IAN McCALL has admitted that the impressive form of Jamie Sneddon is the only thing that kept Harry Stone out of his starting line-up as the young goalkeeper's stint in Maryhill was brought to a close.

The 19-year-old, who has today returned to Hearts, played four matches early on in his loan spell but found himself playing second fiddle to Sneddon.

The Jags No.1 set a new club record for consecutive clean sheets this season and recently committed his future to the club with a one-year extension, as has central defender Tunji Akinola.

Speaking to the club's website, McCall explained that Stone left with the club's best wishes and in search of regular first-team football.

"Harry is an excellent young goalkeeper who has found himself on the bench for the majority of this season because of Jamie Sneddon’s incredible form," he reasoned.

"He’s at a stage where he wants to be playing games, understandably, but with Jamie playing the way he is just now, that’s not been happening here so he’s going back to Hearts to then go somewhere else where he can play.

"He showed his qualities in that 3-0 we had at Dunfermline earlier this season [in the second round of fixtures] with the way he commanded the box and the saves he made, so he’s definitely got the attributes to make it at the top level and we wish him all the best in trying to do so."

In order to fill the Stone-shaped hole in the squad, Thistle Weir Youth Academy graduate Mason McCready has been recalled from his loan at Gala Fairydean Rovers.