Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall bemoaned the 'avoidable' goals that his team conceded after losing to Queen's Park.

It was the second consecutive loss for the Maryhill club in all competitions following their midweek exit to Aberdeen in the quarter-finals of the Premier Sports Cup.

The result means the Firhill team dropped to second in the Scottish Championship as Inverness' point at home to Raith Rovers was enough to leapfrog McCall's men.

And the 58-year-old could not hide his frustration at full-time.

"I did not see that result coming after the first half," he said.

"I thought we were excellent in the first half after the first five minutes and should have scored two or three before half-time.

"After they get their goal from the set play, we became ragged.

"We went for it and put two strikers on, and I don't know if that was a mistake, but we certainly looked tired after that.

"Maybe that is because we allowed them to sit in, and they counter-attacked really well.

"Their last two goals were very much avoidable from our point of view."

The result was Thistle's first defeat at home in the league this season, and McCall felt his side lacked a clinical edge.

He continued: "Even in the second half, we had chances to score, so it is a really sore one.

"What is important now is how we react in our next game.

"If we get a positive result then we go back top."

During the opening stages of the fixture, it was the visitors who enjoyed the bulk of the early possession, with Thistle goalkeeper Jamie Sneddon doing well to tip a curling effort over the bar five minutes in. 

The hosts began to grow into the game, though, and this pressure culminated in them winning a penalty after Spiders defender Lee Kilday was judged to have handled the ball in the area.

However, Aaron Muirhead was unable to convert the spot-kick as his attempt hit the post.

Moments later, against the run of play, Owen Coyle's men took the lead through Tommy Robson.

The full-back was played in behind thanks to a superb pass, and he slotted the ball past the Jags keeper 25 minutes into the match.

Scott Tiffoney came the closest to the home team finding a reply before half-time after he forced a great save from Queen's Park shot-stopper, Calum Ferrie.

Despite this, it was the visitors who went into the break 1-0 up. 

There were no changes for either team at the start of the second 45 minutes, but this soon changed when Tiffoney limped off soon after the restart to be replaced with Cammy Smith.

The forced substitution did little to change the complexion of things for Partick Thistle, though, as in the 51st minute, the Spiders extended their lead.

Jags keeper Sneddon miskicked the ball, which led to Coyle's men getting a corner and defender Stephen Eze headed home to put the away side 2-0 up.

Soon after, the fixture was over as a contest when forward Josh McPake's calm finish gave the away side a three-goal cushion.

Misery was compounded for the Firhill faithful when the striker got his second to make it 4-0 with a fabulous finish.

It was a decisive victory for Coyle's team in the end, and the Queen's Park boss was delighted at his men's performance as they ended their run of three games without a win in style.

The Spiders are now in third place, and the former Republic of Ireland international was full of praise for his players.

He said: "I think the second half is the best we have been this season.

"We have won the game 4-0 and scored four very good goals.

"We were the better team, there is no argument about that.

"We managed to strike the balance both defensively and offensively, the four goals were nice, but I am happier with the clean sheet.

"I thought our quality of football was excellent today."