ALAN ARCHIBALD cursed Partick Thistle’s bad timing as his side were left stunned by resurgent Rangers.

The Firhill side looked like this Betfred Cup quarter-final was beyond them as they trailed 1-0 going into the dying seconds only for Kris Doolan to strike at the death to send the tie into extra-time.

But even though the momentum was with Archibald’s players at that stage, two goals in the first 15 minutes after the restart killed off any chance of the home side coming out on top.

And the Jags manager reckoned his team could very well have won the game if that breakthrough equaliser had come a few minutes earlier.

“Disappointment is the over-riding emotion. I’m a bit bemused, I didn’t see that coming at the start of extra-time,” said Archie.

“I thought we finished the game really strongly. Probably the worst thing that could have happened was the final whistle because I felt we were strong and Rangers were sitting off us. I thought we deserved our goal at the time.

“There’s a lot of ifs and buts but the players were really confident going into the start of extra-time. To be fair to Rangers they showed their quality.

“They pegged us back. I thought we got a little bit deep but they are good players who do what we do.”

For all the scoreline may suggest otherwise, this was a game Thistle very well could have won. On the other hand, Rangers could have had the game put to bed after wasting several clear chances.

However, Archibald was rightly keen to focus on the positives. Hearts come to Maryhill on Saturday as Thistle go in search of their first league win of the campaign, and their gaffer said: “We were trying to get Doolan on when Rangers scored their opening goal.

“The formation didn’t affect their chances. All their great one-on-one chances were from slack play and passes from us being caught on the ball. That was a disappointment because we created some good chances.

“I thought we played some nice stuff at times.

“Conor [Sammon] wasn’t up there as a target man. I thought we got the ball up to him well. We worked it in the wide area a few times but our final ball let us down. I’ll not lie.

“There were a lot of positives there. We have a really good group of players all working for each other. There’s just a real disappointment.”