Stevie May's 20th goal of the season gave St Johnstone a narrow Scottish Premiership win over Partick Thistle.

May finished well after a mazy run by David Wotherspoon and the visitors also had Gary McDonald's effort disallowed for offside in a dominant first half.

But Thistle responded well and created plenty of chances without being able find to that elusive equaliser.

Chris Erskine volleyed over and a hooked shot by Kris Doolan bounced wide of the Saints goal.

St Johnstone remain in sixth place, moving to within two points of Dundee United in fifth, ahead of their meeting at Tannadice next Monday.

Thistle remain second bottom, 21 points clear of Hearts.

The original staging of the match at Firhill in December was abandoned at half-time because of heavy rain and it was the Jags who had to brave an early St Johnstone storm.

Paddy Cregg, in for the injured Murray Davidson, attempted a long-range effort that Paul Gallacher had to tip over the bar.

McDonald thought he had given the visitors the lead moments later when he met Dave Mackay's cross, but the offside flag denied the midfielder, while Wotherspoon's curling effort narrowly missed the target.

However, the Saints were to be denied no longer.

Partick Thistle midfielder Chris Erskine

Erskine could not mark his Thistle return with a goal

Wotherspoon vindicated manager Tommy Wright's decision to introduce him to the starting line-up as his marauding run into the box allowed May to score his 16th league goal of the season.

That seemed to galvanise Alan Archibald's men into action as they came close through a series of free-kicks from Kallum Higginbotham and Lyle Taylor, while on-loan Dundee United winger Erskine , determined to impress back at Firhill, provided another dimension to the Jags.

And it was a much more positive in the second half for the hosts as Gary Fraser tested Stevie Banks from distance, while Taylor attempted a hook shot that flew wide.

Thistle were in the ascendancy and Lee Mair's shot almost caught Banks off guard but the goalkeeper reacted well to thwart the midfielder.

However, there was still that vulnerability to the counter for Partick and May, irrepressible at times, almost doubled their advantage when he flashed a header wide.

The Jags brought on Doolan and Christie Elliot in search of an equaliser in the second half, but it was Erskine who looked most likely to restore parity.

The winger attempted an audacious overhead kick that just went over, before following up with a left-foot effort that slipped wide.

And Doolan also came close late on inside the six-yard box, with his effort shaving the outside of the post.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Partick Thistle

  • 12 Gallacher
  • 02 O'Donnell
  • 16 McMillan
  • 07 Craigen (Elliott - 77' )
  • 15 Mair Booked
  • 06 Balatoni
  • 11 Lawless (Doolan - 67' )
  • 22 Fraser
  • 21 Taylor
  • 23 Higginbotham (Forbes - 85' )
  • 28 Erskine Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Fox
  • 05 Muirhead
  • 09 Doolan
  • 10 Forbes
  • 13 Gabriel
  • 14 Elliott
  • 31 Wilson

St Johnstone

  • 15 Banks
  • 02 Mackay
  • 03 Scobbie
  • 04 Cregg Booked (Miller - 84' )
  • 06 Anderson Booked
  • 05 Wright Booked
  • 07 Millar Booked
  • 08 McDonald
  • 17 May
  • 22 Croft (O'Halloran - 78' )
  • 10 Wotherspoon

Substitutes

  • 11 Hasselbaink
  • 19 Miller
  • 20 Brown
  • 27 Fallon
  • 29 O'Halloran
  • 31 Easton
  • 35 Hurst

Match Stats

Shots

9 5

On target

2 2

Corners

6 4

Fouls

8 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Partick Thistle 0, St Johnstone 1.

90:00 +3:28 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, St Johnstone 1.

88:58

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

86:26

Attempt missed. Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

84:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ross Forbes replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

83:58

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

83:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces Patrick Cregg.

81:47

Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

81:47

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone).

79:41

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

77:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Lee Croft.

76:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. Christie Elliott replaces James Craigen.

74:16

Attempt missed. David Mackay (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

73:47

Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

73:47

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:51 Booking

Booking Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

70:47

Foul by Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle).

70:47

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:47 Booking

Booking Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

66:42

Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:42

Foul by Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone).

66:09 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. Kris Doolan replaces Steven Lawless.

61:13

Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

61:13

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:38

Attempt saved. James Craigen (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

56:24 Booking

Booking Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

56:16

Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:16

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

54:02

Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:02

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

53:15

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by James Craigen.

52:12

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jordan McMillan.

50:37 Booking

Booking Lee Mair (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

50:31

Foul by Lee Mair (Partick Thistle).

50:31

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

49:27

Attempt missed. Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

48:58

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

47:42

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

45:00

Second Half begins Partick Thistle 0, St Johnstone 1.

45:00 +0:11 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, St Johnstone 1.

44:55

Foul by Lee Mair (Partick Thistle).

44:55

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:48

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

37:36

Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

37:36

Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:32

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Steve Banks.

35:23

Attempt saved. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

34:31 Booking

Booking Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

34:26

Foul by Frazer Wright (St Johnstone).

34:26

Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:49

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Gary McDonald.

29:00 Booking

Booking Chris Millar (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

29:00

Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:56

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

26:13 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Partick Thistle 0, St Johnstone 1. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Wotherspoon.

24:05

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

21:27

Foul by Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle).

21:27

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:52

Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:52

Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

17:56

Attempt missed. Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

14:28

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

13:41

Foul by Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle).

13:41

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:59

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Paul Gallacher.

11:42

Attempt saved. Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

8:11

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Lee Croft.

7:55

Attempt blocked. Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

7:15

Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

7:15

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

4:50

Attempt blocked. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

2:00

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:56

Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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