When does it become a cliché to talk about how bonkers the Championship is? If whoever decides when that threshold is crossed could hold off a little that’d be great, because there is simply no other way to describe its latest offering of absolute chaos.

Three days after being involved in one of the most dramatic matches Scottish football has staged for quite some time, Queen’s Park were at it again. Again, though, they found themselves on the wrong end when the final whistle blew.

Partick Thistle, on the other hand, will head into Friday’s play-off quarter-final second leg with a 4-3 advantage after all hell broke loose at Firhill. Goals from Kyle Turner, Jack McMillan and Aidan Fitzpatrick should’ve been enough to see off the Spiders, but a Dom Thomas double either side of Malachi Boateng’s deflected goal somehow dragged them back into contention.

But when stoppage time ticked into the 97th minute, it would’ve been terribly off-brand for there not to be another twist. And so up stepped Brian Graham to lash in the winner, tee up Friday at Ochilview for another cracker, and age his manager by another few years.

"I was 36 when the game started, I feel a lot older now,” said a frazzled Kris Doolan. “What a game.

"We might've lost that game previously, there's still so much character in this team. We deserved the win but we didn't half make it hard for ourselves. Brian Graham, that's why we leave him on the pitch."

Rarely is anything certain on these nerve-shredding occasions, but it feels fairly safe to assert that Queen’s cannot continue to defend like they have done if the Premiership dream left battered and bruised by Dundee last week is to rise again.

They started the evening with such promise.

Louis Longridge wasn’t looking for Grant Savoury with his cut-back but he found him, and Savoury came within inches of finding the bottom corner. Barely a minute later, Charlie Fox should’ve made three goals in two games when the ball broke to him yards out from a corner, but his scruffy effort hit Mitchell, the post, Kevin Holt, then Mitchell again before finally being cleared.

Fox will have been wondering where his luck had gone when, up the other end, Turner turned inside Jack Thomson to smash a shot against the big centre-back and into the net. There were no obvious signs of woundedness from Friday about Queen’s until then, but it seems three days was nowhere near long enough to cure the defensive ills which cost them the title.

The goal settled Thistle, who had figured out there were not-too-complicated routes in behind the Queen’s back four. When Scott Tiffoney found one down their inside-right channel, McMillan made a clever run on the inside and smashed home his team-mate’s lay-off with aplomb.

It could have been a fatal blow for the Spiders, whose attempts to hide their brittle confidence were being betrayed by the fact their passing football was, for a period, almost exclusively backwards and sideways. That was until Thomas got turned in his own half and took it upon himself to drive into the big green space opening up in front of him.

It appeared the playmaker had taken one touch too many as the Jags regrouped, but he brilliantly fashioned a half-yard at the edge of the box to drill beyond McMillan and into the far corner.

As a contest, it was a goal this quarter-final needed, and one that guaranteed second-half tension. Chances which fell to Tiffoney at one end and Patrick Jarrett at the other had tell-tale signs of players tightening up at the crucial moment.

Speaking of which, Jack Thomson’s errant backpass was as nervy as they come, and this time Tiffoney stayed calm to find Fitzpatrick for a back post tap-in. That should’ve been that, but when Boateng’s shot struck the head of Lee Tension and wrong-footed McMillan, that tension redescended on Maryhill.

Those nerves turned to anger when Thomas again drove through Thistle’s midfield and unleashed a shot that was badly fumbled by McMillan on its way into the corner. No one will be more grateful for Graham’s late intervention, ghosting on to Hodson’s flick and finding the far corner brilliantly to sicken Queen’s Park and Coyle.

"No [I can't believe it],” he said. “We've still got to defend that [final] ball better. It was a cruel end. That's what football can do. There was going to be questions asked of us tonight. We need to defend better. But there's a lot to be pleased about."