These are worrying times for Partick Thistle. This was their fourth defeat in a row and this lifeless display offered the Firhill faithful little in the way of succour.
For St Johnstone, though, this was a case of stopping the rot after losing on their two previous outings. They moved up to fifth place with this comfortable victory. “That was a good, solid performance, with moments of quality throughout. We had one or two little scares but we certainly weren’t under constant pressure,” said Saints manager Tommy Wright.
“In the main, we defended very well and kept them well away from our goal.”
Centre-half Steven Anderson, with his first goal of the season, opened the scoring a quarter of the way through this encounter with a finish as sublime as it was unexpected.
The veteran defender was an uninvited guest in Thistle’s six-yard box when he arrived at the far post to expertly clip a cross from Danny Swanson behind Tomas Cerny from the tightest of angles.
It was no more than St Johnstone deserved for a dominant display. Cerny, who aggravated a long-standing foot problem, had to be replaced by Ryan Scully after 38 minutes and Chris Kane almost underlined the Perth side’s superiority with a shot hooked over his shoulder which beat the keeper but landed on top of the net.
Saints’ second goal was merely delayed. Thistle substitute Ryan Edwards carelessly passed the ball straight to Swanson, who immediately moved it on to Steven McLean. The striker had his back to goal and a man behind him but he dropped his shoulder to deceive the latter and swivelled to fire into Scully’s top right-hand corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.
“It was a frustrating afternoon,” said Thistle boss Alan Archibald. “We looked unrecognisable at times from the side which has played in recent games. I know we had lost the two prior to this but at least we played with a tempo and high energy in them.
“We didn’t have any of that against Saints. It’s hard to say why that was the case as I thought we started well. We managed to get into the final third and create a few things but then the game petered out for us.
“There was a lack of energy and we didn’t pick up enough second balls or win enough individual battles.”
It was an opinion clearly shared by the fans who stayed on to jeer them off the pitch.