Partick Thistle’s performance in losing narrowly to Celtic on Tuesday night bodes well for the rest of their campaign, according to Jags forward Miles Storey.

Thistle were leading at the break through a Conor Sammon penalty after an opening 45 minutes in which they harried, harassed and unsettled the champions.

They played some nice football too at times, and despite running out of steam in the second half of the game to fall to a 2-1 defeat, Storey saw plenty of reasons for encouragement for the second half of the campaign.

“It was difficult to take because in the games we’ve played them this season, that’s probably the best we’ve played," Storey said.

“Our shape was brilliant, especially in the first half, we’ve created good chances and forced the keeper into making saves, so it’s tough to take that we haven’t got anything from the game at all.

“We were winning the ball in good areas, and at times, they were a little bit sloppy compared to what they normally are.

“We were winning it in the final third of the pitch and they were getting quite stretched. We were getting joy down both sides of the pitch, so they had to do something, because if it carried on then I think that we would have had even more joy.”

What encouraged Storey further is the new-found strength in depth that Thistle now have after the signing of defender Baily Cargill, who got his debut against Celtic, and the recovery from long-term injury of first-team regulars.

“The new lad came in and I thought he did well after being thrown in at the deep end,” he said.

“We played a formation that the gaffer likes to use, and I was playing a different role than what I was used to on the left-hand side with Penners (James Penrice), and I think he did brilliant as well, getting man of the match.

“There’s strength in the squad everywhere you look, so that can only be positive for what we’re trying to achieve. Competition for places is healthy.”

Storey made a departure from the norm when he praised Tuesday night’s referee John Beaton for awarding him a penalty after he was impeded by Mikael Lustig.

The forward tried to stay on his feet despite being fouled, and he was delighted to see his honesty being rewarded as the official still managed to spot the infringement.

“I could see it was going to bounce, and I’ve been honest and tried to get on the end of it, but at the end of the day he’s pulled me back just as I was gearing up to shoot,” said Storey.

“Just because I haven’t gone down doesn’t mean it wasn’t a foul. If it’s anywhere else on the pitch, you get a foul, so I was pleased that we got it.

“The referee asked me if I got pulled back and I told him definitely, so he thanked me for being honest and I found that quite refreshing.”

Of course, anyone of a Thistle persuasion, and most impartial observers too, will tell you that Storey should have had a penalty in the previous meeting between the sides at Firhill this season back in August when Nir Bitton tripped the striker in the dying moments.

The fact he got the decision on this occasion was cold comfort though after coming away empty-handed from a game he and his teammates had put so much into.

“I thought that was a stonewaller as well, but I am going to say that,” he said.

“We got the goal at a good time [on Tuesday night] on the back of that decision. We had a really good first half and that’s why we’re struggling to take it in there, because we put so much into the game.”