PARTICK Thistle can return to pole position in the First Division with victory at Cowdenbeath on Wednesday and few who witnessed their dismantling of Livingston would bet against such an outcome.
Scorers: Partick Thistle: Muirhead (pen 19), Craig (23), Craigen (36), Lawless (43), Erskine (58) Doolan (70); Livingston: Watson (48)
The Jags broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when a shot from Steven Lawless struck Paul Watson on the arm and referee George Salmond awarded a penalty.
Watson protested, with some justification, that his back was to the play and therefore the offence was unintentional but Salmond was not interested in having a referendum on the matter and Aaron Muirhead emphatically converted the spot-kick.
Livingston had no one but themselves to blame for the second, however. The marking was non-existent when Thistle’s leading scorer, Steven Craig, headed home an inviting delivery from Sean Welsh.
Andrew McNeil had earlier saved magnificently from Craig but he was badly at fault when he allowed a 25-yarder from James Craigen to swerve inside his right-hand post.
Lawless then showed great composure to chip in the fourth two minutes from the interval, after Chris Erskine, pictured, had done the spadework.
Watson briefly reduced the leeway, firing home after Kyle Jacobs had helped on Liam Fox’s free kick but Erskine scored the goal of the game, accepting a return pass from Kris Doolan before placing the ball into McNeil’s left-hand corner and Doolan notched Thistle’s sixth after controlling an Aaron Sinclair cross on his chest.
For new manager Alan Archibald, confirmed as Jackie McNamara’s successor on the eve of this match, it was a perfect start.
“We’ve got goals all over the team,” he said. “We don’t have a 20-goal striker like some teams but that’s no bad thing because if that player gets injured then you would start to panic.
“I feel there’s probably less pressure on me now that I’ve been confirmed as manager, although there was probably a little more on me before this match because it was my first.”