Partick 0-1 Hibernian: Match Report
Partick 0-1 Hibernian: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Craig wins it for Hibs
Partick are still looking for their first home Scottish Premiership win of the season after Liam Craig's second-half strike gave Hibernian a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory at rain-soaked Firhill.
The home side had the best of the first 45 minutes with no shortage of work-rate and enthusiasm.
However, the script looked familiar to the Jags fans as the first half ended goalless after striker Kris Doolan missed its best chance in the 39th minute when he headed over from close range.
Doolan missed another great opportunity in the 51st minute when he failed to beat Easter Road goalkeeper and captain Ben Williams after he was clear on goal.
Hibs, looking to bounce back from last week's 3-0 defeat against Inverness, which came on the back of a six-game unbeaten run, failed toseriously test Thistle keeper Scott Fox until Craig curled a wonderful shot past him in the 68th minute.
Earlier in the day Thistle revealed that Euromillions winners Colin and Chris Weir have given B#750,000 to allow the Maryhill club to create a new youth academy.
But it was Hibs boss Pat Fenlon and the travelling support who hit the jackpot by leaving Glasgow with all three points to take them level on points with fourth-placed Aberdeen.
There was a pre-match boost for the Maryhill men when Fox returned to the Thistle goal following a recent foot problem to replace Paul Gallacher, while Steven Lawless came in for Christie Elliott - who started on the bench.
Hibees manager Fenlon kept the same line-up, with Paul Heffernan and James Collins leading the line.
As the rain cascaded on a gloomy Glasgow night it was the home side who started the brighter.
The Jags came close in the 16th minute when a Kallum Higginbotham corner from the right was met by Conrad Balatoni but the Thistle defender's goalbound shot from 12 yards was blocked by Hibees midfielder Scott Robertson.
In the 23rd minute a round of applause went around the whole ground in tribute to 23-year-old Jags fan Scott Cant, who passed away recently.
The rest of the first half was mostly uneventful until Doolan headed Stephen O'Donnell's wonderfully whipped-in cross from the right over the bar from six yards before skipper Sean Welsh ended the spell of pressure by shooting over the bar.
Doolan's wild shot from 12 yards just on the stroke of half-time which went high and wide added to the home fans' frustrations.
Five minutes after the break he was sent clean through on goal when Hibs stopper Michael Nelson missed what was no more than a hopeful punt by O'Donnell.
Doolan drove towards goal with the Jags supporters ready to celebrate but Williams raced out to make the save from what was an unconvincing drive.
Still Partick poured forward and Hibs defender Paul Hanlon's saving tackle prevented Doolan getting a clean shot away after he had once again breached the visiting rearguard, with the corner coming to nothing.
As Thistle dominated, Higginbotham drove an angled-shot wide of the post and, as the home fans feared, they were made to pay for their profligacy when Craig smartly despatched a pass from substitute Abdellah Zoubir, on for Tom Taiwo, high past the helpless Fox.
It was a wonderful finish at odds with what the former St Johnstone midfielder and his team-mates had produced for most of the evening.
Thistle were stunned but back they came in the closing stages.
With five minutes remaining Williams made a point-blank save from Christie Elliott, on for Lawless, and then another block moments later from another Jags substitute Ross Forbes, on for Higginbotham - but the Leith side held firm.
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