Queen’s Park head into the second leg of their Premiership Play-off Quarter Final against Partick Thistle on Friday at Ochilview one goal down after an injury time sickener for the hosts came after the ‘Dancing Feet’ of Dom Thomas had grabbed two fantastic goals.
Head Coach Owen Coyle made a hat-trick of changes with Alex Bannon and Jake Davidson popping up in defence and Louis Longridge selected for a midfield role with Lee Kilday, Tommy Robson and Josh McPake listed as replacements.
Scott Williamson continued to be absent through injury with Scotland-under 17 goalkeeper Callan McKenna also on the bench with his fellow shot-stopper Calum Ferrie skippering the side.
Davidson started on the right as did Dom Thomas with Longridge taking up a position behind striker Connor Shields with the visiting attack creating a great chance with less than three minutes played.
Longridge won a header on the right and then picked up the loose ball and charged forward before cutting a pass back to Grant Savoury who sent an 18-yard shot curling along the turf and about an inch wide of goal.
Queen’s had another opportunity on four minutes when a Thomas free-kick was knocked into the path of Charlie Fox some three yards out and the defender’s shot hit David Mitchell in the home goal and then smacked against the inside of the post and bouncing out where it struck a home defender and forced Mitchell into another close-range stop.
Thistle came close to making the most of double reprieve three minutes later when Kyle Turner worked his way into the visitors’ box and sent a shot that just cleared the far corner of Ferrie’s goal.
The Jags got their noses in front with quarter of an hour gone as Turner got the better of Jack Thomson on the left-hand side of the Queen’s box as they chased a Stuart Bannigan boss. Turner moved across the area before firing in a left-foot shot that took a deflection of Fox on its way into goal.
Brian Graham had the ball in the net two minutes later however an offside flag had been raised before he netted from a yard out and home celebrations were cut short.
Coyle’s side worked their way back into things and earned a corner on 25 minutes which Thomas curled in with the home defence having a lucky break as the ball struck Kevin Holt and flashed towards their own goal before being cleared.
Thistle took advantage of that escape as they grabbed a second goal three minutes later as a pass from Turner allowed Tiffoney to beat the offside trap and he slipped a pass to Jack McMillan who thumped home form 9 yards.
A wonder goal from THOMAS got Queen’s back into the game with the wide-man on 33 minutes. Fox and Thomson prodded passed forward to Thomas 10 yards in his one half and the number 11 kept on running and running towards the home goal.
After ignoring the run of Savoury to his left Thomas kept the ball away from two Thistle defenders on the 18-yard line before drilling a low shot past Mitchell.
Savoury required a lengthy spell of treatment after being fouled deep in his own half five minutes from the break with Patrick Jarrett eventually brought him in his place after Queen’s had played for four minutes with ten men with Thomas creating an opening for Shields despite the numerical handicap.
Thistle substitute Aidan Fitzpatrick created the first chance after the restart as he darted down the left before sending a shot past the far post.
The Black and White Hoops responded with a corner from Thomas that was met by Fox with the defender sending a header wide.
The Firhill side responded quickly as well with Tiffoney flicking an opening wide after Ferrie had dashed from his line to narrow the target.
Thomas carved out another chance for his side on 53 minutes when he drove deep into Thistle territory and Jarrett had a shooting chance when Thomas’ cross was deflected into his path however his effort spun over.
Twinkle toes Thomas created another opening for his side with an hour gone as he moved from right to left before picking out Longridge who side-stepped his way forward before sending a low shot past.
Thistle grabbed a third goal on 69 minutes when a pass-back fell kindly for Tiffoney who took his time before teeing up Fitzpatrick to side-foot home from seven yards out.
Graham fired a shot high over the Queen’s bar with 10 minutes left with the outstanding Thomas combining with Marcel Oakley and Jack Thomson to put pressure on the home goal to pull a goal back on 82 minutes.
After Oakley had the ball taken off his toes just as he was away to shoot BOATENG picked up possession and sent a 20 yarder past Mitchell with the aid of a deflection.
The Spiders drew level with three minutes left as THOMAS capped off what must be his best game in a Black and White shirt as he grabbed hold of the ball 40 yards out and took a few steps forward before firing low into a corner.
Deep into injury time and with the visitors down to ten men as Thomson was injured a high ball was flicked behind the Queen’s defence and Graham thumped a diagonal shot into the far corner to put Thistle ahead at the midway point of the tie.
Back on the QP Rollercoaster on Friday!
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Jake Davidson (Tommy Robson 52’), Marcel Oakley (Lee Kilday 86’), Alex Bannon, Charlie Fox, Jack Thomson, Malachi Boateng, Louis Longridge, Grant Savoury (Patrick Jarrett 44’), Dom Thomas, Connor Shields.
Subs not used: Callan McKenna (G/k), Euan Henderson, Josh McPake, Lewis Moore, Aaron Healy, Stephen Eze.
Partick Thistle: David Mitchell, Jack McMillan, Kevin Holt, Darren Brownlie, Kyle Turner, Scott Tiffoney, Stuart Bannigan (Aidan Fitzpatrick 33’), Brian Graham, Steven Lawless (Lee Hodson 75), Aaron Muirhead, Ross Docherty.
Subs not used: Jamie Sneddon (G/k), Anton Dowds, Cammy Smith, Cole McKinnon, Danny Mullen, Billy Owens, Zander MacKenzie.
Referee: Kevin Clancy