Queen’s Park 0 Peterhead 2
Our season may effectively have ended weeks ago – with the upside of an immediate plummet in stress levels – but Spiders supporters can still endure a delicious last-day dilemma.
Peterhead or Clyde? Which of them would you prefer to see losing the League Two title today?
Coach Mark Roberts says Queen’s have no dog in that particular race, but Homer suspects the majority of the support may view the prospect of a party tonight in Cumbernauld with all the end-of-season enthusiasm of a football manager about to tell players their services are no longer required.
Queen’s had the albeit slim chance of putting a spanner in the Clyde works last week, but we merely succeeded in boosting their goal difference, and their morale, in a 3-0 defeat at Broadwood.
Today we have the chance (albeit slim on recent form) to spoil any planned Blue Toon Balmoor bash. Peterhead arrive at Hampden Park two points ahead of Cowdenbeath-bound Clyde and with a five-goal superiority, so avoiding defeat would see them crowned champions (deservedly, in Homer’s humble opinion; and no finer venue to do it, if you ask me). A draw, of course, assumes the Bully Wee don’t go daft at Central Park.
The conditions at Hampden were looking perfect on a bright first Saturday in May, so no weather threat then to Queen’s big day – the after-match Player of the Year hoolie here at the National Stadium!
Queen’s have a decent record against the Blue Toon this season, with a draw and one win apiece. But before the action got underway today there were two “ceremonies” which reflected the contrasting emotions football can produce.
In a week that saw the passing of two more Lisbon Lions, there was a minute’s applause for the QP fans and playing legends the club has lost this season.
Then there was the sight we thought we’d never see again, with a Quinno leading out the teams. The Quinn this time was Tony’s daughter, Hope, who was the match mascot.
The preliminaries over, it was down to the serious stuff. Queen’s kept the same starting XI from Broadwood, and made just one change on the bench – Dom McLaren taking the place of Jamie McKernon.
There was a tidy attendance in to see Queen’s kick off defending the home end on a picture perfect pitch. Queen’s made a bright start on the front foot but it was the visitors who won the first corner in six minutes. It was cleared, and when McAllister knocked it back in, Hart appeared to be fouled as he knocked the ball behind, and the irate keeper was booked for dissent when a free kick was not forthcoming.
The second corner created even more confusion. Peterhead claimed a penalty when Dow went down, then Leitch knocked the ball into the net as the attack continued, but the ref instead booked Dow for diving and it remained all square.
Peterhead as expected looked a threat when they broke at pace and it took a fine tackle from Magee to stop Leitch in his tracks in 17 minutes.
It was stalemate for the first 20 minutes, but Peterhead went in front after 26 minutes. The ref ignored a Blue Toon hand ball in the build-up as the ball was moved wide right, and when Stevenson fired over the cross, Leitch was all on his own at the far post to head down and behind Hart. Advantage Peterhead in the title race.
Queen’s had created little but they went close in 37 minutes, Summers slinging over a cross from the left and Moore glancing a header just wide at the near post.
With news coming through of Cowdenbeath scoring against Clyde, this was proving to be a less than riveting coronation.
And it looked a foregone conclusion when Peterhead went 2-0 up a minute from half-time, Leitch again being given too much time and space to shoot low past Hart.
McAllister had the ball in the net again before the break, but was offside.
Half-time: Queen’s Park 0 Peterhead 2
It’s been a long, hard season at the keyboard! We’ll restrict the second half waffle to goals and newsworthy incidents. You may not hear from me again.
Sorry, Clyde have equalised. Whoops, Cowdenbeath are ahead again.
Gow replaced Moore in 64.
Hawke replaced Ruth in 71.
Mortimer replaced Roberts in 76.
Peterhead sent on Lyle for Dow and Sutherland for McAllister in 78. And Willis for Leitch in 89.
And that was that. An instantly forgettable second half.
Oh well, at least we’ll have no treks to Peterhead next season. See you at Cove Rangers?
Keep the summer faith.
Mark’s thoughts on the game
Roberts Mortimer 77′
Moore Gow 65′
Ruth Hawke 72′
Referee: Steven Reid
Leitch Willis 90′
McAllister Sutherland 80′
Dow Lyle 79′