By Blair McNally

Partick Thistle’s return to the Scottish Championship started in fine fashion on flag day with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Queen of the South.

Brian Graham’s brace was cancelled out by Willie Gibson’s stunning opener and a Ruari Paton header. Scott Tiffoney scored the winner five minutes from time to ensure the League One champions got off to a winning start.

Celtic v Partick Thistle - Betfred Cup Scottish League Cup: Quarter Final

Winning Thistle start. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Queen’s took the lead 10 minutes in through a moment of magic. Cutting in from the left, Gibson unleashed a venomous strike. The movement proved too much for Thistle goalkeeper Jamie Sneddon as it nestled into the top corner.

Within minutes, Partick Thistle were level. Rudden latched onto a neat through ball by Stuart Bannigan on the byline. His looping cross was met by Graham, heading into the roof of the net.

Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston was ordered to watch the remainder of the game from the stands by referee Greg Aitken, later confirming the dismissal was for ‘stepping on the pitch.’

Heart of Midlothian v Queen of the South - Scottish Championship

Sent off. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The home side were ahead before the break, Graham on-hand to tap in a rebound from Ciaran McKenna’s header.

Kyle Turner’s volley inside the six yard box looked to have doubled Thistle’s lead but Graham was judged to have returned the ball from out of play. The away side took full advantage, Paton’s looping header ending up in the net shortly after.

Tiffoney would ensure Thistle would end the day with three points, firing coolly inside the box to secure the victory. Here are three things we learned.

23/01/20 - Partick Thistle Press Conference

Graham was key. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Attacking flair

The permanent summer additions of Cammy Smith, Turner and Tiffoney have added a new lease of life to Partick Thistle’s attack. With strength in depth, Thistle are an exciting bunch going forward and will have no problem scoring goals this season.

Age only a number

Gibson rolled back the years with one of the strikes of the season, rattling one into the top corner from 25 yards out. Turning 37 next week, Gibson was at the forefront of the action at Firhill, leading by example with his energy and aggression.

Goals for Graham

Graham has made a name for himself as a regular scorer across a variety of SPFL levels. The 33-year-old is showing no signs of stopping and since his  Thistle arrival, the striker has scored 20 goals in 36 games.

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