QUEEN’S PARK 2-1 COVE RANGERS
A much better showing, in what was an even game, ended in an undeserved defeat at Ochilview, a Simon Murray double securing the points for the home side.
With skipper Mitch Megginson and Scott Ross both failing to recover from last week’s injuries, and having not even travelled, Jim McIntyre made three changes following the loss to Ayr United.
Morgyn Neill returned in central defence, former Queen’s Park loanee Luis Longstaff replaced Robbie Leitch, and Gerry McDonagh took Mitch’s place as the attacking spearhead. Connor Scully dropped into left back with Cieran Dunne moving higher up the pitch, and Charlie Gilmour anchored the midfield.
The very early exchanges were fairly even, but it was Cove who created the first half chance. Iain Vigurs and Gilmour exchanged passes before Vigurs slid the ball infield. Fraser Fyvie gathered and fired in a speculative twenty-five yard shot which curled well wide.
The home side immediately countered, Dom Thomas driving into the box on the left and he unleashed a powerful angled effort which Kyle Gourlay did well to beat away.
Charlie Gilmour collected the first booking of the game in the eighth minute, penalised for a challenge on Grant Savoury. Simon Murray went for power from twenty-nine yards, but his effort was well blocked by the defensive wall.
Play then raged up the other end as Cove came close to opening the scoring. In a lovely, sweeping move, Gilmour found Cieran Dunne rampaging down the left. The winger easily beat his man and dug out a superb cross, but Fyvie, free at the back post, didn’t get enough power in his header, and Ferrie saved easily.
Queen’s were looking threatening going forward, but our defence looked more solid this week, and their attacks were being comfortably repelled.
In the eighteenth minute, Shay Logan burst past his man down the right and his cross was diverted behind the line. Vigurs swung in an accurate corner, Neill rose highest to get in a powerful header, but was unlucky to see the ball deflect off Davidson and over the bar.
Luis Longstaff then won a corner as he attempted to wriggle away from two defenders. Vigurs was again on duty, sending in another tempting ball. Once more it was Morgyn Neill who won the header, and his effort looked to have been deflected in, only for Murray to hack it clear off the line.
Queen’s Park were beginning to look a bit frustrated in their attempts to make headway going forward, but forged an opening in the twenty-ninth minute. With Neill pulled out of position, Thomas rolled the ball infield. Savoury controlled and shot low, but Gourlay gathered the ball comfortably.
Dunne then raced forward to play a teasing ball across the box, but with Longstaff lurking, Robson was able to sweep the ball clear.
We then had a lucky escape in the 34th minute. Dom Thomas fired in a cross from the left which eluded everyone, and with Gourlay scrambling, the ball cannoned off his left post, rebounded against Savoury, and out for a goal kick.
Queen’s seemed to take heart from that and were soon on the attack again. Murray found himself a yard of space in the box and sent in a low shot which Gourlay pushed away, and the keeper was quickly back up on his feet to save Williamson’s follow-up effort, tipping the ball over for a corner.
On the threshold of half-time, the home side made the breakthrough from the penalty spot.
Eze strode forward and played a pass into the box for Williamson. He steadied himself before delivering a cross which Connor Scully blocked. Referee Collum was well placed to see the incident and immediately blew his whistle.
Kyle Gourlay guessed correctly, diving to his right, but Simon MURRAY’s effort was powerfully struck into the bottom corner, the striker netting his sixth goal of the season.
Jim McIntyre had to make a half-time switch with a wrist injury forcing Gerry McDonagh off, his place taken by Leighton McIntosh.
The home side started the brighter after the break, but were unable to fashion any clear cut chances, or trouble Gourlay, and it was Cove who looked the more likely, and after good work in midfield, Gilmour’s long range effort flew wide.
Shay Logan then outsmarted Robson on the bye-line and sent over a cross which was knocked out for a corner. Vigurs sent in another pinpoint delivery, and Reynolds looping header looked dangerous, but with McIntosh attempting to get on the end of it, Ferrie clutched the ball at the back post.
With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, the manager turned to the bench, Robbie Leitch replacing Luis Longstaff on the right wing.
The loss of the goal late in the first half did not seem to have affected the team, and they were continuing to cause problems for Queen’s Park. Fraser Fyvie found himself free in the box, but chose not to shoot, and his eventual cross was cleared.
Then, out of the blue, it was two-nil, the loss of the goal self-inflicted.
Fyvie played a poor pass back into the box. Reynolds tried to react, but couldn’t get enough purchase on the ball, and MURRAY worked it away from him before lashing it low into the net from seventeen yards.
Sixty seconds later, we were back in the game.
Logan took a throw-in from midway inside the Queen’s half. Leighton McINTOSH gathered and played a one-two with Vigurs, before finding the bottom corner from twelve yards with a smart angled finish.
Queen’s then put together one of their best moves of the game, Murray sliding an inviting ball into the box for Thomson, but Gourlay was out quickly to make a good save, diverting the shot for a corner.
Jamie Masson came on for Cieran Dunne, but it was the Queen’s Park substitute, Johnny Kenny, who nearly made an instant impact, his well-struck thirty-yard shot pulling out a superb save from Kyle Gourlay, diving to his right.
With eleven minutes to go, we looked certain to draw level, following a superb slaloming run by Fraser Fyvie. He danced in from the left, weaving past a line of defenders, but when he found himself free in the box, the midfielder couldn’t get the accuracy he required, and his shot was saved by Ferrie.
As the clock ticked down, Queen’s dropped deeper and deeper, pinned back by Cove pressure, but the players were finding it difficult to create openings.
In the third minute of stoppage time, Robbie Leitch finally found some space as he skipped away from a couple of challenges, but his low shot took a slight deflection, and Ferrie was again able to save at his post.
There was one final opportunity. Logan’s throw-in was helped on in the box by Fyvie, but Scully could only drag his shot wide from twelve yards.
QUEEN’S PARK (4-4-2): Ferrie; Davidson (Bannon 90), Eze, Kilday, Robson; Savoury, Boateng, Thomson, Thomas; Williamson (Kenny 73), Murray(c) (McPake 81)
Substitutes: Naismith, Brown, Longridge, Moore, Heraghty, Jarrett
Goalscorers: Murray (pen, 45, 64)
Booked: Eze (51)
COVE RANGERS (4-1-4-1): Gourlay; Logan, Neill, Reynolds, Scully; Gilmour; Longstaff (Leitch 57), Vigurs, Fyvie(c), Dunne (Masson 76); McDonagh (McIntosh 46)
Substitutes: McKenzie, Thomas,
Goalscorers: McIntosh (65)
Booked: Gilmour (8)
Referee: Willie Collum
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