Mar 23 2009 By John Traynor
IAN McCALL and Jocky Scott agreed on one thing after this draw at Firhill - St Johnstone were the real winners.
Thistle boss McCall said league leaders Saints would be happy with the outcome and the Dens Park gaffer echoed his sentiments.
But both men had different opinions about the outcome, the former was happy and the latter was disappointed.
McCallsaid: "I'm pleased with the point but they only had one chance in the first half and scored with it. Maybe we were a bit gung-ho after the break but nevertheless it was a gutsy performance for us to get back on level terms."
When asked about the championship race, he added:"We're sitting in second place so we're still in it, but we have a big,big game against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, a week on Saturday.
"I'm just glad we have a free Saturday coming up. Hopefully that will give one or two of my injured players time to get fully fit."
Dundee gaffer Scott was less upbeat when he said: "I'm disappointed with the result, I think we created enough chances to win a couple of games.
"The result suited St Johnstone more than either of us,so they will be happy.
However,there will be a lot of points dropped between now and the end of the season.
"As I've said before this title race will go right to the wire."
Right from the start the tension was almost tangible and as early as the third minute one or two Dundee defenders were obviously feeling it when they got themselves into a fankle during a Thistle attack.
Eventually they managed to stave off the danger, albeit untidily. However, it was the Jags who were the more aggressive side in the early exchanges.
Dundee soon settled into the pace of the game and in 14 minutes Paul McHalehad a shot from 10 yards out blocked by a Thistle defender.
Butit was at the other end where the first genuine chance was created in18 minutes when Kris Doolan had a shot from inside the penalty areaturned round a post by Rab Douglas.
Already this was turning out to be an intriguing encounter between evenly-matched teams with big ambitions and much to play for.
But while Thistle seemed to have the greater sense of urgency at times in the first half, they always had to be wary of the loan signing from Rangers Georgios Efrem, whose speed down the left channel was a dangerous weapon for Dundee.
Nevertheless, the Glasgow side had slightly more of the possession in a tight first period, mainly due to the work they were doing in the midfield area.
But none of this mattered one iota in 37 minutes when Dundee took the lead, Colin McMenamin running on to a pass from Eddie Malone and shooting through the legs of keeper Jonny Tuffey.
That goal silenced the Thistle fans momentarily, while the large contingent of Dundee punters, many of whom had been bussed down from Tayside at the club's expense, upped thev olume considerably.
But on the stroke of half time Stephen McKeown almost silenced them when his curling left-foot shot went just wide of the left-hand post.
That was to be Thistle's last chance of the half but the appetite had already been whetted for a second 45 minutes.
The Jags opened up in determined mood after the break and immediately asked some questions of the Dundee defence but still Jocky Scott's men had the luxury of that one-goal lead.
Whether they could hang onto it was open to question and so was the official attendance figure of just under 3500.
The general opinion was that there were at least 1000 more in the ground,so maybe the Firhill computer that does the sums is as useful as a carpet fitter's ladder.
Either way you didn't need modern technology to tell you Partick Thistle were putting more into this game than they were getting out of it.
Not that Dundee didn't deserve to be in the lead, they took their chance after all, and in 69minutes Efrem almost took his, however, Tuffey did well to parry his20-yard shot.
Thistle replied to the scare five minutes laterwhen McKeown shot on the turn from inside the Dundee box but his effortflew over the bar without troubling Douglas.
But the Dundee keeper was more than troubled in 82 minutes when Jags substitute Kevin McKinlay hit the net with a powerful header from a Simon Storey cross.
If things were tense earlier on the situation now became almost unbearable for both sets of fans.
Indeed,the Thistle legions were having palpitations in the 85th minute when another loan Rangers, Andrew Shinnie, had a shot stopped on the goal-line by Tuffey.
Immediately after this Doolan shot just over the bar for the Jags as play swung frantically from end to end,neither side content to just take a point.
But that's what they had to settle for.
And perhaps, the result was just about right.