Partick Thistle 0-2 Saints (10.9.16)

A goal in each half from Steven Anderson and Steven MacLean saw St. Johnstone bounce back from two straight defeats to win 2-0 at Firhill on Saturday afternoon.

A sickness bug had affected squad selection as both Murray Davidson and Alan Mannus missed out, but Zander Clark stepped in and keep a clean sheet in his first league start of the season following appearances in the League Cup at Elgin and Brechin.

Next up for Saints is a home match with Hearts next Saturday in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

MATCH REPORT

After last weekend’s international break Saints returned to action this afternoon at Firhill. Looking to bounce back from the 2-1 defeat at Inverness last timeout Tommy Wright made three changes to the side that started a fortnight ago as Zander Clark, Chris Millar and Liam Craig came in to replace Alan Mannus, Blair Alston and David Wotherspoon who all dropped to the bench. Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald made one change to the side that started their last game a two weeks ago when they went down 2-1 at home to Hearts as Ryan Edwards was replaced by Sean Welsh.

Saints got the match underway in the September sun and it was the home side that threatened first after 4 minutes as Steven Lawless turned Danny Swanson before sending a through ball to Kris Doolan who got a slight touch on the ball but Zander Clark made himself big to block the effort.

Saints then went straight up the other end and Steven MacLean had a shot at goal which stung the palms of Thistle keeper Tomas Cerny.

Saints created another chance on 16 minutes as Swanson set Richard Foster free down the right and the defender then cut the ball back to MacLean who unleashed a shot at goal which was turned behind for a corner by Cerny. The corner was taken by Liam Craig and his delivery eventually broke to Brian Easton who had a shot blocked by the Thistle defence as they cleared their lines.

The breakthrough came on 21 minutes as Swanson’s cross from the right picked out Steven Anderson at the back post and his left foot volley from a tight angle beat Cerny to give Saints the lead.

Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine linked up well on 29 minutes for the home side however, Erskine’s curling effort did not trouble Clark in the Saints goal. Shortly after Lawless saw his effort at goal well gathered by Clark.

Partick were forced to make a change on 39 minutes as Ryan Scully came on to replace Cerny between the sticks after the Thistle keeper had picked up an injury following a collision with his own defender Danny Devine.

As the match entered 3 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half Sean Welsh fired over a free kick from 20 yards after Ade Azeez had been brought down by Anderson.

Saints then still had time to create one final chance of the half as Chris Kane attempted an audacious overhead free kick which landed on the roof of the net.

Partick Thistle made a change at the start of the second half as Ryan Edwards came onto replace Ade Azeez.

Both sides were passing the ball around well during the opening 10 minutes of the second half although neither side could create anything of significance in front of goal.

Then on 59 minutes Thistle missed a good chance to get back into the match as Callum Booth delivered a good ball into the box which found Ryan Edwards at the back post but the Australian midfielder headed inches wide.

Saints doubled their lead on 64 minutes as a slack pass by Edwards was picked up by Swanson and the Saints midfielder slipped the ball to MacLean who unleashed a stunning shot from 25 yards which went high into the top left-hand corner of the net giving Scully no chance.

Saints were now in full control of the match but Thistle still battled on and with 10 minutes remaining Lawless got a sight of goal but he curled his effort just wide of Clark’s left-hand post from 12 yards.

That was the last real chance of the half as Saints comfortably saw the match out to secure the 3 points.

Man of the Match: Steven Anderson

Partick Thistle: Cerny (Scully 39), Booth, Welsh (Amoo 65), Lindsay, Osman, Doolan, Erskine, Lawless, Devine, Azeez (Edwards 45), Gordon Unused Substitutes: Barton, Elliott, Wilson, McDaid Booked: None

Saints: Clark, Anderson, Millar, MacLean, Swanson (Wotherspoon 71), Shaughnessy, Paton, Foster, Easton, Kane (Cummins 59), Craig Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), Alston, Coulson, Gormley, Comrie Booked: Swanson Scorers: Anderson (21), MacLean (64)

Referee: Nick Walsh Attendance: 2,885

Match Report by Daryl Scott