Queen’s Park took to New Tinto Park for the last time to round off the 22/23 season. After a difficult game away to Montrose last weekend, Queen’s Park were determined to get back to winning ways.
Craig Joyce made two changes to the line-up that faced Montrose the previous week, with Eleanor Smith and Hannah Fulton stepping into the starting XI, as Sophie Bayless and Abbi McDonald took their places on the bench.
Queen’s Park started the game off on the front foot, enjoying most of possession and moving the ball around nicely. Ellie Kane, Abby Callaghan and Ciara Bonner all had early efforts towards goal, but nothing to trouble Lauren Hamill in the East Fife goal.
However, it didn’t take long for the Spiders to find the back of the net. In the 17th minute, a great passage of play between Callaghan, Cairney, and Kane led to a perfectly weighted through ball from Kane, sending Callaghan clear on goal. Callaghan calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, giving Queen’s Park a 1-0 lead.
Barely a minute later, the Spiders came close to extending their lead. Hannah Fulton played a through ball that was flicked on by Kane, once again releasing Callaghan through on goal. Callaghan took a touch round the keeper and laid the ball into the path of Leah Daly, whose strike narrowly missed the post.
At the 30th minute, Queen’s Park finally got the second goal that their play deserved. A back pass to Hamill in goals was pressed by Abby Callaghan who dispossessed the goalkeeper and stabbed the ball into the empty net. This goal also sealed the SWPL-2 top goal scorer award for Callaghan.
Again, not even a minute later the Spiders threatened again, making it an almost perfect afternoon for Callaghan. A cross was whipped into the box by Taylor Davis to Eleanor Smith who headed the ball into the path of Callaghan whose effort rattled the bar.
It was all one-way traffic for Queen’s Park, as they relentlessly sought to add more goals before halftime. Their persistence paid off as they found the back of the net once again in the 39th minute. An excellent challenge from Taylor Davis regained possession for the Spiders, allowing Cairney to collect the ball and play it into Callaghan’s feet. Callaghan laid the ball back to Davis, who took a touch and unleashed a powerful strike from the edge of the box, finding the back of the net – her first goal for the club.
Half-Time: Queen’s Park 3-0 East Fife
Before spectators could even come back out with their refreshments, Queen’s Park had already scored their fourth goal of the game. Davis won the ball in the air from an East Fife clearance. The ball fell to Callaghan who took a touch and played Caitlin McKee though on goal who slotted the ball into the bottom corner with a calm finish.
The Spiders were a constant threat to their opponents causing numerous chances throughout the next 30 minutes. Several shots from Kane, Callaghan, Daly, Cairney and Smith kept East Fife goalkeeper, Hamill, busy.
In the 79th minute, Queen’s Park’s persistence paid off once again. Cairney drove down the left wing and played in Callaghan who had a powerful shot on goal, only to see it strike the post. The rebound fell to McKee, who wasted no time in burying it in the back of the net, extending the Spiders’ lead to 5-0.
The 85th minute saw a special occasion for Queen’s Park, as club captain and dedicated servant to the club for 7 years, Lauren Ray, was subbed on for her final appearance as a Spider. Ray was handed the armband and played her final minutes for the club at New Tinto Park.
Full-Time: Queen’s Park 5-0 East Fife
Queen’s Park: Chloe Gibney, Eleanor Smith, Rachael O’Neill, Ciara Bonner (Lauren Ray, 85’), Taylor Davis, Hannah Fulton (Sarah Macleod, 68’), Nicole Cairney (Carla Todd, 82’), Leah Daly (Abbi McDonald, 82’), Caitlin McKee (Sophie Bayless, 85’), Ellie Kane, Abby Callaghan.
East Fife: Lauren Hamill, Mirren Lumsden, Elizabeth Corke, Isla Davie (Sarah Herd, 52’), Tyler Thomson, Maya Knight (Kerys Blyth, 51’), Libby Lowrie, Chloe Guppy (Isla Brown, 23’), Brooklynn Kelly, Elizabeth Anderson (Kerry Lennox, 75’), Nicola Wallace (Melissa McAllister, 75’).
Subs not used: Teri Skivington.