ON a day that the two clubs synonymous with John Lambie came together to remember one of Scottish football’s most legendary characters, his spirit was invoked by more than a few punters staggering out of Firhill at the final whistle; what a f*****g relief.

Partick Thistle came from behind to claim their first win in 11 matches, climbing off the bottom of the table and hauling opponents Hamilton back to within two points of the play-off spot amid emotional scenes at Firhill.

A wonderful celebration of Lambie’s life prior to kick-off gave way to a less than cordial basement battle that Thistle deserved to shade over the piece, condemning the freefalling visitors to their sixth straight defeat. If alarm bells weren’t ringing before at New Douglas Park, they should be now.

On the flip side, suddenly the sun is shining down on Maryhill again, although the storm clouds were gathering in the final minute of a first half that the home side had dominated.

A chipped pass inside from Dougie Imrie on the left looked to be meat and drink to Christie Elliott, but he failed to cut it out, and David Templeton picked up the scraps to wander through and curl a superb low effort home from the edge of the area.

As one Thistle legend was celebrated though, who better to blow away those clouds on the hour mark than another, Kris Doolan.

The umpteenth cross from Thistle’s left-hand side, this time from Callum Booth, finally found the mark, as Doolan – in acres of space – measured his header to perfection to find the top corner. It was his 100th league goal for the Jags, and Thistle’s first goal of any variety in 595 minutes.

“Getting the 100th goal was the perfect way to round that performance off in John Lambie’s first game with his stand named after him,” Doolan said. “There couldn’t have been a more fitting way to score it than in this game.

“Albeit, it was in weird circumstances, an 18-yard header is not something I’m known for, but I would have taken anything.

“I hope he was looking down on me.”

After Doolan’s equaliser, Thistle smelled blood, and a neat interchange between Booth, Blair Spittal and Conor Sammon saw the big striker’s shot on the turn deflected wide by the head of Shaun Want.

The corner pinged around in the Accies box before popping out to substitute Ryan Edwards on the edge of the area, and the Australian unleashed a rocket through a ruck of bodies and into the net. Two goals, and three points for Thistle. Words heard all too rarely around these parts of late.

“If you see the changing room now, it’s completely different to a couple of weeks ago and the way it has been for most of the season," said Doolan.

“It’s actually nice to see everybody enjoying football again.

One man who certainly didn’t enjoy the day though was Hamilton manager Martin Canning. It was harder to tell just what had irked the big man more, the profligacy of his side who passed up golden opportunities through Rakish Bingham and Marios Ogkmpoe, the fact that his defenders stood like statues yet again to allow an opposition striker to score unopposed, or referee John Beaton.

The last of the guilty parties on that list probably just shaded it, denying Accies what looked like a stonewall penalty in the first half as Tomas Cerny came out and appeared to bring down Ogkmpoe as he dinked the ball over the outrushing keeper.

“It was a poor decision not to give the penalty," Canning said. "The referee said that our players’ reaction made him think it wasn’t a penalty. Our players shouldn’t have to react – it’s his job to see fouls and to give it.

“So that’s gone against us but we still went 1-0 up and we were in a good position. We started the second half well, Rakish is through on goal and takes a heavy touch and then Marios shoots at the ‘keeper when he’s through. I would’ve expected both of them to score and, at 2-0, it’s a different game.

“They weren’t getting through us and then we don’t deal with two crosses. We’ve got to be clinical at both ends of the pitch because we really shouldn’t have lost that game.

“On the plus side, we’re still not in the bottom two and our fate is in our own hands.”

As if to round off the day with one last nod to Lambie, a horrific challenge from Ross Jenkins on Erskine sparked a 20-man melee in injury-time. You sensed the great man would have approved.


PARTICK THISTLE: Doolan (64’), Edwards (72’)

HAMILTON: Templeton (44’)

Referee: John Beaton

Attendance: 3839