St Johnstone 1-1 Partick Thistle
Last updated on .From the section Football
St Johnstone and Partick Thistle served up an entertaining match at McDiarmid Park that mirrored their mid-table standings in the Scottish Premiership.
The Jags had the best of the first period and Kris Doolan fired them ahead with a low shot from a tight angle.
Saints' Dave Mackay tested goalkeeper Paul Gallacher with a free-kick before Steven MacLean's low shot levelled.
The home team improved after the break with Stevie May impressing, but a draw was probably a fair result.
Thistle manager Alan Archibald will have been disappointed that the hosts levelled a few minutes prior to the interval.
The Jags, a point ahead of their mid-table rivals at kick-off, had looked worthy of a narrow lead as they had the best of the chances and looked particularly attractive when on the counter-attack.
Thistle duo Doolan and Kallum Higginbotham did well to trouble the experienced backline of Mackay, Steven Anderson, Frazer Wright and Brian Easton, though Anderson trudged off the pitch in agony when he slipped and damaged his hand at Doolan's opener, Gary Miller his replacement.
Having scored a double in their midweek Scottish League Cup win at Hamilton in midweek, 20-year-old striker May is not short of confidence these days.
He looked the most likely source of a goal for the Perth side and Gallacher had to be at his sharpest to race from his line to gather at May's feet after he had made a dash down the right wing and into the Thistle box.
Gallacher made a good stop, too, from home skipper Mackay who had pinged a 22-yard free-kick towards the top corner and Murray Davidson marked his return from injury with a header over the bar from David Wotherspoon's corner.
However, Thistle had the edge, with Doolan flashing a header just wide of Alan Mannus's left-hand post and Higginbotham smacking a low shot that the Saints goalie did well to smother.
Doolan again troubled Mannus, his snap shot saved after Christie Elliot's deflected left-foot shot had fallen into his path, but that was the Jags' last chance before they lost a slack goal.
MacLean found space at the edge of the box and his low, angled shot should have been knocked round the post by Gallacher. Instead, it flew through a trio of bodies and under his despairing arms.
If Thistle edged the first half, the opposite was true in the second.
May had the visitors chasing shadows on several occasions and might have given his team the lead had Jags centre-half Aaron Muirhead not slid in to his six-yard box to clear a goalbound shot.
Wright maintained the blue-shirted momentum with a header wide at the back post from Chris Millar's probing cross and that came moments before May spurned a good chance.
Intelligent play by MacLean set up the long-haired striker to run on to the ball at the edge of the box but his side-footed shot lacked power and direction and was parried wide by the Jags keeper.
Doolan sliced a shot wide in an increasingly rare foray into the Saints' penalty box as St Johnstone took a grip of the game with superior passing and tackling.
And they could have won the game when Mackay side-footed a weak effort straight at Gallacher in the closing minutes.