Queen’s Park 1 Clyde 1

Queen’s Park win 5-4 on penalties

As derby games go, this was probably as close to being meaningless as you can get … but you wouldn’t have known that from the grins on the faces of the home supporters when Ciarán Summers smacked home the final penalty to earn Queen’s a bonus point victory over old rivals Clyde.

What made the result even more enjoyable for those in the Hampden ranks was the fact that it consigned the Bully Wee to last place in the group, while the Spiders ended the campaign with three draws and one defeat – not a bad outcome considering the rebuilding job done over the summer, and the fact that all our opponents in the group will be playing at a higher level when the league campaigns kick-off next weekend.

Going into the game Gaffer Mark Roberts admitted that his first priority was to get through it without picking up any further injuries. That’s an approach you can understand when he made five changes from midweek … and again only had five subs on the bench rather than the permitted seven.

The changes from the Airdrie game saw Billy Mortimer suspended; Calvin McGrory and Nicky Jamieson missing through injury; David Galt absent through work commitments and Our Salim dropping to the bench to allow Kieran Moore to start.

Despite the personnel changes, it was a familiar shape that lined up with Willie Muir in goals, James Grant and Summers flanking a back three of Creag Little, Lewis Magee and Cameron Clark, and a midfield trio of Tommy Block, Jack Purdue and our French Connection – Joffrey Lidouren. Moore and Big Alfie were charged with providing the goal threat.

The livewire former Motherwell player looked in the mood from the off and showed delightful skills to skin Cuddihy in the opening 90 seconds. Unfortunately, after opening the door to the Clyde defence, Alfie over-ran the ball and a goal kick was the outcome.

Clyde broke straight back and Lamont should at least have hit the target when he was found at the back post with a deep cross. Instead he found the empty terrace behind Muir’s goal.

Those opening exchanges suggested we might be in for another exciting game. Sadly, the early promise quickly petered out and there were precious few chances created. Queen’s best openings came from a Lindouren free-kick which Clark headed wide and a Purdue drive which had keeper Mitchell scrambling to turn behind for a corner.

The visitors had the bulk of the possession early doors, but the only real threat they posed our goal came from Syvertsen who was finally crowded out by a combination of Grant and Little.

Midway through the first half, the visitors opened the scoring when a neat through ball gave Smith the opportunity to stride forward before poking the ball past Muir at his near post. In all honesty, we couldn’t begrudge Clyde the lead, but even the goal failed to spark the game into much life.

We had moments that promised quite a lot, with Summers, Big Alfie and Joffrey looking the part, but we just couldn’t get into the type of rhythmn that we certainly showed in midweek.

We could have had a bigger mountain to climb before the break if first McNiff and then Wallace had been more clinical, but they squandered the chances and the interval arrived with the scoreline:

Queen’s Park 0 Clyde 1.

Neither side changed personnel at the break and the second half began in a similar scrappy manner to the way the first period ended. McStay became the day’s first booking when he tugged back Big Alfie. Little followed him into the book moments later for a full-blooded tackle that got a lot of the ball.

With neither keeper being tested at all, both gaffers tried to switch things around. Queen’s brought on Our Salim for Moore and then replaced Block and Purdue with Luke Main and Adam Martin. Nice to see the wee man back on the field after his nasty leg break last year.

Adam’s return didn’t do much to add to the QP goal threat, but at least we were keeping the ball better and limiting the threat of Clyde on the break.

The visitors brought on Goodwillie for Syvertsen and then replaced Smith with Fitzpatrick as the game meandered towards its close. In the final stages, the home side began to exert some pressure, with Big Alfie and Martin both forcing Mitchell into action.

Muir then went into the book – presumably for something he said to referee Lambie – before Queen’s fashioned an equaliser out of virtually nothing. Summers won a free kick and when Joffrey swung in a peach of a cross Our Salim rose along with Howie … and the ball ended up in the back of the net. Needless to say the sub instantly claimed the goal – and your scribe would never argue with a QP player. However, the dubious goals panel would likely chalk this one down to an OG.

Rgeardless of the scorer, Queen’s were now back on terms with just a couple of minutes to go.

Clyde had the final chance of the 90 when Rumsby got his head to a corner, but the effort was never going to trouble Muir and Lambie’s whistle soon signalled the draw … and a third penalty shoot-out for the Spiders.

On Wednesday night, the conclusion saw 26 penaltiers taken and only three missed. This afternoon, there were three penalties saved from the first six taken. Muir stopped the first effort – from Wallace – before Our Salim scored from the spot to put us 1-0 ahead. Lyon scored for Clyde before Luke Main missed for the Spiders to make it one apiece.  McStay and Grant then saw their efforts saved to keep things level. Cuddihy scored for Clyde; Joffrey leveled for Queen’s. Goodwillie put the Bully Wee back ahead before Clark slotted home to level, with what the stats will record as our 300th goal against Clyde. Lamont and Martin both scored before Muir produced another stop to deny Fitzpatrick. That gave Summers the chance to wrap things up, and he put Wednesday’s last-kick miss behind him to score with ease and earn us the 5-4 win.

In truth, it wasn’t the best of games, and we were far from our fluent best. But let’s look on that as a major plus, cause if we can play not too well, with several key players missing – and still come out on top against opposition from a higher league, then surely that bodes well for the real thing when it starts in Stirling next Saturday.

The Gaffer’s pleased with the way things have gone so far, and the supporters are always happy with any victory over the Bully Wee.

Get ready for the fun to begin again.

Keep the Faith.