MORTON made it five wins on the spin as they ended Partick’s unbeaten start to the league season to move within two points of the Maryhill men, and next opponents Dunfermline, at the end of a clash which lived up to its billing, and had everything good about First Division football front and centre.
Kevin Rutkiewicz, below, opened the scoring with a crashing header just short of the quarter hour mark, only for the Jags to draw level six minutes later through Steven Craig’s hooked volley from eight yards out.
Play continued to rage from end-to-end with Thistle coming close through Ross Forbes and Chris Erskine, only to succumb to another header from another Michael Tidser corner as Mark McLaughlin stole a march on his marker to send Morton in at the break with a lead to discuss.
The fireworks of the opening half weren’t quite as illuminating in the second period, and the task for Thistle was made all the harder when the experienced Hugh Murray was dismissed by referee Desmond Roache ten minutes after the restart for a second cautionable offence, the latter of which saw Morton’s Steven Stirling stretchered from the field.
Mr Roache followed this up by denying Thistle what looked a solid penalty shout when Rutkiewicz seemed to control the ball with his arm, all of which was much to the chagrin of several of the visiting players.
This decision would come home to roost for the leaders when David O’Brien finished off a fine move by slotting home Morton’s third near the end to seal the points.