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2010/11 Season News

Match Preview: Partick Thistle v Cowdenbeath

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Match Preview: Partick Thistle v Cowdenbeath

PostedMarch 18, 2011

The busy March calender shows no sign of slowing down as we take on Partick Thistle at Firhill on Saturday with Joe Mbu, John Armstrong and Scott Linton all missing due to injury and two further players rated very doubtful.

After a disappointing late defeat to Raith Rovers during the week Jimmy Nicholl's side will be desperate to gain some points to keep us in with a great chance of avoiding the play-offs.

"It was very disappointing to lose the game so late on but there are many positives to take from the 2nd half performance"', commented Nicholl.

"We started the game poorly and did not get a grip of the game at all and it was comfortable for Raith Rovers. We did not get close enough and had David Hay to thank for keeping us in the game with a couple of wonderful saves. We really came into the game after about 35 minutes but a lack of concentration cost us a goal on the stroke of half-time.

"We changed things at the break and I was delighted with the respose in the 2nd half. We had the tenacity that was missing in the 1st half and played good controlled football and our play thoroughly deserved at least a point. It was a great finish from Greg Stewart for the equaliser and we had good chances to win it.

"Unfortunately, we lost both big Joe and John Armstrong to injury during the game and if we were going to lose a goal it was going to come from a cross ball. That is exactly what happened but praise must go to Craig Winter and Kenny Adamson (pictured) who performed excellently in a makeshift central defence.

"We have another chance to put points on the board this weekend but, as with all games at this level, we face a very difficult challenge. I watched Partick against Raith Rovers last Saturday and they completely dictated the play and passed the ball well. They were dangerous going forward and we will need to nulify their attacking threat bu also offer something going forward ourselves."

Visit Kick Talk radio to hear more pre-match chat with Jimmy Nicholl.

Nicholl will have to make enforced changes at Firhill due to injuries. Joe Mbu's injury interupted season continued after pulling his hamstring at Starks Park on Tuesday night and will be out for 4 to 6 weeks but the manager is hopeful that Armstrong (ankle) and Linton will be fit for the midweek visti from Greenock Morton.

This will be the final meeting between the 2 sides this season and so far it's a tie with a win each and a draw. The opening match saw us win 2-1 at Central Park with goals from Brian Fairbairn and John Armstrong cancelling out Kris Doolans early opener. Partick got revenge with a 1-0 win in October through former Cowden star Liam Buchanan. Last month saw us almost secure a vital 3 points at Central Park after Archie Campbell scored an early penalty before Iain Flannigan equalised with only 3 minutes to go.

For us to win this game we'll need to improve our record in the 19th of March with our last match on this date being a 2-0 loss away to Elgin City. Higgins opened the scoring before one of the most strange goals seen at a Cowden game in recent years wrapped the points up. Pushing on for an equaliser saw Andy Carlin, our keeper, pushing up in our half to launch the ball forward. Incredibly his clearance crashed of Willie Martin and a chase between the 2 sides began with Martin just getting to the ball before Carlin to tap home. Our last other game on this date saw a 1-1 draw with Montrose in 1994.

A big problem for us could be the home form of Partick Thistle with 13 points gained out of a possible 15 in their last 5 games. Wins over Queen of the South, Dunfermline, Falkirk and Stirling Albion on top of a draw with Dundee clearly indicating that Firhill is fast becoming a fortress. Our away form picked up with the win over Stirling but still doesn't hide the fact that this is going to be a very tough task for Cowden to gain any critical points in the relegation battle.

Partick sit 10 points head of us so they are aware that a defeat here could see them dragged back towards a relegation battle while a win would see them pretty much guarantee a mid-table finish.

Match of the day fact of the week:- For Cowden to win this game they will need to overcome a resilient Partick defence which sits 11th in Scotland for goals conceded per game of 1.12. We sit 30th in Scotland for goals scored per game with 1.2 goals a game.

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