RYAN Edwards saw his name in lights as Chris Erskine curled over an injury-time cross just begging to be put into the back of the net to take Partick Thistle to a dramatic Scottish Cup replay against Celtic.

But the Australian midfielder’s moment of glory was extinguished by a superb recovery challenge from Kieran Tierney to ensure James Forrest’s hat-trick hit the headlines and earned the Hoops a quarter-final berth with their 3-2 win.

“That’s what happens in those situations I think,” admitted Edwards of his golden chance. “You see the ball hit the net before you hit it.

“It was coming right on my foot and Tierney did ever so well and then the keeper just picked it up.”

He added: “It was a great ball from Chris Erskine. It’s [Kieran] Tierney that blocks it and he’s done ever so well because I was in front of him and he just wraps his left leg and it just gets stuck in his legs. He’s defended ever so well and it’s disappointing we haven’t gone to a replay at least.”

Thistle may be out of the cup after failing to add to Conor Sammon’s late goal to bring it back to 3-2.

But that they didn’t buckle when 2-0 down after just 10 minutes is proof to Edwards the 10th placed Ladbrokes Premiership side have the bottle to avoid the drop yet again.

“I think that says a lot about the team,” the 24-year-old said.

“The Celtic game at Firhill a few weeks ago, then the Rangers game, and here and staying in the game and competing really well just shows the group is in it together to try and get out of the position we’re in. I know this wasn’t a league game but we’re all in it together and want to get out of the position we’re at in the table.”

Ensuring a sixth successive season of top-flight football at Firhill will be aided by having so many players back fit over the winter break, Edwards said, with competition for places making it “a pleasant environment to be in”.

“Since the January break we’ve started every game really well and it was about doing that again, as obviously Celtic had lost to Kilmarnock and they’re going to come out (strongly) in the first 10 or 15 minutes. Then we find ourselves 2-0 down.

“But I think one thing that’s been really good so far is that we’ve had everyone back fit and keeping the group together and we’ll create chances and we got the goal back from Kris Doolan early on. So it was good to stay in the game, but just disappointing from the first 10 minutes.”

That Doolan, on 99 league goals for Thistle, marked his 350th appearance for the Jags with another strike was no surprise to Edwards.

“He’s been an amazing player for Partick Thistle for many years,” the Singapore-born former Reading player said.

All eyes at Firhill now turn towards Saturday’s game against Dundee, one spot above the Jags in the table.

“We’ve three massive games coming up [Dundee at home, Hamilton away and Ross County away] starting with Dundee on Saturday,” said Edwards.

He added: “If you look at the position we’re in, it’s such a tight league. I think we’ve got six or seven games left [before the split] and we’ve got teams in and around us in the table coming up and that will probably determine where we finish.”