St Mirren 0-0 Partick Thistle: Goalless in Paisley

St Mirren's John McGinn (left) challenges James Craigen. Picture: SNS
St Mirren's John McGinn (left) challenges James Craigen. Picture: SNS
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This was probably an outcome that beforehand neither side wanted but by the end of an energy-sapping and rain-drenched 90 minutes both were probably grateful that they wrested something for their efforts.

Though there will be some glances at the defiant stirrings from Hearts recently it is still surely the case that the main story at the basement of the Premiership will be who will fall into the unwanted play-off position. If this game between two of the potential candidates is anything to go by it’s going to be mighty fraught and exhausting for everyone involved between now and May.

“I thought the conditions contributed to it being end to end – managers don’t like it being so open though it’s good for the fans,” reflected Thistle manager Alan Archibald, who felt that a draw was a fair result. His counterpart Danny Lennon whilst not entirely disagreeing did reflect on it being two points lost rather than one gained.

If there is some encouragement to be had for both managers from yesterday’s encounter it is that despite the scoreline their sides seem to have more than enough quality to survive what testing times lie ahead. The exchanges were feisty and some of the challenges eye-watering but equally there was some decent passing and good movement too.

They could just do with finding the back of the net a bit more consistently.

The January transfer window has seen both sides try to bolster their firepower with Saints bringing on board Adam Campbell, the latest in a line of loan signings from Newcastle United, and Gregg Wylde from Aberdeen. Each certainly brings plenty of pace and their respective contributions had the home side making the clearer openings in the first half.

Campbell had a couple of plausible efforts on goal, while Paul McGowan almost caught Paul Gallacher out with a rasping drive to his near post.

There was plenty of service to feed the threat of Stephen Thompson as well, although the normally dependable Buddies frontman made a complete hash of the best chance of the game when a clumsy touch allowed the danger to be cleared.

Thistle more than held their own but even though the arrival of Lyle Taylor has given them a greater cutting edge there were still too many occasions where they snatch at chances. James Craigen matched Thompson’s profligacy by blazing over at the far post as half time approached. The visitors’ momentum was not helped however by Kallum Higginbotham picking up what seemed to be a nasty injury just shy of the half-hour mark. He left the pitch on a stretcher in some distress and was replaced by Steven Lawless.

It was Archibald’s men who could claim to have the upper hand in terms of pressure after the break, with St Mirren relying heavily on the warrior qualities of Jim Goodwin to marshall their rearguard as some slickly constructed breaks threatened to open the way to Marion Kello’s goal. “He did terrifically well,” enthused Lennon, referring not only to his contribution but his response to the publicity storm around the Irishman’s playing style at the moment.

For all the endeavour though there were still few efforts on target. Both sides did make contact with the frame of the goals as they hammered away at each other in a frenzied closing 15 minutes, with McGowan decidedly unlucky to see a shot hit the base of the post. Almost immediately the visitors Aaron Taylor-Sinclair steamed up field and saw his dipping effort clip the top of the bar. Honours even then in every sense.

St Mirren: Kello, Naismith, Kelly, Goodwin, McGregor, McAusland, McGinn, McGowan, Thompson, Campbell (Newton, 68), Wylde.

Subs not used: Dilo, van Zanten, Reilly, Brady, Grainger, Williams.

Booked: J Naismith, J McGinn.

Partick Thistle: Gallacher, McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Muirhead, Mair, Balatoni, Erskine (Elliott, 71), Craigen, Taylor (Foolan, 69), Bannigan, Higginbotham (Lawless, 28).

Subs not used: Fox, O’Donnell, Forbes, Fraser.

Booked: J McMillan

Attendance: 4,660

Referee: J Beaton