Conor Sammon scored a dramatic last-minute penalty to breathe life into Partick Thistle’s bid to avoid relegation as they salvaged a draw at St Johnstone.
With the Jags trailing to a first goal of the season from Saints skipper Joe Shaughnessy, the on-loan Hearts striker calmly converted a spot-kick secured when another replacement, Ryan Edwards, was tripped in the box by midfielder Liam Craig.
The Jags had won three previous league and cup games in Perth this season and with the Staggies losing 2-0 to Hamilton before kick-off, there was added incentive for the Glasgow side to edge further clear of the automatic relegation place.
Sammon’s strike secured a vital point to leave the Jags four points away from Accies, Dundee and safety with three games remaining.
Alan Archibald’s side rarely troubled a Saints team which are guaranteed top flight football next season.
But they fought to the bitter end and one-time Saints target Sammon came to the rescue.
Before kick-off both teams, and rival fans, united in a minute’s applause in tribute to John Lambie, who managed Thistle and played for Saints.
A surging 13th minute run from Matty Willock opened up the visitors’ defence but a late Callum Booth challenge took the sting out of the on-loan Manchester United midfielder’s 20-yard strike.
MId-way through the half, and as Saints exerted control, Tomas Cerny blocked David Wotherspoon’s prodded effort with his chest, although the Jags keeper did not know much about it.
Defender Martin Woods scrambled Saints skipper Shaughnessy’s header off the line but the Irishman made the breakthrough six minutes from the interval when a sublime piece of control and cross from Liam Craig on the touchline picked out the centre-back for a back post header which found the target.
Sammon replaced Steven Lawless in the 52nd minute to join Kris Doolan in attack as Thistle looked for a way back into the contest. He was later followed by Edwards and Paul McGinn.
Perth centre forward Steven MacLean, who was among half a dozen bookings, flicked a Wotherspoon free-kick goalwards but it was held easily by Cerny.
At the other end, Jags midfielder Chris Erskine tried a volley from 25 yards on the hour mark but keeper Zander Clark’s handling was impressive.
Then a Doolan header crashed back off the Saints crossbar but the Thistle striker had been flagged for offside.
But thanks to Sammon’s 88th minute leveller, Jags fans left Perth happy with what could yet prove to be a precious point in their fight to avoid relegation.