Comeback kid Peter Pawlett made it a perfect start to the Championship season for Dundee United.
Pawlett, who spent most of the summer injured, was back in business with the winning goal as the Tangerines built on their opening day victory over Inverness Caley Thistle.
The substitute was helped by – who else? – Lawrence Shankland, whose equaliser made it five goals in two league games for him.
Despite starting well, United were a goal down at half-time thanks to a Steven Saunders header but fought back ferociously after the restart to make it six points out of six.
The Tangerines were, unsurprisingly, unchanged from the team that swept aside ICT 4-1 just six days earlier. There were, though, a couple of interesting inclusions on the bench, with both Pawlett and Osman Sow back from injury.
United were in their black away strip and there was an early foul on star man Shankland, committed by Sean McGinty. It should have been a booking but the Jag got away with it.
The visitors looked in the mood and, with just a minute gone, Sam Stanton’s low cross whizzed across the face of goal before being cleared.
Mark Connolly almost got on the end of Paul McMullan’s freekick on six minutes as the Tangerines enjoyed good possession.
Partick had an opportunity of their own but Tommy Robson’s back-header didn’t trouble keeper Benjamin Siegrist.
Shankland was stretching to reach another McMullan cross at the back post on 12 minutes before United defender Connolly was booked for pulling back Alex Jones.
On 20 minutes, a great move should have had United ahead. Siegrist found Louis Appere, who then played a forward ball to McMullan. He took a terrific touch but then blasted wide of the post when he should have squared to Shankland.
Three minutes later, they were punished as the Jags took the lead.
Saunders nodded home at the back post after he was found by Cammy Palmer’s cross. The goal was against the run of play but the Tannadice men only had themselves to blame for not doing more to stop Palmer getting the ball over.
The hosts had a penalty claim on 30 minutes when James Penrice went down as he tried to get past United’s Liam Smith but referee Willie Collum was close to the incident and waved the appeal away.
A good period of pressure from United on 38 minutes ended when Calum Butcher drove wide but it was better from the Tangerines.
Siegrist did well to get down to stop Jones’s shot before play moved up to the other end and Shankland’s cutback was gathered by Jags goalie Jamie Sneddon.
United, cheered on by 1,080 supporters, needed to move up a few gears in the second half.
On 52 minutes, Stanton had a goal-bound strike from 30 yards deflected for a corner that came to nothing.
Three minutes later, the Tangerines were level and it was, no surprise, Shankland who grabbed the crucial equaliser.
McMullan was the provider, darting down the right edge of the box before sending over a cross that reached the former Ayr marksman. Shankland shot down into the ground and the ball looped up and beyond despairing goalie Sneddon.
United’s Nicky Clark had a shot deflected for a corner as the visitors hunted for a second goal then Appere almost got on the end of a Shankland nod back.
It took a great save from Siegrist to keep out McGinty’s header on 64 minutes as Thistle threatened.
McMullan moved at lightning speed up the right before flashing a cross right across the Jags’ goal but there were no takers.
The Tangerines, who had brought Pawlett on for Clark, created another decent chance on 71 minutes but McMullan’s shot was blocked.
The substitution was to prove crucial as Pawlett poked the Tangerines into the lead on 73 minutes.
It was yet another sweeping move from the visitors and it was Robson played the ball into the danger area. The ball eventually broke to Pawlett, who stabbed it into the net from close range before racing off to celebrate in front of the away supporters.
Robson was keen on a goal himself but he lashed his shot wide on 77 minutes after a stramash in the Partick box.
Ian Harkes replaced Stanton on as United enjoyed a comfortable closing 10 minutes.
Partick Thistle: Sneddon, Williamson, Penrice, McGinty, Cardle, Bannigan, Miller, Jones (Gordon 59), T. Robson (Mansell 70), Palmer (De Vita 70), Saunders. Subs not used: Fox, O’Ware, Niang, Galasso.
Dundee United: Siegrist, L. Smith, Connolly, Reynolds, McMullan, Clark (Pawlett 68), Stanton (Harkes 80), J. Robson, Butcher, Shankland, Appere. Subs not used: Deniz, Sow, C. Smith, King, Watson.
Referee: Willie Collum.
~ United’s youth game against St Mirren at St Andrews was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch.