It was a tale of three penalties for Partick Thistle – two given, one not, and each involving Joe Cardle – at the Indodrill Stadium on an afternoon when the draw didn’t do much for the aspirations of either club.
Alloa are further adrift at the bottom, four points behind Morton and Thistle, although the Jags are now only three points behind Dunfermline.
That proved little consolation for Thistle manager Ian McCall. “When you look at the number of chances we created, that was two points dropped,” he said. “We should have had a third penalty as well [when Joe Cardle was brought down by Blair Malcolm].”
The hosts came close twice in the seventh minute. Goalkeeper Scott Fox did well to turn over a dipping 25-yarder from Liam Buchanan in the seventh minute and then got down low to his right to claw away Kevin O’Hara’s flick from the resulting corner.
O’Hara was convinced that the ball had crossed the line but assistant referee Kevin McElhinney didn’t have a clear view of the incident and referee David Munro dismissed the appeals. Kevin Cawley provided a goal-line clearance at the other end shortly afterwards, keeping out Sean McGinty’s powerful header from Reece Cole’s corner.
Jamie MacDonald produced a superb reflex save in the 34th minute to keep out Kenny Miller’s venomous drive from Cardle’s cutback. He also made an excellent save from James Penrice’s angled drive, allowing Alloa to break, and Adam Brown put them in front with a low drive which was deflected behind Fox by Steven Saunders.
The former Hearts and Kilmarnock ’keeper was the best performer on view and even when Thistle were awarded a soft penalty for a Cardle shot striking Robbie Deas’ arm, he saved Stuart Bannigan’s weak effort.
However, Bannigan got it right two minutes later when the visitors were awarded a second spot-kick when Cardle went to ground following contact from Blair Malcolm, beating MacDonald low to his right.
“To lose two points because of a decision like that was disgusting,” said Alloa manager Peter Grant. “When you have a large support behind a goal – and I used to play for a team which had one – then roars go up and you get decisions which aren’t the correct ones.”