A double from Grant Savoury as well as strikes from Simon Murray and Josh McPake made a special day for Queen’s Park all the more memorable in a 4-0 success over visitors Hamilton Academical.
Queen’s Park’s ‘Back to the Future’ fixture with Hamilton Accies at the National Stadium at Hampden ran smoother than a DeLorean at 88 miles per hour with the Black and White Hoops enjoying a 4-0 success over Hamilton Academical.
A bumper 3,231 crowd including over 1,000 special guests from local schools and community groups, as well as club heroes Tony Quinn and David Galt, were in place before kick-off with the Spiders shooting towards the Aitkenhead Road of the ground.
Head coach Owen Coyle restored Lee Kilday and Charlie Fox to the heart of the home defence with Jason Naismith and Stephen Eze moving to the substitutes’ bench. Josh McPake, who missed out on the 3-0 win at Peterhead last weekend, was back from the start with Pat Jarrett dropping out all-together.
Simon Murray was behind an early charge on the Accies goal with the skipper picking out Tommy Robson on the left however the visiting defence recovered at the expense of a throw in that was worked to the other flank where a Dom Thomas cross was scooped up by Ryan Fulton.
On six minutes Thomas dribbled clear on the right with Fulton again cutting out his cross ball with the game delayed shortly afterwards as Malachi Boateng required treatment for what looked like an ankle injury.
After Boateng had returned to the pitch the Lanarkshire men had their first shot on goal with Callum Ferrie darting to his right to save Jean Pierre Tiehi’s deflected drive.
Thomas tested Fulton again on 13 minutes and this time it was a stern test as he curled a shot towards the top corner with the shot-stopper diving to his right to make a fine stop.
Lewis Smith earned the first corner on 15 minutes with Ferrie doing well to clutch the ball after Brian Easton had headed on.
Hamilton forced another two corners in quick succession with Joe Thomson getting the ball away from the danger area after a scramble six yards out.
Tiehi skipped past Fox on the right on 18 minutes and Ferrie had to make a smart stop to keep Jake Davidson’s attempted clearance from the Hamilton man’s cross that had flashed goalward.
McPake and Murray looked to get Queen’s on top midway through the half however their intricate passing move was eventually ended.
Hamilton created another chance on 24 minutes when a cross from the right picked out Tiehi with his diving header carefully watched by Ferrie as it bounced past with that opening marking a turning point in the contest.
Queen’s raced to the other end and opened the scoring 60 seconds later as Thomson won the ball despite being the meat in a two-man Hamilton sandwich and darted forward before picking out Thomas.
The wide-man slid a pass to GRANT SAVOURY who picked his spot from 18 yards and drilled a low drive into Fulton’s right-hand corner of the net.
Three minutes later it was 2-0 to the Spiders and ‘Girls and Boys’ was bellowing out the Hampden sound system as Boateng slipped a pass through the visiting defence that allowed MURRAY to run clear and slide a low shot past Fulton and into the net despite the goalkeeper getting a touch on the ball.
Hamilton looked to hit back quickly from this double set-back with Dan O’Reilly having a header saved and former Queen’s favourite Dario Zanatta pulled up for a handball as he was charging in on Ferrie’s goal.
Two became three on 36 minutes with a fine individual goal from McPAKE who picked the ball up on the left wing and darted to the edge of the area where he sent a curling effort roaring past Fulton.
Intricate play from Murray, Thomas and Jake Davidson won a corner on the right five minutes from the break with the Hamilton rear-guard relieved that no danger threatened from the set-piece.
Right on half-time the score moved to four nil as Murray picked out Savoury who looked to tee up Thomas who thought about shooting before sliding the ball back to SAVOURY who grabbed his second goal of the game by shooting home from six yards.
Hamilton manager John Rankin responded to the 4-0 half-time score by making three substitutions with Andy Winter, Fergus Owens and Gabe Forsyth coming on for Tiehi, Zanatta and O’Reilly.
Andy Ryan looked to rally his side with a shot on goal on 50 minutes with Kilday ensuring that Ferrie’s goal remained intact by heading Ryan’s drive over.
Queen’s first attacking foray into Hamilton territory came on 55 minutes with McPake denied his second when his shot following a surging run from Boateng and clever touches from Murray and Thomas was deflected past for a corner.
On 57 minutes Hamilton were denied a goal twice in quick succession as Murray headed off the line following a corner and then Ferrie clawed away as the visitors looked to scramble the loose ball home.
Six minutes later Queen’s looked to add another as Thomas swung over a free-kick from the left that looked perfect for Murray or Fox to reach however Fulton was not troubled as the ball bounced into his arms.
With 20 minutes left McPake came close again with only the fingertips of Fulton pushing the striker’s fierce volley past.
On 10 minutes former Queen’s Park captain Michael Doyle showed nerves of steel as he chested a right-wing cross back to Fulton under pressure from substitute Scott Williamson.
Ferrie showed that he was determined to keep a clean sheet with a diving stop from Ryan who had looked to curl home from 18 yards.
Johnny Kenny almost marked his substitution in the best possible way on 85 minutes with a well-struck drive that looked to many of the home fans to have gone in only to quickly realise that it was the side-netting that was rippling.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Jake Davidson, Lee Kilday, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson, Malachi Boateng, Grant Savoury (Louis Longridge 79’), Dom Thomas (Johnny Kenny 82), Josh McPake (Alex Bannon 71’), Simon Murray (Scott Williamson 71’). Subs not used: Jason Naismith, Cameron Bruce, Jacques Heraghty (G/k), David Boateng, Stephen Eze.
Hamilton Academical: Ryan Fulton, Michael Doyle, Matthew Shiels, Dan O’Reilly (Gabe Forsyth 46’), Brian Easton, Scott Martin, Andy Ryan, Dario Zanatta (Fergus Owens 46’), Lewis Smith (Ryan One 76), Jean Pierre Tiehi (Andy Winter 46’), Reegan Mimnaugh (Chrissy McGinn 86). Subs not used: Ellis Brown, Jamie Smith, Cian Newbury, Liam Morgan
Referee: Willie Collum