Team Pd GD Pt
1 Inverness CT 9 8 22
2 Raith Rovers 9 5 17
3 Kilmarnock 9 5 17
4 Partick Thistle 9 9 15
5 Arbroath 9 9 15
6 Ayr United 9 -4 11
7 Queen of the South 9 -4 9
8 Hamilton Academical 9 -12 8
9 Greenock Morton 9 -7 6
10 Dunfermline 9 -9 5
Updated: 16th Oct
Saturday April 14th 2012

Partick 1 – 1 Raith

Canal Plus One Point…

Having parked near Firhill I went into to town for lunch and on my return discovered that you can walk to the ground along the Forth and Clyde canal.  I recommend it as a route for those on foot.

The Rovers rang the changes after Tuesday’s defeat – Williamson, McBride, Clarke and Graham all coming Jamie Walker, Stewart, Baird and Casalinuovo dropping to the bench.  Again the Rovers were without the influential Davidson.  The conditions were good for football and the sun was out – for whatever reason Partick decided to use a sprinkler to soak the pitch just before kickoff.  This caught out Dave McGurn for a moment as he headed back to the dressing room and he got a quick pregame shower!

The water didn’t help the ball zip across the turf early on as it spent the first few minutes in the air.  Erskine had an effort more akin to ground mates the Glasgow Warriors in the second minute.  Cairney then had a wayward effort as it became clear the Rovers were trying to be direct and get Clarke and Graham the ball early.  Big Brian brought down the first ball forward well but Partick mopped up.  Iain Williamson put in a good shift and he was fed by Murray after slack home passing and then a cross was flicked on – Jock McStayesque – but it flashed across goal and past.  Graham and Williamson tried again at the byline but Brian’s effort will be one he’d rather forget.  McBride then had a go his long range free kick dipped but not enough to hit the target.

Grant's the Meat in the Sandwich

Grant's the Meat in the Sandwich

However Partick were on top winning a couple of corners followed by another when the Rovers tried to be too clever playing out of defence.   Partick then had an effort aimed at the canal basin beyond the flats behind the goal.  The best Raith passing move of the half ended with Walker heading Dyers cross wide.  Moments later in the 27th minute Partick saw a Rovers clearance hit a Jag in the area and spun back into the six yard box where there was a stramash and the ball was eventually hacked away.  The home side ended the half well and had been getting an extra man over on the Rovers left where McBride and Dyer were having to stand off as they were outnumbered.  The Jags failed to capitalise on a couple of free kicks and saw a dangerous header go wide.

The home side withdrew Doolan at the half he’d had an early knock.  McGuigan hit the side netting in the 47th minute as the home side upped the pace.  Erskine shot over then slack defensive play saw McGuigan find McGurn alert diving to take his effort.  Pat Clarke ran from the centre circle but his run was halted at the edge of the box.  Clarke and McBride were replaced by Baird and Jamie Walker.  Baird almost played the overlapping Thomson in in the home box with his first involvement.  Partick were in the ascendancy and looking for a breakthrough.  Welsh and Erskine had efforts then from the home sides 9thcorner they broke the deadlock.

Sean Welsh (8) Opens the Scoring

Sean Welsh (8) Opens the Scoring

The corner swung in and Welsh was able to bullet it home first time from 6 yards.  1:0 after 64 minutes.  The Jags tried to extend their lead and pushed on as the Rovers tried to stem the tide.  McGuigan almost capitalised again on the Rovers rushing possession.

There was not much to cheer the Raith fans as they saw Graham flick on a free kick but Fox in the home goal claimed the ball before Baird could pounce.  After another foray into the home box a long ball to went to Graham just in front of the Raith support.  Brian’s first touch was sublime and took him away from his marker, moving into the box he dinked the ball into the centre over the outrushing Fox.  Paton in the centre tried to head over and succeeded only in putting the ball into the empty net.  There had been little sign of a Rovers goal coming and it probably wasn’t deserved at that point but it came from a truly brilliant touch from Brian Graham and bad luck for Paton.

Celebrating the Equalizer

Celebrating the Equalizer

The Rovers were lifted by the goal and Graham headed over an Ellis knock back.  The Jags however pushed for a winner and  Jamie Walker was brought on.  Baird did well running from the half way line winning only the Rovers third corner.  The ball was cleared to Stewart who played it back in and Murray rose at the back post heading in across goal.  But the near linesman’s flag was up, I was not alone in thinking he got it wrong but views were mixed.  It’s the fourth goal the Rovers have had ruled out in their last three away games.

As time ticked down Elliot shouldered an effort wide then in the last attack the Rovers support were again off their seat.  A ball into the box fell to Baird who’s volley flashed past Fox and thudded back off the post.  Brian Graham was first onto it and missed the target but the flag was up again.

The Rovers were second best for the vast majority of the game but came away with a point.  There were two other issues of note, firstly the barring of the large flag being laid out behind the goal was disappointing.  Secondly Alan Archibald was making his 398th appearance for Thistle and is on track to hit 400 this season.

The Rovers should be buoyed by today’s result if not the performance.  Next week the Rovers travel to the other end of the Forth and Clyde canal playing the Bairns.  Picking up more away points in Falkirk will be wheely useful!

Partick: Fox, O’Donnell, Archibald, Bannigan, Paton, Balatoni, Cairney, Welsh, McGuigan, Erskine, Doolan (Elliot 46).

Subs Not Used: Scully, McAleer, Kinniburgh, Griffin.

Raith Rovers: McGurn, Thomson, Dyer, Ellis, Hill, Murray, Williamson (Stewart 77), Allan Walker, Graham, Clarke (Jamie Walker 57), McBride (Baird 57).

Subs Not Used: Laidlaw, Casalinuovo.

Report John Mainland, Pictures Eddie Doig

Rovers team news from a sunny Firhill. Graham and Clarke stat up front. Davidson misses out with injury. Williamson and Mcbride start in midfield, Baird and J Walker on the bench.
Casalinuovo also on the bench for Rovers.
Hill brings Doolan down 25 yards out. Free kick to Thistle, taken tight footed by Cairney. Just over the bar
Rovers break away down the right. Move peters out when Clarke takes the shy to Williamson who returns it to him in an offside position
Rovers corner taken by Mcbride. Murrays glancing header goes out for a bye.
Graham and Williamson do well to fashion a chance, but Graham's effort is high wide an handsome.
Rovers free kick from 25 yards. Mcbrides effort sails well over
Mild panic in the Rovers defence when Willamson tries to play the ball away when a clearance would have sufficed. Partick shoot well over
A Walker heads wide from Dyers cross.
Stramash in the Rovers box as Partick have at least 3 chances to score. Resultant corner amounts to nothing.
Header wide from a Partick corner
A Walker free kick from the left foes straight to Fox
Ellis penalised for handball 25 yards out. Free kick taken by Welsh, narrowly over Mcgurns bar
Thistle kick off.
Elliot on for Doolan for Thistle.
McGuigan shoots wide for Thistle.
Erskine blazes over for Thistle after good hold-up play from McGuigan
A dangerous Thistle cross is cleared from danger by the away defence.
Double Raith sub. Baird + J Walker on for McBride and Clarke.
Thistle corner punched clear by McGurn.
Tenacious play by Baird at one end and at the other Welsh shoots over for Thistle.
Cairney shoots tamely into McGurn's arms.
Goal Thistle. Welsh turns it into the goal from another corner.
McGuigan shoots at McGurn after dithering in the Raith defence. Ball is cleared.
Long free kick into the box won by Graham but goes straight to Fox in the Thistle goal.
Goal Raith! Great work from Graham and it's turned into his own net by Paton.
Raith sub, Stewart for Williamson.
Both teams have had turns on the ball of late but nothing of note at either end.
Great run by Baird leads to a Raith corner, ball comes back in and Murray has the ball in the net but it's flagged offside.
Baird hits the post, ball falls to Graham but he is offside.
FT Raith 1-1 Thistle.
PARTICK: Fox, O'Donnell, Bannigan, Paton, Balatoni, Archibald, Cairney, Welsh, Doolan, McGuigan, Erskine. Subs: Scully, Elliot, Mcaleer, Kinniburgh, Griffin.

RAITH ROVERS: Mcgurn, Thomson, Dyer, Ellis, Hill, Murray, Williamson, A Walker, Graham, Clarke, Mcbride. Subs: Casalinuovo, Baird, Stewart, J Walker, Laidlaw.

Updates by Niall Russell and Chris Hynd

Photos copyright Eddie Doig

John McGlynn

Jackie McNamara

John Baird

Interviews by David Hancock

Video highlights of the match are available here.