Partick Thistle 1 - 0 St Johnstone: Miles Storey piles misery on Saints

St Johnstone's Aaron Comrie and Partick Thistle's Ryan Edwards. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray
St Johnstone's Aaron Comrie and Partick Thistle's Ryan Edwards. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray
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It took them three months but Partick Thistle appear to have finally kick-started their campaign, in terms of results if not performances.

Seven points from a possible nine from last weekend to this have hoisted them off the foot of the table and this latest victory also gave them a second successive clean sheet.

This was not, by any stretch of the imagination, Firhill for thrills but the home fans appeared fairly unconcerned by the lack of imagination or excitement on offer, seemingly content to have something to celebrate again.

After 15 league games without a victory, they have now won two of their last three and their supporters left the stadium with a spring in their step.

As did manager Alan Archibald, who took quiet satisfaction in the way his side managed to hold on to the lead which Miles Storey’s wonderful individual goal had given them.

“The stuffiness to get another clean sheet was satisfying,” he said. “We had a horrific start with the goals we lost so to get back to back clean sheets is pleasing. Also our game management, to see the game out. You could see at times we still looked a bit fragile so I was delighted to see it out.

“Miles Storey showed his pace and there was a great composure from him to finish. He just has to get a run of games now to get his confidence up.”

Thistle rode their luck early on and had goalkeeper Tomas Cerny to thank for a brave save at the feet of David Wotherspoon after Graham Cummins had directed a Brian Easton cross into his path.

Yet it was the home side struck in their first attack of note. Given the scrappy nature of the contest, it came as no surprise that the goal was a solo effort rather than a well-constructed team goal.

Former Aberdeen striker Storey was the architect and the executioner, driving down the left flank and outpacing Aaron Comrie and Joe Shaughnessy before sidefooting the ball beyond the outstretched left hand of Zander Clark from an acute angle.

Taking the lead ought to have galvanised Thistle but it was the visitors who appeared to be spurred on by it and Cerny once again displayed his alertness by leaving his line to block a shot from Murray Davidson.

After the break, the visitors attacked in waves but the only save came from Clark, who did well to get down low to his right to keep out a netbound drive from Blair Spittal.

Four minutes of stoppage time at the end of each half was unfair on spectators who had surely suffered enough, particularly those who had travelled from Perth to see their goal drought extended to seven hours and 36 minutes.

“We’ve had these runs before,” said Saints manager Tommy Wright. “In my first year we went nine without a win.

“The next year was eight and there were seven or eight last year. It happens in this league.

“It’s a different type of annoyance, though, in that they’ve played really well and got themselves into good positions.

“We controlled the game but we’ve let ourselves down with a soft goal. With all the good possession we had, it then came down to poor decision-making or the wrong ball or nobody showing belief in the last third.

“Our approach play was good, a number of times we got full-backs overlapping and got wide players into good areas. We just didn’t have that final ball, didn’t show that wee bit of composure.

“I’ve told my players that it was a really good performance up to a point – it was in terms of creating more chances out of the possession we had which let us down.

“We’re still sixth in the table which shows what this division is like.”