PARTICK THISTLE and Queen of the South laboured to a goalless draw that didn’t really suit either team as the spoils were shared on a drab evening at Firhill.

The Jags remain rooted to the foot of the Championship after the stalemate despite going close to breaking the deadlock on a number of occasions in the second period, leaving Ian McCall frustrated.

“I was really, really pleased with how we played in the second half,” he said. “That was the best we’ve played and we looked really solid.  I thought we were poor in the first half even though we were the dominant team but in the second half we were really good.”

Queens manager Allan Johnston, however, felt his side were good value for the draw.

He said: “I don’t think anybody would be happy with a point at this stage of the season. But on reflection a point is probably a fair result.”

Both teams went into the game hoping to bring wretched runs of form to a close, with neither club having recorded a win since the turn of the year. It was perhaps no surprise, then, that both the hosts and Queens were slow out of the traps as the match got under way.

The first chance of the game fell to Gary Oliver as he latched onto a long ball forward, shimmying past Lee O’Connor before rifling an effort at Scott Fox’s near post, but the Thistle keeper palmed it behind for a corner.

There was no shortage of industry from either team during the opening 45 minutes but there was certainly a chronic lack of guile, particularly from the home side. All too often, the Thistle players would stroke the ball from side to side as they advanced beyond the halfway line, looking as if they had no clue as to where they should venture next.

Queens left-back Kevin Holt tested Fox with a rasping low shot from distance that was easily smothered and Stephen Dobbie spurned another decent opportunity shortly before referee David Lowe mercifully brought an uninspired first half to a close.

The momentum began to shift towards the hosts during the second half before Reece Cole replaced Jamie Barjonas around the hour mark as McCall tried to inject some much-needed creativity into his midfield.

The Jags began to turn the screw. Zak Rudden was unable to get his shot away when James Penrice chipped the ball through to him and Brian Graham really should have scored with around 20 minutes to go but his low drive was successfully blocked by Queens keeper Ross Stewart.

The home crowd thought that Thistle had opened the scoring on 77 minutes as Mayo looked to have bundled the ball over the line from a corner but Lowe was not convinced as he waved play on.

Then, with less than 10 minutes to go, drama. Substitute Dario Zanatta was hauled down in the box by Oliver and the referee initially pointed to the spot but after some deliberation with the linesman, Queens were awarded a free-kick as Zanatta was adjudged to have been offside.

Cole came within inches of providing a late winner for Thistle but his curling free-kick from the edge of the area kissed the bar as it went behind for a goal-kick, and Shea Gordon was next to have the home crowd off their feet after latching on to Graham’s cushioned header in stoppage time only for his first-time shot to roll agonisingly wide of the near post.