As away fixtures go Saturday’s is certainly up there with one of those trips most Spiders fans would never have expected to be making. It’s a tie that has caught the imagination of both the supporters and players alike, once you get your head round the prospect of us playing the Welsh champions, in England, in the Scottish Challenge Cup.
Oswestry is the destination, Park Hall Stadium, to be precise, and our opponents are the seven in a row Welsh champions The New Saints, who have reached the semi final stage of this competition the past two seasons and who have European experience under their belt from as recently as last month.
Ahead of the trip south the club media team caught up with Gus MacPherson’s new right hand man, Mark Roberts to get his thoughts.
Previewing the tie Roberts said: “From our perspective it’s different to what we are used to and something which the squad are very much looking forward too. There’s been an added edge to training this week and we can see it’s a game that every player wants to be involved in.
“We’re under no illusions that it’ll be an extremely difficult match though. TNS have got a great domestic record and have won their league seven times in a row. Added to that they have experience of playing in European competition and that tells you things won’t be easy.
“We know we’re going to have to work extremely hard for 90 minutes but that’s a challenge that we relish.
“We have brought a number of players into the club over the summer, from various levels of the game and these types of matches, like the Betfred Cup campaign was, are a great platform for these guys to learn and develop.
There was some good and bad news on the injury front as Roberts confirmed that Josh Peters returns to the squad after a lengthy lay off and although the match has probably come to soon for him to feature from the start, his return to fitness is a welcome boost for the team. On the other hand centre back Gerry McLauchlan remains a doubt and will be put through a late fitness test before a decision is made on his availability.
Roberts said: “We won’t take any chances with Gerry and if there’s any doubt, he won’t feature.
“We’ll go into the game with a very similar squad to which we finished the Cowdenbeath match with and, as with in recent weeks the current injury list is likely to allow the opportunity for some of the younger players in the squad to feature, allowing them see a different level of football to what they have been used to.”
The opposition: Scott Ruscoe’s men currently top the Welsh Premier League with nine points from their opening four matches. They go into the game on the back of two convincing wins in a row the first being 6-0 demolition of Carmarthen Town and the latter being a 3-0 away win at Caernarfon Town just over a week ago.
Last matches: 01/09/2018: Queen’s Park 0-0 Cowdenbeath; 31/08/2018 Caernarfon Town 0-3 The New Saints.
Recent form (in all competitions): Queen’s Park DWDLWD; The New Saints LWLLWW.
Match officials: Referee – Phil Roszkowski. Assistants – Martin Roberts and Huw Jones.
Admission prices: Adults £10.00 and Concessions (U16 & 65+) £5.00.
Twitter: You can keep up to date with all the action as it happens at @QueensParkFC http://bit.ly/2vNIy7X
Facebook: Get the team news pre-match as well as goal, half time and full-time score updates via our Facebook page http://bit.ly/2MsIVMe
QPTV: For post-match interviews. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss any content http://bit.ly/2Okn9uN
TV: The match will be screened live on Welsh channel S4C. Details of how to access this channel outside on Sky, Virgin, Freesat and online can be found here http://bit.ly/2QcUwRJ
For those not making the trip down, the match will be screened live in the bar in the J.B. McAlpine Pavillion at Lesser Hampden. All welcome.
Our next match: Saturday 15th September v Stirling Albion at Forthbank. Kick off 3.00pm.
Other Irn-Bru Cup fixtures: Boreham Wood v Dunfermline; Queen of the South v Crusaders; Airdrieonians v Sutton United; Arbroath v Annan Athletic; Dumbarton v Montrose; Dundee United v Alloa Athletic; East Fife v Partick Thistle; Falkirk v Connah’s Quays Nomads; Peterhead v Bohemians; Ross County v Raith Rovers; St Mirren 21s v Hamilton 21s; Sligo Rovers v Livingston 21s; Colraine v Formartaine United.