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Missed chances galore as Jags and Saints share the spoils

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On a dreich Friday night in the West End of Glasgow, Partick Thistle and St Mirren managed to scrap out an enthralling one all draw.

An early Kris Doolan strike was cancelled out just before half-time with a controversial Kenny McLean penalty.

The result leaves both sides still in relegation play-off contention but it did for 24 hours at least mean both sides went up one place in the table with Saints up to seventh and Jags in ninth.

Neither side made any changes to their winning squads from last weekend with Archibald again preferring Doolan to Taylor, while Thompson and McLean lead the line for Saints.

The match got off to a flying with Saints nearly taking the lead within the first sixty seconds. Steven Thompson rose highest to nod the ball on to young John McGinn who with the goal at his mercy, was only able to poke the ball low at the feet of Gallacher.

The Jags replied on eight minutes when Chris Erskine took a pop on goal from just inside the box, his low drive ricochet off a Saints defender and went narrowly wide of Chris Dilo’s goal.

With 14 minutes played, Jags had a perfect chance to take the lead when they won a free-kick on the edge of Saints box. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair stood up to take it with his effort looping over the Saints wall and into the hands of Dilo.

Five minutes later and it was Saints turn to have a go from a free-kick. This time, young Saints protégé Kenny McLean stepped up, but his effort didn’t even test Gallacher, instead hitting one of his team mates and swerving wide.

The Jags got their goal on 24 minutes through man of the moment Kris Doolan. It was the ever dangerous Kallum Higginbotham that put in a delicious cross ball with the outside of his boot which found an unmarked Doolan at the back post and the on-fire hit-man made no mistake as headed the ball into the ground and into the net.

Jags and Buddies share the spoils.  © Phil McCloy

The Jags went on to have a lot of the ball but couldn’t break down a determined Saints rear-guard. And it was a Saints defender on 42 minutes that nearly found an equaliser.

A Jim Goodwin header had to be scrambled clear off the line by Jags goal-scorer Kris Doolan. But Doolan’s clearance was to count for nothing as Saints were a minute later given a controversial penalty.

Calum Murray pointed to the spot after Higginbotham had laid his hands on the back of Kenny McLean.

And it was Kenny McLean who stepped up to take the penalty which he slotted low into the bottom corner just past the fingertips of Gallacher.

Jags and Buddies share the spoils. © Phil McCloy

Into the second-half and with just over an hour gone, Kenny McLean nearly gave Saints the lead when his curling free-kick from just outside the box went narrowly wide.

Sean Kelly was given a yellow on 65 minutes after bringing down Stuart Bannigan outside the box. Higginbotham then floated in a tasty cross from the free-kick which found Doolan at the back post but the striker was unable to convert instead heading wide.

Only a minute later and substitute Christie Elliott should have put the Jags back in front.

Elliott was unable to convert from only a couple yards after Higginbotham had done well to cut the ball back across the box from the goal line.

With fifteen minutes of the game remaining, both sides were desperate to find a winner which could secure their future in the Premiership.

Josh Magennis made a marauding run up the park before expertly picking out Kenny McLean, but the talented youngster could only lash a low strike of the post.

A couple minutes later and it was Sean Kelly’s turn to have an effort on goal, this time Gallacher pushing his strike from range round the post.

With under ten minutes remaining, a cross from Jordan McMillian out wide found an unmarked Lyle Taylor whose header nearly crept in after it hit the underside of the bar but it bounced just short.

The fourth official showed three minutes of injury time and it was Stuart Bannigan in the last of those minutes who could have nearly secured all three points for the Jags, but his speculative strike from distance hit the back of a Saints defender and went narrowly wide.

Partick Thistle: Paul Gallacher, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Conrad Balatoni, James Craigen, Kris Doolan (Lyle Taylor), Prince Buaben (Gary Fraser), Lee Mair, Jordan McMillan, Kallum Higginbotham, Chris Erskine (Christie Elliott)

Subs not used: Scott Fox, Steven Lawless, Gabriel Piccolo, George Moncur

St Mirren: Chris Dilo, Kenny McLean, Connor Newton, Sean Kelly, Jason Naismith, Darren McGregor, John McGinn (Gregg Wylde), Steven Thompson, Jim Goodwin, Paul McGowan (Josh Magennis)

Subs not used: Marian Kello, David Van Zanten, Eric Djemba- Djemba, Gary Teale, Adam Campbell

Referee: Calum Murray

Attendance: 5971 (St Mirren 2174)

For more match photos check out Phil McCloy’s images on our official Flickr website….

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