IT never rains but it pours.

In a week in which Partick Thistle had to pull the team bus in order that they could claw back a deficit in first-team finances following the loss of funding from lottery winner Colin Weir, they contrived to make things as

miserable on the pitch as they have been off it.

Having taken a first-half lead through Steven Saunders, Gary Caldwell’s side allowed the three points to slip from their grasp as Dundee United’s Lawrence Shankland underlined again just how valuable a signing he could prove to be. The former Ayr United striker scored all four of United’s goals in their win against Inverness last weekend and looks more than capable of sustaining the form he showed at Somerset Park as he netted the leveller and could well have claimed United’s second of the night, too, at Firhill.

The space he was given against the Highlanders last weekend wasn’t indulged by Thistle who managed to suffocate the threat of the striker throughout the opening half but their slackness in the second period was swiftly punished by the in-form forward.

“We lacked a bit of bravery and a bit of composure on the ball,” lamented Thistle manager

Caldwell afterwards. “They were poor goals to give away. The big thing we spoke about all week was to mark Lawrence Shankland in the box. It is not rocket science. When you see him play you see he is a danger in the box and we let him go free.

“I’m just frustrated. We played so well in the first-half and the game was there for us. We had to stay on the front foot and be aggressive and if you don’t do that then you invite pressure and if you let the ball get into the box then Shankland is going to score goals. He has proved that and we paid the price.”

Saunders had given Firhill a lift with a powerful back-post header midway through the opening half but it was a lead that unravelled in the second period.

Shankland did not need to be invited twice when a chance fell into his lap 10 minutes after the restart after Thistle fell asleep at the back. James Penrice didn’t get enough power on a clearance enabling Paul McMullan to get a cross into the box. Shankland volleyed his effort into the ground with the bounce of the ball

eluding the outstretched arm of Sneddon and nestling into the top left-hand corner.

For a brief spell it gave United the bit between their teeth as Thistle lost their footing in the immediate aftermath of the goal. Thistle had a chance with a Sean McGinty header parried away but it was the visitors who turned the screw.

Jamie Robson and Louis Appere combined to release Shankland and while Sneddon got a hand to his effort it looked as though it would still creep across the line before Peter Pawlett got a touch to make sure it ended up in the back of the net.

“It’s been a while since we’ve went behind and come back and won,” said United manager Robbie Neilson. “There’s now pressure on everyone else to go and get a result today.”