IAN McCALL was left gushing over his free-flowing front line as Partick Thistle cruised to a 3-0 win over Morton to lift the Jags into second place in the Championship.

“We look irresistible going forward, we really do,” beamed the Thistle boss, whose side have scored ten times in four league outings this term.

“It was a good day for us. For this level of football we have genuine pace and there’s two or three of them that have got pace for a higher level. It was 3-0 but it could have been more.

“We’ve only lost twice in the last 23 games. And for the record I don’t count Montrose because the whole team was steaming!

“We’ve shown remarkable consistency and it sets up a great game with Inverness in two weeks’ time.”

It was Thistle who were the quickest out of the traps and they didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock. Rudden won the ball and unleashed a stinging 30-yard drive at goal that stung the palms of Jack Hamilton as he tipped it round the post. Kyle Turner stepped up for the resulting corner and – in a near-carbon copy of his goal at East End Park earlier this month – Kevin Holt was at hand to loop the ball into the back of the net.

That early goal seemed to wake Morton out of their malaise and the visitors soon started to move the ball about as the game became more of a contest. Scott Tiffoney nearly doubled his side’s lead when he zeroed onto a chipped ball through from Gordon, but Hamilton was able to divert the ball over from close range.

Shea Gordon, filling in at right-back, was the first player in the book after he was adjudged to have brought down Lewis Strapp on the edge of the Thistle area but Morton failed to make the most of the set-piece. Minutes later, Strapp was in the book for a cynical lunge on Stuart Bannigan of his own.

Tunji Akinola, handed his first start since joining from West Ham a fortnight ago, grew into the game as it wore on and the centre-half’s raking balls forward for Rudden to chase caused a few hairy moments at the back for Morton.

Thistle went into the break in control of proceedings, with Jamie Sneddon – restored to the starting XI in place of Harry Stone – barely having a save to make. Brian Graham could have made it two on the stroke of half-time but the centre-forward couldn’t turn home Richard Foster’s neat cut-back.

Then, within moments of the restart, Rudden gave the Jags some breathing space. Tiffoney was afforded too much space on the left and his dinked ball towards the striker was rifled home with aplomb on the volley to leave Morton with a mountain to climb.

Tiffoney flashed a shot over the bar minutes later, Turner forced a smart stop from Hamilton and Ross Docherty headed narrowly over as Thistle searched for the killer blow. Morton, for their part, barely laid a glove on their opponents. Centre-forward Gozie Ugwu was a menace as he bustled about the final third but even he couldn’t seriously test Sneddon.

Thistle’s third would arrive around the hour-mark, and again a set-piece was Morton’s undoing. Turner floated a ball in from the right and Graham rose highest to meet it, powering a header beyond Hamilton to wrap up a comfortable win for the Jags.

“We were very poor,” conceded Morton boss Gus MacPherson at full-time. “We lost two goals from set-pieces.

“We said to them at half-time, keep things tight, don’t give them any encouragement and we do that in the first couple of minutes.

“You could see the body language right away. We shot ourselves in the foot and we were punished heavily.”