JAMES TAVERNIER felt the need to apologise on Twitter after conceding a penalty against Hibs – but he was the Rangers hero at Firhill.

His goal, the second of a 2-0 win, was right out of the top drawer, which is more than you could say about his shove on Scott Allan at the weekend.

Fair play to Tavernier. To go from feeling as if he let everyone down to ensuring his team left with three points from Maryhill – and Partick Thistle made them work for their win – says a lot about his character.

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Rangers were far from brilliant and Thistle had their moments; however, Graeme Murty needed that win after another home defeat. Total football can wait for the moment. All the manager really wants to see now is victories, hard fought or otherwise.

Jason Cummings got his first start, Alfredo Morelos dropped to the bench, and there were flashes of what he can do. Jason Holt, wearing the captain’s armband, was a bundle of energy. This new responsibility seems to suit him.

As for Thistle, they played okay and will feel annoyed they didn’t make more of their possession in the first-half

Indeed, it was the home side which were first to threaten on the night.

Eight minutes of long balls and misplaced passes had passed by when Thistle broke down the right, first with Paul McGinn and then Blair Spittal whose well weighted pass got Connor Sammon through on goal, his shot kept out by the torso of Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

Martin Woods took the resultant corner, which was cleared back to him, and his second low cross found Sammon whose first-time effort at the near post wasn’t far away.

Just like against Hibs on Saturday, Rangers were slow to get going. When they did get into decent areas, and this includes the odd set-piece, the delivery was poor, which has been a problem this season.

And when they did get it right, as they did on 24 minutes, Russell Martin made a hash of it.

Rangers won a free-kick outside and to the left of the Thistle box, McGinn illegally stopped Jamie Murphy, and Sean Goss produced a perfect free-kick cross which found Martin a few yards from goal, but the veteran defender somehow put his header wide.

Thistle did have the ball in the net on half an hour, Sammon’s lovely flick of the head picked out the run of Ryan Edwards, but the linesman’s flag was raised, correctly, well before the Australian put his laces through the ball.

There were too many fouls, nothing malicious, but referee Alan Muir got good use of his whistle in the first-half. That didn’t do much for the flow of the game.

Still, Rangers did take the lead on seven minutes before the break and a lovely goal it was as well.

Cummings with his back to goal played a terrific reverse pass to Daniel Candeias who fairly raced down the right wing. Josh Windass made the right run into the Thistle box, his team-mate played the ball straight to him - the finish gave Tomas Cerny no chance.

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But while Murty would have enjoyed that, it was a goal the game up until then didn’t deserve, he and everyone else inside Firhill were left stunned as to how Thistle weren’t on equal terms at the break.

The determined Spittal forced his way into the Rangers area, lost his footing and yet the ball still fell to Sammon and his shot left Foderingham stranded and went in via the post. Or so we thought.

Instead, the ball somehow spun away from the goal line and Rangers took an advantage into the second 45. It was very odd.

Murty was forced into a change, Declan John wasn’t seen again, and Andy Halliday filled in at left-back. He did fine.

This half began with Woods dribbling past three Rangers players before getting off a shot which had its sting taken out of it by Martin which gave Foderingham a simple save.

Spittal made way for Chris Erskine on 51 minutes, but before he could get a touch his side almost went 2-0 down.

Tavernier may have been a silly lad at the weekend, but he is having a fine season overall and is difficult to stop once he gets going,

And the right-back got himself into the Thistle area, Murphy played him in, but this time he couldn’t get the ball from under his feet quite quickly enough and while he did get off a shot, Thistle had enough time to get bodies back to make the block.

However, Tavernier was not to be denied.

With 58 minutes gone, this most attack-minded defender got himself into a position a few yards outside the Thistle box, and nobody had thought to track his run, and the finish, a dipping shot with a touch of curl, finished in the top corner.

It’s fair to say he enjoyed his moment.

The goal, understandably, took the stuffing out of Thistle who had done little wrong and were still a couple of goals down and while they battled away, this match was settled with half an hour to go.

Foderinham was forced into a late save when Miles Storey stuck the ball towards goal from inside the six-yard box, but that was about it.

Rangers deserved their win,