Queen’s Park enjoyed a 4-1 win over Hamilton Accies at the ZLX Stadium with Jack Thomson opening the scoring with the second half seeing some tremendous highlights as Aaron Healy grabbed his first senior goal and Connor Shields notched a double following fancy footwork from Dom Thomas.
Healy was given his first start in a Championship match with the former Arthurlie wide-man coming in for Pat Jarrett who moved to the bench with Stephen Eze replacing Lee Kilday who had not shaken off a knock.
Recent recruit Marcel Oakley was also involved from the first whistle with the right wing-back back after his injury with Jake Davidson listed as a replacement.
The Spiders donned their black and white hoops against an in-form host side that kicked off and included one of Queen’s play-off heroes from last season, Connor Smith, in their line-up.
Oakley did well to burst forward after two minutes despite being held back with referee Collum eventually blowing for a foul just past the half-way line.
Three minutes later Grant Savoury sped away on the right and his cut-back picked out Connor Shields who took a touch before firing for goal only to see his effort blocked by a sea of red and white jerseys.
Hamilton’s first chance came on seven minutes when a Smith free-kick was headed away by Eze only for Dylan McGowan to pounce on the loose ball however his 14 yard shot rose and cleared the bar.
Queen’s responded and a drive from skipper Tommy Robson was flicked just wide by Shields.
On 13 minutes Eze went on a surging run into the Hamilton half and after exchanging passes with Dom Thomas and Oakley the big defender looked to find a team-mate with a driven cross however there were no takers.
Midway through the half Calum Ferrie timed a run from his goal perfectly as he kicked clear following a pass being slipped in-behind his defence after Queen’s had lost possession in an attacking position.
With half an hour gone Queen’s Park took the lead with Oakley featuring prominently in the creation of the goal. The on-loan Birmingham man danced his way past Matthew Shiels at the edge of the box and just when he looked to shoot, he was brought to the ground with the Spiders’ players appealing for a penalty.
JACK THOMSON did not hang about for a whistle as he gathered the ball and switched it onto his left foot and found the far corner with a beautifully placed shot from 14 yards.
Four minutes later it was almost 2-0 as Thomson and Thomas combined to release Shields on the right and the striker bore done on goal with Ryan Fulton touching his angled drive into the side-netting.
From the resultant corner Eze sent a header goalward with Fulton pulling off another fine stop.
Ferrie kicked clear again a minute from the break with the shot-stopper then showing fine ability with his hands as he pushed a drive from Smith over the bar.
Hamilton kept on pushing for the break with Smith having a shot deflected wide for a corner however when the break game the score was 1-0 to Owen Coyle’s side.
Oakley was quickly involved after the restart after another run into the Hamilton box was finished with a shot that Fulton gathered.
On 48 minutes it looked like a second goal had arrived as Thomas whipped over a cross that picked out Malachi Boateng however the midfielder sent his header inches wide from six yards.
It was not all one way as Charlie Fox did well five minutes into the restart to head clear from under his own bar with Jean Pierre Tiehi waiting behind him to knock a cross over the line.
Ferrie then leapt from his goal to cut out a dangerous looking left wing cross from half-time substitute Lewis Smith.
Queen’s Park doubled their lead on 57 minutes with youngster Healy grabbing the goal. Shields picked up a pass from Thomas on the right and when his first cross was blocked he regained possession and tried again.
This time it reached HEALY via the head of a Hamilton defender and Healy composed himself before firing low past Fulton from 16 yards.
The dancing feet of Thomas created danger shortly afterwards however he was denied by Fulton with Oakley showing his classy footwork to pick out Shields on 62 minutes with the striker denied when his shot was blocked.
A minute later Thomas produced one of the best touches a Queen’s Park player has ever produced (and there has been a few) as he trapped a high ball on the by-line and slipped a pass to SHIELDS who thumped home from six yards.
Accies hit back four minutes later when substitute Dario Zanatta burst through a couple of challenges and cracked a low shot home from 10 yards.
Coyle’s side look to recover quickly and Savoury had a shot tipped just past before the ‘QP Cafu’ Jake Davidson came on for the ‘QP Joshimar’ Oakley with Euan Henderson replacing Healy at the same time.
Henderson was heavily involved as Queen’s restored a three goal advantage on 72 minutes as he picked out Thomson at the edge of the box. The ball was fed out to Thomas and his low cross was back-heeled home by SHIELDS much to the delight of the noisy away fans in the stand behind.
A solid punch clear from Ferrie ended Accies hopes of grabbing a second with Coach Coyle giving youngsters Lewis Reid and Cameron Bruce a late taste of action.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Marcel Oakley (Jake Davidson 71’), Stephen Eze, Charlie Fox (Lewis Reid 90’) Tommy Robson (Cameron Bruce 90’) Jack Thomson, Malachi Boateng, Dom Thomas, Grant Savoury, Aaron Healy (Euan Henderson 71’), Connor Shields (Josh McPake 78’).
Subs not used: Jacques Heraghty (G/k), , Calum Biggar, Scott Williamson, Patrick Jarrett.
Hamilton Academical: Ryan Fulton, Matthew Shiels, Dan O’Reilly, Scott Martin, Dylan McGowan (Tom Sparrow 36), Jean Pierre Tiehi (Andy Winter 82), Connor Smith (Chris McGinn 60’), Reghan Tumilty, Lucas De Bolle (Dario Zanatta 60’), Steve Lawson (Lewis Smith 46’), Fergus Owens.
Subs not used: Jamie Smith (G/k), Brian Easton, Dylan Stephenson, Reegan Mimnaugh.
Referee: Willie Collum