ONE day soon, it might be nice to write a match report that doesn’t centre around the referee. But it is not this day.

That Partick Thistle had managed to turn what would have been a precious three points in the bottom-of-the-table scrap against Falkirk to just the one by squandering a second-half lead was sore enough for them. But the fact that it came moments after they had lost Gary Harkins to a debatable red card made it sting all the more.

It was match official Andrew Dallas who was the centre of attention in the post-match discussion, although as many supporters up and down the country may wryly observe, that may rather be the way he likes it.

The Thistle manager Gary Caldwell certainly didn’t miss him as he gave his verdict on the afternoon’s events, the Firhill boss clearly angered by his decision to show a second yellow to Harkins for a run-of-the-mill foul on Ross MacLean after picking up a deserved caution for a late challenge on Abdul Osman in the first half.

“We got a brilliant goal and then should have went on and won the game but for another crazy decision,” said Caldwell. “Every week there is bad decisions in every game we play in.

“I felt he got sucked in. They came to frustrate and tackle and their bench erupts every time, and I’ve seen this before when the aggressors get away with things and every little foul is a yellow card for us.

“I don’t understand how every foul we make is a yellow card, yet they get away with one, two, three fouls. I think he got sucked in today."

It was hard to disagree with Caldwell’s take on the incident, but even so, there was little excuse for the way his side immediately shipped an equaliser.

Blair Spittal had given them the lead just beyond the hour, after a first half that was only notable really for some coins apparently being thrown in the direction of Thistle manager Caldwell from the away end.

Sean McGinty burst forward from defence and laid the ball wide to James Penrice, whose low centre was killed and then finished by the excellent Spittal.

Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon responded by shifting to a back four and replacing one pantomime villain in Osman for another in Paul Paton. Their cause was aided as Harkins was sent packing with quarter of an hour to go, and two minutes later they had their leveller.

A MacLean cross from the left was attacked by Ciaran McKenna, with Conor Hazard managing to save, but Zak Rudden was on hand - as he so often is - to pick up the scraps and nod in the equaliser, condemning Thistle to spend another week at the foot of the table at least.

Rudden only got the call to join back up with his teammates as he was getting changed for training back at his parent club Rangers in the morning, but he was delighted to rush across the city to aid the cause.

“It was all pretty rushed.,” Rudden said.

“I’m really happy I got the call though - I need these games for my development. I'm enjoying every minute.

“Rangers took me back in, I trained all week with them from Tuesday - although I never got a trip to Tenerife out of it or managed to speak to the manager!

“It was disappointing not to get the win, but it was good to get back and score a goal. I always felt it would come, that there would be a chance and I had to take it.

“We showed glimpses of how good we could be out there - with so many new players it’ll just take a bit of time.”