By Declan Hughes
Football was still on display at Firhill as deadline day continued- but neither Partick Thistle or Ayr United could make movements up the Championship table.
Ayr missed the chance to go two points clear in second place as the Honest Men left Glasgow with a point thanks to a penalty from Alan Forrest, cancelling out Thistle’s first half goal from Brian Graham. The Jags remain bottom.
Partick Thistle grew into the game early on and they were unfortunate to see Joe Cardle’s attempt sail over the bar from about 10 yards out. The Jags didn’t lose hope, with Graham showing his physical attributes, picking up free kicks in good areas for Thistle.
It wasn’t long before the ex-Ross County man was rewarded for his hard work when he tucked away a cross from Cardle. He made it two in two since joining from County.
52 minutes in and Ayr were awarded a penalty. This decision had the Jags fans furious as well as the guilty defender, Lee O’ Connor. Forrest confidently stepped up and sent Scott Fox the wrong way, taking his tally to 9 goals this season.
Neither side could fine the winner in Maryhill and here are three things we learned.
Graham could be massive in Thistle’s survival fight
Partick Thistle are crying out for wins to progress back up the table. Ian McCall’s men last picked up three points against Greenock Morton on December 28th. Since then, the Jags gaffer has added to his squad for the second half of the season, and one man in particular could be very important.
Graham joined the Jags after finding regular minutes limited at Ross County. He brings a wealth of experience of playing in the Scottish top flight and even a stint in the English Football League.
Thistle have opted for many young signings in the window and Graham is a top pro who can help the likes of Zak Rudden to improve, whilst also contributing to attacking endeavours himself.
Jags feel hard done by
The Jags felt frustrated they missed an opportunity to make use of the home advantage and gain themselves a vital three points.
Thistle weren’t shy in showing their intent against a good team in Ayr. They showed great belief and they could have easily grabbed all 3 points.
After the Jags took the lead, they would have entered the dressing room at half time believing they could go on and finish the job but it wasn’t long before they were pegged back. Thistle may have left the park feeling disappointed, but come the end of the season though, this could be looked at as a vital point.
A sign of things to come
Partick Thistle fans can feel encouraged with their performance. They might not have gathered the much-needed win they were hungry for, however, they looked like a team who can go on to challenge in this league.
McCall’s team has bonded quickly, with a blend of youth and experience coming together well. Money has been invested properly and as the season goes on, Thistle will definitely be expecting to finish in a much higher position.
They now have pace and trickery on the flanks in abundance alongside great height and physicality up front. If those departments combine well, they can cause teams real problems.