IAN McCALL was pleased to see his Partick Thistle side advance to the next round of the SPFL Trust Trophy after the Jags recorded a 2-0 win at Stairs Park that was a little more uncomfortable than the Thistle boss would have liked.

The visitors took the lead through Tunji Akinola – the recently acquired defender’s first goal in the professional game – early on and battered their opponents for the opening 45 minutes but despite carving Stranraer open and fashioning opportunities, they failed to take them.

That led to a second-half resurgence from the hosts as they began to turn the screw in search of a leveller before Kevin Holt removed any doubts over the result in injury-time with his third goal for the Jags.

McCall said: “We missed five one on ones and we could have scored six or seven. But at 1-0 Stranraer were always in the game. They had once chance when we were slack and the boy didn't quite connect and that could’ve been one each.

“That was disappointing but if we’d won five or six nil it wouldn’t have flattered us.

“We won and we are through and that's the main thing. I’d like to have got the kids on because it should've been three or four nothing at half-time but their keeper did really well.”

The Jags began the contest on the front foot and had taken the lead within 12 minutes. Ross MacIver’s effort was tipped behind for a corner by former Thistle keeper Luke Scullion and Akinola made the breakthrough from the resulting set-piece. The centre-half got the ball under control in the area, drifting away from goal before pirouetting on the spot and slamming the ball into the top-left corner.

Thistle’s tails were up now as Stranraer struggled to deal with wave after wave of assault. Scullion – who enjoyed an excellent afternoon – had to react quickly to deny Cammy Smith from close range and moments later the same man’s shot was closed down from a few yards out after some excellent work down the left from Scott Tiffoney.

The home side almost equalised when Ross Smith’s effort from 20 yards took a wicked deflection on its way towards goal, but Thistle keeper Jamie Sneddon was alert to the danger.

MacIver scooped a volley over, Connor Murray saw an effort tipped just wide of the target and Smith was denied again but that all-important second goal would never arrive for McCall’s men.

Stranraer came out for the second half rejuvenated and it wasn’t long before the Jags found themselves on the back foot. Murray really should have killed the game after scurrying through for a one-on-one but the winger’s composure let him down when it mattered most.

Stranraer were undeterred though, and only a couple of smart stops from Sneddon maintained the Jags’ lead. Smith wriggled his way past Holt and forced a good save from the Thistle keeper but for all the pressure they exerted, Stranraer found clear-cut chances hard to come by.

Holt had the ball in the back of the net with 10 minutes to go after bundling in substitute Kyle Turner’s corner but referee Craig Napier disallowed the effort for a high boot.

The centre-half would not be denied his place on the scoresheet, though, and capitalised on some slack defending in injury-time to steer home another corner seal the win for Thistle.

“We gave account of ourselves,” insisted Stranraer boss Jamie Hamill, “but you are never happy when you lose 2-0, especially given the manner of the goals we lost.

“Partick had a couple of chances and could probably have we had three or four as well but you’ve got to take your chances. That's the difference between the two teams at the minute. They are a couple of levels above and that clinical side of things in the box is what we were lacking.”