Thistle's bid to overturn Mac red card

PARTICK Thistle will appeal manager Jackie McNamara's dismissal during their 1-0 defeat to Hamilton Accies on Friday night.

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The Jags boss was sent to the stands by referee Stephen Finnie during the Irn-Bru First Division clash having reacted angrily to the ref's decision to send off Paul Paton for a challenge on Accies' Stevie May.

While Thistle will not contest Paton's straight red card, leaving him with a two-game ban, SportTimes understands McNamara will bid to have his punishment overturned.

Finnie's report is due to land on the Firhill boss's desk today, with an appeal then likely to be lodged with the SFA as McNamara attempts to avoid being forced to watch from the stands after being dismissed for the second time in his managerial career.

His sending-off compounded a night to forget for the Jags as Billy Reid's side inflicted their second 1-0 defeat of the season on the First Division title challengers.

Goalkeeper Graeme Smith made his Thistle debut just hours after being given international clearance having signed a short-term deal as cover for the injured Scott Fox.

The Jags' keeper crisis is set to deepen ahead of their game against Livingston at Firhill this weekend, with youngster Ryan Scully expected to be out for up to a fortnight having sustained a knee injury in the warm-up at New Douglas Park.

That leaves 18-year-old James Wightman as the next in line to step up, with McNamara also considering pitching in Craig Hinchcliffe, the club's 40-year-old goalie coach, as cover for Smith against Livi.

Smith had a debut to forget on Friday as he allowed Ali Crawford to score directly from a corner.

The former Rangers, Motherwell and Hibs keeper has just returned to Scotland from a spell in Azerbaijan and McNamara has backed his interim No.1 to bounce back.

The boss said: "It was a goalkeeper error. He has taken his eye off the ball and misjudged it, he has tried to come round the other side of it and ended up facing his own goal.

"It is just one of these things. I said to him at half-time and after the game everyone makes mistakes. There were a lot of mistakes made through passing, but his is highlighted more because he is a keeper."


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