Scottish Premiership
Partick ThistlePartick Thistle1St MirrenSt Mirren1
By Cheri BurnsBBC Scotland

Partick Thistle and St Mirren rued missed chances in a hard-fought draw that leaves their fight for Premiership survival in the balance.

Thistle took the lead thanks to a superbly guided header from front-man Kris Doolan.

But, against the run of play, the visitors drew level after Kenny McLean converted a controversial penalty.

The stalemate means St Mirren leapfrog Hibernian into seventh place and both teams remain in the relegation mix.

Going into the match, a solitary point and two places in the table separated the sides - with St Mirren occupying eighth spot and Thistle sitting in 10th - so, as the end of the season nears ever closer, this showdown could not have been more crucial to the outcome of the battle to secure Premiership status.

The atmosphere was electric from the off and it was the visitors, looking for their third win on the bounce, who started brightest and looked hungrier to stamp their authority on proceedings.

John McGinn was first on the attack, getting a sight of Paul Gallacher's goal thanks to a defensive error, but he failed to properly connect with the effort.

That scare seemed to shock Thistle into action, and they were soon making offensive strides of their own through the likes of Conrad Balatoni and top-scorer Kris Doolan, but they were unable to make three consecutive corners count and trouble Buddies stopper Christopher Dilo.

The significance of the occasion could not have been more evident, with both teams eager to get their noses in front and settle their nerves, and it was Alan Archibald's men who did just that.

Kallum Higginbotham, brimming with intent, delivered a perfect cross to the back post, which was met by Doolan, who calmly headed back across a helpless Dilo to net his 10th goal of the season.

After grabbing the advantage, it was full steam ahead from the home team. With Aaron Taylor-Sinclair proving to be the chief tormentor and St Mirren unable to control their rivals, if there was a second goal to come it looked certain that it would be from the Jags.

Kenny McLean equalised from the spot
Kenny McLean equalised from the spot to ensure a draw at Firhill

As St Mirren started to make their presence felt but struggled to make efforts count, the hosts would have been confident of seeing out the first 45 with the lead intact.

But, with the clock ticking towards half-time, a Higginbotham push on Jason Naismith resulted in referee Calum Murray awarding a dubious spot-kick. which McLean duly sent home.

It was clear that losing that goal on the stroke of half-time had taken the wind out of the sails of Thistle, with the tie lacking rhythm, and it looked like one goal could prove enough.

Lee Mair had his moment to be Thistle's hero, thanks to a fizzing free-kick from the ever-impressive Higginbotham, but he could only send his diving header wide, much to the disappointment of the Firhill faithful.

The Buddies - who had started the match with so much promise - found an opening themselves as Josh Magennis, on from the bench, fed McLean, who rattled Gallacher's post after a stinging strike from the edge of the area.

As the rain lashed down on the pitch, it was frantic end-to-end stuff in the final exchanges, as the teams threw caution to the wind in the hope of netting the winner.

And Lyle Taylor must have thought he had done the job for the Glasgow outfit when his looping header from a pin-point Gary Fraser cross beat Dilo, only to be foiled by the crossbar.

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 12Gallacher
  • 16McMillan
  • 3Taylor-SinclairBooked at 85mins
  • 8Bannigan
  • 15Mair
  • 6Balatoni
  • 28ErskineSubstituted forElliottat 67'minutes
  • 10BuabenSubstituted forFraserat 45'minutes
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forTaylorat 73'minutes
  • 7CraigenBooked at 90mins
  • 23Higginbotham

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 11Lawless
  • 13Rojo de la Vega Piccolo
  • 14Elliott
  • 17Moncur
  • 21Taylor
  • 22Fraser

St Mirren

  • 30Dilo
  • 22Naismith
  • 18KellyBooked at 66mins
  • 6Goodwin
  • 14McAusland
  • 4McGregor
  • 24Newton
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forWyldeat 85'minutes
  • 9Thompson
  • 10McGowanSubstituted forMagennisat 62'minutes
  • 11McLean

Substitutes

  • 2van Zanten
  • 12Campbell
  • 16Magennis
  • 21Teale
  • 28Kello
  • 39Wylde
  • 99Djemba-Djemba
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
5,971

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home14
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Partick Thistle 1, St Mirren 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, St Mirren 1.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Conor Newton.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  6. Booking

    James Craigen (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Hand ball by Sean Kelly (St Mirren).

  8. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

  10. Post update

    Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Gary Fraser.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, St Mirren. Gregg Wylde replaces John McGinn.

  12. Booking

    Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle).

  14. Post update

    James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

  19. Post update

    Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Paul Gallacher.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sean Kelly (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.