash by the corner flag on 78 minutes.
Seb Ross was replaced by Lewis Hutchison with eight minutes left as the Dons pushed ever harder for an equaliser. Thistle then made a double switch with James Stokes and Connor Higgins taking the place of McCarthy and McLaughlin.
Referee Stuart quite incredibly booked Frank Ross for diving on 88 minutes and he had to go as it was a second yellow. A very controversial decision by the whistler.
James Stokes had a great chance to seal victory as fellow sub Higgins played him in but the twin brother of the Jags right back shot straight at Craddock.
Despite further pressing from the Dons with Scott McKenna leading the attack, they could not grab the goal their play deserved and Thistle held to win a feisty match which saw two red cards and eight yellows.

Paul Sheerin Post Match Quotes

"I thought in the second half we dominated in terms of possession, mainly because they were down to ten men. Thistle got into their two banks of four with one up top and were very difficult to break down. I said to the boys afterwards that we did not do enough to work their goalkeeper.
"We gave ourselves a great start to the second half with the early goal and I was thinking let's go and kick on from there. Their sending off strangely enough went against us a bit as they dug in and made it difficult although we know we should do better in terms of working the keeper more. We had a lot of shots but a lot of them were off target so that is something we will look at.
"So it was frustrating from that point of view.
"But the first half was nowhere near good enough, in terms of where we have been over the past month or so.
"That was the biggest frustration and disappointment. 2-0 down at half time, and deservedly so. I did not see that type of performance coming. We did not get after the ball well enough. Their movement was good, we did not deal with that well enough in terms of communication.

"Overall a pretty frustrating evening again.

"We gave ourselves a shout with the early goal in the second half but then did not do enough.
"I was very surprised when I saw that Frank was away to get booked again. I thought it was the wrong decision. It is not easy for referee's when they have to make these decisions instantly but I think it was a bit rushed. Their bench and players seemed surprised as well.
"It is another big challenge on Thursday when we travel to play Celtic. It is another good test to see how far we have come, to see how close we can get to them. Hopefully we can bounce back after the result tonight. It would have been nice to go on a run of wins to the end of the season. We are not going to fulfil that after this loss but we have three games to play and we don't just want the season to peter out.
"We want to make sure we try and finish the season as strongly as possible."

Partick Thistle Teamsheet
Cullen, I Stokes, Fleming, Grainger, McMullin, Wilson, Lamont, McCarthy (J Stokes 84), Nisbet (C), Docherty, McLaughlin (Higgins 84)
Unused substitutes - Herd (GK), Hall

Bookings:  Nisbet 43,   Nisbet 48,   Fleming 52,   Docherty 58,   McMullin 69,   McLaughlin 78  Nisbet 48
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Mbayo, Wells (Antoniazzi 74), MacPherson, McKenna, Roscoe, Wright, Ross (Hutchison 82), Anderson, Ross, Campbell.

Unused Subs: Dangana, Robertson, Ross, Sharp.

Bookings:  MacPherson (20),  Mbayo (48),  Ross (78),  Ross (88),  Ross (88).
Venue: Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Referee: Peter Stuart
Next Match
Ross County
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall