Kris Doolan hopes Partick Thistle can build on second-half display in second leg

The home side lost the first leg of their promotion play-off 2-1, but Doolan was impressed by their second-half showing.

Kris Doolan’s side trail 2-1
Kris Doolan’s side trail 2-1 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Partick Thistle manager Kris Doolan was buoyed by his side’s second-half display despite a 2-1 first-leg defeat by Raith Rovers in the cinch Premiership play-off semi-final.

Emphatic first-half strikes from Scott Brown and Lewis Vaughan gave Raith a half-time lead at Firhill and the latter came close with an ambitious strike just after the interval.

But Blair Alston pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute after Brian Graham and Scott Robinson had both headed the ball on and Doolan’s side pressed for an equaliser.

Doolan said: “We have got everything to gain now and essentially Raith have everything to lose. We go there with the attitude that if we play the way we did in the second half and we get the first goal then we can win.

“First half we were poor, we were miles off it, we were slack, we looked tired, but we galvanised each other at half-time and looked a completely different side.

“Going up to Kirkcaldy, we need to show that impetus and be on the front foot for 90 minutes and not just for 45.

“It’s ours to get after now and sometimes it’s difficult to defend a lead. It’s set up for a brilliant semi-final.”

Raith manager Ian Murray stressed the tie was in the balance despite his delight at his side’s first-leg lead.

“To come here and get our noses in front is fantastic,” he said. “We would have liked more because our first-half performance was deserving of being ahead and maybe by a little bit more. It was two fantastic finishes.

“But we knew Partick would come out and throw the kitchen sink at us, and they did.

“It’s still alive, it’s all to play for, I’d be saying the same at 2-0. This league never ceases to amaze people and it’s not going to change any time soon.

“We will have a fantastic support inside our home stadium and we aim to finish the job.”

Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski made excellent saves from Graham and Alston in particular as Thistle finished strongly.

“Kevin is becoming a really big presence in our team and the league, because teams are finding it hard to beat him,” Murray said.