JAMIE SNEDDON can reflect on the last 12 months or so with justifiable pride. A year ago, the Partick Thistle goalkeeper found himself in and out of the starting line-up as the Jags toiled in the third tier, unsure if the season would even conclude as the lower league went into hibernation over the winter as Covid grew more prevalent.

The pandemic is sadly still a day-to-day reality for us all but on a personal note, it has been an impressive year for Sneddon. The 24-year-old has established himself as first pick between the sticks at Firhill, set a club record run for consecutive clean sheets, signed a new contract extension and, most recently, picked up his third player of the month award for Thistle this season.

“When you say it like that, it’s crazy when you look back on it,” said Sneddon, speaking after winning the fans' vote to be named Thistle's McCrea Financial Services Player of the Month award for the third month running. “To think where I was a year ago today – it couldn’t have gone much better.

“I’m really thankful for the way it’s turned out. I don’t want to get too caught up in the awards because obviously it’s nice when they come along but I’m also just enjoying playing in a really good team and challenging at the right end of the league.

“Hopefully 2022 can be just as good, if not better. Obviously last year will take some topping but this one has started well.”

Sneddon’s three awards will only add to the shot-stopper’s confidence after a week where he almost recorded another remarkable hat-trick. In Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Accies, the Jags held a slender 1-0 lead when Andy Ryan stepped up to take a penalty. To his credit, Sneddon got a hand to it but the pace on the ball took it into the back of the net to level the scores. Had he kept it out, Sneddon would have saved each of the previous three spot-kicks he had faced.

“I was very frustrated,” Sneddon recalled with a wry smile. “I got a strong hand to it but he hit it with power. I guessed he was going to go down the middle, which is quite uncommon, so I tried to stand up to it for as long as I could.

“I kind of clawed it into the roof of the net. It would have been nice to keep that run going but I guess I’ll just need to save the next one.”

With Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock coming to town this evening, Sneddon accepts that he and his team-mates are in for a testing encounter in Glasgow’s West End in a match that will be shown live on the BBC. Three points, he says, would be the perfect start to the weekend.

“If you win it’s good because you can enjoy your weekend while sitting back watching the scores coming in,” he reasoned. “If it goes the other way it can be a long weekend.

“It’s good to play on TV as it gives you that wider audience who perhaps don’t see you week in week out. It’s nice to play under the lights too.

“We know there is a focus on them at the moment, that’s fine. We don’t look at that stuff. We will concentrate on ourselves. It’s what we have done all season and it’s worked well for us this season.

“If we focus on ourselves then we are confident we can beat anyone in this league. We need to carry that mindset into the match with Kilmarnock.”

Meanwhile, Thistle yesterday announced that midfielder Shea Gordon will spend the rest of the season on loan at Queen of the South.

Robbie Crawford’s arrival from Motherwell this month has pushed the Northern Irishman down the pecking order at Firhill so a move has been arranged – but with the caveat that the 23-year-old cannot feature against his parent club.

“The competition for places in midfield is incredibly strong this season and Shea has found it hard to get into the team this year,” McCall told the club’s website.

“He is a player with plenty of ability, which he showed for us last season, but he’s at an age where he wants to be playing more regularly than he currently is.

“Shea has never given less than 100 per cent since I’ve arrived back at Firhill whether that’s in training, when coming off the bench or filling in at right-back.

“This loan move doesn’t mean his time here at Thistle is over so hopefully he goes out and plays plenty of football and then we can speak to him again about his situation in the summer.”

Partick Thistle's Player of the Month Awards for season 2021/22 are proudly sponsored by McCrea Financial Services - visit www.mccreafs.co.uk to find out more.