Saints 0-0 Partick Thistle

Last updated : 25 January 2014 By Stuart Gillespie

This was not a great Saints display. For too long we seemed too willing to give Thistle possession and let them move it about, but in fairness they didn't do a great deal with it and they only threatened Marian Kello late on. We played better towards the end of each half and had the better of the chances, however we certainly didn't deserve to win it. A display like this against the second bottom side at home is a bit worrying. Fair enough against a top six team, or away from home, but we struggled to keep hold of the ball at times. At least we restricted Thistle's chances at the other end.

Most fans expected Saints to stick with the team that had taken Hibs apart in the first half at Easter Road last week but Danny Lennon had other ideas, with Gregg Wylde coming in for Conor Newton. It meant our new signing was making his first start but it was a bit of an odd change. As expected, Partick fielded Lee Mair with another former Saint Paul Gallacher in goals. Lyle Taylor lead the attack as Kris Doolan was left on the bench.

We struggled early on, although that was more due to the strength of the wind rather than anything bad from ourselves. Stuart Bannigan had a shot deflected wide before Kallum Higginbotham fired one well off target, our best openings coming with a couple of crosses that were knocked away at the last moment. We couldn't get a grip of the ball and Higginbotham and Chris Erskine both failed to hit the target with half-decent chances before Goodwin found himself on the receiving end of a bad tackle from McMillan. Had it been the other way round there'd no doubt have been a witchunt and calls for a debate in parliament, but because our captain was the victim for once it was only a yellow card.

Our next decent cross from Wylde was parried by Gallacher as our former keeper was called into action for the first time. We dealt with the Higginbotham threat by getting Naismith to clatter him, ending the former Falkirk man's day as he got ready to burst into the box. Steven Lawless came on for him before we had to defend the free-kick but Thistle wasted it, playing it to James Craigen who did some keepy uppies before lifting it onto the roof of the net. Nice idea but it was poorly executed. When Wylde was getting space he was producing some half-decent deliveries and his next one saw Thompson and Gallacher go for, and fail to properly get the ball. Thompson then tried to hook it in as he lay on the ground but it trundled behind for a corner, which he headed wide.

We'd suddenly come to life and could have been in front when Naismith crossed for Campbell, his first time shot being palmed away by Gallacher. Thistle then should have gone in front when James Craigen ran in at the back post but comically blootered it miles over the bar. McGowan opted to shoot when he could have passed and Gallacher turned it behind, then made a mess of the corner and got away with it when John McGinn shot wide. Erskine then just failed to divert a Taylor-Sinclair cross into the net before Thompson uncharacteristically messed up - the ball landing at his feet as Sean Kelly broke forward only for it to get caught under his studs or hit his toes and trundle away.

We hadn't been great at the start of the first half and it looked as if the second half would be more of the same as Thistle put us under a bit of pressure, but we had the first chance - Kelly seeing a shot turned behind after a good run forward to meet a return pass from McGowan. That was as good as it got for us for a while as we struggled to contain Thistle - although they didn't do much with the ball. McGinn was booked for clipping Erskine, who admittedly made the most of it and rolled about on the ground for a ridiculous amount of time. Campbell was replaced by Newton in a bid to shake things up and give us more of a grip of the game. Thistle responded by replacing Taylor with Doolan and then Erskine with Christie Elliott.

No sooner had that happened than we managed to get far enough up field to force a corner. How exciting! Unfortunately Marc McAusland's header hit someone and then play was stopped for an injury. We finally began to come to life and McGowan hit the post after a great run from Newton before Taylor-Sinclair's long range effort went behind with a bit of help from the bar. After that we had another chance to go in front but McGowan decided to pass after shaping to shoot and Newton's attempt was well wide. We had a let off when Lawless looked to have got himself into a position to score but Kelly flung himself in the way of the shot to ensure Kello wasn't troubled. He was called into action in stoppage time but was always going to save a straight shot from Craigen, the first time he'd had a real save to make all game! It was also the last, neither side doing much in the rest of stoppage time and having to settle for a point.

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