Last updated : 20 September 2004 By Pars Mad
Partick player Stevie Fulton - It's not Haloween is it!?
On the back of a win (how sweet does that sound!) against Hearts at the weekend, the Pars go into the CIS Cup game against Partick Thistle looking to further boost their confidence.

After the 1-0 win against Craig Levein's side, Davie Hay's men will be hoping for a repeat performance against a struggling Partick side ahead of Sunday's daunting trip to Celtic Park.

Thistle - jointly managed by Derek Whyte and ex-Pars hero Gerry Britton - find themselves languishing in the bottom half of the First Division after just three wins in seven. With the Firhill side suffering an undoubted hangover after relegation from the SPL, a dissapointing start to the season see's them sitting eight points behind top-of-the-table St Mirren.

With the Pars enjoying a decent record against Partick - especially at East End Park, the Pars recording 13 wins and only 5 defeats in a total of 33 matches - all signs point to what should be a straight-forward win for the home side.
Lets not forget one important point however, things are never straigh-forward for the Pars, particularly against Partick!

Last season's matches against the Jags go to show how Pars fans should expect the unexpected from this Wednesday night's encounter.

In the first match between the sides last season, the Pars secured a fairly straight forward 2-1 victory despite going behind to a James Grady opener - a Stevie Crawford double securing the three points. The game, played on the 27th of September, will be remembered as the Pars first league win on the plastic pitch, a pitch that then Partick manager Gerry Collins blamed for his side's defeat - almost as ridiculous as blaming the wind!

The second match, played on the 27th of December, proved exactly why Pars fans should take nothing for granted going into this cup tie. Backed by a fairly large travelling support, the Pars suffered a post-Christmas hangover going down to a heavy 4-1 defeat aswell as seeing captain Scott Thomson sent off early in the second half. Although the scoreline flattered the home side - with two goals coming in the last two minutes - the Pars looked a shadow of the side that had just won three on the bounce against Hearts, Rangers and Hibs. A Craig Brewster goal was scant consolation for the visitors, succumbing to strikes from Andy Thomson, James Grady (2) and Iain Ross.

The third game between the sides showed just what the Pars can achieve when they hit top gear. The Scottish Cup Quarter-Final tie, played on the 6th of March, saw Calderwood's Pars side book their place in the semi-final with a resounding 3-0 win thanks to goals from Ritchie Byrne, Barry Nicholson and Craig Brewster - the Pars could even afford the luxury of missing a Barry Nic penalty.

After a two-week international break, the Pars next game was once again against Partick - this time at East End Park. With Pars fans and players in confident mood, an early Darren Young strike looked set to open the floodgates. Far from enjoying a comfortable win, the home side had to battle and scrap - aswell as seeing Derek Stillie save a penalty - before coming away with a narrow 1-0 victory.

With Derek Young and Ritchie Byrne still struggling with slight injuries, Hay looks set to choose from the same squad that was at his disposal for the Hearts fixture on Sunday.
The manager may also look towards blooding a few fringe players with players such as Langfield, Tod, Butler and Donnelly waiting in their wings for their first-team opportunity.

What must be remembered though is that Thistle are certainly not a weak side by any stretch of the imagination. With players such as Stevie Fulton, Leigh Hinds and, recent Spanish signing, Juan Escalas, the Maryhill side will prove to be anything but a soft touch.

Having said that, a morale-boosting Pars victory would do just nicely!