Little over 72 hours after the Spiders turned in an impressive performance against Hamilton Accies it was back to Betfred Cup duties this time with a ‘home’ tie against Gary Caldwell’s Partick Thistle at the Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie.
With the sun splitting the sky it was the perfect conditions for midweek fixture and hopes were high amongst the Spiders camp that we would see a similar performance to that which we witnessed at Hamilton on Saturday.
As expected, Mark Roberts opted to freshen things up, making a couple of changes to the starting XI which saw James Grant coming in at the expense of Billy Mortimer and Kieran Moore starting in place of Salim Kouider-Aissa. One look at the Thistle line up and the first word that came to mind was ‘experience’, with an array of it littered throughout, from guys such as Kenny Miller, Stuart Bannigan and Joe Cardle.
Queen’s got the proceedings underway in the Airdrie sun and it was the Spiders who had the first attacking move, unfortunately for Galt his delivery into the Thistle box in the second minute had too much on it.
With just five minutes on the clock the visitors took the lead. The experienced Kenny Miller opening his Jags account after Robson had played a neat one two with the striker before finding him with a low pass. Miller wasn’t about to pass up the chance and coolly fired past Muir in the Queen’s goal.
It was the worst possible start for the Spiders, but heads weren’t about to go down that easy.
The Jags had an opportunity to double their lead just two minutes later, but Shea Gordon fired over after working himself the space to get the shot away.
With 12 minutes on the clock referee David Dickinson dished out the first card of the game, booking Tam O’Ware for a foul on Jack Purdue. The resulting free kick was comfortably dealt with by Thistle.
Six minutes later the visitors created another opportunity in front of goal, but Shea Gordon couldn’t beat Muir with the header after getting on the end of a decent delivery from McGinty.
The following 10-minute period saw little by the way of any real action as Nicky Jamieson was booked for a foul on Miller before Mark Roberts picked up a yellow, the first of his managerial career? for his protests from the side lines.
Little was to go close just before the half hour mark after McGrory and Galt took a short corner, but the centre back couldn’t get enough on the ball to beat Sneddon in the Jags goal.
Just over five minutes later at the other end of the pitch out Championship opponents grabbed their second of the game as Tommy Robson drilled it past Muir following a well worked passing move in the build-up.
As the first half drew to a close Miller went close with an effort and Bannigan picked up a booking for what referee Dickinson appeared to be pointing out was persistent fouling but there was to be no further scoring.
Half time: Queen’s Park 0-2 Partick Thistle.
With no changes for either side at the break it was the visitors that got the second half underway and with 47 minutes on the clock, Jack Purdue went very close to pulling one back for Queen’s. The Jags had keeper Sneddon to thank for a very decent save to deny Purdue.
Salim Kouider-Aissa replaced Kieran Moore in the 52nd minute and it took the big striker just five minutes to get Queen’s back into the game. McGrory delivered an enticing cross which was met by the Queen’s front man who got enough on the header to divert it past Sneddon and into the net. It was no less than Queen’s deserved for their efforts up to that point, despite the Jags having enjoyed long spells of possession.
Just after the hour mark the visitors replaced Joe Cardle with Lewis Mansell.
As the game wore on it was turning into a scrappy affair with referee Dickinson opting to halt play on numerous occasions for a niggling tacking, which effected the flow of the game.
Galt shot wide just before the 70-minute mark after being found by Purdue. That was to be Purdue’s last involvement of the game as he departed to make way for the powerful Alfredo Agyeman.
The Jags made their own substitutions in quick succession as Shea Gordon and Kenny Miller departed to be replaced by James Penrice and Alex Jones respectively.
As the game entered the final ten minutes and with the visitors holding on to a slender lead, there was hope in the Spiders camp that an equaliser could have been forthcoming but frustratingly for Queen’s they were unable to work a clear cut chance to properly test Sneddon in the closing stages.
It was to finish in favour of the visitors but once again Queen’s had put in a solid, hard working performance that left those Spiders fans in attendance with optimism for the remaining two Betfred Cup fixtures and the league campaign ahead.
Full time: Queen’s Park 1-2 Partick Thistle.
Queen’s Park: Willie Muir, James Grant, Cammy Clark, Creag Little, Nicky Jamieson, Lewis Magee, Calvin McGrory, Tommy Block, Kieran Moore (52’ Kouider-Aissa), David Galt, Jack Purdue (69’ Alfie Agyeman).
Unused substitutes: Billy Mortimer, Luke Main, Adam Martin, Kieran McDougal.
Partick Thistle: Jamie Sneddon, Ryan Williamson, Tam O’Ware, Sean McGinty, Joe Cardle (63’ Lewis Mansell), Stuart Bannigan, Kenny Miller (81’ Alex Jones), Shea Gordon (79’ James Penrice), Tommy Robson, Cammy Palmer, Steven Saunders.
Unused substitutes: Scott Fox, James Penrice, Callum Wilson, Evan Galasso, Bradley Renfrew.
Referee: David Dickinson.