Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 0 (SPFL League One) 23rd November 2013

Forfar Athletic      2      East Fife       0

Templeman 67

R. Campbell 79

Forfar Athletic earned their fourth clean sheet in six league games with a 2-0 over ten man East Fife at Station Park this past Saturday.

Manager Dick Campbell made no changes to a side that defeated Brechin City 2-0 a fortnight ago, sticking with the same eleven and bench.

East Fife had the first proper effort on goal after a stuffy opening ten minutes, Jack Smith racing onto a through ball from Stephen Hughes but he could only scuff his effort into Rab Douglas’ hands.

In the fourteenth minute Stuart Malcolm nodded wide from a Jamie McCluskey corner before a clearance four minutes later came to McCluskey, who touched the ball past a defender before his attempted lob landed of the roof of the net.

McCluskey was involved in another attack soon after, setting up Mark Baxter, whose cross was nodded out by Joe Mbu to Iain Campbell and his effort from 25 yards trundled past the post.

Scott McBride came close for the Fifers in the 27th minute, a corner being cleared to him but his volley from the edge of the penalty area flew over.

Darren Dods headed straight at the keeper on the half hour mark whilst a Gavin Swankie lay off saw Dale Hilson with an excellent opportunity to open the scoring but he could only place his shot into the keepers legs and Greg Paterson smothered the ball before Hilson reach the ball again.

The Loons were awarded a penalty in the 40th minute, Craig Storie, Templeman and Swankie exchanging passes before Swankie sent a brilliant through ball that Hilson latched onto, he rounded the keeper but couldn’t get a shot away, turned back and let fire with a shot that defender Gary Thom handled, with the ball looking like it may have already been over the line.

This left the referee with no option to send Thom for an early bath, despite his protests that it hit his chest. Iain Campbell stepped up for what could have been his fourth of the season, but he sent his attempt wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 0 East Fife 0

The Loons started the second half strongly, with a long ball from Stuart Malcolm allowing Dale Hilson to run onto it but he could only put the ball over the bar under pressure.

Mbu had a shot well held by Douglas in the 54th minute whilst at the other end Hilson had another chance go into Paterson’s arms.

On the hour mark right back Mark Baxter almost opened the scoring with a low attempt from 25 yards, but it bounced inches past the post.

Forfar did grab an opener in the 67th minute, a long ball from Malcolm, nodded on by Templeman into the path of Swankie, he beat a defender before cutting the ball back from the sideline for Templeman to slot home for his third goal of the season.

East Fife threatened to equalise four minutes later, a corner was met by the head of sub Derek Holmes but he could only nod it into the ground and Douglas gathered the ball easily as it came back up.

Ross Campbell came on in the 72nd minute and within seven minutes had doubled the home side’s lead. A corner from brother Iain went to the far post and Ross touched the ball in for his second goal in two games.

Iain Campbell volleyed wide from a Martyn Fotheringham cross with ten minutes to go whilst Swankie had an effort fly wide in what was the last proper effort of the game.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Gary Fusco – has gotten better with every game.

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 7, Iain Campbell 7, Stuart Malcolm 7, Darren Dods 6, Gary Fusco 8, Jamie McCluskey 7 (Martyn Fotheringham 72, 4), Craig Storie 8 (Neil McCabe 81, 3), Chris Templeman 8, Gavin Swankie 8, Dale Hilson 7 (Ross Campbell 72, 5).

Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Omar Kader, Gavin Malin, Darren Hill (gk).

East Fife: Greg Paterson, Steven Campbell, Scott McBride, Gary Thom, Joe Mbu, Lewis Barr (Cyrus Moosavi 70), Ross Brown, Stephen Hughes, Jack Smith (Derek Holmes 70), Craig Johnstone (Scott Durie 46), Liam Buchanan.

Subs not used: Ryan Stewart, Ross Lennie, Kyle Wilson, Michael Andrews (gk)

Advertisements

Forfar West End 4 East Craigie 0 (East Juniors McBookie North League) 16th November 2013

Forfar West End     4        East Craigie     0

Scott 1

Irons 8, 19

Godfrey 23

Four goals in the opening twenty five minutes was enough to move Forfar West End to within two points of the top of the league in a 4-0 victory over East Craigie at Strathmore Park.

They made an excellent start to the game, with Darren Scott nodding home from a Matthew Ramsay cross within 90 seconds of kick off.

Scott almost set up Ramsay for a second in the 3rd minute but he fired over from close range.

West End made it two after only eight minutes though, on loan defender Steven Narey passing to Scott, who’s low cross was collected by Gary Irons and he sent the ball the opposite way of the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Irons went close again minutes later but he put his effort over when it was easier to keep it low.

The advantage was increased in the 19th minute, an East Craigie corner was fumbled on the line by debutant loanee Darryl Burns but he gathered before the away side could capitalise. From this, he sent out a long kick out that reached Ramsay and he set up Irons to slot home for his second and West End’s third.

It was four less than 5 minutes later, a cross from Ramsay landed at Liam Godfrey’s feet and his first shot was blocked but he made no mistake with his second effort.

East Craigie attempted to get back into the game before half time but their efforts went wide.

HALF TIME: Forfar West End 4 East Craigie 0

West End looked to increase their goal tally in the second half, with Godfrey and Graeme Hart heading wide whilst goalscorer Scott hit the bar.

Irons came close to grabbing a hat-trick on the hour mark but couldn’t keep his shot down and ended up blasting over.

Darren Scott had a long range effort saved well in the 71st minute whilst East Craigie started to get more forward in the last fifteen of the second half although neither side could get a clear chance at goal in a stuffy second half.

Forfar West End: Darryl Burns, Steven Narey, Martin Black, David Taylor (Daryl McKenzie 63), Mark McDonald, David Stillie, Darren Scott, Liam Godfrey, Graeme Hart (Keith McKenzie 75), Gary Irons (Gavin Tinley 69), Matthew Ramsay.

Subs not used: Liam Renton, Gary Bartlett.

Forfar Athletic 2 Brechin City 0 (SPFL League Two) 9th November 2013

Forfar Athletic     2       Brechin City      0

Hilson 38

R. Campbell 86

The Loons took Angus derby bragging rights with a deserved 2-0 victory on Saturday against Brechin City at Station Park.

Dick Campbell made two changes from the Scottish Cup win last week, Stuart Malcolm returning from injury to replace Marvin Andrews whilst 17-year old Aberdeen loanee Craig Storie made his debut as Gavin Malin dropped to the bench.

Both sides had chances in the first ten minutes with Dale Hilson firing a free kick over before Greg Cameron’s long range effort was palmed wide by Rab Douglas.

Forfar looked more likely to grab the opening goal, with Gavin Swankie blasting wide in the 17th minute whilst five minutes later a long ball from Storie allowed Hilson to have a shot but his effort was blocked.

Alan Trouten latched on to a long ball in the 25th minute and his shot forced Douglas into an excellent close range save.

Forfar should have been ahead in the 27th minute, a corner from Iain Campbell was knocked towards Chris Templeman and with an open goal in front of him, he hit his effort too hard and it went over the bar from 6 yards.

Dale Hilson volleyed straight at the keeper minutes before Steven Robb had a long range effort brilliantly pushed over by Douglas and Trouten blasted over.

The Loons took the lead in the 38th minute, Jamie McCluskey beat two defenders before sending in a cross that Hilson knocked home from inside the 6 yard box.

Half time: Forfar Athletic 1 Brechin City 0

Dick Campbell’s men came out strong in the second half, Dale Hilson firing over before he set up Templeman but his shot was saved well by Graeme Smith.

On the hour mark Hilson nodded inches past the post whilst Brechin had an opportunity but Trouten fired over.

Ten minutes later sub Bobby Barr shot straight at Rab Douglas and Derek Carcary did the same in the 76th minute as the away side tried to find an equaliser.

Forfar had been the more dominant side in the second half but couldn’t extend their lead with efforts from Gary Fusco and Hilson again going wide.

Hilson was forced off in the 84th minute after suffering an injury, Ross Campbell coming on in his place.

It only took him two minutes to make a difference, running onto a Templeman knockdown and lifting the ball over the keeper to double the Loons’ lead and his goal tally for the season.

Templeman had another attempt saved before the final whistle went, giving Forfar their first derby victory at home since September 2012, also against Brechin.

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Dale Hilson – never stopped running, looks to be his best spell at the club yet.

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 7, Mark Baxter 7 (Gavin Malin 87, 3), Iain Campbell 7, Darren Dods 7, Stuart Malcolm 7, Gary Fusco 8, Jamie McCluskey 7 (Omar Kader 69, 5), Craig Storie 8, Chris Templeman 7, Gavin Swankie 7, Dale Hilson 8 (Ross Campbell 84, 5).

Subs not used: Marvin Andrews, Martyn Fotheringham, Neil McCabe, Ross Salmon.

Brechin City: Graeme Smith 7, Paul McLean 5, Jonathan Brown 5, Graham Hay 5, Ewan Moyes 5, Greg Cameron 5 (Craig Molloy 57, 4), Alan Trouten 7, Darren Petrie 5, Andy Jackson 6, Andy Ryan 5 (Bobby Barr 67, 4), Steven Robb 5 (Derek Carcary 57, 5).

Subs not used: Steven Jackson, Stuart Anderson, Gerry McLauchlan, Craig Nelson (gk)

History of Forfar Athletic v Brechin City: How have the two best sides in Angus fared against each other since 2003?

In the past ten years Forfar Athletic and Brechin City have battled it out 21 times with 64 goals shared between them.

During Brechin’s Second Division championship winning season in 2004-2005, honours were shared over the 4 games, each side winning twice. It was Forfar who drew first blood in the opening game of the season, current youth coach Barry Sellars grabbing the only goal of the game.

City won the next two meetings in October and December, defeating the Loons 2-0 at Glebe Park whilst a Paul Tosh goal wasn’t enough as Brechin put three past Michael Brown in December. On the last game of the season the Loons spoilt the Glebe Park side’s title party, top scorer Paul Shields, Mathu King and David McClune netting without any reply from the home side.

The next season the two sides met was in 2006-2007, this season being rather forgettable for the Loons as they finished bottom of the Second Division. Brechin won two meetings yet again, with a six goal thriller at Glebe Park in August ending 4-2 to the home side before scoring the odd goal in three at Station Park in November despite a Gregory Tade consolation.

The New Year meeting at Brechin ended 2-2, Forfar doing well to draw despite having only 14 players available, Darren Gribben grabbing both Loons goals. Forfar notched their first win over Brechin in March, Gribben along with loanees Kevin Moon and Scott Gates making sure the Loons won with the odd goal in five.

It wasn’t until 2010 before the sides met competitively again and Forfar went unbeaten against Brechin in the 2010-2011 season with two wins and two draws. After a one all draw in August and a goalless stalemate in November, the Loons came back from a goal down in March to score twice through Chris Templeman and Ross Campbell in the dying minutes of the game whilst a Dale Hilson goal saw them off in April.

The next season was almost the same as the previous one, with two wins for the Loons again but there was only one draw as Brechin won the New Year fixture.

In 2011 Chris Templeman grabbed three points in September and there was another November goalless draw, the last time either side had a goalless draw in fact, before current Loon Paul McManus scored for Brechin to give them a 2-1 win in January. Nicky Low, Kevin Byers and two from Martyn Fotheringham saw Forfar get their biggest win over Brechin for a while with a 4-1 victory at Station Park.

2012-2013 was quite even again, both sides winning twice, Fotheringham scoring the only goal of the game in September to add even more pressure on struggling City manager Jim Weir. Brechin then won the next two contests by the same margin, four goals to one in November and January. In April, Forfar won the last game of the season between the two in a seven goal thriller, goals from Gavin Malin, Dale Hilson and Michael Bolochoweckyj being cancelled out before Gavin Swankie netted an 84th minute winner.

Earlier this season Brechin won 2-1, Craig Molloy and Alan Trouten putting the home side two goals up before the Loons were awarded a penalty in the last minute, Iain Campbell stepping up to slot home. They were awarded another penalty late into injury time but Campbell’s attempt was saved by Graeme Smith.

 

Overall league stats between the pair are as follows:

              Played            Forfar          Draws          Brechin           FAFC Goals           BCFC Goals

Home       70                  33                 15                   22                     137                         100

Away        72                   23                 19                   30                     106                         119

Overall    142                  56                 34                   52                     243                          219

Forfar Farmington 2 Falkirk Ladies 1 (Scottish Women’s Premier League) 3rd November 2013

Forfar Farmington    2    Falkirk Ladies      1

Taylor 69                            Pullar 90

Webster 86

Forfar Farmington Ladies ended their season on a high with a 2-1 victory over now relegated Falkirk Ladies.

Manager Mark Nisbet made three changes from the defeat against Hamilton, Ellie Welton replacing Leonie Simpson in goal whilst Danni McGinley and 15 year old debutant Alex Russell started in place of Aimee Godfrey and Abbi Grant.

Forfar started well at a bitterly cold Station Park, dominating possession and only allowing Falkirk to get out of their own half a couple of times in the first half.

Top scorer Caroline Heron nodded wide in the sixth minute from an Alana Bruce cross whilst Julia Scott set up the youngster Russell but she directed her header inches past the post.

Bruce tested Falkirk keeper Leigh Skelton in the 14th minute with a 35 yard effort and Skelton did well to save it. Scott came closest to opening the scoring after 17 minutes, her cross from the left evaded everyone and cannoned off the far post before Falkirk scrambled to clear it.

Falkirk did have one solitary shot in the first half and this came twenty minutes into the match, Nicole Pullar firing towards goal from the edge of the box but her shot was blocked and the resultant corner came to nothing.

Danni McGinley and Caroline Heron were combining well up front, both were unlucky not to score after setting each other up, McGinley’s shot in the 21st minute creeping past the post whilst Heron had an excellent attempt parried away by Skelton seven minutes later.

Heron and McGinley were again unfortunate before half time, McGinley blasting into the keepers arms before Heron was inches away from netting from outside the penalty area.

HALF TIME: Forfar Farmington 0 Falkirk Ladies 0

Falkirk came out for the second half fired up looking to save their SWPL status with Pullar, Michaela Brown and Jade Gallon all going close in the first fifteen minutes of the half.

They were dealt a blow in the 66th minute though, Jennifer Godfrey went down after turning awkwardly and had to be stretchered off and replaced by Lisa Sutherland.

Three minutes after this, Farmington took the lead with a wonder goal. Sub Ann Taylor, who had come on for Cheryl Rigden in the 52nd minute, beat a couple of defenders before curling an excellent effort from 20 yards that went in off the post.

With fifteen minutes to go Julia Scott tried a lob from the middle of the Falkirk half, but the effort landed on the roof of the net.

Farmington doubled their lead with four minutes to go, a good ball into the box was received by Caren Webster and she stroked the ball past Skelton for her third goal of the season.

Falkirk grabbed a late consolation deep into injury time, Nicole Pullar shrugging off the defence to slot the ball under Ellie Welton.

Despite the eighth placed finish Farmington can say they had a good season, reaching another semi-final while they were also defeated the lowest amount of times bar the champions Glasgow City.

They were also the third highest scorers as well as conceding a very low amount of goals, the third lowest in the league in fact.

After the match, head coach Mark Nisbet announced he was to step down after ten years at the club, eight of which was in the head coach position.

I’m quite fortunate to have been allowed to do match reports for the club by him and Kev Candy, was a pleasure to work with both, best of luck to them in the future!

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Alex Russell – played like she had been there for years, you wouldn’t have thought she was making her senior debut

Forfar Farmington: Ellie Welton 7, Alana Bruce 7, Fay McDonald 7, Nicola Davidson 7, Caren Webster 8, Julia Scott 7, Cheryl Rigden 7 (Ann Taylor 52, 7), Alex Russell 8, Nicky Grant 7, Danni McGinley 7 (Robyn Smith 85, 4), Caroline Heron 7.

Subs not used: Gemma Collier, Aimee Godfrey, Abbi Grant, Joanna Collier, Leonie Simpson (gk)

Falkirk Ladies: Leigh Skelton 7, Lauren Gallon 6, Sara Quilletti 6, Emma Lyons 6, Jennifer Godfrey 6 (Lisa Sutherland 66, 4), Jade Gallon 6, Lauren Hastings 6, Michaela Brown 6 (Susanne McLellan 90, 2), Nicole Pullar 6, Ruadh Houston 6, Kerry Kennedy 6.

Subs not used: Nicola Carroll

Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 1 (Scottish Cup 3rd Round) 2nd November 2013

Forfar Athletic     2        East Fife           1

Hilson 45+1                      Johnstone 74

Templeman 69

Forfar Athletic advanced to the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup on Saturday with a 2-1 over league rivals East Fife at a very wet Station Park.

Manager Dick Campbell made one change from last week’s 1-1 draw with Stenhousemuir, Darren Hill dropping out with an injury, Rab Douglas taking his place. Jamie McCluskey also made his debut for the Loons having made three appearances previously as a trialist before signing a short term deal on Thursday.

East Fife had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute with Ross Brown firing past the post from inside the box. Gavin Swankie volleyed over the bar from a Dale Hilson cross whilst in the fifteenth minute Marvin Andrews challenged with Ross Brown for a header, Brown went down quite heavily, and having to be stretchered off and Marvin received a booking, with East Fife fans demanding a red card from ref Andrew Dallas.

Former Aberdeen midfielder Stephen Hughes came close after 20 minutes, his long range shot going inches over Douglas’ bar. Liam Buchanan also fired wide before Chris Templeman nodded wide from a Swankie cross.

Templeman came close again after half an hour, Mark Baxter swinging a cross in to the back post and Templeman nodded into the side netting.

Marvin Andrews headed into the keeper’s arms in the 40th minute and he had a big hand in the Loons’ opener on the stroke of half time. Darren Dods sent a free kick up to the box from the Forfar half, Andrews won the initial header, made his way closer to the goal, when the ball came towards him sent a diving header towards the net, keeper Michael Andrews parried the ball into the path of Dale Hilson who had the simple task of tapping home.

HALF TIME: Forfar Athletic 1 East Fife 0

East Fife came out for the second half desperate for an equaliser with Ryan Stewart and Liam Buchanan twice firing over the bar whilst in the 55th minute the away support looked for a penalty when Johnny Stewart and Marvin Andrews collided in the box and Stewart fell, Dallas felt there was no foul committed.

Steven Campbell went close again after 62 minutes, the ball not being cleared from the box properly and Douglas pulled off a great save pushing Campbell’s effort from just outside the box out for a corner.

Chris Templeman had a header cleared off the line from a McCluskey corner in the 69th minute and from the resultant corner Stuart Malcolm flicked the ball towards the back post and Templeman volleyed home from eight yards.

Gavin Swankie hit the side netting two minutes later before East Fife grabbed a goal back in the 74th minute, Hughes squaring the ball for midfielder Craig Johnstone to slot home from close range.

Iain Campbell rattled the crossbar three minutes after the goal with a free kick from 20 yards whilst Gary Fusco came close to netting his first Forfar goal, a cross/shot curled towards the net but the keeper did well to push it away.

Sub Ross Campbell headed straight at the keeper before Buchanan threatened a late equaliser, unfortunately for the away dugout, blasting over when it was easier to keep it down.

East Fife kept pressuring for an equaliser but could not find a way through to goal before the final whistle, sending the Loons into the hat for the fourth round where they could meet teams such as Celtic, Dundee United or Fraserburgh. 

 

Ramblings of a Loon’s Player of the Match: Dale Hilson

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas 6, Mark Baxter 7, Iain Campbell 6, Marvin Andrews 7 (Stuart Malcolm 65, 5), Darren Dods 6, Gary Fusco 6, Jamie McCluskey 6 (Ross Campbell 78, 2), Gavin Malin 6 (James Dale 73, 4), Chris Templeman 8, Gavin Swankie 7, Dale Hilson 8.

Subs not used: Paul McManus, Martyn Fotheringham, Omar Kader, Ross Salmon (gk)

East Fife: Michael Andrews 6, Scott Durie 6, Scott McBride 6, Gary Thom 6, Joe Mbu 6, Steven Campbell 6 (Pat Clarke 65, 5), Ryan Stewart 6, Ross Brown 4 (Johnny Stewart 17, 6), Liam Buchanan 7, Stephen Hughes 6, Craig Johnstone 7 (Nathan Austin 84, 2).

Subs not used: Alexis Dutot, Cyrus Moosavi, Ross Lennie, Greg Paterson (gk)

Partick Thistle 1 Celtic 2 (SPFL Premiership) 27th October 2013

I had to do a report on a game for a journalist group I am in last week and as I had no Forfar Athletic/Forfar Farmington game to go to, I chose to do Partick Thistle against Celtic.

Partick Thistle     1     Celtic         2

Doolan 65                   Samaras 33

                                     Balde 74

Premiership leaders Celtic moved six points clear of Aberdeen with a game in hand as they squeezed past Partick Thistle 2-1 in an even Glasgow derby at Firhill.

Thistle manager Alan Archibald named the same side that won at Inverness last week whilst Celtic manager Neil Lennon made two changes from the Ajax win in midweek, Scott Brown and Joe Ledley coming in for James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew.

Celtic had the first chance of the game in the 4th minute, Anthony Stokes setting up Ledley but he fired wide of the mark.

Kallum Higginbotham’s 25 yard shot in the seventh was diverted into the path of Aaron Taylor-Sinclair but his cross was nodded out for a corner by Izaguirre. From the resultant corner Stuart Bannigan stabbed wide.

In the twelfth minute Isaac Osbourne was cautioned for a fair challenge on Scott Brown just outside the D of the penalty area. Stokes’ free kick went nowhere near the target and wasted the opportunity.

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair did well to beat Mikael Lustig but could only fire his effort at Fraser Forster in the 21st minute whilst Stokes had a shot parried away from goal by Scott Fox eight minutes later.

Ledley blasted over again before Georgios Samaras headed home from an Izaguirre corner in the 33rd minute to give Celtic the lead. That was Samaras’ 50th league goal for the club.

Less than a minute later Lustig split the defence open to allow Teemu Pukki a chance but Fox did well to push his shot wide.

Higginbotham went close with another long range shot, this time the ball went inches past the post seconds before Pukki drew another excellent save from Fox. From the corner, Virgil van Dijk nodded wide.

Partick had the first shot in the second half, Bannigan firing into Forster’s arms three minutes into the half.

Sean Welsh and Higginbotham combined to set up the latter and his excellent chest and volley would have dipped into the net had it not been wide in the 52nd minute.

Higginbotham had yet another chance, Taylor-Sinclair laying the ball off for him to curl wide after 58 minutes. Stuart Bannigan was then replaced by Christie Elliot. Beram Kayal was booked within 60 seconds of that sub for pointlessly pulling down Taylor-Sinclair.

Higginbotham shot wide again in the 60th minute after Elliot’s effort was blocked by a grounded Izaguirre.

Higginbotham’s corner in the 64th minute was headed towards goal by Conrad Balatoni and Kris Doolan flicked the ball over Fraser Forster but it hit the bar. The ball wan’t cleared properly as Kallum Higginbotham picked it up just outside the box, passed to James Craigen, he gave it back to Higginbotham who squared it into the box and Kris Doolan knocked it past a defender before knocking home from six yards to the delight of the Firhill support. This equaliser was much deserved as Thistle had been the much better side in the second half.

Amiro Balde came on for Kayal after the goal whilst Efe Ambrose was booked for bundling over Stephen O’Donnell. Taylor-Sinclair went close with the free kick from Ambrose’s foul, Forster having to go low to save.

Joe Ledley scuffed another shot wide from a Pukki cross in the 68th minute whilst Izaguirre blasted over after a good run forward. Pukki then went off in the 71st minute, youngster Dylan McGeouch coming on in his place.

Stokes nodded poorly into Fox’s arms in the 72nd minute whilst at the other end Higginbotham forced another save from Forster.

Celtic took the lead again in the 74th minute, poor defending allowed Amiro Balde to run with the ball, beating Aaron Muirhead before slotting under Fox for his second goal of the season. In the celebrations Izaguirre took a knock to the head and had to be stretchered off, Nir Biton replacing him.

Balatoni volleyed over for Thistle whilst Ross Forbes came on for James Craigen in the 78th minute.

Sean Welsh went close with seven minutes left, Forster again having to go low to save.

Georgios Samaras was forced to go off with a gashed knee and as Celtic had used all three subs, the Scottish Champions had to play the last five minutes with ten men. Forbes also went close with a long range effort, Forster yet again saving.

Stephen O’Donnell’s shot from far out went miles wide in the 93rd minute and that was the last effort on goal in the game in an even game.

Celtic are now six points ahead of Aberdeen and seven ahead of Inverness, who also have a game in hand like Celtic whilst Partick stay on 13 points in seventh.

Partick Thistle (4-2-3-1): Fox, O’Donnell, Muirhead, Balatoni, Taylor-Sinclair, Osbourne, Welsh, Craigen (Forbes 78), Bannigan (Elliot 58), Higginbotham, Doolan.

Subs not used: Lawless, Piccolo, Baird, Kerr, Gallacher (gk)

Celtic (4-2-3-1): Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre (Biton 77), Brown, Kayal (Balde 65), Stokes, Ledley, Samaras, Pukki (McGeouch 71).

Subs not used: Rogic, Atajic, Fisher, Zaluska (gk)