PARTICK continued their quest to end their five year exile in the top flight by defeating Queen’s Park.
First-half goals from Brian Graham, Scott Tiffoney and Kevin Holt made it easy for them before substitute Danny Mullen headed the ball in for a comfortable win that night and an 8-3 aggregate win.
Following the sad death of chef Kris Doolan’s father Lawrence on Thursday, the Thistle players put on a worthy performance in tribute.
The Firhill legend took his place in the dugout less than 36 hours after the death of his father and delivered a brilliant result.
But the former killer has Jags fans dreaming of the big time again after suffering just one defeat in 15 games since replacing Ian McCall at the helm.
His side deserved victory as they passed and defeated the Spiders, but Doolan knows there is still work to be done if they want to return to the promised land – starting with Ayr in Friday’s semi-finals.
For the Queen’s gaffer Owen Coyle It was a night to forget as her dream of third straight promotion ended.
In the last few weeks of the season the wheels seemed to be loosening up, scoring goals for fun and it cost them – but they can be proud of their campaign.
The home side had the first chance of the game within nine minutes.
Connor Shields threw a long ball into the freestanding Jake Davidson, who timed his run perfectly.
Jag’s No. 1 David Mitchell blocked his shot but it bounced right back into goal queen Man.
He seemed sure to score as he shot towards goal but Darren Brownlie threw a ball wide to deflect the ball to the corner.
It was a powerful moment and one wondered if it would haunt the spiders again.
It certainly did, as six minutes later Graham threw in a stunning volley for the 18th time of the season.
Through the veteran striker’s intelligent run, he somehow managed to find a meter of space for Kyle Turner’s corner in a crowded box.
The ball floated overhead and Graham expertly hit it with his right foot to whip it past Calum Ferrie.
The nearly 1,200 fans who traveled were thrilled to feel they had one foot in the play-off semi-finals.
In the 28th minute they made a huge leap towards their goal with a great team goal.
Steven Lawless played an excellent back ball to Jack McMillan, who selected Tiffoney, who put it in goal from close range.
Four minutes before the break, their semi-final spot was signed, sealed and awarded.
Aaron Muirhead’s long ball at the back post was met by Graham, whose header was blocked by Ferrie, but Holt was there to put the ball in to make it 3-0.
The women’s balls were omnipresent and Ferrie had to save them to save Graham at close range just before half-time.
The Spiders number one was denied by Tiffoney in the 53rd minute when Thistle threatened to overpower her.
While his opponent Mitchell had to back down to prevent sub Josh McPake’s cross cum shot.
Malachi Boateng fired a shot wide for the home side, while Thistle dealt well with the threat from Spiders substitute Stephen Eze, who tried to wreak havoc on their defense from set pieces.
With eight minutes remaining, the Jags secured the win when Ferrie footed off Cammy Smith’s deflected shot, but Mullen nodded home.
The Thistle fans chanted that following the Jags was “magic” and if they could do four more performances like this, they could be out of the Championship.
KRIS DOOLAN says Partick’s 4-0 win over Queen’s Park was the perfect tribute to his father Lawrence.
The Thistle legend’s father passed away on Thursday, just days after witnessing his side lead the club he loved to a 4-3 first-leg win.
But Doolan Jr. revealed the performance was the perfect end to a tough week.
He said: “I’m really excited, it’s probably just what I need personally because for me personally it was a time of turmoil.
“Seeing us score those goals was just the boost I needed.
“There was never any doubt that I would stay in the dugout. That’s what my father would have wanted. “He was a big Partick fan, just like me. Nobody wants us to be okay more than me or him.
“He followed us everywhere when I played, he wanted me here tonight. He was watching the game the other day and I was with him shortly after.
“It was a fitting tribute. There’s no better tool than watching us play.
“It was great to just stand there and watch us play. The attitude of the players. I could see it in their eyes, they gave it their all.
“It’s a big thank you from me because they did their best and got what they deserved.”
The Gutted Spiders boss said: “It’s a very disappointing end to the season. We had to score the first goal tonight.
“We probably let the level of performance down on the night and over the last four, five weeks.
“Maybe we made the most of the group we had. The bottom line is that it didn’t happen. Next year we will be back bigger and better.”