Wednesday 1st February
For the second week in succession Saints made a midweek trip to Glasgow this time to take on Partick Thistle at Firhill. Tommy Wright made two changes to the side that defeated Hamilton Accies 3-0 on Saturday as Chris Millar and Liam Craig came into the starting line-up to replace Paul Paton and Blair Alston who dropped to the bench. While Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald made one change to the team that drew 0-0 at Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the weekend as Kris Doolan came into replace Ade Azeez.
It was Partick Thistle striker Kris Doolan who got the match underway.
The first chance of the match came after 5 minutes as Richard Foster slipped the ball into Steven MacLean who turned before having a shot which was deflected for a corner. Danny Swanson took the corner however, his delivery into the box was headed cleared by Chris Erskine.
Then a minute later the home side created a good chance as Christie Elliott broke down the right before delivering an inviting low ball into the box that Ryan Edwards failed to make a connection with.
On 15 minutes Edwards went on a good run down the right, beating Joe Shaughnessy, before seeing his cut back knocked behind by Brian Easton for a corner, which came to nothing. Then 2 minutes later a long-range effort by Edwards didn’t trouble Zander Clark in the Saints goal.
Steven Lawless was next to have a shot at the Saints goal as his effort on 19 minutes went wide. then shortly after a Kris Doolan header from a Callum Booth cross was saved by Clark.
The home side were creating the better chances and on 23 minutes Lawless created space for himself before having a shot which was well saved by Clark. The loose ball then fell to Edwards who headed the rebound into the side netting.
Just before the half hour mark Thistle created a great chance to break the deadlock as from a corner the ball fell to Niall Keown, son of former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who blasted a shot towards goal which was brilliantly saved by Clark.
With 5 minutes of the first half remaining Saints took the lead against the run of play as Steven MacLean took advantage of a poor header back to Tomas Cerny by Booth as the Saints striker latched onto the error to perform as spectacular bicycle kick to break the deadlock.
3 minutes into the second half a Sean Welsh free kick picked out Doolan in the box who headed the ball towards goal but Clark got down well to tip it around the post for a corner.
Danny Swanson became the first player in referee Crawford Allan’s book on the hour mark as he was booked for simulation in the Thistle box.
On 68 minutes an Edwards cross picked out Thistle substitute Ade Azeez however, he couldn’t get enough power on his header as Clark easily gathered the ball.
Thistle were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area on 77 minutes after Murray Davidson had fouled Elliot. The free kick was taken by Booth however, his effort hit the Saints wall before falling to Keown who fired wide.
Saints opportunities at the Thistle goal were few and far between although, on 79 minutes MacLean flicked the ball onto Graham Cummins however, the Irish striker fired well over.
Then with 10 minutes remaining Davidson did well to win possession before sending David Wotherspoon free. The midfielder then broke at pace before cutting inside and curled a left-footed effort over from the edge of the area.
As the match entered 4 minutes of additional time Thistle player Christie Elliott was shown a straight red card for what appeared to be a kick off the ball towards Graham Cummins.
With Thistle now down to ten men Saints comfortably saw the closing minutes of the match out to secure a vital 3 points.
Man of the Match: Zander Clark
Partick Thistle: Cerny, Booth, Welsh (Osman 63), Lindsay, Doolan (Amoo 73), Erskine (Azeez 57), Lawless, Barton, Elliott, Keown, Edwards Unused Substitutes: Ridgers (GK), Dumbuya, Devine, Nisbet Booked: Edwards Sent Off: Elliott
Saints: Clark, Anderson, Millar, Davidson, MacLean, Swanson (Wotherspoon 71), Shaughnessy, Foster, Easton, Craig, Cummins Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), Scobbie, Alston, Paton, Watson, Hunter Booked: Swanson, Anderson, Craig Scorers: MacLean (40)
Referee: Crawford Allan Attendance: 2,257
Match Report by Daryl Scott
©Copyright 2016 - all rights reserved by St Johnstone Football Club
Registered in Scotland 7629
Unless otherwise stated all photographs on this site are ©Perthshire Picture Agency and may not be used without permission.