Having built up a head of steam in recent weeks, Partick Thistle would look to continue their rich vein of form as they made the trip to Scotland’s newest city to take on James McPake’s resurgent Dunfermline Athletic.

Kris Doolan made one change to the side that came out on top against Inverness with Kerr McInroy being restored to the starting line-up in place of Ben Stanway. With the squad down to the bare bones, the Jags bench maintained its youthful glow - naming only one outfield substitute over the age of 21 - with a total of seven academy graduates named in the matchday squad.

A fast-paced start from the visitors saw both Aidan Fitzpatrick and Brian Graham beat Deniz Mehmet in the Pars goal, only to be denied by a defender on the goalline on each occasion.

Third time was the charm for Thistle on 24 minutes as skipper Graham’s looping effort was adjudged to have crossed the line despite the best efforts of Miles Welch-Hayes. The Jags striker wheeled away to celebrate his 75th goal in red and yellow - relieved that the officials wouldn’t deny him against the Pars once again.

Despite a dominant opening 45, the visitors only went into the break with a one-goal lead and, with McPake’s men growing into the game, it was only a matter of time before the hosts fashioned an opportunity to level the scoring.

St Johnstone loanee Chris Kane took a tumble in the penalty area under minimal contact from Aaron Muirhead which saw the Pars awarded a spot-kick. The striker stepped up and sent David Mitchell the wrong way to claim his side a point and keep Dunfermline’s play-off hopes alive.

The Jags will no doubt feel as though two points have been dropped in Fife considering their first-half dominance - however a point away to fellow promotion hopefuls is a point closer to locking in their play-off spot.

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The real disappointment for Thistle is the injury sustained by Steven Lawless. The Firhill cult figure had to be stretchered off the field of play against his former employer following an innocuous incident.

The club could ill-afford to pick up any further injuries with five first-team regulars already sidelined long term. The devastating news all Jags fans had feared was confirmed via the club website that the mercurial Lawless had ruptured his Achilles tendon and will be required to undergo surgery before a lengthy rehabilitation period - ruling the wide man out until early 2025.

A concern that supporters had mooted all campaign had come to fruition. The risk that Thistle had taken to see out the season with only two out-and-out wingers on their books has backfired. After freeing Englishman Wes McDonald, supporters had been calling for Doolan to take a punt on a young loanee from the Premiership to come and play second fiddle to messieurs Lawless and Fitzpatrick but failure to guarantee game time proved to be a stumbling block in acquiring back-up, with the club only keen to add bodies who could enhance the team.

It is a potentially catastrophic blow for the Jags as they approach the play-off run-in and manager Doolan now finds himself left with a huge conundrum - will it be a case of square pegs in round holes with Zander Mackenzie, Ricco Diack or Kerr McInroy deployed out wide? Or will the Jags shake things up and introduce a change to formation that will allow the full-backs to enjoy more attacking freedom?

With the games coming thick and fast, whichever approach Doolan decides to take will need to be a seamless transition, as they don’t come much tougher than a trip to Stark’s Park - a ground Thistle have failed to win at since March 2011.

It is a potential play-off dress rehearsal in Kirkcaldy this weekend and Thistle will be aiming to get one over on Ian Murray’s side with hopes of building some much needed confidence in preparation for a grandstand finish.