Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle3Hibernian1

Partick Thistle 3-1 Hibernian

Having gone so long without success at Firhill, Partick Thistle made it back-to-back league home wins to ease their relegation play-off fears.

Chris Erskine finished off a flowing move by slamming in after 44 minutes.

Lee Mair headed home from close range to double the advantage before Duncan Watmore replied for Hibs with a lovely, low strike.

But Thistle's Kallum Higginbotham rounded off a fine individual display with a breakaway goal in injury time.

Alan Archibald's side had not won at home this season until their last outing in Maryhill, when they overcame Aberdeen, and this latest victory takes them three points clear from the relegation play-off place.

Hibs have now tasted victory in just one of their last 11 games and their shortcomings in all departments were painfully evident.

Terry Butcher's team lack punch up front and poise in defence and will now be worried about getting sucked into the scrap to avoid finishing second bottom.

The visitors did make the brighter start and Jags goalkeeper Paul Gallacher needed to make a brave save to prevent Jason Cummings converting a dangerous cross from Paul Cairney.

The Thistle defence was then left exposed from a swift counter-attack only to earn a reprieve when James Collins took a clumsy touch on the edge of the penalty area.

Kallum Higginbotham celebrates scoring Thistle's third goal
Higginbotham celebrates scoring Thistle's third goal

Higginbotham has often provided the inspirational spark for Thistle this season and his run and shot, that was acrobatically pushed away by goalkeeper Ben Williams, had the home fans on their feet.

The same player went close again with a strike after twisting his way past Hibs left-back Ryan McGivern.

More Thistle pressure resulted in the ball breaking for Erskine near the penalty spot but his tame effort was easily scooped up by Williams.

However, the midfielder soon atoned for that miss by applying an emphatic finish to an excellent passage of play, started by another jinking run from Higginbotham.

A minute before the interval, he slipped a pass to Lyle Taylor and the striker cut the ball back into a congested penalty area where Erskine was given room to shoot home from 15 yards by a clever Kris Doolan step-over.

Higginbotham was to the fore early in the second half, accelerating away from a trail of opponents and unleashing a shot that required a good save from Williams.

And the busy midfielder set up Thistle's second goal, swinging in a deep free kick for Mair to get the jump on McGivern and nod in.

The Jags' joy briefly turned to jitters as Hibs reduced the deficit immediately, with Watmore tucking away a composed finish from 16 yards following an enterprising run from Sam Stanton.

Taylor failed to squeeze a shot past Williams, who was guarding his near post, before the sliding Jags striker was inches away from diverting in a flashing ball across goal from Higginbotham.

Gallacher needed to make an instinctive save with his foot to prevent an O'Donnell own goal as the defender lost his bearings when trying to clear a low cross from Hibs substitute Paul Heffernan.

A defensive lapse saw then the ball run through to Danny Haynes but the Hibs replacement dithered and his shot was diverted wide by the stretching Conrad Balatoni and, from the resulting corner, Watmore's close-range shot was forced over by more frantic defending.

With Hibs pushing everyone forward, Higginbotham exploited the wide open space in the visitors' half to race forward and coolly skipped past two lunging opponents before placing a shot beyond Williams for a richly deserved goal in the final seconds.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald: "I thought Hibs controlled the first half but we showed a very good determination to defend really well and also our front four players were very good.

"I think it's the first time we've had the front four all on from the start, (Kris) Doolan, (Lyle) Taylor, Erskine and Higginbotham. When they link up, as you seen from the first goal, the quality they brought.

"They were all involved in it, Doolan with a lovely step-over and then a great finish.

"To get them on the pitch at the one time they've all got to really work so hard, and as a management team we're more pleased with the way they worked off the ball as well, because we had to do that against a very good Hibs side."

Hibernian manager Terry Butcher: "I think Hibs fans have seen this performance so many times. Performances like that have happened all too often for Hibs in the past.

"It will be an interesting team selection next week. I'd rather go with kids and lose if we're going to lose, but let's go with kids, at least they're honest.

"Today (Duncan) Watmore and Sam Stanton were excellent for us and they tried their socks off, and they are being let down by other players.

"They're game boys and if you look for any comfort from the game - and there's not much - those two would provide it between themselves.

"I want people who will fight and scrap and the youngsters will have a go, but we'll see.

"I don't like being let down. I do not like being let down."

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 3Taylor-Sinclair
  • 22Fraser
  • 6Balatoni
  • 15Mair
  • 28ErskineSubstituted forLawlessat 85'minutes
  • 10Buaben
  • 9Doolan
  • 21TaylorSubstituted forElliottat 79'minutes
  • 23HigginbothamBooked at 71mins

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 7Craigen
  • 11Lawless
  • 13Rojo de la Vega Piccolo
  • 14Elliott
  • 16McMillan
  • 17Moncur

Hibernian

  • 1Williams
  • 23Forster
  • 3McGivern
  • 20Taiwo
  • 5Nelson
  • 4Hanlon
  • 11CairneySubstituted forCraigat 66'minutes
  • 26Stanton
  • 35CummingsSubstituted forHeffernanat 62'minutes
  • 14CollinsSubstituted forHaynesat 77'minutes
  • 22Watmore

Substitutes

  • 10Craig
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Maybury
  • 19Handling
  • 21Murdoch
  • 24Heffernan
  • 33Haynes
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
4,448

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away10
Shots on Target
Home9
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away12
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Partick Thistle 3, Hibernian 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 3, Hibernian 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Partick Thistle 3, Hibernian 1. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christie Elliott.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Danny Haynes (Hibernian).

  5. Post update

    Lee Mair (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Christie Elliott.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Duncan Watmore (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Lee Mair.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Danny Haynes (Hibernian) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is blocked.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Steven Lawless replaces Chris Erskine.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Danny Haynes (Hibernian).

  14. Post update

    Lee Mair (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Christie Elliott replaces Lyle Taylor.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Danny Haynes replaces James Collins.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

    Foul by Paul Heffernan (Hibernian).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29253171145778
2Aberdeen28173840261454
3Motherwell2816394643351
4Dundee Utd29138852351747
5Inverness CT2713683326745
6St Johnstone29115133532338
7Hibernian30810122938-934
8Kilmarnock3086163752-1530
9Partick Thistle29611123246-1429
10Ross County2985163450-1629
11St Mirren2976162947-1827
12Hearts2956182554-296
View full Scottish Premiership table

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