Queen’s start life in League One

Rutherglen Reformer - - Sports - Mur­ray Spooner

Queen’s Park bonded at train­ing camp in St An­drews as prepa­ra­tion for life in the SPFL League One.

The Spi­ders trav­elled to the north east straight af­ter their Bet­fred Cup de­feat to Partick This­tle and will re­turn to league ac­tion on Satur­day at home to Air­drieo­ni­ans.

Gus MacPher­son’s men were due to play Kil­marnock Un­der 20s at Ham­p­den Park on Tues­day, be­fore the Re­former went to print.

This week he ad­mit­ted: “It has been a dif­fer­ent type of build-up to a game for the play­ers.

“We were not able to get the squad to­gether in the sum­mer but we were fi­nally able to do it at the week­end by leav­ing straight af­ter our game against Partick This­tle.”

This week­end will see a re­peat of the Bet­fred Cup group E game at Ham­p­den last month when Air­drieo­ni­ans came out on top in a penalty shoot-out fol­low­ing a 3-3 draw.

The Di­a­monds have re­turned to full-time foot­ball for the first time in six years and are one of the front-run­ners to com­pete for the ti­tle along with Liv­ingston and Al­loa.

Ac­cord­ing to the book­ies, Queen’s Park are favourites to fin­ish in the bot­tom two along with Sten­house­muir.

Partick This­tle ...2 Queen’s Park .....0

Queen’s Park bowed out of the Bet­fred Cup with a 2-0 de­feat to Partick This­tle who ended the cam­paign with a 100 per cent record.

With the re­volv­ing door skewed in favour of new ar­rivals dur­ing the close sea­son, and only John Carter and the un­for­tu­nate Jamie McKer­non on the treat­ment ta­ble, Gus MacPher­son had a larger than usual squad to select from.

He made four changes from the mid­week 3-3 draw and loss on penal­ties to Air­drieo­ni­ans with Paul Woods, Scott Gib­son, Joe Bradley and Liam Brown all drop­ping to the bench. Conor McVey, David Galt, An­ton Brady and Josh Watt stepped in to the start­ing lineup.

There was no sign of early panic as the Spi­ders got men be­hind the ball when needed, but broke with some pur­pose when they were al­lowed pos­ses­sion.

But it all went wrong af­ter just six min­utes. Queen’s fash­ioned an op­por­tu­nity on the right with some de­cent foot­ball and Malone got on the end of Millen’s cross to cause keeper Cerny all sorts of prob­lems. He did keep the ef­fort out – and 18 se­conds later the home side were in front.

A long, high ball split the cen­tral de­fence and with Mur­phy caught in no man’s land, Ersk­ine nipped in to loop a header over the keeper and into the empty net.

The Spi­ders al­most snatched an equaliser af­ter 14 min­utes when a Miller free-kick was headed goal­wards by Cum­mins and Cerny again had to be alert to keep it out at the ex­pense of a cor­ner.

This­tle con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion in the sec­ond half as Ersk­ine got an early sighter which Mur­phy held eas­ily.

They al­most dou­bled their lead on 70 min­utes when they broke quickly and Azeez got his head to Gor­don’s cross but the cross­bar came to Queen’s res­cue.

The Spi­ders pro­duced one of their best mo­ments as they en­tered the fi­nal 20 min­utes. Some tidy, quick passes out of de­fence gave Miller pos­ses­sion and he ran at the heart of the This­tle rear­guard. It was a mat­ter of tim­ing to re­lease Bradley, but Miller’s pass was over hit and the ball rolled tamely out for a goal kick.

And This­tle soon dou­bled their lead – Lind­say pow­er­ing home a header from a cor­ner to make it 2-0.

Five min­utes from the end, Mur­phy more than made up for the first goal by pro­duc­ing a stunning save from a point blank header.

Train­ing camp Queen’s Park

Cup de­feat David Galt at Firhill

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