Blair McNally

Partick Thistle continued their League One title chase, cruising to an excellent 5-0 win over Montrose at Firhill.

A double from Zak Rudden was capped off by goals from Shea Gordon, Scott Tiffoney and a special free-kick from Stuart Bannigan, bringing the Jags to within a point of leaders Falkirk.

Ian McCall’s men were excellent. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The first chance of the match came for the home side. Brian Graham found the ball bouncing on the edge of the box, attempting an audacious chip which clipped the top of the bar in the process.

With 20 minutes on the clock, the home side deservedly took the lead through an excellent transition of play from Richard Foster. Steven Bell’s switch found an on-rushing Foster who touched past the Montrose defence. In acres of space, he picked out Rudden, laying it on a plate for the in-form striker to finish with ease in front of goal.

Rudden was flying as he scored his fourth goal in two days. An interchange with Graham played the ball into the path of his partner who made no mistake, smashing the ball high to put Thistle 2-0 ahead. It was to be a night to remember as two individual efforts shortly after half-time ensured all three points remained in Maryhill.

Partick Thistle v Ayr United - Pre-season Friendly

Bannigan netted. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Bannigan chipped in with an unlikely goal. Brimming with confidence, the Jags veteran stepped up to a free-lick on the edge of the box, dispatching it delightfully into the top corner.

Just minutes later Tiffoney joined in on the fun, adding his name to the scoresheet. The Livingston loanee skipped past numerous Montrose defender’s before his shot was deflected into the bottom left corner. Joe Cardle’s cross then found the feet of Gordon, leaving him to stroke home with a stretching volley 10 minutes before the end.

Thistle leapfrogged Cove Rangers into second place, one point behind leaders Falkirk. The visitors remain in 5th place having played a game extra over 6th placed East Fife, one week before the League One split. Here are three things we learned.

Thistle in full flow

Thistle look to have found their feet after being in stop-start form for most of the season. A new lease of life in attack with the winter additions in full flow has put the Jags in cruise control, holding the best form in League One.

Partick Thistle v Queen of the South (Ladbrokes Championship)

Rudden is flying. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Montrose encouraging

The visitors showed signs of encouragement with several passages of play coming close to a goal. Stamina was evidently the difference between both sides as the heavy run of fixtures looks to be taking its toll on the part-time teams.

Rudden reignited

The introduction of Tiffoney has brought a new lease of life to this Thistle side, none more than Rudden. The 21-year-old is finally hitting the form he was signed by McCall to produce after a frustrating year. Scoring four goals in two days, Rudden is flying with confidence.

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