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Page last updated at 18:10 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 19:10 UK

Ross County 1-2 Partick Thistle

By Charles Bannerman
BBC Scotland at Victoria Park

SFL

Partick Thistle finally capped their lengthy goal drought at 518 minutes with a victory over Scottish Cup finalists Ross County in Dingwall.

The home side opened the scoring on 57 minutes when Paul Di Giacomo found the bottom left corner.

Two minutes later, Simon Donnelly replied with a free kick for his team's first goal since he scored on 23 March.

Substitute Martin Greehan ended Thistle's five-game run without a win with the decisive strike.

County battled back hard as both teams hit the woodwork, but a superb performance from Thistle keeper Bryn Halliwell allowed them to hold on for all three points.

The Jags started much the brighter and Brian Hodge hooked a chance past the left post after just two minutes, but soon after Michael Gardyne put a 22-yard effort just over the bar for County.

The home side had a double chance when Andy Barrowman's header was bundled off the line and Scott Boyd's effort with the rebound was saved by Halliwell.

Thistle might have gone ahead when David Rowson picked up a poor defensive header. His shot was powerful enough, but went straight to Michael McGovern.

Halliwell's next heroic stop came just before the interval when he was equal to a 15-yard volley from Gardyne and, early in the second half, Rowson hit the post from the edge of the penalty area.

County's breakthrough came when Di Giacomo picked up a ball from Barrowman and squeezed it in by the left post with what looked like a weak shot, with Halliwell uncharacteristically slow off his mark.

But, just two minutes later, Donnelly equalised when he found exactly the same corner of the County goal with a much better hit 19-yard free kick.

Halliwell was on form to again foil Gardyne and Richard Brittain hit the crossbar from 20 yards as the Staggies pressed.

Thistle's winner came on 74 minutes, when Kieron Burns did well to keep the ball in play on the left touchline and then set up Greehan for a solid strike.

The game continued to surge from end to end and Halliwell worked wonders with Garry Wood's header then yet again with an effort from Gardyne.

In the other goal, McGovern was not to be outdone when he made a point-blank save from Burns before Greehan blazed the rebound over.

County produced the best of the battling qualities that have been a hallmark of their season and Di Giacomo had an effort blocked by John Robertson.

In stoppage time, both keepers had final chances to shine, McGovern pulling off a double save from Burns, while Halliwell denied Wood.


Ross County manager derek Adams:
"We had enough opportunities in the game to take something. It was either good goalkeeping or poor finishing that meant we didn't take anything.

"Bryn Haliwell had a number of great saves, but we've got to be finishing off the chances we do create.

"We didn't let things slip from the point of view of desire and creating chances and going forward, but the two goals we did lose were poor from our point of view.

"Now we have Morton on Monday night. They are a physical side and we're looking forward to getting back to winning ways."

Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall:
"It could have been six-all! I'm just disappointed that we're missing too many really good chances and I had a word with young Kieron.

"He's a tremendous finisher, but he's had four or five one-on-ones with the goalie in two or three games.

"Ross County never gave up. They're a really good side and they kept coming at us and the goalie had to make three or four really good saves.

"Our supporters would tell you that, against Ayr United and Dundee, we created numerous chances, but I never thought it was a problem with the players being good enough to finish chances, because in the first half of the season we were the top goal scorers in the league.

"Second half, we were bottom by a mile, but hopefully that will be put right for next season."


Ross County: McGovern, Miller, Keddie, Boyd, Morrison, Gardyne, Brittain, Scott (Vigurs 60), Kettlewell (Watt 80), Barrowman (Wood 70), Di Giacomo. Subs Not Used: Malin, Smith.

Booked: Brittain. Goal: Di Giacomo 58.

Partick Thistle: Halliwell, Corrigan, Maxwell, Robertson, Conroy, Erskine, Bryan Hodge (Grehan 65), Rowson, Corcoran (MacBeth 46), Donnelly, Doolan (Burns 60). Subs Not Used: Hinchcliffe, Boyle.

Booked: Donnelly, Halliwell. Goals: Donnelly 60, Grehan 74.

Att: 2,175

Ref: D Somers



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