Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle0St Johnstone2

Partick Thistle 0-2 St Johnstone

Steven Anderson (left) fires in the opener from a tight angle
Steven Anderson (left) fired in the opener for Saints from a tight angle

Goals from Steven Anderson and Steven MacLean gave St Johnstone their second Premiership win of the season against Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Centre-back Anderson met Danny Swanson's hanging cross with a remarkable finish from a tight angle.

Swanson was also the provider for the second goal after the break, feeding veteran striker MacLean, whose 20-yard strike flew into the top-left corner.

Thistle wasted several chances as they slipped to a third loss in four games.

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Scottish Premiership highlights: Partick Thistle 0-2 St Johnstone

The hosts, who are now bottom of the Premiership, were forced to replace goalkeeper Tomas Cerny with Ryan Scully in the first-half after the Czech stopper damaged his foot in a one-on-one collision with Saints' Chris Kane.

Saints finally puncture the Jags

Without a Premiership victory since the opening day of the season, both teams were eager to get back to winning ways.

For St Johnstone, there was also the aim of rectifying a poor recent record against Thistle, who had won the previous four meetings between the sides.

The hosts were not dreadful. In the first half they had as many, if not more, chances than their visitors, but everything they sent towards goal was either wayward or tame.

Once a Saint, always a Saint

Anderson's goal was admirable in a variety of ways.

Firstly there was the quality of the finish, turning in from the tightest of angles at the back post with the side of his left foot when the busy Swanson swung in a deep cross.

But 60 seconds before the goal, a slightly exposed Anderson had intelligently thwarted a threatening-looking run by the jinking Partick striker Ade Azeez.

Anderson, 30, is a loyal one-club man who has spent his whole senior career with Saints to date. That's over 330 appearances since 2004 for the centre-back, which is a rarity in the era of short-term contracts and players who frequently move thinking the grass will be greener on the other side.

Swanson's supply line

St Johnstone's Steven MacLean shields the ball from Partick's Ziggy Gordon
Steven MacLean grabbed St Johnstone's second goal to seal victory

Nominally playing on the right wing, but scampering here, there and everywhere, Swanson continued to show his worth for the away side. Not only has he scored seven goals so far this season, but he is creating them on a regular basis too.

In addition to the delivery for Anderson's opener, it was Swanson who snapped up a loose pass in midfield to feed MacLean on the edge of the box for St Johnstone's second.

Veteran striker MacLean still had a lot to do, but he spun and fired the ball high past substitute goalkeeper Scully for his fifth of the season.

In a statistical quirk, Anderson and MacLean were also the two scorers when Saints won the Scottish Cup final in 2014.

Post-match reaction:

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright: "We deserved the win and weren't under real pressure for any sustained periods in the game.

"I still don't know how Anderson's done it [scored the goal from a tight angle] but what makes the finish is that he doesn't give up and maybe the defender thinks the ball is going out. It was a great finish from an acute angle.

"MacLean's goal was a sublime finish into the top corner. I'm pleased that he got one from outside the box because he doesn't always do that.

"Danny Swanson provides us with that bit of spark and quality. When Danny's in that form, he gives us something extra in the final third."

Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald: "It's bitterly disappointing that we didn't do enough in the game. In the first half we started brightly enough but we didn't win individual battles today. We were second to most things all over the pitch.

"We didn't look as creative and sharp as we have done. Sometimes it works but the front four didn't quite work today, didn't quite click. I think that was down to further back in the pitch - not winning individual battles and giving those guys a platform to play.

"There was a flatness after the Tomas Cerny injury. It's a recurrence of his foot injury and we thought it would have been cleared up by now, so it's a concern."

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1CernySubstituted forScullyat 39'minutes
  • 23Gordon
  • 15Devine
  • 5Lindsay
  • 3Booth
  • 10Erskine
  • 6Osman
  • 4WelshSubstituted forAmooat 65'minutes
  • 11Lawless
  • 9Doolan
  • 16AzeezSubstituted forEdwardsat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Amoo
  • 12Scully
  • 13Barton
  • 14Elliott
  • 18Wilson
  • 19Edwards
  • 20McDaid

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 26Craig
  • 7Millar
  • 18Paton
  • 11SwansonBooked at 70minsSubstituted forWotherspoonat 71'minutes
  • 9MacLean
  • 25KaneSubstituted forCumminsat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 4Alston
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 17Coulson
  • 20Gormley
  • 29Cummins
  • 39Comrie
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
2,885

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 0, St. Johnstone 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, St. Johnstone 2.

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Richard Foster (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Danny Swanson.

Booking

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Callum Booth (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. David Amoo replaces Sean Welsh.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 0, St. Johnstone 2. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Danny Swanson.

Foul by Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle).

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Danny Devine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Graham Cummins replaces Christopher Kane.

Attempt missed. Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

Ziggy Gordon (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Second Half

Second Half begins Partick Thistle 0, St. Johnstone 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ryan Edwards replaces Adebayo Azeez.

Half Time

First Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, St. Johnstone 1.

Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Steven Lawless.

Foul by Callum Booth (Partick Thistle).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic44001551012
2Hearts5311115610
3Rangers522179-28
4Ross County52127707
5St Johnstone52127707
6Dundee51316516
7Aberdeen513146-26
8Motherwell512256-15
9Hamilton512257-25
10Kilmarnock512257-25
11Inverness CT5113612-64
12Partick Thistle410346-23
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