PARTICK Thistle manager Alan Archibald praised the ever-reliable Kris Doolan after the striker netted his 99th league goal following his late call-up against Motherwell.

Doolan was drafted in for Conor Sammon after the in-form Irish forward suffered a family bereavement, and found himself completely unmarked to head a 53rd-minute opener from Martin Woods's free-kick.

Thistle were 11 minutes away from claiming their first victory at Fir Park for 22 years until Nadir Ciftic rolled Niall Keown and fired home from 16 yards.

But Archibald's side moved out of the Ladbrokes Premiership's bottom two and Doolan edged closer to a century of league goals for the club.

The Thistle manager, who also saw Callum Booth and Steven Lawless pull out of the squad late in the week, said: "It was a great header. He was surprised he got so much space but sometimes they are the hardest ones to finish. It feels as if he has so much time and he guides it in.

"He has had a stop-start season with a bit of injury as well, and our form has not helped him, but you can always rely on him to come in and score a goal. I thought his overall team play was very good as well.

"He has not really trained properly. Even when we went away on the winter break he had a problem with a hamstring and a bit with his knee, but the last two weeks is probably the best he has been in training."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson promised there was much more to come from Stephen Hendrie after the former Hamilton and West Ham left-back was taken off at half-time on his debut.

The loan signing from Southend was playing in a wing-back role and Robinson brought on Richard Tait in a bid to provide some spark going forward after a tight opening period.

Robinson said: "It was a bit of a tactical switch to give us more forward impetus. Stephen is still finding his legs. We are very much only seeing the start of Stephen.

"We took him off really to protect him a wee bit as well, he was feeling a little bit tight. But it was to give us a bit more impetus going forward and we didn't feel Elliott Frear could last a half at this stage. We knew we would bring him on at some stage."