St Mirren 0-1 Partick: Jags get breathing space
Scorers: Partick - Elliott (75)
Thistle edged an atrocious 90 minutes thanks to some woeful goalkeeping as they kept daylight between themselves and the danger area, and dumped Tommy Craig’s excruciatingly bad Buddies into an ever-deepening world of relegation trouble.
Craig’s men are now joint-last, and sinking like a ten-ton weight, yet the veteran manager insisted his side would come good. He said: “We need to get players back off the treatment table as most of them would be first picks.
“The fans are angry and I feel the same and I understand their anger whether they believe this or not. One point from seven home games isn’t good reading, but I think I can turn this around.
“The game itself was two teams trying not to lose. There was a suggestion of handball about their winner, which I don’t want to make too much of, but it did seem to pop up and hit Christie Elliott on the arm.”
Thistle manager Alan Archibald was delighted with the points and the manner in which his charges eased over the line.
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He said: “It was a hard-fought win as one goal was always going to win it. This is a game we might not have won last year and this is pleasing. We saw the game out very well, and we have to be happy with a clean-sheet.”
In a first half greyer than the typical Paisley weather, Scott Fox, in the visiting goal, was the only keeper called upon to make a meaningful save, such was the absolute dirge on show.
The Firhill man sprawled across his goal to watch a Calum Ball drive fly wide, then dealt well with a bouncing Kenny McLean free-kick.
Without their two best players by a country mile in Steven Thompson and John McGinn, the lack of craft and punch about Saints was not hard to fathom. Thistle, however, were equally as insipid, with only an Elliott header early in the second period giving those who had travelled across the Kingston Bridge anything to get off their seats for.
Both managers tried to pep things up with a string of changes, Thistle withdrawing the again out-of-sorts Ryan Stevenson and the Buddies replaced Ball with Ross Caldwell. It was all to very little avail as both teams continued to give the ball away and looked like they could have played to Christmas without troubling the netting.
If a goal was to come it always looked like it would be from a mistake, and so it proved as Saints goalkeeper Marian Kello, not for the first time this campaign, made an appalling error. Credit Elliott, pictured, with finding space to get his shot on target with quarter an hour to go, but quite how the Slovakian allowed it to completely evade him is something only he will know.
Saints very nearly snatched a leveller at the death when Adam Drury saw his dipping drive clip the top of the crossbar.
In truth, it would have been a fair result had the on-loan Manchester City man’s effort hit the bullseye as one team was as bad as the other, but, in the end, it was Thistle who scrambled to the points.
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