Edinburgh City 2 Queen’s Park 1

Queen’s travelled to face high-flying Edinburgh City knowing that they had a tough afternoon ahead of them. September hasn’t been the best month for the Spiders, with just one goal and one point to show for their two home games. Throw in the fact that our hosts were unbeaten in their last five outings and you could see why they were favourites with the Bookies.

Mark Roberts shuffled the pack to try to find a winning formula, bringing in Billy Mortimer, Joffrey Lidouren and Kieran Moore for James Grant, Jack Purdue and Reagan Thomson. And his charges made a bright start in the glorious sunshine near Leith.

Three minutes in, Salim went close with a header after Queen’s won the first foul of the afternoon. The big striker then forced Mcadams into action with an effort on the half-volley that packed plenty power, but was unfortunately too close to the keeper.

Queen’s maintained the upper hand through the first 15 minutes without really threatening again. But they were very nearly hit with a sucker punch moments later in the first meaningful Edinburgh attack. Handling was given far too much space in the QP box to get his shot away, but his wild effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Things got niggly as both sides tried to find the breakthrough. A series of fouls saw Brown, Thomson and then Creag Little go into the referee’s book and Balatoni was lucky not to join them for a high challenge on David Galt.

Willie Muir had seen precious little action in the opening exchanges, but as the half hour approached the keeper had to make two smart saves in quick succession as City got into their stride.

Queen’s were now struggling to make the most of some decent possession, with a blocked effort from Galt being probably the best moment. We had Muir and his defence to thank again just before the interval when first Crane and then Handling had goalbound efforts blocked.

Half Time

Edinburgh City 0 Queen’s Park 0

The second half began in the same scrappy manner that the first had ended, with a succession of fouls ruining any chance of the game getting into a flow.

City were, however, looking more menacing and found the breakthrough after 57 minutes when Shepherd capitalised on sloppy defending in our box to poke the ball past Muir from close range.

A tough task became the proverbial mountain to climb five minutes later when we were again guilty of slack play at the back and Shepherd set Harris up for another tap-in.

The home side were now comfortably in the driving seat and while Queen’s kept knocking at the door, they couldn’t find any way to unlock the home defence.

The boss sent on Big Alfie to try to change our fortunes – a struggling Galt being the man replaced.

The change in personnel did little to alter the pattern of the game, with free kicks and corners being the weapon of choice for both sides.

It was one set piece that gave the Spiders a glimmer of hope. Lidouren’s delivery was glanced on in the box and Tommy Block pounced to beat Mcadams. It was our first goal in league football  against City … and it had taken us 532 minutes. The only question now was whether the 18 minutes that remained in this game would prove enough time for us to get the equalising goal.

The answer to that question, sadly, was that we couldn’t find the net again. In all honesty, we didn’t really look too threatening, despite throwing on Jack Purdue for Scott Gibson.

The busiest man on the park continued to be referee Fordyce as he blew for frequent fouls, and handed out yellow cards to Laird and then Cameron Clark, before finally bringing the afternoon to an end.

It was another disappointing day at the office and we need to get back to winning ways to give everybody a lift. The one piece of good news following the whistle was that results elsewhere meant we remained in fourth place in the table.

So here’s a happy thought to cling onto … if we can hit fourth spot while not playing particularly well over a number of games, how high can we go once we get back into our stride?

Keep the Faith

Queen’s Park: Willie Muir, Billy Mortimer, Creag Little, Scott Gibson, Nicky Jamieson, Cameron Clark, Tommy Block, Salim Kouider-Aissa, David Galt, Joffrey Lidouren, Kieran Moore, Subs: Jacques Herraghty (gk), James Grant, Ciarán Summers, Reagan Thomson, Alfredo Agyeman, Jack Purdue. Calvin McGrory.

Mark speaks to QPTV after the game