Manager Alan Archibald admitted that he thought he was watching yet another Partick Thistle hard luck story unfold after watching his side eventually grab a deserved draw at home to Dundee United.
Partick Thistle 1-1 Dundee United
Scorers: Partick Thistle - Fraser (75); Dundee United - El Alagui (29)
Thistle had fallen behind after 27 minutes to Farid El Alagui’s first goal since his loan move to Dundee United from Brentford.
As chances came and went for the home side, it looked as though the visitors would hang on to claim all three points before Thistle finally got the bit of luck that their pressure deserved; Gary Fraser’s drive 15 minutes from the end aided by a wicked deflection on its way into Radoslaw Cierzniak’s net.
“In the first half a couple of things went either way, we hit the post and they had a few chances as well,” Archibald said.
“But I’m delighted to get that bit of luck. I thought we applied pressure, I thought we had a go and we deserved it.
“When you’re putting things across the box and putting crosses and corners in and it just wasn’t falling for us, it looked as if it wasn’t going to be our day.”
The Firhill manager revealed that a change in approach, just as United were threatening to run away with the game after their opener, allowed his side to claw their way back into the match. And although it was not enough to earn Thistle their first home league win of the season at their 13th attempt, they at least avoided a seventh home defeat.
“I felt that Lyle [Taylor] was too isolated in the first half,” added Archibald. “We changed it a wee bit just before the end of the half, not personnel but just the shape, and getting Dools [Kris Doolan] on the pitch helped as well going with the two strikers.
“They had energy and work rate and they showed character as well to come back from a goal down against a good side.”
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara was furious that his side were denied a penalty when Stuart Armstrong went down under pressure from Prince Buaben and Jordan McMillan, but he also could not hide his disappointment at his team’s second-half display.
“I thought Thistle put us under a lot of pressure second half and we stopped passing the ball,” McNamara said. “But I also think that we should have killed it off. Stuart [Armstrong]’s chance – that kills the game off and settles everybody down – and then the penalty as well.
“I’m disappointed not to get the three points, but I know we can play a lot better than we did in the second half.”
On the Armstrong incident, McNamara addd: “I think if it’s anywhere else he [Collum] gives it. It’s a free-kick, he’s through on goal. I was a bit irate with the challenge on young Andy Robertson as well down the side of us. I thought the lad stamped on him and we never even got a free-kick for it.”
On a positive note for Dundee United, young Australian Curtis Good, a deadline-day loan signing from Newcastle United, impressed on his debut at the heart of the Arabs’ defence.
“I thought he was steady,” said McNamara. “He didn’t do anything wrong and he looked composed on the ball as well which is good.”
Saturday’s draw means that Partick Thistle remain in the relegation play-off spot, missing the opportunity to leapfrog Ross County after Derek Adams’ men were held at Kilmarnock in the day’s only other Premiership game. United, meanwhile, closed the gap on fourth-placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle to two points.