PARTICK THISTLE left it late to clinch all three points and see off Raith Rovers at the weekend.

But forward Chris Erskine admits Steven Craig's winner four minutes from time multiplied in value when news filtered through from East End Park confirming title rivals Dunfermline had shipped two valuable points against Hamilton.

Craig's late heroics bagged a crucial victory for Jackie McNamara's side as they maintained their place at the top of the Irn-Bru First Division, with the Pars' toils only adding to their delight.

Erskine said: "It was a big three points for us, especially with Dunfermline drawing as well.

"We have got Morton next, which will be another big game for us. It was a massive result.

"We didn't do it the easy way and left it late, but we got there in the end. We didn't play well and we gave away a couple of cheap goals.

"But we kept going right to the death, which we have done a couple of times this season.

"We have a lot of confidence throughout the team and you never know what can happen in football. We always believe we can score so we need to keep going right until the last whistle.

"It was great to score late on and get the win.

"It turned out to be a massive three points when you see that Dunfermline have been held because you expect them to win games."

Saturday's 3-2 win over Raith ensured Thistle will sit top of the standings at Christmas and able to look forward to their Boxing Day clash with promotion rivals Morton.

It is a huge few weeks in the title race and Erskine knows every point will be crucial.

He said: "We have got a massive game against Morton on Boxing Day and then they play Dunfermline three days later where something has got to give.

"Hopefully we can get a good result next week and then we will see what happens between Morton and Dunfermline.

"We are unbeaten at home in the league this season and that is a big thing for us.

"It doesn't matter who comes here, we are confident we can get the three points.

"We have got to keep picking up points and any time you get the chance to take points off your rivals, you have to make the most of it. Hopefully that is what we can do come Boxing Day."