What was supposed to be a pleasant stroll towards confirming their Premiership status has turned into a bit of treacherous hike for Partick Thistle with more than a few anxious glances over their shoulders. They disintegrated in woeful fashion in the second half against Inverness yesterday and next week’s meeting with Kilmarnock has now taken on unexpected significance, with the Ayrshire men having narrowed the gap between the two sides down to five points.
This was like some nightmarish flashback to the Firhill club’s wretched start to this season where folks moved quickly to label them favourites for the drop. A fine run over the winter months seemed to have dispelled all such notions but their manager Alan Archibald, pictured, acknowledged that they still have work to do in more ways than one. “The first half was even, but the second was unacceptable, miles away. We asked for a reaction and didn’t get one,” he lamented. “We got ourselves in a great position and could be sitting comfortable in the league, but now we’ve put a bit of pressure on ourselves.”
It gives some measure of how dreadful this performance was by his side that the opening 45 minutes where they knocked together a few decent moves upfield which ultimately foundered upon the tightly disciplined Inverness rearguard was a country mile ahead of what they served up after the break.
They fell behind after only 14 minutes as Carl Tremarco latched on to a through ball and picked his spot behind Ryan Scully.
With only a handful of efforts testing Owain Fon Williams at the other end, the expectation was the Firhill side would up their game on the resumption. Instead they all but disintegrated. The visitors spent most of the second half enjoying more shooting practice than they would expect in an average training session. The net bulged behind Scully at regular intervals with Miles Storey, Josh Meekings and Jordan Roberts making composed finishes, albeit aided and abetted by non-existent marking.
John Hughes’ only gripe with his team’s display was that they didn’t score a few more and he had a point.
If his strikers had had their radar properly locked on the target this would have been an utter humiliation for the hosts. In amongst all this Kris Doolan did pop up to drill one past Fon Williams.