After a well-earned break, Queen’s Park headed North to face the Perth Saints at the Riverside Stadium for the first time this season. The Spiders ran out dominant 4-1 winners in their last meeting at New Tinto Park and were looking for a similar result today.
Craig Joyce made a handful of changes to the starting line-up which faced Gartcairn two weeks prior. Lauren McGregor replaced Lucy Inman between the sticks, while Ami Robertson, Leah Daly, and Nicole Cairney replaced Robin Gallagher, Darcy Molley, and Megan Quigley outfield.
It was nearly the perfect start for Queen’s Park as they worked their way up the park from kick-off and earned a throw in by the corner flag. Monica Harty quickly resumed play and threw the ball to the feet of Ellie Kane. Kane expertly chopped through two St Johnstone defenders before fizzing a ball across the box for Abby Callaghan whose effort was narrowly wide.
The next 10 minutes were relatively even with both sides enjoying spells of possession and getting into the attacking thirds. Although neither team were able to create any clear-cut chances to break the deadlock.
The Spiders then found a rhythm and created a great chance to take the lead on the 11th minute. Taylor Davis regained possession at the back before passing it to Emma Craig in the middle of the park. Craig sent a great ball over the top for Monica Harty to chase down into the corner. Harty cut the ball back for Abby Callaghan on the edge of the box who played a great ball back to Leah Daly advancing up the park from full back. Daly took a touch before swinging and excellent ball into the box which was met by the head of Ellie Kane. But her effort was matched by Mitchell in the St Johnstone goal.
Just one minute later, Queen’s Park got what they deserved and took the lead through Ellie Kane. The Spiders played out from the back as Lauren McGregor passed the ball to Ciara Bonner from a goal kick. Bonner drove forwards before finding Nicole Cairney in the middle of the park who turned and distributed it to Ami Robertson up top. Robertson played an excellent ball through the Saints defence to send Kane through on goal. Kane made no mistake and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to put Queen’s Park ahead.
In quick succession, the Spiders struck again on 18th minute. Leah Daly picked up the ball out wide and played it back to Eleanor Smith. Smith set herself before sending a long ball forward into the box. The ball bounced over a St Johnstone defender before finding Nicole Cairney who expertly chipped the ball over the Saints goalkeeper, doubling the Spiders lead.
Moments before half-time, Queen’s Park were dealt a blow. The so-far-solid Spiders defence couldn’t clear a bouncing ball inside the penalty area which allowed Ellie-May Cowie the opportunity to reduce the lead to one goal.
Half-Time: St Johnstone 1-2 Queen’s Park
Despite the setback at the end of the first-half, Queen’s Park started the second-half brightly with Robertson and Callaghan calling the Saints substitute goalkeeper into action inside the first few minutes. At the other end, McGregor was tested by Eilidh Begg from distance.
St Johnstone pushed to get back into the game, while the Spiders were determined not to let the lead slip, which created a tense period of football with few real openings for either side. On the 68th minute, Harty cut in on her left and unleashed a shot that was flying straight into the top corner. Unfortunately for Harty, Cochrane was able to produce a fantastic save to keep her side in the game.
The match then entered a thrilling finale, starting on the 78th minute as Ellie-May Cowie was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Eleanor Smith. Despite the numerical disadvantage, St Johnstone weren’t down and out yet. The home side won a corner with 4 minutes of regulation time still to play. Queen’s Park were able to defend the initial ball but couldn’t get the ball far enough away. The ball broke to Elvie McLean close to the corner of the box who was able to bend the ball over McGregor into the net and draw her side back on level terms.
The remaining moments of the game become quite sloppy as Queen’s Park seemed to be taken a back by the equaliser. However, there would be one more chance. In the 94th minute, Ellie Kane delivered a pin-point corner into the six-yard box. The world seemed to slow down Megan Quigley leaped towards the ball heading it into the net, sending the players, away bench and away fans wild as all 3 points would be returning to Glasgow.
Full-Time: St Johnstone 2-3 Queen’s Park
St Johnstone: Ellie Mitchell (Roberta-Leigh Cochran, 46’), Ellie Cowie, Ellie MacIver (Elvie McLean, 67’), Nicole Carter, Morgan Steedman, Niamph Irvine (Eirinn McCafferty, 78’), Alix Moodie, Megan Paterson (Steffi Simson, 84’), Eilidh Begg, Megan Burns, Rebecca Robertson. Subs not used: Scarlett Brady, Hannah Clark, Jodie Malcom, Laura Steedman, Jodie Ovens.
Queen’s Park: Lauren McGregor, Taylor Davis, Ciara Bonner, Eleanor Smith, Leah Daly, Emma Craig, Monica Harty (Megan Quigley, 70’), Abby Callaghan, Nicole Cairney (Robin Gallagher, 70’), Ellie Kane, Ami Robertson. Subs not used: Lucy Inman, Hannah Fulton, Rachael McConnachie, Caitlin McKee, Rachel Ross, Sophie McGoldrick.