Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
For the second successive Saturday, Partick Thistle surrendered a winning position in the dying seconds of the match but, unlike the collapse against Inverness the previous weekend, this was a freak result caused by inexplicable human error. Frankly, Kilmarnock hadn’t been at the races during the second period and their equalising goal was as unexpected as it was undeserved.
It was also something of a personal tragedy for goalkeeper Tomas Cerny. Conor Sammon’s trundler from 25 yards should have been comfortably gathered by the Czech but a catastrophic lapse in concentration saw him spill it over the line and the gap between the two teams remained at two points instead of stretching to five.
“This was different – this wasn’t not seeing a game out; it was down to an error which you just can’t legislate for,” said Thistle manager Alan Archibald.
“Tomas has been outstanding and has saved us points going into double figures in the last two seasons. It’s one error and, hopefully, that’s him done – I don’t remember him making one at all last season. He’s the ultimate professional so he’ll feel it but he’s been outstanding for us and it was just one of those things. “
There was a minute’s silence before the kick-off for Joanne Johnston, wife of Kilmarnock’s major shareholder and former chairman Michael, perfectly observed, even by home supporters who had earlier held up a banner demanding he leave the club.
Sean Longstaff came close to improving their mood in the sixth minute when his rising drive from 20 yards was inches too high.
They came closer still 12 minutes later when Scott Boyd’s header from Jordan Jones’ corner beat Cerny but rebounded to safety off the crossbar.
However, Thistle eventually roused themselves and they struck the woodwork themselves three minutes from the interval when a dipping 25-yarder from Stevie Lawless came back off the bar.
Thistle were presented with a golden opportunity immediately after the restart when Kristoffer Ajer sliced a clearance straight to Ryan Edwards eight yards out but the Australian midfielder fired wastefully wide.
Just as the hosts had enjoyed the better of the first half, the visitors had the edge after the break and Adam Barton was unfortunate to see a shot from the edge of the penalty area strike the inside of the far post and come back out again.
It mattered little because they broke the deadlock in their next attack. Christie Elliott’s cross picked out Chris Erskine and, while the midfielder’s header was blocked, he reacted swiftly to drive the rebound low behind Freddy Woodman from 12 yards.
“Partick probably feel like we were a bit lucky but we put in a lot of hard work and I believe that, in this game, you make your own luck,” said Kilmarnock’s caretaker manager, Lee McCulloch.