St Mirren completed a successful smash and grab at Firhill as they beat ten-man Partick Thistle by three goals to nil. A first-half header from Steven Thomson put the Saints in front at the break with second-half goals from Connor Newton and Thompson again pushing the Paisley side up to ninth. The defeat means the Jags are still without a home win this season.
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon was delighted with his side’s performance. “We are absolutely delighted with our shape and discipline. I thought the players thoroughly deserved the maximum points today.”
The result was all the sweeter for Lennon as his side had being completely outclassed back at the end of the August when the Jags recorded a 2-1 win.
Lennon added: “I must give Thistle a great deal of credit, they gave us a lot of problems the first time around.
“They are a team that’s well respected, you know what their strengths are, but it’s trying to turn those strengths into strengths for yourselves and I thought we done that very well today.
“There is no doubt in my mind, outside the Dundee United game they are the best side we have played this season in terms of what they did to us at St Mirren Park.”
For Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald, the result was a hard one to take. “It’s a sore one. The boys put a lot into the game, especially the first half, we couldn’t get the goal and they got theirs from a set play which is a sore one to take.”
Archibald believed the decision to not award the Jags a penalty in the second-half was crucial to the outcome on the day.
Archibald added: “I think you can tell from the roar of the crowd that obviously it was a penalty. Jim Goodwin moves his hand to the side and blocks the ball towards the goal, I don’t know what else is a penalty.
“The fourth official said he didn’t think he moved his arm but he will be embarrassed if that’s what he thought because he moves his arm right to the side. When you don’t get decisions then that changes games.”
The first effort of the match came Thistle’s way on seven minutes when Kris Doolan took a close range pop at goal but his shot was deflected off Darren McGregor’s back for a corner.
The Saints first chance of the afternoon came Paul McGowan’s way. The ex-Celtic player was set-up by Stephen Thompson, who was causing all sorts of bother in the Thistle defence, his lay-up to McGowan was wasted as the winger fired wide.
With 15 minutes gone a late challenge by Stephen O’Donnell on John McGinn gave Saints a free-kick, 25 yards from goal. Kenny McLean stepped up and his lame effort was fumbled by Scott Fox who was lucky to see the ball edge just wide of goal.
However Fox was to pay for his mistake as McGowan’s corner found an unmarked Steven Thompson who from six-yards-out headed into the bottom corner to give the Paisley side the lead.
The goal took the Maryhill side by surprise and they didn’t really threaten the Saints goal until just over the half-hour with the industrious Kallum Higginbotham having an effort from the edge of the area.
Thistles best chance of the first-half came Doolan’s way when an expert chip from O’Donnell found the Scotsman who chested the ball down before a swivel and shot which Kello managed to scramble clear.
With ten minutes to go till half-time a powering run from Higginbotham won the Jags a corner. The ex-Falkirk winger took the corner and his low cross towards the back of the box was missed by not one but two Partick players before finding Gabriel Piccolo whose powerful effort went sky high over the bar.
With just under an hour gone, a darting run from Kallum Higginbotham gave the Englishman the perfect opportunity to level the game for the Jags but the winger’s effort went straight into the hands off Kello.
On 62 minutes, a strike from a Partick player just outside the box was seen to come off the hand of Jim Goodwin in the Saints box, however referee John Beaton waved away the Jags protests.
Jags fans were to feel more aggrieved on 69 minutes when Stephen O’Donnell picked up a second yellow for a pull-back on McGowan which reduced the Jags to ten men.
And it only got worse for Thistle as Connor Newton got the Saints second-goal on 71 minutes. A perfect through ball cut the Partick defence in half leaving Newton to skilfully place the ball through Fox’s legs and into the bottom of the net.
Saints third came with the last kick of the game. Stephen Thompsons second came about when the striker collected a cross from out wide, eight yards from goal and the ex-Rangers striker made no mistake as he coolly slotted the ball low into the bottom corner.
Partick Thistle: Scott Fox, Stephen O’Donnell, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Conrad Balatoni, James Craigen, Stuart Bannigan (Aaron Muirhead), Kris Doolan, Steven Lawless (Ross Forbes), Gabriel Piccolo (Christie Elliott), Isaac Osbourne, Kallum Higginbotham
Subs not used: Paul Gallacher, Jordan McMillan, John Baird, Mark Kerr
St Mirren: Marian Kello, Jason Naismith (David Van Zanten), Marc McAusland, Connor Newton, Sean Kelly, Jim Goodwin (Gary Harkins), Darren McGregor, John McGinn, Steven Thompson, Paul McGowan (Danny Grainger), Kenny McLean
Subs not used: David Cornell, Thomas Reilly, Stephane Bohaken, Jake Caprice
Referee: John Beaton
For match photos from Firhill please check out our official Flickr site.