Queen’s Park made the short trip along the M8 on Sunday to face Gartcairn at MTC Park.
Craig Joyce made 1 change to the starting XI seeing Jaya Gill start at left back in place of Taylor Davis. Caitlin McKee made her 10th start for the Spiders, Hannah Fulton and Chloe Docherty returned to the bench.
The match couldn’t really have started much worse for the Spiders as Gartcairn went 1-0 up in the first 5 minutes. A long clearance from Cairn left Jaya Gill and Ami Robertson in a foot race. Both players fell to the ground as the referee awarded the home side a free-kick. Gartcairn’s Lauren Kerr hit the ball into the top left-hand corner of the goal.
Queen’s first chance of the game would come just under 10 minutes later. Gill played a great ball over for Caitlin McKee. McKee managed to bring the ball under control and strike towards goal, but Niamh Miller in the home goal was a match for the shot handing Queen’s Park a corner. Abby Callaghan was next to try her luck. A great pass from Ellie Kane picked out SWPL 2’s top scorer, but her shot was blocked.
On 22nd minutes, Queen’s Park were back on level terms. Abbi McDonald’s perfectly weighted pass to Eleanor Smith allowed her to play first time into the path of Callaghan, and the striker poked it past the onrushing Gartcairn goalie.
15 minutes later, Gartcairn were back in-front. Rachael Howie lifted a ball over the top finding Robertson. The Cairn forward knocked the ball past Chloe Gibney first time.
Half-Time: Gartcairn 2-1 Queen’s Park
On 51 minutes, the UK Government’s emergency alert test rang out from the crowd at MTC Park, but there was no need to panic. Unless you are Gartcairn, as they saw their lead slip from before their eyes. Kane delivered a corner into the 6-yard box which was met by Ciara Bonner who headed the ball into the back of the net to draw her side level, scoring her first Queen’s Park goal.
With the wind in their sails, Queen’s began to ask questions of the Gartcairn defence. Nicole Cairney had her long-range strike, while Abby Callaghan had a number of half chances. Leah Daly then had her strike saved by Miller.
Shortly after, Queen’s Park were in the lead. A Daly free-kick was cleared by the Cairn defence, but only as far as Smith. Eleanor only needed two touches. The first one was to set, the second one was to score – right into the top corner from at least 25 yards.
Almost instantly, Cairney thought she had put her side further in front. Unfortunately for her, the linesman flagged was raised and the goal didn’t stand.
Callaghan then looked to have finally given Queen’s the fourth goal which their play undoubtedly deserved. Once again, however, the offside flag was up.
Substitute Sarah MacLeod had a great chance from Cairney’s cutback. Miller in the away goal was a match to the shot and tipped it round the post.
Gartcairn were able to keep Queen’s at bay for the rest of the game, fortunate to contain the deficit to only 1 goal, but there was still time for another positive for Joyce and co. With 5 minutes left on the clock, Leah Daly made way for Chloe Docherty. Docherty returning to the field of play for the first time in almost 2 years after a horrific knee injury in 2021.
Full-Time: Gartcarin 2-3 Queen’s Park
Gartcairn: Niamh Miller, Jane O’Toole, Sammie Davies, Taylor Hogg, Myia Arbuckle, Caitlin Moran (Katelyn Devine, 85′), Rachel Howie (Jemma McQuillan, 85′), Lauren Kerr, Megan Wands, Mhairi Hawksworth (Charlize McFadyen, 60′), Ami Robertson.
Subs not used: Hannah Findlay, Sophie Bustard, Erin Sludden.
Queen’s Park: Chloe Gibney, Eleanor Smith, Yasmin Boyce, Ciara Bonner, Jaya Gill, Ellie Kane, Leah Daly (Chloe Docherty, 88′) , Abbi McDonald, Nicole Cairney, Abby Callaghan (Hannah Fulton, 82′), Caitlin McKee (Sarah MacLeod, 61′).
Subs not used: Sophie Bayless, Lauren Ray, Carla Todd.