Partick 3-0 St Johnstone- Match Report

Partick ease relegation fearsPartick eased their relegation worries with a fine 3-0 win over St Johnstone at Firhill.Early goals by Kris Doolan and Conrad Balatoni set Thistle on their way, and a great strike by Stuart Bannigan after the break capped off a wonderful afternoon for Alan Archibald's men.The Maryhill side now have some breathing space in ninth position as they seek to avoid becoming embroiled in a four-way battle at the bottom to avoid the drop.Partick came into the game on a wretched run of form that had yielded just one win from their last seven matches, but there was no sign of that as they exploded from the blocks to grab the lead after just three minutes.A long throw caused mayhem in the St Johnstone area, allowing Abdul Osman to muscle Chris Millar off the ball and clip a pass to the back post where Doolan peeled off Steven Anderson to power home a header.That was the ideal start for Partick and justified Archibald's decision to start Doolan ahead of Lyle Taylor.The Thistle fans had barely settled back into their seats and they were up out of them again celebrating their second of the afternoon with just nine minutes on the clock.A corner from the right was swung in to the near post area by Bannigan and Balatoni lost his marker to stoop low and squeeze a header beyond Alan Mannus.It could have been three moments later, a break from midfield by James Craigen ending with him teeing up a good chance for Ryan Stevenson, but this time Mannus got a strong hand to the effort to force it over the bar.If St Johnstone's win at Celtic Park in their last match was achieved through excellent organisation and defensive discipline, their shambolic first-half performance here was the polar opposite, and they exemplified that by presenting a glorious chance to Stevenson five minutes from the break.A Thistle attack broke down and the ball arrived at Murray Davidson 30 yards from his own goal

The midfielder's attempted volleyed clearance skewed off his toe and instead flew back into the danger area where Stevenson found himself with just Mannus to beat, but he crashed his effort off the outside of the post.The visitors almost gave themselves a foothold in the game on the stroke of half-time as at last they created a meaningful chance.David Wotherspoon did well to spread the ball wide to Brian Easton, who centred for the arriving Michael O'Halloran to take the ball on his chest and volley just over the bar with only Scott Fox to beat.St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright threw James McFadden on just after the interval to try and give his side a spark in attack, and the former Scotland man orchestrated his side's best bit of play of the afternoon so far when he exchanged passes with Easton to play the full-back in behind Stephen O'Donnell.Easton's cross was met by Steven MacLean, but his powerful header was straight at Fox who dealt with it comfortably.Any hope that had given the visitors of an unlikely comeback was soon extinguished when Thistle grabbed their third goal after 65 minutes.Millar needlessly fouled Stevenson on the right, and although O'Donnell made a mess of his delivery, the St Johnstone defence could only clear as far as Bannigan on the edge of the area.The midfielder took a touch before unleashing a wonderful left-foot effort past Mannus from 20 yards to move the home side out of sight.They were content to sit on their lead for the remainder of the game, and although St Johnstone had plenty of possession late on, they never seriously looked like threatening Fox's clean sheet in a desperately disappointing day for the Perth side

Source : PA

Source: PA