Kris Doolan opens scoring for Partick in win over St Johnstone
KRIS DOOLAN scored within 60 seconds of coming off the bench to send Partick Thistle on their way to a 2-0 victory over St Johnstone at Firhill.
Doolan was rested for Mathias Pogba despite the Jags having games postponed for two weekends running but he quickly netted his eighth goal of the season after being brought on 71 minutes in. The striker latched on to a loose ball after Abdul Osman had won a tackle in midfield and drilled the ball into the far corner from 18 yards despite the close attentions of two defenders. Another substitute, David Amoo, sealed the points with three minutes remaining when he broke after a St Johnstone corner and kept running before slotting into the bottom corner from 16 yards.
The win moved Thistle up two places to eighth in the Ladbrokes Premiership and breathes new life into their top-six ambitions. They are now three points off the top half with games in hand on every other team.
Thistle gave on-loan Celtic winger Aidan Nesbitt his debut while St Johnstone were missing top goalscorer Steven MacLean. The visitors threatened inside 10 minutes when Danny Swanson ran at the home defence and curled a shot towards the bottom corner, but Tomas Cerny touched it away at full stretch.
Saints suffered a blow before the 15-minute mark when Murray Davidson immediately signalled he was in trouble following a head knock. His replacement, Liam Craig, later collided with Tam Scobbie as his team-mate headed off target following a free-kick but the defender played on after being bandaged. David Wotherspoon then fired just beyond the far post after another good run from Swanson.
The Jags ended the half with a long spell of possession inside the opposition half, but they could not test Alan Mannus. It was the ninth time in 10 games that Thistle went into the interval goalless but they almost took the lead immediately after the restart.
Alan Mannus held a Pogba volley and Freddie Frans soon met a Steven Lawless cross with a diving header but saw the ball bounce off the turf and on to the bar. Mannus unconvincingly stopped Callum Booth's powerful follow-up strike.
Saints came back into it and Graham Cummins claimed he was pulled down in the box by Gary Miller, before Cerny got down well to save Wotherspoon's left-footed volley. At the other end, Nesbitt shot wide from 20 yards after a positive run and Mannus saved a first-time strike from Lawless.
Saints brought on Bulgarian defender Plamen Krachunov for his debut but he was upstaged by the home subs.