Dundee striker A-Jay Leitch-Smith was left in a state of shock as Dundee left Firhill with nothing.
In what must have been the unlikeliest win of any kind in Scottish football this season, Partick Thistle went from being dismal no-hopers to dramatic winners as they scored in stoppage-time to beat the Dark Blues 2-1.
It was a remarkable result – Thistle’s first league success of the season – considering how dominant the Dens men had been for much of the match.
In normal circumstances, Leitch-Smith’s claim that a side than ended up losing should have been four goals up at half-time would be dismissed as blethers.
However, on this occasion, he was absolutely right.
Leitch-Smith had leapt to head home to make it 1-0 for the Dark Blues on eight minutes after Kevin Holt’s cross-cum-shot spun his way.
That didn’t tell the story of the visitors’ dominance, however, particularly before the break.
They should have been well clear of the jittery Jags but profligacy in front of goal, including a squandered penalty from Leitch-Smith, cost them as the hosts equalised through Ryan Edwards on 75 minutes then grabbed an injury-time winner through substitute Miles Storey.
The Dark Blues looked dazed at the full-time whistle as they were left wondering just how they could have chucked this game away.
Leitch-Smith said: “We’ve got a lot of disappointed boys in there.
“I don’t know why we didn’t win the game, never mind not even get anything from it.
“Now we have to put things right.
‘We should have put it to bed in the first half as we should have been 4-0 by half-time but it didn’t happen.
“I don’t think I have ever been in a game where we were so dominant and lost.
“We played some good football and created a lot of chances.
“We can’t let it get us down too much as we have a big game on Wednesday against Motherwell and we need to try and pick up three points.”
Dundee boss Neil McCann rued his side’s wastefulness in front of goal, especially the penalty that was missed by Leitch-Smith, which should have been taken by Sofien Moussa.
A clearly riled McCann said: “We’ve got a chance to bury a team with the penalty and we’ve got a designated penalty taker (Moussa) and for some reason we decided to change that.
“We miss the penalty and at half-time it’s not such a big story but it’s a big story now because that buries Partick Thistle in my opinion.
“We played some beautiful stuff and it’s very attractive to watch but without a gloss and shine on your play it just looks nice on the stats and nice on the eye because it gets you nothing.”
The visitors started like an express train and, on two minutes, Leitch-Smith found himself in space inside the box but his cross was cut out.
Just a minute later, Leitch-Smith was in bags of space just eight yards but his shot was saved by Cerny. The ball spun back to Lewis Spence, who sclaffed his effort wide of the post.
The chances kept coming for the Dark Blues and, with just four minutes gone, Moussa got on the end of a cross from Jesse Curran but nodded over the bar.
Up at the other end, Dens goalkeeper Scott Bain produced a brilliant save to keep out a Danny Devine header before the Dark Blues took a predictable lead on eight minutes.
A great run from Glen Kamara saw him move deep into the Thistle box before squaring to Moussa, whose shot was cleared off the line.
Holt pounced on the loose ball, though, and his deflected cross-shot reached Leitch-Smith, who found the net with a diving header.
There was almost a spectacular leveller for the hosts just four minutes later when Steven Lawless spotted Bain off his line and sent a chip from 35 yards on to the roof of the Dundee net.
Bain then saved a low strike from Edwards as Partick began to get forward but it was Dundee who threatened next, a sweeping move ending when Moussa slid the ball wide at the far post after Spence had tried a shot.
The visitors then squandered an absolutely glorious chance to make it 2-0 on 23 minutes.
Leitch-Smith was sent through on goal thanks to a hash of a clearance from the Jags and when he rounded keeper Cerny he was brought down.
It was a clear spotkick and Cerny was booked for the foul.
However, the goalie became the home hero when he stuck out a boot to save Leitch-Smith’s penalty.
With 28 minutes on the clock, Moussa headed over again after being picked out by Curran before the young Australian midfielder fired a shot of his own past the post.
Moussa blasted another strike past at the back post on 37 minutes as the Dark Blues continued to attack.
Leitch-Smith crashed a shot into a group of Thistle players after the break and there were loud claims for another penalty for handball – ignored by ref Anderson.
Sub Roarie Deacon sent a 20-yard strike over the Jags bar, while Leitch-Smith was a whisker away just seconds later as the Dundee attacks kept raining down on the home goal.
Thistle brought on Storey, Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan as they went in search of a leveller, while the visitors replaced the impressive Leitch-Smith with Mark O’Hara on 67 minutes.
There was a serious scare for McCann’s men on 71 minutes when Jack Hendry clipped the ball away from Storey and it went just a little too close to his own goal for comfort.
Dundee were still dangerous, though, and Curran fired over when in space inside the area.
However, all those missed chances came back to haunt the Dark Blues when Thistle equalised with the scrappiest of goals.
The scorer was Edwards, who finally fired home from six yards out after Bain had saved superbly from Doolan.
Dundee’s Moussa was at fault when he shot straight at Cerny, who gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Both sides still felt they could clinch it in the closing stages and it was Partick who managed it, with Doolan beating the offside trap and squaring for Storey to smash the ball into the net.