Partick Thistle 1-0 Hamilton Academical
Partick Thistle moved off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table as Niall Keown’s first-half volley secured a 1-0 triumph over Hamilton at the Energy Check Stadium.
Thistle went into the game two points adrift at the foot, but Saturday’s win – courtesy of Keown’s second goal of the season – saw them climb to 11th place after Ross County’s defeat at Hibernian.
The defender was on hand to volley in at the back post following a wicked delivery from Martin Woods and, in a game of few chances, it proved enough for a second win in three for Thistle.
The game started in a scrappy manner with neither side comfortable in possession, and that nervousness brought about the first chance for the hosts.
A simple long ball upfield was not dealt with by last man Scott McMann, who did his best to gift-wrap an early Christmas present for Chris Erskine with a poor attempted back-pass.
Erskine raced through on goal but lost his composure at the key moment and saw his effort deflected wide.
Daniel Devine headed wide from the resulting corner, before Dougie Imrie went close at the other end with a looping header which was palmed away by Tomas Cerny.
It was another set-piece, however, that saw the Jags open the scoring.
Woods whipped the ball in and Keown found himself in space at the back post before volleying in from close range to give them a morale-boosting lead in the 24th minute.
That seemed to bring the hosts to life, and they should have been two up moments later as Kris Doolan worked hard down the line to pull a ball back into the area, but the onrushing Blair Spittall could only drill wide with the crowd already celebrating in anticipation of a second.
Danny Redmond had a rare effort for Hamilton right at the end of the half but fizzed an effort over the far corner.
Erskine almost got lucky just before the hour mark with a mis-hit cross that glanced the top of the bar as the second half started quietly.
Accies boss Martin Canning made two changes, bringing on Ali Crawford and Rakish Bingham, and gradually saw his side pose more of a threat.
Crawford’s corner caused Cerny problems but the goalkeeper was well positioned to beat away an effort from David Templeton after a clearance hit Bingham and rebounded into his path.
Templeton then curled a brilliant effort from 30 yards only to see the ball come crashing back off the bar with the keeper rooted to the spot as they turned the screw.
However, it was Thistle who held on to claim an important three points and back-to-back home wins.