Spiders and Ayr are inseparable
Queen’s force replay in cup fourth round
Gus MacPherson hailed his young Spiders as they almost pulled off a Scottish Cup shock at Somerset Park.
The in-form League One side bossed their Championship opponents but couldn’t break the deadlock in the fourth-round tie.
They were set to do it all again last night (Tuesday) at Hampden in the replay after the Reformer went to print.
After the weekend’s clash, MacPherson said: “We played well against a very experienced team in every department and the boys didn’t look out of place.
“That’s the challenge and they are aspiring to show people what they are capable of and compete at a higher level.
He added: “It was a good cup tie and I thought we played well. It was tight and probably deserved to go to a second game.
“The teams were evenly matched and it was going to take a bit of magic or a mistake to decide it.”
Queen’s were first to go close with five minutes on the clock when Jamie McKernon swung the ball in from a corner which was met by the head of Ryan McGeever.
His effort beat keeper Greg Fleming, but was scrambled away by the defence.
The Spiders had the next entry in the notebook as well, and this time it was Paul Woods. He found himself in a bit of space inside the box and although his shot was on target, it was well taken by Fleming.
William Muir had been largely untroubled in the Queen’s goal, but had to be quick off his line after 16 minutes as Devlin threatened. And the keeper then touched over a Gary Harkins thunderbolt, before coming to claim the resultant corner.
Harkins and Robbie Crawford were at the heart of most of the Honest Men’s best moments. Five minutes from the break, a Harkins cross found McKenna’s head, but Muir was up to the task.
The keeper was then rescued by Wharton who produced a great block from a goalbound Crawford effort.
The general consensus was that Queen’s had more than held their own in the first 45, which produced enough incident to keep the 1326 spectators interested.
Much of the second period was a dull affair, but Queen’s enjoyed their best moment of the half as they entered the final 20 minutes, when a McKernon free-kick was sliced wildly behind by McKenna as it flew into the box.
The corner was also bang on the money, but the keeper’s protection society swung into action and referee Cook awarded Ayr a foul for a “challenge” on Fleming.
The Spiders almost snatched the lead from another corner. This time it was Burns who swung the ball in, and Fleming was mighty relieved when it glanced off the woodwork.
Harkins missed a chance to avoid a replay in injury time after a mistake by Muir and McGeever but he failed to convert.
Heads Adam Cummins beats Gary Harkins and teammate Sean Burns to the ball