Partick Thistle regain first division top spot

PARTICK Thistle moved back into the top spot ahead of Morton for the first time this year following their 3-0 victory over Cowdenbeath at Central Park on Wednesday night.

The last time The Jags played Cowdenbeath in a postponed match they were trailing the Fifers 2-1 when fog stopped play with just 20 minutes to go.

There were no such problems this time, but there was a mammoth effort to clear the Central Park pitch of snow.

When the game did get underway new manager Alan Archibald made just one change to his starting line-up against Livingston. Steven Craig - scorer of the second goal in the 6-1 win in that game - missed out because of injury and his place went to Kris Doolan, whose tally of Thistle goals stood at 49 prior to kick-off.

Thistle opened the scoring on 25 minutes. A poor backpass let in Kris Doolan and keeper Colin Stewart challenged him, but the ball landed in the path of Stephen O’Donnell for an easy tap in.

Thistle doubled the score on 31 minutes when James Craigen’s corner was flicked on by Aaron Muirhead and Doolan buried it at the far post.

Just before half time Beath swapped injured Jason Naismith with Tom O’Brien and at half time brought on Mark Ramsay for Lewis Milne. Thistle replaced Paul Paton for Stuart Bannigan.

O’Brien was then sent off in the 70th minute for tugging back Doolan when he was clear on goal.

The red card that followed for the Cowdenbeath defender was inevitable and they only escaped further punishment when Stewart produced a fine save to keep out Aaron Sinclair’s free kick that followed.

A third goal though did arrive with 11 minutes of the game remaining. Chris Erskine threaded the ball through to Steven Lawless. Lawless himself was denied a goal by a fine save from Stewart but the ball spun to Doolan who duly nodded it home to complete the scoring for the evening and round of an excellent night’s work for Thistle.