Spi­ders leap off ta­ble’s last rung

MacPher­son praises Queen’s on sea­son’s first win

Rutherglen Reformer - - Sport - Mur­ray Spooner

Gus MacPher­son hailed his Spi­ders for clinch­ing their first league win of the sea­son to take them off the bot­tom of the ta­ble.

Ross Millen’s se­cond half penalty sep­a­rated the sides at Bayview and the Ham­p­den Park gaffer paid trib­ute to his play­ers for grind­ing out the win away from home.

He said: “We’ve said for the last three sea­sons now we’re punch­ing way above our weight so that’s credit to the play­ers and how they go and com­pete against good, recog­nised part-time teams.

“The next three weeks we play the full-time teams, so that’s a chal­lenge to them.

“But they’re fit and they’ll raise their game to that chal­lenge.”

De­spite the ad­di­tions of de­fender Jack Iredale and for­mer Celtic youth striker Luke Don­nelly, MacPher­son found his re­serves a bit de­pleted af­ter the mid­week De­vel­op­ment League game against Clyde when in­juries forced Queen’s to use all three subs be­fore the first quar­ter of the match was over – and they fin­ished the game with 10 men af­ter another knock.

How­ever, the team which took the field at Bayview had a fa­mil­iar shape, with Wil­lie Muir in goals and a back three of Ross Millen, Adam Cum­mins and Iredale. They were flanked by Michael Bai­ley and Sean Burns, with Gre­gor Fother­ing­ham and David Green an­chor­ing the mid­field. That left An­ton Brady and David Galt free to sup­port the other de­but-boy Don­nelly. Like the weather, Queen’s started rea­son­ably brightly, win­ning a fruit­less early cor­ner. But just like the weather, the game rapidly be­came a tad scrappy, with spec­ta­tors scram­bling for more cover af­ter 10 min­utes as a tor­ren­tial shower lashed the plas­tic pitch.

The first half was short on qual­ity but a piece of bril­liance from Burns al­most opened the scor­ing. The Queen’s left back spot­ted Fife keeper Mark Hurst off his line so tried his luck from 35 yards, the ef­fort drop­ping on the roof of the net.

Chris Dug­gan, Greg Hurst and Paul Willis all had de­cent chances as the hosts pressed.

Millen showed his quick think­ing and de­fen­sive qual­i­ties with a cou­ple of timely in­ter­cep­tions as Queen’s strug­gled to get their pass­ing game go­ing, but they were de­ter­mined to go in at the break with their goal un­scathed.

And the vis­i­tors man­aged to take the lead with Millen find­ing the net from the penalty spot af­ter Hurst had sliced down Galt fol­low­ing a short Mark Docherty pass back af­ter 56 min­utes.

It was im­por­tant to set­tle on the lead but Queen’s im­me­di­ately gifted the Fifers the chance to level and were re­lieved to see Nathan Flana­gan shoot over from a good po­si­tion.

De­spite be­ing se­cond best in the pos­ses­sion stakes, the Spi­ders still posed a threat on the break. Orr led a charge down the right but Galt failed to con­vert his cross.

A Fifers cor­ner kick in added time left Queen’s fans watch­ing through their fin­gers as it was whipped across goal but went just wide for a goal kick be­fore the ref­eree blew for full-time.

Home boss and Cam­bus­lang man Dar­ren Young said: “We prob­a­bly cre­ated enough chances to win two games. But a stupid pass back has cost us the game.”

Photo: Ian Cairns

Cheers Queen’s cel­e­brate the only goal of the game

Pay the penalty Ross Millen scores from the penalty spot

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