A Perfect Day in a Perfect Week for Stephen Eze and Queen’s Park was witnessed in Maryhill as the Spiders defeated Partick Thistle 4-0.
Eze took his place in the centre of the visiting defence just two days after becoming a dad to Perfect Eze Junior against the Jags, who started the day at the top of the table but were out for revenge following Queen’s 3-2 success in the first quarter of the season at Ochilview.
Lee Kilday and Josh McPake returned to the starting line-up with Jake Davidson and Louis Longridge making way at a Firhill ground that provided the backdrop to the Spiders’ successful League 1 promotion campaign last season.
The game almost got off to an explosive start as Pat Jarrett burst through the home defence and looked set to grab a goal with little more than a minute played however, he was eventually crowded out.
Two minutes later Dom Thomas, who started on the right, broke forward and cut into the Thistle box however his low effort was scooped up by Jamie Sneddon.
Thistle’s first attack came on five minutes with Alex Bannon showing a mature head on young shoulders as he intercepted Stuart Bannigan’s pass and brought the danger to an end.
Jack Thomson raced to the other end and his whipped cross forced Sneddon to tip over at the expense of a corner that Eze headed wide.
Calum Ferrie was involved on 12 minutes when he raced from his line to clutch a shot from Brian Graham that had been deflected high into the air by a block from Eze.
New dad Eze was having a busy spell as he stepped in to ensure that a Graham cut-back was cleared and then headed away a corner before getting in the way of a Scott Tiffoney drive.
With 21 minutes gone Thistle were awarded a penalty when Tiffoney picked out Graham who saw his header strike the hand of Kilday who was about a foot away. Referee Chris Graham was not interested in Queen’s protests, which ended with Kilday and Thomson booked, however the Black and White Hoops were smiling again after Aaron Muirhead’s spot-kick, which sent Ferrie the wrong way, came back off a post.
On 26 minutes the visitors made the most of that reprieve as Thomson released Tommy Robson and the former Thistle player made no mistake against his former club for the second time this season by drilling low into the far corner.
Thistle looked to hit back and the ball fell to Bannigan 18 yards out and the home skipper could only watch on in agony as his chipped shot struck the top of the bar.
Queen’s were being pushed back and Eze was strong again as he forced a Kyle Turner shot from close range over his own bar. Tiffoney had a shot pushed past by Ferrie before Queen’s attacked again with Simon Murray just failing to tee up Pat Jarrett before Robson sent the loose ball flashing wide.
Eze had a great chance to double his side’s advantage six minutes from the break when he rose to meet a corner six yards out however he failed to get his header on target.
As the first half drew to a close Ferrie was alert to snuff out the danger from a Harry Milne header with Sneddon doing likewise as the visitors forced an injury time flag kick.
Within seconds of the restart, it looked like Thomson had been fouled at the edge of his own box however no whistle came and Lawless was able to send over a cross that just eluded Graham and Tiffoney.
The game did see another goal on 51 minutes, and it came for Owen Coyle’s side, with Eze getting everything right this time as he met a corner from Thomas with a powerful header that flew past Sneddon’s out-stretched arm.
Five minutes later and it was a fabulous three for the visitors with McPake finding the net for the first time.
A mazy run from Thomas was the platform for the goal with the wide-man setting up Simon Murray who fired for goal. Sneddon pushed out his effort and as Thistle struggled to clear the ball McPake found himself free on the left and he found the far corner with a low curling effort.
Just before the hour mark the score-line almost looked even better as McPake cut across the 18-yard line before firing past Sneddon however the post that rescued Queen’s in the first half, rescued Thistle this time.
It was Thistle’s turn to hit the woodwork again midway through the second half with Milne whipping a shot over Ferrie only to see it clip the crossbar.
With 20 minutes left it looked like Thomson would get on the score-sheet as he raced clear however Sneddon blocked his parting shot.
Thistle’s hopes of getting back into the game were being met by stiff resistance from the visiting defence with substitute Jonny Kenny showing that Queen’s were not happy to sit back as he forced Sneddon into a save on 78 minutes.
Another replacement, Grant Savoury, sent a teasing show wide before McPake completed the scoring from virtually the same spot he notched from earlier on with this curling effort going high into the net.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Alex Bannon (David Boateng 80′), Stephen Eze, Lee Kilday, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson (Jake Davidson 80′), Malachi Boateng, Dom Thomas, Pat Jarrett (Grant Savoury 64′), Josh McPake, Simon Murray (Johnny Kenny 68). Subs not used: Louis Longridge, Jason Naismith, Cameron Bruce, Jacques Heraghty (G/k), Scott Williamson.
Partick Thistle: Jamie Sneddon, Jack McMillan, Harry Milne, Kyle Turner, Scott Tiffoney (Cammy Smith 49′), Stuart Bannigan, Brian Graham (Daniel Mullen 71′), Steven Lawless (Aidan Fitzpatrick 71′), Cole McKinnon (Anton Dowds 58′), Lee Hodson (Darren Brownlie 46′), Aaron Muirhead. Subs not used: David Mitchell (G/k), Anthony Weston, Olatunji Akinola, Ben Stanway.
Referee: Chris Graham.