Queen’s Park played the first of 3 games in 7 days at New Tinto Park against St Johnstone.
In the previous meeting’s this season, the Perth Saints had scored in the last minute of both away games to win the respective games, while the Spider won the previous meeting in Glasgow 2-1.
Queen’s Park came into the game following a great victory against Gartcairn and knew that a victory was the minimum result to keep their ascent up the table on track.
Craig Joyce named 3 changes to the starting XI. Taylor Davis returned at left-back in place of Jaya Gill, Rachael O’Neill was in for Nicole Cairney and Carla Todd swapped with Caitlin McKee. A rather depleted matchday squad saw only 3 substitutes named.
It would be the away team who started the brightest, enjoying lots of the ball in the opening 10 minutes. Nicole Carter has the first opportunity of the game with a free-kick, but she put that effort over the bar.
As the game grew in length, the Spiders settled into the game as they started to control the ball and limit St Johnstone. For all the possession, there was very few clear chances created as the visitors done their best to restrict Queen’s.
Long range efforts from Abbi McDonald, Ellie Kane, Rachael O’Neill and Eleanor Smith were the closest the Spiders came to opening the scoring, however, Becky Cameron never really looked troubled.
Queen’s Park had claims for a penalty waved away close to the half hour mark. Abby Callaghan had brought the ball in and was turning as Eirinn McCafferty slid in. The linesman had a perfect straight on view, but the score remained goalless as the match officials deemed the challenge to be within the laws of the game.
On the stroke of half-time, Morgan Steedman put St Johnstone in-front. Niamh Irvine was on the end of a cross. Chloe Gibney managed a touch on her strike to keep it out, but Steedman was given the freedom of Govan as she put the ball into the net.
Half-Time: Queen’s Park 0-1 St Johnstone
For the third match in a row, Queen’s remerged for the second half knowing that they must be more ruthless if they were to take anything from the game.
Queen’s searched for a route back into the match, and for large phases of play it was really only one way traffic. Despite this though, Cameron in the Saints goal didn’t have to break a sweat.
Joyce played his full hand as MacLeod, McKee and Gill all appeared from the substitute bench as Queen’s continued the ramp up the pressure.
Chances for Todd, Callaghan, Yasmin Boyce and Eleanor Smith would come, but the all important goal was still missing.
Just over 15 minutes to go, Gill knocked the ball past Ellie Cowie only then to be brought down by the St Johnstone player. With no available substitutes, Jaya powered through and finished the game. Unfortunately for Gill, scans revealed she has broken her metatarsal and will miss the remaining 4 games of the season.
As the clock showed 79 minutes, Callaghan pulled her team back into the game. Ellie Kane found space in the middle of the park and with a driven pass picked out SWPL2’s top scorer. Callaghan brought the ball under control as she turned two St Johnstone defenders and fired the ball into the net – nothing less than the home side deserved for their play so far.
Eleanor Smith came close to putting the Spider in-front as her strike from the edge of the penalty area rocketed off the bar. Much to Queen’s Park’s frustrations, the rebound didn’t fall favourably and the chance passed.
With what was close to the last kick of the game, Jodie Ovens snatched a winner and St Johnstone left Glasgow with all 3 points. A ball over the top by Alix Moodie fell perfectly to Ovens who lifted the ball over the onrushing Chloe Gibney before rolling it into the empty net.
Full-Time: Queen’s Park 1-2 St Johnstone
Queen’s Park: Chloe Gibney, Eleanor Smith, Yasmin Boyce, Ciara Bonner, Taylor Davis, Rachael O’Neill (Jaya Gill, 66′), Abbi McDonald (Caitlin McKee, 63′), Ellie Kane, Abby Callaghan, Carla Todd (Sarah MacLeod, 66′).
St Johnstone: Rebecca Cameron, Elvie McLean, Nicole Carter, Hannah Clark, Morgan Steedman, Niamh Irvine, Alix Moodie, Brodie Greenwood, Eirinn McCafferty, Laura Steedman, Rebecca Robertson. Subs: Rebecca McMillan, Ellie MacIver, Ellie Cowie, Steffi Simson, Megan Paterson, Fern Newbigging, Jodie Malcolm, Jodie Ovens, Roberta-Leigh Cochran