Ruari Paton grabbed Queen’s Park’s first two goals of the New Year however that was not enough to bring anything back from Firhill with Partick Thistle winning 3-2.

Paul Nuijten had the fans guessing before the game as he made three changes to his line-up with Ben McPherson, Tommy Robson and Pat Jarrett not starting.

McPherson, who picked up a knock on Saturday, was missing totally and was replaced by Zach Mauchin who was making his first ever start with Cammy Bruce coming in for Robson who has a knock and Lewis Reid replacing Jarrett.

Barry Hepburn was not listed amongst the replacements due to illness with Ricky Waugh returning to the first team squad.

Defender Reid’s inclusion led to pre-match thoughts that Jack Thomson was being restored to a midfield berth however when the game started with Jack Spong’s kick-off Queen’s were in a 3-5-2 formation with Thomson joining Bannon and Reid in central defence.

Mauchin and Bruce were in wing-back roles to complete a very youthful looking rearguard.

The Spiders almost got off to an explosive start with Dom Thomas letting fly with 45 seconds gone from 25 yards with home goalkeeper Jamie Sneddon pushing his effort away with Paton just unable to get on the rebound.

The bright start continued with Mauchin showing his desire to get forward on the right flank with his first cut-back blocked and then Thomas had another shot saved from the wing-back’s second charge.

Calum Ferrie was involved for the first time on eight minutes as he raced from his goal to clear from Brian Graham with his kick landing high on the Main Stand roof at Firhill.

Graham got the better of Ferrie a minute later as he reached a through ball first and lobbed over the shot-stopper however his effort dropped wide.

As Thistle threatened again Alex Bannon was well-placed to cut out a dangerous cross after Jack McMillan and Steven Lawless combined with Ferrie pushing a Graham shot wide as Thistle recycled the ball.

Thomson dug his side out of a hole with a last-ditch tackle after quarter of an hour after Graham had slipped a pass through to Aidan Fitzpatrick eight yards from Queen’s Park’s goal.

Thomas led a charge back up the park on 19 minutes with the skipper’s cross to Paton was headed away at the last minute by Aaron Muirhead.

The visitors won a corner in the next minute however it was the hosts that almost scored from it as a headed clearance ran to the half-way and was picked up by the darting Fitzpatrick who hared in on Ferrie’s goal before chipping wide.

Thistle went close again midway through the half when Lawless left two players trailing as he came off the right wing with his curling parting shot flashing just wide.

The Jags took the lead in simple fashion on 27 minutes when a Fitzpatrick corner was allowed to travel to the back post where Harry Milne was left unattended and headed in.

Four minutes later an equaliser arrived and left everyone a bit stunned as little danger appeared to threaten when Thomson found Thomas who slipped a pass in-between Muirhead and Sneddon with Paton lurking behind the defender.

PATON kept his eye on the ball and was perfectly placed to roll it into the empty net from nine yards after Sneddon failed to gather.

There was controversy shortly afterwards as Thomas and Paton exchanged passes and the goalscorer looked set to run clear before hauled back by Lewis Neilson who was only yellow carded despite what looked like an unobstructed route to goal.

Five minutes from the break Bannon was again in the right place to mop up a home attack on the left with Graham screaming for a cross.

A minute later it was Queen’s turn to create danger as Spong flicked a pass forward to Jack Turner who drew Sneddon from his line however his chipped shot went over.

Half time – Partick Thistle 1 Queen’s Park 1

The hosts won a corner within a minute of the restart with Mauchin moving sharply across the box to head clear however on 49 minutes Queen’s fell behind for a second time.

A chipped cross to the back post from McMillan found Fitzpatrick and he sent a volley flashing past Ferrie from close range.

Thistle looked to kill the game off as soon as possible and a fierce Ben Stanway drive was deflected just a couple of feet wide.

The first attack from Queen’s after the resumption came on 53 minutes when Spong found Bruce on the left with a diagonal pass with the teenager slipping the ball to Paton who shaped to shoot before finding Turner who had an effort charged down.

Mauchin did well on 55 minutes when he charged on the right once more and whipped over a dangerous cross that went unconverted with the full back repeating the act four minutes later with unfortunately the same result.

Paton gained possession some 30 yards out and hared towards Sneddon’s goal however he delayed and shooting and that allowed a covering defender to block his drive.

With 20 minutes left Paton cut the ball back to Longridge some 25 yards out however the midfielder failed to control the ball and the chance of a drive towards Sneddon’s goal was gone with another opportunity passed up on 75 minutes when Paton mishit a pass to an unmarked Thomas.

Lucas McCormick won a corner within a minute of coming on for Spong with Thomson sending Turner’s dead ball looping across Sneddon’s goal however the Thistle goal survived.

On 84 minutes Thistle threatened when the ball was worked to Blair Alston at the edge of the box with Ferrie sticking out a boot to keep the ball out.

There was nothing Ferrie could do in the following minute when Neilson was all alone at a Kerr McInroy corner and headed in to make it 3-1.

Muirhead thumped McCormick to the ground with 90 seconds left to give Queen’s a free-kick 21 yards out with PATON sending a cracking shot flashing into the net.

Queen’s Park – Calum Ferrie, Zach Mauchin (Will Tizzard 89), Alex Bannon, Lewis Reid (Aaron Healy 85), Jack Thomson, Cameron Bruce, Louis Longridge, Jack Turner (Stuart McKinstry 85), Jack Spong (Lucas McCormick 76), Dom Thomas, Ruari Paton.
Unused substitutes – Callan McKenna (G/k), Tommy Robson, Alex Fairlie, Ricky Waugh, Patrick Jarrett.

Partick Thistle – Jamie Sneddon, Jack McMillan, Harry Milne, Aaron Muirhead, Lewis Neilson, Kerr McInroy, Stuart Bannigan (Luke McBeth (90+2), Brian Graham (Tomi Adeloye 76), Steven Lawless (Scott Robinson 76), Aidan Fitzpatrick, Ben Stanway (Blair Alston 65).
Unused substitutes – Mason McCready (G/k), Wasiri Williams, James Lyon, Zander MacKenzie, Ricco Diack.

Referee – Steven Kirkland

Starting Eleven