Partick Thistle 1 Ross County 1

partick thistle v ross county'paul paton and scott morrison'em'11/12/10
partick thistle v ross county'paul paton and scott morrison'em'11/12/10

THIS was never going to be a classic match - what with Thistle being rusty after having not played a game for a month - but it will be one fans remember for all the wrong reasons.

Ross County were keen for a win with their new manager, former Firhill player Willie McStay, but their temporary lead came in a controversial way following a penalty resulting in Alan Archibald being sent off.

partick thistle v ross county'liam buchanan'em'11/12/10

partick thistle v ross county'liam buchanan'em'11/12/10

The opening exchanges on a bitterly cold day were very pedestrian with County taking the initiative, with no indication of what was to unfold.

But in the 18th mintute all hell unfolded when a nice passing move from County sliced open the Thistle defence and the ball was cut back from the right. Referee Conroy spotted an infringement inside the box and decided to award a highly dubious penalty. But to make matters worse, he also flashed the red card in the direction of Archibald.

County’s Richard Brittain ignored the fuss that the red card produced and smacked home the penalty into the bottom corner of the net.

Although County enjoyed the majority of possession after scoring, they didn’t cause much of a headache to a reorganised home back line, with Conrad Balatoni coming on for Liam Buchanan in the wake of Archibald’s ordering off.

And on 22 minutes it almost paid off when a Paul Cairney free kick from the corner of the box picked out Paddy Boyle, who was unfortunate to see McGovern in the County goal get down and push his header away.

But a battling Thistle got their revenge in the 40th minute following a quickly taken free kick. It was intercepted by Chris Erskine and slotted into the corner of the net to go into the break 1-1.

In the opening 15 minutes after the break, County twice came close to going ahead again, but both attempts were off target.

Thistle’s came close when Erskine and then Simon Donnelly had opportunities to shoot at the edge of the box with the latter tackled just as he was getting ready to pull the trigger.

Then in the 66th minute County’s Martin Scott’s came close to scoring and the Jags had the quick reactions of Scott Fox to thank.

Five minutes later there were loud shouts for a Thistle penalty when Erskine went down inside the box in not dissimilar circumstances in which County got their penalty.

While Thistle looked dangerous on the break, County pressed them hard hard and with five minutes remaining they missed a great chance to take a late lead.

There were no more chances after this and Thistle did well to soldier on with only ten men to earn a point.

Partick Thistle: Fox, Paton, Kinniburgh, Archibald, Boyle, Cairney, Rowson, Hodge, Erskine, (Flannigan), Buchanan, (Balatoni) Donnelly, (Doolan),