Steven Lawless admits that Partick Thistle’s dramatic cinch Premiership play-off final defeat away to Ross County last month was weighing on his mind as Saturday’s curtain-raiser at Balmoor Stadium went to penalties – and the winger was relieved as his side eventually triumphed in a remarkable shoot-out.

The Jags were denied promotion to the top flight after missing out on penalties in Dingwall and 41 days later as the Viaplay Cup kicked off, another shoot-out beckoned after Peterhead’s Hamish Ritchie cancelled out Harry Milne’s early opener for the visitors.

Lawless was the second Thistle player to make the long walk to the penalty spot from the halfway line, and it was a journey he had to make twice after a full round of spot-kicks couldn’t separate the two sides.

Brian Graham and goalkeeper Jamie Sneddon would miss their kicks but Lawless’ second penalty would prove to be particularly important. The 32-year-old stuck to his original routine and it paid dividends once again before Sneddon saved the decisive spot-kick immediately afterwards to seal the bonus point.

“I’ve never been involved in a shoot-out like that,” Lawless said. “I’ve scored two penalties in a game for Livingston before but not that.

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“I didn’t think it was going to get back round to me. A few boys I never fancied! But they managed to put them away.

“My first penalty was terrible, I got away with one. So I was thinking ‘you can’t miss the second after that’.

“I was committed to going the same side. I have a wee routine but that’s the first penalty I’ve hit in ages. The second one was what I meant to do the first time. I’ll put it down to rustiness!

“One hundred per cent Dingwall was on our minds. Even the journey up there. The game wasn’t great but as soon as you miss penalties you worry.

“I’m glad we managed to get the result because it could have lingered a bit longer if we didn’t. That’s it put to bed now.”

As for the two missed kicks? Well, let’s just say that Lawless has more sympathy for one his team-mates than the other.

“Jamie’s job is to save them so he’s managed to get us the win,” he said. “It was more Brian Graham - his penalty was shocking. He went to the keeper’s left but I think everyone in the stadium knew he was going there.

“That’s the only good thing - he was arguing about who was taking them this season so that’s been put to bed now.”

Tannadice awaits this evening for Lawless and his team-mates and while the winger is expecting to be met by a Dundee United side itching to put the record straight after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Spartans on Saturday, he will not be reading too much into the result no matter which way it goes.

United might well be a wounded animal at present, he says, but they will be an altogether different beast by the time the league campaign kicks off at the start of next month.

“It could be the case,” he said. “Listen, we know they’ve a good squad but this time of the season is very false. I don’t think we’re anywhere near he finished article ourselves and I don’t think they will be.

“I wouldn’t look too much into this game ahead of the rest of the season. It’s so early that it could be a completely different team we face in the league.

“They have spending power that we probably don’t and maybe a poor League Cup group stage would make them go and spend more. It would be good to go there and get the win though.”

There will be two opponents in the hosts’ squad tonight that Lawless is very familiar with: defender Kevin Holt and central midfielder Ross Docherty, both of whom swapped Firhill for Tannadice last month when their Thistle contracts expired.

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Beyond congratulating the pair on their moves, Lawless says he hasn’t had much contact with his former team-mates since they ventured north – but he reckons that will change as soon as the match gets under way this evening.

“I’ve not spoken to them since they went up because it’s been that quick a turnaround,” Lawless added. “I wished them all the best. It’s been that frantic a start to the season I’ve not spoken to them since.

“Hopefully we’ll have the bragging rights. There’ll be back and forth at Tannadice, 100 per cent! I’ve always got something like that wherever I go. But especially if it’s going to be those two.

“Liam Grimshaw as well - he’s quieter though so I’ll leave him to it. He’d murder me anyway. Holty isn’t shy, he’s got a big mouth and no doubt he’ll be giving it big licks.”