St Johnstone 1 - 1 Partick Thistle

Match info: Scottish Premier at McDiarmid Park

Date: 29/03/2014 KO: 15:00 Ref: Att: 2,999

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

St J'stone

Stevie May 9



Kris Doolan 90

FT (ht: 1-0)

  • Last Updated: March 29 2014, 18:49 GMT

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has revealed he was under strict orders not to get too "excited" after returning from surgery to watch his side suffer the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle.

Stevie May celebrates his Saints goal
Stevie May celebrates his Saints goal

The Northern Irishman was absent from last weekend's victory over Hibs that clinched a top-six finish for the Perth outfit and from the midweek win against St Mirren after undergoing a gallbladder operation.

However, he insisted he was confident the club was in safe hands with assistant Callum Davidson and first-team coach Alex Cleland, even if he was relieved to return to McDiarmid Park to watch the Partick encounter beside the calming influence of chairman Steve Brown in the directors' box.

He said: "It's a wee bit more relaxing now that we've got top-six now, probably. That helps.

"I've been under strict orders as well not to get too excited, and I tried not to.

"I had the chairman beside me so he kept me nice and calm.

"When you've no choice, it's not difficult. You just have to deal with it.

"I have total trust in Callum and Alex, and all the staff, because we work closely together, otherwise they wouldn't be there - so, I knew the place was in good hands.

"They were on the phone regularly and Callum and Alex were popping in to see me as well.

"I was fully aware of what was going on, what was happening. Callum and Alex are two people I would trust with my life, and they have done a tremendous job when I've been away."

Stevie May's 23rd goal of the season looked to be enough to give St Johnstone all three points against a Partick team that dominated for most of the match but could not find the cutting edge required to break down a stoical home defence.

However, a 90th-minute strike from Kris Doolan gave Thistle a point and Wright has confessed it was no more than the visitors deserved.

Wright, who indicated he is likely to stay out of the dugout for next Saturday's trip to Kilmarnock, added: "I'm disappointed to draw the game in the end.

"We had almost seen it out, we were right at the death, and they got a wee bit of fortune; it ricocheted to the lad and he stuck it away well.

"To lose points in the 90th minute is never easy to take.

"Saying that, over the piece, I think Partick probably deserved something out of the game, and they got their rewards for keeping going to the end, and probably deserved a point."

The draw ensured Partick remain two points and a place above St Mirren, who currently occupy the dreaded relegation play-off spot in second-bottom in the table.

However, Jags manager Alan Archibald admitted the draw felt like a win because of the nature of the late and dramatic equaliser, and he believes it will given his players a significant lift for their remaining six matches.

He said: "When you score a goal so late on in the game it always feels like a victory, and it was a good time to get it.

"You start to think it's not going to come, especially against a team like St Johnstone. They are in the top-six and one of the reasons for that is the way they defend; they defend really well.

"So, we're delighted to get the goal and we kept on going. That will make a massive difference to the lads.

"There were games earlier on in the season where they played like that and didn't get any rewards.

"Since the turn of the year we've probably been getting more rewards and it all bodes well for this run-in.

"Since probably January there's been a big upturn in their belief and their confidence. They keep going, they've got a never-say-die attitude and we'll need that in the last six games."

New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30