ARR CRAIB CUP FINAL SUN 22ND JULY 2012 2.45PM
The hostâ€™s of the tournament Partick Thistle thoroughly deserved the trophy after a convincing 3-1 win over Everton. A Sean Welsh goal gave the Thistle a one goal lead at the break which flattered Everton. Welsh doubles his advantage from the spot early in the 2nd half before Conor McAleny gives the visitors a life line. Full back Stuart Brannigan adds a third and there was no way back for Everton who were always 2nd best in this contest.
Everton playing in all blue get the game underway with Partick Thistle in an all black strip. As early as the 7th minute the hostâ€™s get in front after a fine run and cross from right back Oâ€™Donnell which found the head of Welsh to send a bullet header past the helpless Taudul, defender Hammar should have done better.
Oâ€™Donnell the maker of the first goal tries his luck but wasnâ€™t far away with a shot as Evertonâ€™s defence were in sixes and sevens.
McAleny was denied with a scrambling save from Scott Fox as Everton showed signs of an intelligent move involving Garbutt, Barkley and Green.
Thistle looked dangerous every time they attacked with good supporting play from both full backâ€™s, Everton were finding it difficult to settle and seemed to have no shape to their play.
Taudul had to make a save from Welsh after getting the better of full back Tyias Browning then a free kick from Oâ€™Donnell raises the decibel scale that was only inches away.
The impressive Oâ€™Donnell linked up well with Welsh as another attack was in flow only Doolan will be angry with himself for not finding the target when a bigger margin should have been more evident.
Garbutt cleverly saved one on the line before Taudul denied Balatoni a goal with a fine save.
Andy Holden made his way down from the stands to join Weir and Stubbs 5 minutes from the break as they must have been displeased with what they had witnessed.
PARTICK THISTLE 1 EVERTON 0
Surprisingly no changes at the break for Everton and as early as the 49th minute Everton concede a penalty for the second successive game as John Lundstram fouls Craigen, Welsh adds to his tally by sending Taudul the wrong way from the spot.
McAleny hitâ€™s the ball high into the top corner with an assist and run down the left from Garbutt 3 minutes later.
The two goal margin is restored as Thistleâ€™s Craigen works nicely with Brannigan to give Taudul no chance 2 minutes after Everton had reduced the deficit.
A lucky let off for Everton as the linesmanâ€™s flag was raised as Doolan appeared to be offside after Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s shot was saved by Taudul with a header from Doolan beating the keeper.
Impressive Brannigan was offside moments later as Craigen fed the full back to lob Taudul but it does not count.
Hallam Hope comes on for Everton in place of George Green on 62 minutes hoping to make something positive from a very lacklustre Everton performance, then amazingly another goal for Thistle was ruled out as McGuigan latched onto to a Welsh pass to see the flag raised yet again as the ball was slotted home.
Thistleâ€™s football at times was breathtaking with some good attacking play and all cylinders firing, there was nothing to worry them from the Merseysiders.
Barkley did come close for the visitors before being replaced as Stubbs made a triple substitution.
The locals gave the winners a very good applause as they received the trophy for a very much earned victory.
PARTICK THISTLE 3 EVERTON 1
Teams; Partick Thistle: Fox, Oâ€™Donnell. Brannigan, Paton, Muirhead, Balatoni, Craigen, Welsh, Doolan, (Elliot 62) Murray (Lawless 62), McGuigan (Erskine 62). Unused subs: Wrightman, Lawless
Everton: Taudul, Browning, Grabutt, Junior(Forrester 82), Hammar, Bidwell (C), Green(Hope 62), Barkley (Jones 85), Vellios (Grant 72), McAleny (Touray 85), Lundstram (Long 85). Unused sub: Springthorpe (GK)
Match Officials: Ref Mr John Beaton Assistants Kevin Clancy and Graham McNeille