Queen’s Park’s season came to an end as they went down 4-0 to Partick Thistle in the second leg of the Premiership Play Quarter-Final tie at Ochilview to lose out 8-3 to the Jags on aggregate.
With Grant Savoury ruled out through injury Head Coach Owen Coyle gave Aaron Healy a start with two changes made in defence with Lee Kilday and Tommy Robson returning in place of Jake Davidson and Alex Bannon who moved to bench.
Youngster Lewis Reid was listed as a replacement as the Spiders looked to overcome the one goal deficit from Tuesday night’s opening leg with Coyle forced into a late change when Jack Thomson was injured in the warm up and Jake Davidson stepped up to take his place.
The Maryhill side bolstered by their injury time winner in the first leg kicked off and Charlie Fox was soon involved in the action as he cleared a cross from Scott Tiffoney.
Queen’s showed their attacking intentions a minute later when Dom Thomas and Marcel Oakley combined on the right with Connor Shields just missing out on connecting with Thomas’ cross.
On five minutes referee Steven and his stand side assistant missed a foul on Thomas by Kevin Holt and that allowed Tiffoney to progress to the edge of the home box before firing over.
Four minutes later came a crucial moment as Shields’ headed flick allowed Davidson to scamper clear on the Thistle goal. David Mitchell saved Davidson’s first shot and when the Queen’s midfielder recovered the ball and shot past the shot-stopper Aaron Muirhead popped up on the line to clear.
The importance of that double save grew with quarter of an hour gone as Tiffoney floated over a corner from the right and Brian Graham first timed a volley past Calum Ferrie to put Thistle two ahead on aggregate.
Queen’s looked to hit back quickly and Healy forced a corner on the right that was cleared and then on 21 minutes Davidson sent the ball along the turf for Healy to shoot for goal with David Mitchell well placed to save.
Four minutes later Queen’s attacked with pace with Davidson finding Thomas who saw his dangerous looking ball headed behind by a Thistle defender.
The mountain the Spiders had to climb got even bigger on 28 minutes as Steven Lawless fed Jack McMillan on the right and his low cross was turned in by Tiffoney.
Eight minutes from the break Longridge found Thomas at the back post and Dom returned the ball at pace however no-one could apply a final touch.
Sixty seconds later a perfectly time Malachi Boateng tackle end a Thistle break after a kick-out from Mitchell had travelled a long distance.
On 41 minutes Queen’s Park’s hopes of Premiership football took another hit when Holt bundled the ball into the net after Ferrie had produced a fine stop to keep out a Graham header from a deep cross.
Right on half-time Ferrie prevented the score-line from looking even more disappointing as he blocked another header from Graham.
Coye looked to spark a revival with a triple substitution at half-time with Fox, Kilday and Healy replaced by Alex Bannon, Stephen Eze and Josh McPake.
Shields lifted everyone with a sprint on the left early into the restart before cutting across the 18-yard line before firing just over.
On 53 minutes Ferrie produced another fine stop as he denied Tiffoney in a 1-1 situation with McPake taking the game to the other end before sending over a dangerous cross that found no takers.
McPake threatened again seconds later however Mitchell was able to palm his effort over the bar with the Black and White Hoops disappointed on the hour mark when no penalty was awarded after Oakley looked to be pushed to the ground.
As Queen’s continued to threaten Robson passed the ball to Boateng who shot just wide with a low shot from 18 yards with the visiting defence surviving a scramble at the back post shortly afterwards after a corner had reached Eze.
Youngster Bannon showed class on 79 minutes when he charged forward from defence and looked set to shoot until the visiting defence crowded him out.
Queen’s luck was summed up with eight minutes to go when Ferrie reacted brilliantly to a deflected shot from Cammy Smith by sticking out a foot to save however the loose ball rolled to Thistle substitute Danny Mullen who tapped in to make it 4-0 on the night.
Coyle’s side looked to end the season with a consolation goal and substitute Patrick Jarrett found Davidson with a cut-back however Mitchell was able to watch his shot clear the bar.
On 81 minutes Eze reached a Thomas corner just a couple of yards from goal with the defender sending his header over the bar.
A minute of injury time was played however a goal to warm the hearts of the fans who had given terrific backing could not be found.
Time was called on Queen’s roller-coaster 2022/23 Season shortly afterwards however there has been more ups than downs.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Marcel Oakley (Patrick Jarrett 77’), Lee Kilday (Stephen Eze 46’), Charlie Fox (Alex Bannon 46’), Tommy Robson, Jake Davidson Malachi Boateng, Louis Longridge, Dom Thomas, Aaron Healy (Josh McPake 46’), Connor Shields.
Subs not used: Callan McKenna (G/k), Jack Thomson, Euan Henderson, Lewis Moore, Lewis Reid.
Partick Thistle: David Mitchell, Jack McMillan, Kevin Holt, Darren Brownlie, Kyle Turner, Scott Tiffoney (Anton Dowds 62’), Brian Graham (Danny Mullen 62’), Steven Lawless (Cammy Smith 70’), Aidan Fitzpatrick (Cole McKinnon 77’), Aaron Muirhead, Ross Docherty (Zander MacKenzie 77’)
Subs not used: Jamie Sneddon (G/k), Lee Hodson, Billy Owens, Ji Stevenson.
Referee: Colin Steven