After a three-week run of home games, Queen’s Park once again hit the road, heading to Stirling for their second away match of the season. The Spiders came into the match on the back of a last-gasp cup win, and Queen’s Park were hungry for a strong performance that showcased their true potential.
Craig Joyce made three changes to the line-up that faced Glasgow Women the previous weekend. Rachel Ross was handed her first start for the club, taking the place of Darcy Molley, while Ellie Kane and Nicole Cairney returned to the starting XI, moving Emma Craig and Robin Gallagher to the bench.
Queen’s Park started the game on the front foot. They were moving the ball well and working their way up the park nicely, however, they struggled to execute that crucial final pass. The first opportunity of the game arose in the 12th minute through Nicole Cairney. Monica Harty initiated the play from midfield, releasing the ball to Abby Callaghan, who, in turn, set up Megan Quigley. Quigley delivered a pinpoint pass through the Stirling defence, allowing Cairney to break into space on the left. Cairney cut inside before unleashing a shot on goal, but her effort was matched by Jodie Baker in Stirling’s goal.
Following relentless waves of attack, the Spiders were finally rewarded with a well-deserved goal. In the 36th minute, Megan Quigley surged up the park from the halfway line to the 18-yard box, leaving Stirling’s defence in the her dust. Quigley then squared the ball to Ellie Kane, who calmly slotted it home from six yards giving Queen’s Park the lead.
Just seven minutes later, the Spiders were awarded a penalty. Eleanor Smith played a one-two with Cairney on the wing as she drove toward the goal. Upon entering the opposition’s box, Smith was brought down by Stirling’s Amy Davidson, prompting the referee to point to the spot.
Ellie Kane stepped up to take the spot kick and coolly placed it into the bottom right corner, marking her 10th goal of the season and extending Queen’s Park’s lead to two.
Half-Time: Stirling University 0-2 Queen’s Park
The second half began in the most ideal way for the Spiders. Ciara Bonner threw the ball into Kane near the opposition by-line, who then passed it to Cairney on the corner of the box. Cairney expertly played the ball across the box to Quigley who quickly relayed it to Abby Callaghan. Callaghan calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner, putting Queen’s Park’s 3-0 up on the 46th minute.
The following 20 minutes mirrored the beginning of the first half. The Spiders maintained their presence in the opposing half, retaining possession and crafting numerous opportunities through Harty, Kane, and Cairney.
Finally, Callaghan breached the defence once more, netting her second goal of the game in the 65th minute from a Queen’s Park corner. Ellie Kane delivered the ball toward the back post, finding Rachel Ross. Ross intelligently knocked the ball back into Callaghan’s path, who unleashed a volley into the top corner.
The Spiders continued to dominate, putting the Stirling University defence under constant pressure.
Their efforts nearly bore fruit when Eleanor Smith re-gained the ball following a Stirling clearance. Smith sent Monica Harty down the wing, who crossed the ball into the box with precision. Kane met the ball with her head, but her effort sailed just wide of the post.
It didn’t take long for the Spiders to strike again – this time with Rachael McConnachie at the helm.
McGregor played the ball to Emma Craig, who then released it to Darcy Molley. Molley delivered a precise ball over the Stirling defence for McConnachie to chase down. Although Stirling’s Rebecca McMillan reached the ball first, McConnachie continued her pursuit and capitalised on a weak pass. She intercepted the pass and slotted the ball past Baker to score her first goal for the club, and securing the Spiders’ sixth and final goal of the day.
Full-Time: Stirling University 0-6 Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park: Lauren McGregor, Ciara Bonner, Rachel Ross (Eve Pollock, 71’), Rachael O’Neill, Eleanor Smith, Leah Daly (Darcy Molley, 60’), Megan Quigley (Emma Craig, 60’), Nicole Cairney, Monica Harty (Robin Gallagher, 71’), Ellie Kane, Abby Callaghan (Rachael McConnachie, 75’). Subs not used: Chloe Gibney, Lucy Inman, Caitlin McKee, Taylor Davis.
Stirling University: Jodie Baker, Jennifer Cunningham (Alex Gray, 78’), Amy Davidson, Rebecca McMillan, Holly Watson, Emma Lyons, Emily Gray (Chenoa Rainer, 70’), Athina Varnava, Elise Salmond (Emma Fairgrieve, 60’), Eve Somerville (Rhianne Ferguson, 78’), Penelope Kidd (Maddison Garrad, 82’). Subs not used: Regan Ott, Molly Williams, Megan Armstrong, Carrie McGorm.