Euan Wood

Partick Thistle extended their lead at the top of League One with a crucial 1-0 win over Airdrieonians in an encouraging result at Firhill.

It was a lively opening for the home side who came close to opening the scoring in the first minute. On-loan Livingston winger Scott Tiffoney found space on the left and found Brian Graham in the box, but the striker sent his header well over the bar.

31/01/20 - Partick Thistle v Ayr United - Ladbrokes Championship

Graham missed a chance. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group via Getty Images)

The hosts somehow failed to capitalise 20 minutes later following a miraculous double save from Max Currie in the Airdrie net. Joe Cardle found space on the right and set up Zak Rudden at the edge of the box but his effort was parried away by Currie to the feet of Graham two yards out. The keeper reacted brilliantly to deny Thistle again.

The Jags would take the lead four minutes later. Cardle’s deep cross was met by Shea Gordon whose effort cracked off the bar before falling to the feet of Graham, who forced it over the line despite the best efforts from Currie in goal.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Rudden could’ve doubled the hosts advantage five minutes later. Cardle’s through ball sliced open the Diamonds defence and allowed Rudden through on goal, but with the goal at his mercy, he was superbly denied by Currie.

Partick Thistle v Queen of the South (Ladbrokes Championship)

Rudden was denied. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Thistle would rightly feel aggrieved to be only one goal up at half time after failing to capitalise on their several opportunities on goal. The away side battled hard in the second half to draw level and had several opportunities to do so.

Kyle Turner danced his way past several Thistle tackles at the edge of the box, but he sent his effort well over the bar. The post would deny Airdrie in the 93rd minute, a long throw falling to Callum Gallagher at the edge of the box and the striker’s volley crashed off of the woodwork.

Thistle’s well-fought victory sees them extend their lead over Airdrie to six points while Cove Rangers and Falkirk trail the League One leaders by four. The Jags face a midweek trip to Cove before facing Falkirk at home on Thursday in a week which could seal promotion. Airdrie remain in fourth place. Here are the three things we learned.

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

Going good at Firhill. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Thistle in the driving seat

The Jags opened up a four-point lead over their closest title contenders with three games to go. Ian McCall’s side have now recorded five-straight wins in what has been an impeccable run of form from the Jags. Thistle are now firmly in the driving seat and could confirm the title this week and a return to the Scottish Championship.

Diamonds challenge

Following defeat in Maryhill, Ian Murray’s side are now six points behind Thistle in a big blow to their late title challenge. They will now face a crucial match for their promotion play-off chances against Montrose on Tuesday.

Five clean sheets

By successfully defending a late Airdrie fightback, Thistle have now recorded their fifth straight clean sheet in what has been an impressive period. With strong defensive security at the back, this has allowed Thistle to build confidence at the front, netting 13 times in this period.

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