St Johnstone 2-0 Partick- Match Report

St Johnstone 2-0 Partick: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.Saints back to winning waysSt Johnstone strengthened their position inside the Scottish Premiership top six after a goal at the start of each half earned them a 2-0 win over Partick Thistle at McDiarmid Park.Captain Dave Mackay gave Tommy Wright's side a fourth-minute lead with a deflected effort and fellow defender Steven Anderson headed home in the 49th minute to seal the home side's seventh win in nine matches.Ryan Stevenson hit the crossbar and Nathan Eccleston had a shot cleared off the goal-line but the ninth-placed visitors were unable to find a breakthrough, meaning they have just one victory from their last seven games.St Johnstone, who had lost their last two matches, made a blistering start to the clash and were in front with their first attack

The returning Brian Easton kept the ball alive down the left and delivered an inswinging cross which the visitors failed to clear, allowing the opportunity for Mackay's strike from the edge of the area to find the bottom corner with the aid of a deflection.It was almost two for the home side when Conrad Balatoni lost possession in a dangerous area with poor clearance

That gave Simon Lappin the chance to whip in a curling delivery, which was met by a powerful Liam Caddis header at the far post that goalkeeper Paul Gallacher did well to tip round the post.Thistle had been slow out of the blocks but almost drew level when Stuart Bannigan's corner found Stevenson 12 yards from goal

The former Hearts forward was given an inexplicable amount of time to turn before his powerful right-footed shot cannoned back off the crossbar with Alan Mannus beaten.The visitors were beginning to see more of the ball as the half progressed but were struggling to make the decisive pass in the final third and it was David Wotherspoon at the other end who had the first half's only other threatening effort when his low 20-yard shot drifted just past the post.Having made a lightning start to the first half, St Johnstone repeated the trick by striking within four minutes after the break as Thistle switched off from a set-piece.After Stephen O'Donnell had denied Michael O'Halloran the chance to shoot with a last-ditch challenge, Wotherspoon's resulting near-post corner found Anderson and his glancing header nestled into the far corner.The home side were buoyed and almost put the game beyond doubt when Caddis cut inside and found Lappin, who curled a right-footed shot just over the bar.Thistle tried to respond when Kris Doolan turned sharply after receiving Daniel Seaborne's pass and forced Mannus to parry his snapshot before gathering it at the second attempt.They came even closer when substitute Eccleston beat the offside trap to race on to Kallum Higginbotham's pass and round Mannus, only to be denied when his goal-bound left-footed effort was superbly cleared off the line by a recovering Easton to end any hopes of a comeback

Source : PA

Source: PA