LIVINGSTON were left stunned as they crashed to a 6-1 hammering at Firhill at the hands of a rampant Partick Thistle side.
The home team were looking for the three points to keep pressure on league leaders Morton, while third-placed Livi were hoping to make it three wins in a row under caretaker boss Richie Burke.
It was Thistle who burst to life first, though, and only a fine Andy McNeil stop kept out Steven Craig on five minutes.
Alan Archibald’s men did take the lead on 18 minutes, after Paul Watson was adjudged to have handled in the box. Referee George Salmond gave the spot kick and Aaron Muirhead blasted it down the middle to leave McNeil with no chance.
It was two four minutes later as ex-Livi striker Steven Craig headed home unmarked from five yards, and then James Craigen was played clean through on goal on 36 minutes – and the midfielder kept his cool to rifle the ball low into the net.
Livi were in desperate need of half time but Thistle snatched a fourth goal before the break. After a rammy in the box saw two failed attempts to force the ball over the line, Steve Lawless arrived late in the six-yard box to clip the ball over McNeil.
The Lions regrouped at half time and gave themselves a glimmer of hope two minutes into the second half.
Liam Fox’s free kick sailed to the back post where Craig Barr headed down for Watson to blast home from three yards.
And the unlikeliest of comebacks nearly gathered pace, but Marc McNulty saw his close range shot well blocked by Scott Fox just seconds later.
Thistle soon killed off any faint hope of a comeback though, with Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan combining brilliantly to tee up the former in front of goal, and his chip nestled in the bottom corner.
Livi nearly grabbed light relief when sub Danny Mullen clipped the bar with a thundering strike from the edge of the box.
At the other end Doolan made it six with more than 20 minutes still to play, his turn and shot from eight yards giving McNeil no chance.
It could have been seven late on, but Christie Elliot’s 20-yard shot was too high.