Partick Thistle 0-1 Hibs: Barton own goal takes Hibs into second
Hibs picked up their first win in three games as they enjoyed a huge slice of luck as an own goal from Partick defender Adam Barton gifted them the three points at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill.
In a hard fought match low in quality, the decisive moment came in the 48th minute as Barton stretched to meet Lewis Stevenson's cross but only managed to turn his header into his own net.
Injuries and John McGinn's one-match suspension had depleted Hibs so much that Neil Lennon could only name six substitutes as Darren McGregor made a return after a three month absence due to a knee injury.
Partick goalkeeper Tomas Cerny had easily dealt with a deflected Simon Murray shot and a free-kick from Anthony Stokes, restored to the Hibs side after his fall-out with Lennon, but there was a moment of worry for the former Easter Road man as Murray sent a low ball across the face of his goal but inches outwith the reach of Stokes coming in at the back post.
The Jags hit back with a well struck free-kick from Blair Spittal which saw Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano throw himself to his left to push aside as it threatened to slip inside the post. And Marciano did even better a couple of minutes later, standing tall to beat away Chris Erskine's effort after a one-two with Spittal had opened up the Hibs defence.
Hibs were howling for a penalty five minutes from the interval when Murray went down as he tangled with Thistle's Niall Keown but referee Craig Thomson, who had awarded that highly contentious spot-kick for Celtic in last weekend's Betfred Cup final, wasn't interested in the slightest - the right decision.
First half chances had been few and far between but Hibs took the lead three minutes after the restart and had a huge slice of luck, Stevenson's cross catching the head of Barton to leave Cerny flat-footed as the ball dropped into his net.
A single goal wasn't enough for Hibs last week and they went looking for a second to give them that bit of a cushion, Cerny doing well to get hit fingertips to an inviting cross from Martin Boyle to take it out of the path of the in-rushing Murray.
Jags boss Alan Archibald didn't hang around, throwing on the prolific Kris Doolan for Steven Lawless and it almost did the trick, Miles Storey turning the ball into his path only for the legs of Marciano to prevent an equaliser before Spittal sent a curling effort just wide with the Israeli goalkeeper a mere spectator.
A rampaging run from defender Efe Ambrose took him into the Thistle penalty area where he exchanged a one-two with Stokes only to see his pass intended for substitute Oli Shaw fall behind the youngster.
Boyle again asked a question of Thomson when he went down under the challenge of Jordan Turnbull but once again the referee wasn’t having it.
Partick Thistle: Cerny, Devine, Turnbull, Keown, P McGinn, Spittal, Edwards, Barton, Lawless (Doolan 59). Erskine (Fraser 80), Storey (Sammon 74)..
Substitutes not used: Scully, Nisbet, McCarthy, Woods.
Hibs: Marciano, McGregor, Ambrose, Hanlon, Boyle (Malltulevicius 90+2),,Slivka, Bartley. McGeouch, Stevenson, S Murray (Shaw 65), Stokes (Barker 76).
Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Porteous, F Murray, Shaw.
Referee: Craig Thomson.