It was a day to both acknowledge a Thistle legend and the start of what we hope will be a long and successful Partick Thistle career. Alan Archibald duly completed his 400th Partick Thistle appearance while Bradley Halsman made his Thistle debut.
Much of the pre-match attention focused on the aforementioned Archibald and he was presented with a memento commemorating his achievement. Alan has always been an individual to lead by example and true to form when the microphone was passed his way he was a man of few words. His performance on the park though did the talking for him. There may have been a tpouch of sentiment surrounding his award of the Man of the Match from the Match Sponsors but his performance was typical Archibald, solid and dependable.
The game itself never quite hit the heights. Thistle were immeasurably the better side in the first half but in many ways the game summed up Thistle’s season as they were unable to translate first half supremacy into goals and Blair Alston’s second half strike rescued a point for Falkirk and kept them above Thistle in the league table.
Although Thistle would have the better of the first half, the game’s first chance came Falkirk’s way but Farid El Alagui , who has scored nearly 30 goals in his first season in Scottish football, shot wide from 12 yards out.
It was really the only chance that Falkirk had in an otherwise one sided first 45 minutes. Stephen O’Donnell was the first to come close for Thistle when his 22nd minute effort hit the side netting.
Two minutes later Thistle were in front. O’Donnell was heavily involved in the move that led to the goal with his persistence and tenacity taking him into the Falkirk box. Paul Cairney wasn’t able to turn his cross into the net but Mark McGuigan, already displaying a happy knack of being in the right place at the right time, forced the ball home from close range.
It was ultimately Thistle’s failure to make the most of the chances that came their way prior to half time that would prevent them from collecting all three points. Chris Erskine set up Paul Cairney inside the Falkirk box but last week’s hat-trick hero was tackled before he managed to shoot. Erskine himself. Erskine himself sent a shot over the bar after a Scott Robertson shot had broken into his direction and Conrad Balatoni couldn’t quite force home an inviting cross from the right from scorer Mark McGuigan.
It was a much more resolute Falkirk side that we saw after the break but the game itself became increasingly untidy. Falkirk’s equaliser in the 71st minute through Blair Alston was a fine strike which left Scott Fox with little chance.
With 19 minutes remaining there was still time for Thistle to find a winner. Michael McGovern, outstanding at the Falkirk Stadium earlier in the season, did well to claw away a Paul Cairney from almost right underneath his own crossbar and Kris Doolan, on as a replacement for the injured Chris Erskine, sent an effort over the bar but there was to be no Thistle winner.