St Mirren 0 Partick 0: A goalless encounter

Honours were even at St Mirren Park as the home side and Partick Thistle fought out an entertaining but goalless encounter.

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A goalless encounter, with Taylor-Sinclair's efforts hitting bar
A goalless encounter, with Taylor-Sinclair's efforts hitting bar

After surviving a pitch inspection earlier in the day, the heavy surface allied to the blustery conditions and driving rain at kick-off were hardly conducive to good football, however both sides tried to keep the ball on the deck, and showed plenty of endeavour.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon made only one change to the side that won last time out at Easter Road, with recent signing from Aberdeen Gregg Wylde making his full debut at the expense of Conor Newton.

Alan Archibald on the other hand made three changes to his side from midweek loss to St Johnstone as he tried to arrest the Jags' recent run of poor form. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Stuart Bannigan and Aaron Muirhead were the men to come in, the latter drafted in to bolster a midfield sorely missing the influential Isaac Osbourne. Stephen O'Donnell, Steven Lawless and Gary Fraser dropped to the bench.

Recent signing from St Mirren Lee Mair was given the task of shackling former teammate Steven Thompson at the heart of the Thistle defence.

With the wind behind them Partick started the game brighter, however it was the direct running of Adam Campbell that created the first opportunity of the game for St Mirren. A poor clearance by Taylor-Sinclair landed at the feet of Campbell, and he twisted and turned around the left-back before hanging up a great ball that the Thistle defence managed to clear behind.

Partick's Jordan McMillan was the first to go into referee John Beaton's book after 17 minutes, the right- back perhaps fortunate to only receive a booking for a two-footed challenge on Jim Goodwin.

Saint's Jason Naismith followed for a crude lunge on Kallum Higginbotham as the Englishman tried to break into the St Mirren box. The winger had to be stretchered off with what looked like a nasty knee injury, being replaced by Lawless.

The visitors passed up a golden chance to take the lead after 32 minutes, a fine pass inside the full-back by Bannigan finding Taylor-Sinclair raiding down the left wing. His cross was flicked towards the back post where James Craigen arrived to blast over from all of three yards.

St Mirren immediately went up the other end and Paul Gallacher had to be alert to save at his near post from Paul McGowan's low effort, John McGinn firing just wide from the resultant corner.

St Mirren's top scorer Thompson then passed up an incredible chance to give his side the lead just before half-time, as McGinn's driving run saw the ball break fortunately for the former Scotland striker in front of goal. With no one near him, Thompson failed to get the ball under control, and after falling over his own feet the ball squirmed tamely into the arms of Gallacher.

The second half started poorly, however Partick slowly began to get on top, and McGinn was forced to take a booking for St Mirren after 65 minutes by hauling down Chris Erskine as he broke on to the home defence, although the referee could have played advantage as Thistle had men over.

Lennon tried to turn the tide by introducing Newton for Campbell after 67 minutes, and Alan Archibald responded by sending on Kris Doolan for the tiring Taylor two minutes later, before Christie Elliot also joined the action in place of Erskine after 71 minutes.

St Mirren began to claw their way back into the game, and McGinn came agonisingly close to opening the scoring as his low shot from the edge of the box rebounded back off Gallacher's right-hand post, and Wylde's effort on the rebound was blocked by Mair.

Thistle responded by hitting the woodwork themselves, Taylor-Sinclair's long-range screamer clipping the top of Marian Kello's bar on the way over.

Play raced up the other end, with a long ball catching the Thistle defence square and McGowan racing clear. With the Partick defence getting back, the play-maker opted to try to find Newton instead of shooting and the midfielder's attempt was blocked.

Thistle had a late penalty appeal turned away for an apparent climb on Lawless by Marc McAusland and Craigen fired into Kello's arms from the edge of the area as the game entered injury time, but a draw and a share of the spoils was perhaps the correct outcome on the balance of play.


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