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The Friday Night Football Experiment: Partick v Morton

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The Friday night experiment for Partick Thistle fans and everyone connected with the club was a success in every possible way even the rain could not ruin this five-star night for the Jags, no matter how hard it tried.

Even the fans I had the pleasure of speaking to at half time were delighted with the result and the concept of Friday night football (and not just because their coupons came up!) These guys loved the fact that you could go to a match with your mates and still go for a few beers before and afterwards as the game finished in plenty of time before closing time, so that the guys could chat about the game in their local with other punters who maybe did not go to the game.

The boys I spoke to, actually just pick random matches to go to and would love the Friday night experiment to become a regular fixture,the crowd was up at Firhill and Pittodrie so hopefully there is a bright future for Friday football.

Afterwards Thistle boss Jackie McNamara was beaming and full of praise for his players especially young Stephen O Donnell who won the Man of the Match award and of the Friday night experience,” It was a magnificent result for us but I also think the Friday night experiment was worthwhile.”

“There was a great turnout and the fans certainly got their money’s worth and after all they are the people who matter.”

“Young Stephen had a great debut,he has waited for his chance and you can see he has been a good addition to the team.”

Morton boss Allan Moore was raging with his defenders after the match especially coming into this match as league leaders.

“It was embarrassing in the end and the central defenders are taking the blame for it! We should be doing better with punts up the park and Andy Graham getting sent off actually did us a favour as he was having a nightmare, but the only consolation is that we are still top of the league!”

The only black spot for everyone at Firhill was the news that Glasgow Warriors will quit their adopted home of Firhill to move to Scotstoun Showgrounds in June and this cannot be good news for Partick Thistle who could lose anything up to £100,000 and may force the club to go part-time.

This would be shocking news for the Jags and their fans and indeed manager Jackie McNamara who is building a great young squad at Firhill and with time and the right investment,Partick Thistle could get back to the SPL although they know that is a long way off,especially as the First Division is such a cut throat league.

Looking at the board summary notes in the official programme,you can see how the Board have strived to bring the debt down over the years

2009- £250,000 (loss)
2010-£100,000 (loss)
2011-£46,000( profit)

Knowing the work that has been done at that club behind the scenes, I feel that everything possible should be done to help the Jags but I also know that being the happy-go-lucky bunch of people the Partick Thistle fans are,they will stick by the club no matter what division or financial state the club are in.

As it says in the words of the song they sing “We will follow Thistle over land and sea” and you get the feeling these guys would walk from Maryhill Road to Dingwall to see their beloved Jags, I just hope that they get the financial backing they deserve in the future.

One interested spectator at Firhill was legendary keeper Alan Rough who was part of the 1971 Scottish League Cup win and the Jags are celebrating the 4-1 win over Celtic with a night at Hampden Park to celebrate 40 years of that famous cup win.

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About Author

Chief Features Writer for Scotzine.com. Sean has written for various publications and websites over the years and has been involved with making documentaries on Aberdeen Football Club, Dundee United Football Club, Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert and Jock Stein and also Radio programmes, one of which "Old Firm Day" won a Bronze Sony Award. He also worked in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. His love of writing started off with The Punter and has gone on to write for the following FIFA magazine, 442, Scotland's Oracle, Players Inc, British Football Week, ESPN, Give Me Football, Inside Futbol, 67 Fanzine and the matchday programmes of Aberdeen, Carlisle United, Montrose, Partick Thistle, Stockport County and Queen's Park. He has also been asked to write a blog for Youth Football Scotland on St.Mirren YFC such was his passion for football at every level from Grassroots to the professional game.

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