Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle3St Johnstone0

Partick Thistle 3-0 St Johnstone

Partick Thistle took a big step towards Scottish Premiership safety as they benefited from a blistering opening 10 minutes at home to St Johnstone.

Kris Doolan and Conrad Balatoni headed home amidst a flurry of early chances to give the home side a dream start.

As St Johnstone toiled Thistle continued on the front foot and Stuart Bannigan's long-range drive eventually added a deserved third.

Saints managed a brief flurry but goalkeeper Scott Fox had little to do.

It was Alan Archibald's first win over the Perth men since they returned to the top flight, and Thistle's first over Saints since 2008.

More importantly, with the three sides below them in the table all failing to pick up a win, Thistle stretch the gap between themselves and the danger zone to nine points.

The threat of the drop had lingered around Maryhill pre-match and it clearly inspired something within the bowels of Firhill as they stormed out of the blocks in a devastating opening spell.

Abdul Osman's ball into the box was easily dispatched into the net by Doolan, who was allowed an unchallenged header from close range.

He should have scored again when he rounded goalkeeper Alan Mannus minutes later, but this time his left foot shot spun well wide.

The early chances continued and when Brian Easton conceded a cheap corner, Balatoni stooped in to send his low header inside the near post.

Ryan Stevenson's shot was tipped over as Tommy Wright's men were again cut open, looking a pale shadow of the team that had won at Celtic Park just 10 days previous.

Despite the blistering start it had not been all one-way traffic. David Wotherspoon in particular was looking busy, firing in a couple of corners and also drilling a low shot at goal.

Saints lacked the sparkle of their hosts, though, and the deficit nearly grew when Murray Davidson headed the ball back into his own box.

Stevenson was quickest to react, leaving the Saints defence in his wake, but he could not hide his frustration as he cracked a volley off the post.

The home side were beginning to play with a confidence that had been lacking from recent performances, and Balatoni and James Craigen kept the pressure on the visitors, but could not keep their efforts on target.

That was not a problem suffered by Bannigan who made it three with a thumping drive from the edge of the box that gave Mannus little chance.

Saints rallied for a brief period, partly due to the introduction of James McFadden, but they never looked like scoring and Stevenson almost had the last say when he hit a shot past the post.

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Fox
  • 2O'DonnellBooked at 86mins
  • 5Booth
  • 13Frans
  • 6Balatoni
  • 18Osman
  • 7Craigen
  • 8BanniganSubstituted forFraserat 86'minutes
  • 11LawlessSubstituted forWilsonat 81'minutes
  • 10Stevenson
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forTaylorat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Gallacher
  • 21Richards-Everton
  • 22Fraser
  • 23Wilson
  • 28McDaid
  • 29Taylor
  • 30Keenan

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forMcFaddenat 55'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 18DavidsonBooked at 85mins
  • 11SwansonSubstituted forCroftat 66'minutes
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forKaneat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Wright
  • 14Graham
  • 15Banks
  • 17McFadden
  • 19Miller
  • 22Croft
  • 25Kane
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
3,196

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home8
Away2
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 3, St. Johnstone 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 3, St. Johnstone 0.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Callum Booth.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Gary Fraser replaces Stuart Bannigan.

Booking

Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Lyle Taylor replaces Kris Doolan.

Foul by Callum Booth (Partick Thistle).

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. David Wilson replaces Steven Lawless.

Foul by Frederic Frans (Partick Thistle).

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle).

Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Steven MacLean.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces Danny Swanson.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 3, St. Johnstone 0. Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Frederic Frans.

Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. James McFadden replaces David Wotherspoon.

Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle).

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27203456144263
2Aberdeen28193649262360
3Inverness CT28165742291353
4Dundee Utd27144949381146
5Hamilton30126124142-142
6St Johnstone29125122530-541
7Dundee2810993939039
8Kilmarnock29108113136-538
9Partick Thistle2987143836231
10Ross County2967163154-2325
11Motherwell2964192254-3222
12St Mirren2963202247-2521
View full Scottish Premiership table

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