THIS was the fourth successive draw between these sides at Firhill but Kilmarnock, after five successive defeats, were the side with a point to prove and the one that was happier to leave with one.
Scorers: Partick Thistle - Seaborne 19; Kilmarnock - Obadeyi 11
Manager Allan Johnston took the big decision to relegate Finnish playmaker Alexei Eremenko to the bench following his listless display at Ibrox the previous weekend and his side certainly looked more purposeful during the early stages of this encounter than they had at any point during the defeat by Rangers.
“It was massive for us to stop the rot,” said Johnston. “We didn’t equal that club record for defeats – that was a record nobody wants. It was frustrating not to go on and win the game after getting the early goal but there were positives for us to build on here.
“We had a chance to win it late on but, if I’m being honest, that would have been harsh on Partick Thistle. They probably had the bulk of possession second half but they didn’t threaten us much.”
Their positive approach paid off when they took the lead with a well-crafted goal. Josh Magennis, deployed wide on the right, picked out Lee Miller with a fine cross and the former Aberdeen and Dundee United striker stole in front of his marker to direct a venomous volley goalwards. Goalkeeper Paul Gallacher got down well to his left to keep his effort out, but Tope Obadeyi reacted quicker than anyone to force the ball over from close range.
After five successive defeats, Kilmarnock could have done with a period of consolidation but their lead lasted for just eight minutes.
Chris Chantler collected the first caution of the contest for a professional foul on Stephen O’Donnell at the corner of the 18-yard box. As with the opening goal, the delivery here was key: all the pace was in Stuart Bannigan’s free kick, although Dan Seaborne should not have been allowed the time and space to direct his header behind Craig Samson.
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It was Bannigan, from another free kick, who almost gave Thistle the lead in the 40th minute but Samson, arching backwards, managed to turn his swerving attempt over the bar.
Samson had a lucky escape in the 54th minute when Abdul Osman beat him to another inviting delivery from Bannigan, but failed to keep his header from eight yards on target.
Indeed, the quality of the football dipped significantly during the second period, although Obadeyi passed up an excellent opportunity to win it with just 12 minutes remaining.
Seizing on a pass from Jamie Hamill, he outmuscled O’Donnell to leave himself with only Gallacher to beat. However, his shot lacked conviction and the goalkeeper reacted well to push it behind.
“I took a touch past the defender and tried to go past the ‘keeper but I haven’t connected properly,” said Obadeyi. “It came off the bottom of his heel and I thought it was going to go in but it bobbled wide.”
Equally, James Craigen could have claimed all three points for the home side but for Pascali deflecting his drive inches wide.
“We played in patches,” said Thistle manager Alan Archibald. “I thought in the first half we had a couple of phases that were good and we passed the ball about.
“I was disappointed with the goal we lost, we allowed the cross to come in, but I was delighted with the reaction to get back in the game. There wasn’t a lot in it, it was a tight match.
“It was a game of second touch, there wasn’t much football played at all. The teams cancelled each other out but I thought we had the best chance to win it with James at the end.
“But it’s another point. We’re disappointed with a point because we wanted three but we’ll take it and move on.
“We’re trying to stay in that wee group with Kilmarnock and Dundee and looking up at them all the time.”
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