Spi­ders boss gut­ted side were KO’d by late sucker punch

Last-gasp goal a real sick­ener for MacPher­son

Rutherglen Reformer - - Sport - Mur­ray Spooner

Queen’s Park man­ager Gus MacPher­son branded his side naïve af­ter they con­ceded a late stop­page time goal at home to Ber­wick Rangers.

Fol­low­ing An­nan’s 3- 2 de­feat to Clyde, the Spi­ders failed in their bid to top the League Two ta­ble be­fore New Year’s Day.

Dar­ren Lav­ery’s goal was enough to give Ber­wick all three points on a very wet af­ter­noon at Ham­p­den Park.

Four points now sep­a­rate the top five teams in League Two but the re­sult ended an un­beaten run of five games for the Spi­ders.

It also con­cluded an im­pres­sive clean sheet record as, be­fore the match, Queen’s had not con­ceded in the league for 444 min­utes.

How­ever, MacPher­son in­sisted that he couldn’t crit­i­cise his play­ers too much and that go­ing top of the ta­ble wasn’t es­sen­tial at this time in the sea­son.

He said: “At this stage it [ go­ing top] doesn’t mat­ter.

“It’s more im­por­tant that you look af­ter your own per­for­mances in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively. It was just that last couple of min­utes we let our­selves down.

“It was a real sucker punch and a real counter at­tack. “There was a lit­tle bit of naivety. “But that’s what th­ese guys are all about. They’re at this level of foot­ball to learn and you learn harsh lessons when you make mis­takes.

“But we can’t crit­i­cise too much be­cause of the con­di­tions and ev­ery­thing else that went with the game.”

Gus ad­mit­ted that the late goal was a hard one to take and added: “It was a very sore one to lose at that stage in the game and a poor goal.

“We went and changed it quite dra­mat­i­cally, push­ing play­ers for­ward try­ing to get the goal but we’re at home so the onus is on us. “It’s con­cen­tra­tion, that’s all it is. “But when the game is like that, the worst you should be tak­ing is a clean sheet and we’ve been pun­ished very se­verely at the end.

“We’re at the end of the ta­ble that we want to be at but we are very re­spect­ful to ev­ery­body in the di­vi­sion.

“I’d be in­ter­ested to see the pos­ses­sion stats in terms of be­ing in con­trol of the game and then get­ting pun­ished at the end.”

The con­di­tions played a part in making life dif­fi­cult for both teams and MacPher­son sym­pa­thised with his play­ers.

He added: “They were very dif­fi­cult. You could see play­ers strug­gling in terms of their stand­ing foot, when they were go­ing to kick the ball.

“We try and pass the ball, we al­ways try to do that. But to be fair to Ber­wick, they are try­ing to do that as well and you could see the con­di­tions had an ad­verse ef­fect on the per­for­mance.”

Queen’s now face a stern test away to pro­mo­tion ri­vals Clyde this week­end with a sin­gle point sep­a­rat­ing the teams.

Win­ner Ber­wick play­ers cel­e­brate their last-minute goal against Queen’s Park

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