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Following a disappointing week at Firhill that saw Kris Doolan’s side lose back-to-back league games for the first time in his managerial career, Partick Thistle welcomed league leaders Dundee United to Glasgow’s west end with the Arabs looking to extend their lead at the top of the table after Raith Rovers’ wobble in Arbroath.

There was redemption between the sticks for stopper David Mitchell who was given his first taste of action since August last year after the goalkeeping department had become somewhat of a problem area in recent weeks. Gaffer Doolan decided to shake things up in the middle of the park with Lewis Neilson being pushed forward to join Luke McBeth and Scott Robinson in a midfield three, meaning ever-present Stuart Bannigan and Kerr McInroy dropped to the bench as the Jags looked to match the opponents physicality.

With things set up for an old-fashioned battle, the hosts couldn’t have hoped for a better start as they found themselves in front with only two minutes on the clock. Aidan Fitzpatrick’s in-swinging corner met a combination of the towering McBeth and Wasiri Williams, the headed effort looked to be drifting in at Jack Walton’s far post when Brian Graham showed his striker's instincts as he ghosted in to apply the finishing touch to ensure Thistle took the early lead. A fourth consecutive game on the scoresheet for the skipper who takes his personal tally to 19 for the season.

One-way traffic would ensue and the Jags should have cushioned their lead going into the interval. Former United academy graduate Neilson found a yard of space in the area but his close-range header sailed over the crossbar. The changes to personnel were vindicated as the visitors struggled to cope with Thistle’s height advantage at set-plays.

Dundee United’s best chance of the first half came on 38 minutes when Alex Greive’s floated cross met the head of Scott McMann who had blindsided Stevie Lawless at the back post. The left-back’s header looked destined for the bottom corner of the net - only to be denied by the strong hand of Mitchell. The restored keeper received a vote of confidence from the Jags support and they bellowed his name from the stands.

Regardless of a dominant opening 45, the Jags were under no illusions that the inevitable United onslaught would come. Despite Thistle defending valiantly as a unit, United would find themselves level on 67 minutes. The hosts failed to clear their lines, allowing Miller Thomson to tee up Louis Moult who broke Thistle’s resolve from 14 yards as he left Mitchell with no chance.

Just minutes after restoring parity, United were perhaps fortunate to retain a full complement on the park following a heavy challenge from Ross Docherty. The former Jags captain was lucky to escape with only a booking as he left a late tackle on young Neilson. Terrors boss Jim Goodwin made the decision to hook the midfielder in the immediate aftermath as the home support were beginning to rattle Docherty on his return to Firhill.

Whilst the Docherty challenge led to a contentious decision, there can be little debate that United escaped a certain red card on 80 minutes when goalscorer Moult caught Thistle’s Williams with a clean elbow. The United striker had no eyes for the ball when he left the defender in a heap requiring medical attention directly under the nose of the linesman. The near 4,500 in attendance left in disbelief as Matthew MacDermid brandished only a yellow card once more.

Honours even in Glasgow and a point apiece a fair reflection of the tie as United move one point clear of Raith at the summit whilst Thistle remain in third spot despite now being winless in their last six league outings. Up next a trip to the southside for Doolan’s men as they head to Hampden to take on in-form Queen’s Park who look to have found their feet again under the stewardship of Callum Davidson.