Conor Sammon stepped off the bench and netted late on to ensure Partick Thistle would not finish the year at the bottom of the Premiership.
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That ignominy belongs to visitors Ross County who replace the hosts in the basement slot as a result of this 2-0 reverse.
“There wasn’t a lot in the first half,” admitted Alan Archibald, the Thistle manager. “It took a mistake to get us in front and the first goal was always going to be vital and I was delighted with the professional second-half performance and we took everything they threw at us.
“Conor [Sammon] is a great professional and led the line really well and Andy [McCarthy] is starting to believe in himself and that he is a first-team player.”
County are without a win in eight games and have tasted victory just once in their last five trips to Firhill so Owen Coyle’s side were not exactly brimming with confidence. They had the ball in the net after 11 minutes when Sean Kelly sent a fierce angled drive past Tomas Cerny, but he was flagged offside by Sean Carr, who made all the headlines for the wrong reasons in midweek when failing to spot Oli Shaw’s ‘ghost goal’ for Hibs at Tynecastle.
With both sides packing the midfield space chances were at a premium, although in 31 minutes the Jags broke the shackles with Martin Woods finding Blair Spittal unmarked, but the midfielder hooked his 25-yard shot wide of the right-hand post.
The Jags have enjoyed a lot of success in recent times against the Dingwall side but they could never have believed their luck when they took the lead in 35 minutes. Staggies captain Andrew Davies had all the time in the world to clear, but took a unnecessary extra touch as he tried to pass back to Scott Fox and Kris Doolan nipped in to dispossess him, run in, round the keeper and slide the ball into the empty net.
Four minutes later, at the other end, Davies had the chance to atone for his error, but headed just wide with the goal gaping.
Thistle should have wrapped up the points in 51 minutes when Sammon outmuscled Marcus Fraser, but his low 15-yard drive was brilliantly saved by Fox, and Doolan over ran the ball as he tried to tap home the rebound.
Sammon passed up another glorious chance in 69 minutes when a sublime pass by substitute Andy McCarthy ripped open the County defence, but the striker’s shot was blocked by an outstretched leg of Fox.
County might have grabbed a point seven minutes from time when Jason Naismith swung the ball over from the right to pick out Jamie Lindsay, but he headed straight at goalkeeper Tomas Cerny.
The second finally came four minutes from the end when Sammon ran onto another magnificent McCarthy pass and this time made no mistake curling the ball round Fox.