Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle0St Johnstone1

Partick Thistle 0-1 St Johnstone

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Highlights: Partick Thistle 0-1 St Johnstone

St Johnstone maintained pressure on fourth-placed Hearts in the Scottish Premiership with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

Steven MacLean hammered in the only goal after 40 minutes when he exploited a weak Callum Booth headed passback.

The goal came against the run of the play, though, after Ryan Edwards and Niall Keown passed up chances.

In a tight second half, Ade Azeez had a header saved before Christie Elliott was dismissed in stoppage time.

Thistle fail to take advantage as Clark shows class

Thistle dominated the first half, with some eye-catching football producing decent chances. Edwards blasted over from 20 yards before Steven Lawless had a left-foot effort from a similar distance which flew wide.

As the Jags continued to press, two top-class saves from Zander Clark kept them out. The first came after good build-up play saw Lawless fire a left-foot effort goal-bound which the Saints keeper stretched to his left to parry.

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Wright satisfied, Archibald rueful

Although the ball looped towards Edwards, the Thistle midfielder could only hit the side netting with his diving header.

Clark went one better with his next stop as he denied Keown his first Thistle goal. The on-loan defender, up for a corner, blasted a right-foot volley from eight yards which Clark superbly touched away.

Saints get breakthrough

Clark's heroics were rewarded when MacLean put the visitors ahead five minutes before the interval, after a mistake at the heart of the Thistle defence. Callum Booth looked to head a high ball back to goalkeeper Tomas Cerny, but failed to spot MacLean standing on the six-yard line and the Saints striker swivelled to volley into the corner of the net.

Either side of half time the Saints keeper again proved his worth with two fine saves from Doolan to deny the home side an equaliser.

Saints stand strong

Having won on their previous visit to Firhill, Steven Anderson and his fellow defenders looked determined to ensure they were leaving with the three points again - no matter what Thistle threw at them.

Saints were quick to counter attack and substitute David Wotherspoon should have done better than send a curling left foot effort over the bar after Murray Davidson had sent him clear on a run from his own half.

Thistle had Elliot red carded in the final minute as he lashed out at Graham Cummins at the corner flag as he tried to run down time. Cummins was booked for his part.

Christie Elliott is dismissed
Christie Elliott was shown a red card for lashing out at Graham Cummins

The hosts' five-game unbeaten run came to an end as St Johnstone consolidated their position in fifth place, level on points with Hearts.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald: "The result's disappointing. The performance first half was very good, we created a number of chances and worked the goalkeeper.

"But we switched off, made a horrible mistake for the goal and couldn't get back in. I'm disappointed we didn't really get a reaction in the second half.

"It's definitely a chance missed. We've got to score when we're on top of games, and take our chances.

"We made a number of chances tonight and didn't take them. It's been our Achilles heel all season, individuallyand collectively we've missed chances when we're on top of games and it's come back to bite us tonight."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "It's great for our players to be competing again this season at the right end of the table. I think everybody waits for the St Johnstone bubble to burst, but we just keep plodding away, picking up results people don't expect, proving people wrong.

"The spirit's unbelievable, the dressing room's buzzing tonight, and we keep on the coattails of Hearts. But it opens up a 10 or 11-point gap off the ones that were close to us."

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Cerny
  • 14ElliottBooked at 90mins
  • 17Keown
  • 5Lindsay
  • 3Booth
  • 13Barton
  • 4WelshSubstituted forOsmanat 63'minutes
  • 10ErskineSubstituted forAzeezat 57'minutes
  • 19EdwardsBooked at 70mins
  • 11Lawless
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forAmooat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Dumbuya
  • 6Osman
  • 7Amoo
  • 15Devine
  • 16Azeez
  • 27Nisbet
  • 35Ridgers

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 6AndersonBooked at 69mins
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 24Easton
  • 11SwansonBooked at 60minsSubstituted forWotherspoonat 71'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 8Davidson
  • 26Craig
  • 29Cummins
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 4Alston
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 18Paton
  • 22Watson
  • 33Hunter
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
2,257

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home12
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

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

Full Time

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

Foul by Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle).

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Adam Barton.

Dismissal

Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) is shown the red card for violent conduct.

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

Foul by Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Niall Keown (Partick Thistle).

Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by David Amoo (Partick Thistle).

Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

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

Attempt missed. Niall Keown (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Attempt blocked. Callum Booth (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Liam Lindsay.

Foul by Niall Keown (Partick Thistle).

Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. David Amoo replaces Kris Doolan.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Danny Swanson.

Booking

Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle).

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

Booking

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Adebayo Azeez (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle).

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

Attempt saved. Adebayo Azeez (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Abdul Osman replaces Sean Welsh.

Hand ball by Adebayo Azeez (Partick Thistle).

Booking

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) has gone down, but that's a dive.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic23221060144667
2Rangers2312653125642
3Aberdeen22124638201840
4Hearts2397742311134
5St Johnstone239772925434
6Motherwell2266102736-924
7Partick Thistle2358102430-623
8Ross County2358102641-1523
9Kilmarnock225891937-1823
10Dundee2264122131-1022
11Hamilton2331192434-1020
12Inverness CT2338122643-1717
View full Scottish Premiership table

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