Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, Partick Thistle 1.
Kilmarnock leapfrogged Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership after beating the Firhill side at Rugby Park.
Chris Johnston's third goal in four games gave the hosts a half-time lead.
Thistle started the second half brightly and were rewarded when Kris Doolan guided home his seventh goal of the season past Killie's Craig Samson.
But in the 73rd minute Kris Boyd's crucial touch on Jackson Irvine's long-range shot ensured Kilmarnock took three valuable points.
The East Ayrshire side move up to ninth in the league thanks to Boyd's ninth goal of the season.
However, Allan Johnston's men also have to give a huge pat on the back to their goalkeeper Samson, who deterred a persistent Thistle attack on several occasions in the second half.
Alan Archibald's Jags have not won since a mid-October victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Despite struggling for goals for much of this season, the visitors looked relatively potent up front, as Doolan thumped in an early effort to check Samson was on song.
His opposite number Scott Fox was also called upon in the opening exchanges to deal with Boyd's shot.
Fox was beaten just before the break, though, unable to keep out Johnston's lovely left-foot strike into the corner.
Within five minutes of the restart Partick Thistle were back on level terms.
When the ball arrived at Doolan he shaped to shoot with his left foot, but let it run onto his right before finishing competently.
Thistle almost kicked on from that to score another. Kallum Higginbotham drifted past Killie right-back Sean Clohessy and cut-back for Steven Lawless, but the midfielder fired over when he should have done better.
Kilmarnock's Jackson Irvine has become known for a sweet strike from distance, and it was another one of those that created their winner.
His angled half-volley from 30 yards was diverted into the net by Boyd to send the hosts on their way to a first home win since October.
Thistle did not roll over and Higginbotham almost capped a wonderful move with an equaliser, but Samson stayed true to form to pull off a magnificent save from the winger's seven-yard shot.
Samson further frustrated the Jags when he kept out a Ross Forbes free-kick and the follow-up shot by John Baird.
- 7NicholsonSubstituted forGardyneat 59'minutes
- 10JohnstonSubstituted forWinchesterat 90'minutes
- 6BalatoniBooked at 70mins
- 13Rojo de la Vega
- 23HigginbothamSubstituted forForbesat 82'minutes
- 7CraigenBooked at 85mins
- 11LawlessSubstituted forBairdat 74'minutes
- 14ElliottSubstituted forO'Donnellat 80'minutes
- Craig Thomson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 2, Partick Thistle 1.
Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).
Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).
Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Kilmarnock. Jude Winchester replaces Chris Johnston.
James Craigen (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.
Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Craig Samson.
Attempt saved. Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).
Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ross Forbes replaces Kallum Higginbotham.
Attempt saved. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, Partick Thistle. Stephen O'Donnell replaces Christie Elliott.
Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).
Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. John Baird (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.