THAT Partick Thistle's recent home form has helped them secure their Premiership twist with three games to spare is more than a little ironic.

For much of the season, Alan Archibald's side could not buy a win at Firhill. Between October and March they managed a single victory in the west end of Glasgow from nine league matches. Such a sequence of results brings relegation to the door.

Something, however, changed at Maryhill. Partick Thistle's comprehensive victory over St Mirren was their fourth win at home in a row. They haven't even conceded a goal during this period and also picked up vital points on their travels. Such results save clubs from being anywhere near the play-off place and they are now looking to catch Hamilton Academical above them, rather than looking over their shoulders.

There was even a suggestion from Thistle player Steven Lawless, who scored the last goal in a formulaic 3-0 win, there was a sense that the team had under-achieved, although the fact the Glasgow outfit will finish well clear of trouble does point to a pretty decent season overall.

"The first aim was to get a result and make sure that we were safe," said Lawless. "We are sitting six points ahead of Kilmarnock and if we can get a result next week against Hamilton then that will give us a chance of catching them in seventh, which is our aim. We will try our best to get a result against them and bring them closer to us.

"We have been inconsistent this year. We felt we could have been higher up the league. That's the way it has gone though and all we can do is try and win as many games as possible between now and the end of the season. We have improved on last season. A lot of the boys still feel that we have actually underachieved this year on the whole, but sometimes things don't quite go your way. If we can keep the team together we can do even better next season."

Keeping the team together will be the aim of manager Archibald now he knows for sure which division his team will play in next season. Lawless is one of many who are coming to the end of their contracts and wants to stay and help the team move forward.

He said: "I was just waiting to see that we were going to be safe, I will sit down with the gaffer next week hopefully and see that we get something sorted."

St Mirren were poor, again, and can now be relegated next week if they can't win at Ross County, although in truth they have been all-but gone for some time.

Thistle coasted to this win., although St Mirren should have been awarded a penalty when the match was level when Jason Naismith was felled in the box by Callum Booth. Everyone in the ground saw the foul apart from the officials including referee Craig Thomson.

There was almost 70 minutes on the clock when the hosts eventually scored the opening goal, which their play deserved, when Ryan Stevenson powered home a header from Kallum Higginbotham's precise delivery. Substitute Kris Doolan doubled the advantage on 82 minutes with a neat half-volley and Lawless added a third in injury time to cap an impressive individual performance.

For the visitors, it was a disappointing return to normality after a stunning victory over Kilmarnock last time out. They now must win all of their remaining matches to have any chance of avoiding relegation. A tall order.

Naismith was rightly aggrieved not be awarded a penalty, but conceded that bad play rather than bad refereeing which has been responsible for his team heading towards the Championship.

He said: "It was a stonewall penalty. How the linesman couldn't see was baffling. I think the ref wanted to give it because he put the whistle to his mouth, but no decision was made between them. It would have given us something to hold on to. It was also a goal scoring opportunity and whilst you don't want anyone to get sent off, he would have had to go because I was through on goal. It was a big, big moment and a big call. "

"(But) We've not been good enough either. We can't get too caught up in blaming refs because our performance wasn't good enough today either. When you don't get a decision like that you have to react to it and we didn't do well enough. We were so lethargic in the second-half. We were passing the ball about aimlessly and there was a real flatness about us, like an end of season game."