Partick Thistle booked their place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup after beating Ross County 3-2 with a dramatic extra-time winner.

It was former Staggie Steven Saunders who ensured the Championship team progress.

Ex-Thistle man Blair Spittal had the visitors ahead before Kenny Miller took the game to extra-time as James Penrice turned the game on its head.

Harry Paton levelled for the visitors, only for Saunders to be the hero.

Thistle – who have not lifted the trophy since 1971 – go in to Sunday’s last-eight draw. The Dingwall side bow out after their first defeat of the season so far.

Firhill rediscovers its bounce

The phrase ‘Firhill for thrills’ has been used sparingly in recent times, but even for the neutral there was something wonderful about seeing this place so jubilant once again.

A breathtaking match, some special goals, and a volume inside the Maryhill ground that probably has not been heard for years.

Following a summer of gloomy stories about off-field financial and hierarchical issues, this was a massive release of pent-up frustration for the home fans, most of whom had zero optimism about a positive outcome in this game.

To put icing on the cake for the Jags, it was a former County player in Saunders who nodded in the winner, meeting the delivery of Penrice, who also contributed greatly through a free-kick of incredible precision from the best part of 25 yards that went in off the post.

Miller was at the centre of most that was good about the hosts’ performance as well, with his intelligence in passing and link-up play shining through regularly – oh and he got his goal as well after a superb cut-back from Alex Jones.

Ross County had taken the lead through former Jag Spittal on 60 minutes, and his shooshing of the home crowd seems a distant memory now. It was a fantastic finish by the midfielder and little did we know what was still to lie ahead in the match.

Paton had looked to get the visitors out of a tight position when he broke into the box to equalise for 2-2, but Thistle raised the bar once more and this could be a pivotal day in the season ahead for Thistle.

Man of the match – James Penrice

This young full-back’s reputation is burgeoning and he has put his name on the map even more by his contribution in what could be a huge turning point in the Gary Caldwell regime at Firhill.

An excellent free-kick and an assist for the winner means Penrice could be on his way to become another successful Scottish left-back.

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 22Fox
  • 2on
  • 43Saunders
  • 6McGinty
  • 3Penrice
  • 14GordonSubstituted forPalmerat 85′minutesBooked at 102mins
  • 8Bannigan
  • 23De VitaSubstituted forRobsonat 70′minutes
  • 7CardleSubstituted forMansellat 70′minutesBooked at 106mins
  • 9Miller
  • 10JonesSubstituted forO’Wareat 101′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Sneddon
  • 4O’Ware
  • 15Robson
  • 16Palmer
  • 18Mansell
  • 30Niang
  • 32Golasso

Ross County

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Watson
  • 4FontaineBooked at 95mins
  • 3Kelly
  • 20SpittalSubstituted forMullinat 64′minutes
  • 6DraperSubstituted forVigursat 52′minutes
  • 23ChalmersSubstituted forPatonat 91′minutes
  • 7Gardyne
  • 9Mckay
  • 27StewartSubstituted forErwinat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Morris
  • 8Erwin
  • 11Vigurs
  • 12Grivosti
  • 14Mullin
  • 24Paton
  • 25Ruddy
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
2,053

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home21
Away16
Shots on Target
Home7
Away7
Corners
Home9
Away10
Fouls
Home17
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 3, Ross County 2.

Second Half Extra Time ends, Partick Thistle 3, Ross County 2.

Attempt blocked. Ryan on (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by James Penrice.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 3, Ross County 2. Steven Saunders (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by James Penrice with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Josh Mullin.

Foul by Thomas Robson (Partick Thistle).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Steven Saunders.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Thomas O’Ware.

Attempt saved. Sean McGinty (Partick Thistle) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

Attempt saved. Kenny Miller (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Kenny Miller (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

Booking

Le Mansell (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Le Mansell (Partick Thistle).

Keith Watson (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Second Half Extra Time begins Partick Thistle 2, Ross County 2.

First Half Extra Time ends, Partick Thistle 2, Ross County 2.

Attempt missed. Thomas O’Ware (Partick Thistle) header from very close range misses to the left.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 2, Ross County 2. Harrison Paton (Ross County) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Iain Vigurs.

Booking

Cameron Palmer (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Cameron Palmer (Partick Thistle).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Thomas O’Ware replaces Alexander Jones.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Le Mansell.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Kenny Miller.

Hand ball by James Penrice (Partick Thistle).

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 2, Ross County 1. James Penrice (Partick Thistle) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Booking

Liam Fontaine (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kenny Miller (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Fontaine (Ross County).

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by James Penrice.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Cameron Palmer.

Attempt blocked. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Harrison Paton replaces Joe Chalmers.

Attempt missed. Le Mansell (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

First Half Extra Time begins Partick Thistle 1, Ross County 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Ross County 1.

goal

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