Partick Thistle booked their place in the quarter-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a narrow but deserved 1-0 win at St Johnstone.
Midfielder Adam Barton side-footed the Jags into the lead in the seventh minute, and only good saves either side of the break by Saints goalkeeper Zander Clark prevented the Maryhill men extending their lead.
Saints dominated possession for most of a scrappy and untidy second half but failed to really test Thistle goalkeeper Tomas Cerny, leaving the Firhill side to look forward to Sunday’s last-eight draw.
Tommy Wright’s team had edged the Ladbrokes Premiership clash between the teams in Maryhill 1-0 earlier in the month, but Thistle had triumphed in their last three visits to Perth.
And the scene was set for more away-day success for the Glasgow club when they took an early lead on the counter-attack.
Sean Welsh set up Steven Lawless on the left and, when his cross came across the box, Barton moved in to guide the ball past Clark from 10 yards for his second goal of the season.
The home side’s response was slow in coming.
In the 20th minute, after Jags defender Niall Keown headed a Chris Millar cross out to Danny Swanson, the Saints midfielder returned a low drive from 25 yards just past the post.
However, little of note happened at either end until close to the interval.
Cerny saved a low Swanson drive from distance two minutes from the break and moments later Jags defender Liam Lindsay headed a Welsh corner over the bar.
Alan Archibald’s men should have gone into the interval two goals to the good but Clark made a great save from David Amoo after another swift counter saw the Thistle man slalom his way into the Saints box.
Chances were exchanged early in the second half with Welsh curling the ball from 20 yards just wide of the target before Saints striker Steven MacLean’s dipping drive from the same distance at the other end cleared the bar.
However, in the 50th minute Clark again made another crucial block, this time from a powerful Lindsay header from a Welsh free-kick, with the Perth defence eventually clearing the danger.
Saints increased the pressure but found Thistle dogged in defence.
In the 79th minute St Johnstone substitute Blair Alston, on for David Wotherspoon for the start of the second half, curled the ball past the far post from the edge of the box after taking a pass from Richard Foster.
Minutes later the Saints right-back set up another substitute, Chris Kane, on for Graham Cummins, to volley inches over the bar, confirming it was the Maryhill men’s day.