Partick within touching distance of SPL (video)

Partick Thistle edged ever closer to securing promotion to the Scottish Premier League this weekend after recording a 2-1 victory over Airdrie United on Saturday.

Partick trailed their opponents Airdrie for an entire 89 minutes before producing some late drama with goals from Conrad Balatoni and Christie Elliot snatching all 3 points for the visitors.

With 72 points after 32 games, Thistle’s nearest rivals Greenock Morton trail the leaders by 8 points with only 3 games remaining meaning that Partick only require 1 victory from their last 4 games to lift the Scottish First Division Trophy.

Partick Thistle have been absent from the top flight of Scottish football since relegation from the SPL in 2004. The Glasgow side – affectionately known as The Jags – had aimed to bounce back into the big time at the first attempt, but instead found themselves relegated to the Scottish Second Division. A dramatic penalty shoot-out playoff victory at the end of the 2005/06 season earned them promotion to the First Division where they have remained ever since.

Thistle’s title challenge appeared as if it may be de-railed in January of this year after manager Jackie McNamara opted to depart the club to become the boss of Premier League side Dundee United. Partick veteran Alan Archibald was nominated as McNamara’s replacement and was appointed as the club’s player-manager. Since his introduction The Jags have recorded 9 victories from 12 games and have only been defeated once on their path to promotion.

April has proved to be a crucial month for Thistle. Two weeks ago Partick finished as runners up in Scottish League Challenge Cup after being defeated in a penalty shootout by Queen of the South, who have recently secured the Scottish Second Division title. Four days later, Thistle recorded a vital League victory over Morton, effectively banishing their challenger’s title hopes.