2022 started with Queen’s parting ways with head coach Laurie Ellis and making Director of Football, Marijn Beuker, caretaker manager. Marijn’s first game in charge was away to Alloa Athletic on the 15 January.
A contender for Goal of the Season by Connor Smith gave Queen’s the lead but a second half equaliser by Alloa’s Kevin Cawley meant Queen’s returned to Glasgow with one point.
Unfortunately that 1-1 draw with Alloa set the tone for the rest of the month with another 1-1 draw with Clyde at Broadwood on the 22nd and yet another 1-1 draw with Airdrieonians at Firhill on the 29th January.
February showed little sign of improvement starting with a 1-1 draw away to Falkirk on the 5th. Three days later a Luis Longstaff double against Dumbarton at Firhill saw Queen’s gain their first league win of 2022.
The results for the rest of the month were a 0-0 draw away to Cove Rangers on the 12th, yet another draw 1-1 away to East Fife on the 19th and a 1-0 defeat by Montrose at Links Park on the 26th.
Queen’s certainly started March with a bang with back to back wins firstly over Peterhead a 2-1 win on the 1st then a 3-0 win away to Dumbarton on the 5th.
The winning run couldn’t last with a 1-1 draw with Alloa in the 12th, followed by a 0-2 defeat by Airdrieonians on the 19th. Queen’s did finish off the month in style with a 1-0 win over Clyde on the 26th. New head coach Owen Coyle watched his squad for the first time in action.
April stared with a 1-1 draw at Cove Rangers on the 3rd. However the 1-0 win over East Fife the following weekend ensured Queen’s fourth place and hence a spot on the play-offs.
The rest of the month was a mixed bag for Queen’s with a 2-1 defeat by Peterhead on the 16th, followed by another 2-1 defeat by Montrose on the 23rd and the regular season finished with a 1-1 draw with Falkirk on the 30th.
First up in the Championship play-offs semi-final was a home game against Dunfermline Athletic on the 4th. A very cagey affair with neither side creating many chances saw the game finish 0-0 and it all to play for at East End Park on the Saturday. And it was Simon Murray who scored an 89th minute winner to take Queen’s through to the Championship play-off final. It was superb work by Bob McHugh, who refused to give up on the ball, led to him firing a low cross across goal which found Simon who blasted into the net.
Queen’s faced Airdrieonians in the final of the Championship play-offs . The first leg was at Firhill on Thursday 12 May. It was a nervy first half with neither side able to create chances in the spring rain. But it was Simon Murray, once again, who stepped up and opened the scoring. A long free kick up the pitch was controlled by Simon who drove towards goal. With the Airdrieonians defence backing off, he shaped up onto his right foot and slotted the ball past Currie to score in two consecutive play-off matches.
Airdrieonians were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute to draw the game and it was still all to play for at on Sunday.
In the Championship play-off final, 2nd leg, at Penny Cars Stadium on Sunday 15th May it was Airdrieonians who opened the scoring in the 13th minute when McCabe scored from a free-kick just outside the box.
An almost instant reply from the Spiders courtesy of Connor Smith came on the 17th minute. It was initially a dangerous ball in by Louis Longridge which broke the way of Luca Connell who had the awareness to pick out his teammate Smith at the second attempt and he duly obliged with the finish. It wasn’t the cleanest strike in the world but his deflected curling effort managed to squirm underneath Max Currie’s body and into the back of the net. 1-1. Game on.
Despite both sides having chance there was no more scoring so the game when to extra-time.Queen’s were by now dominating the game and starting to create chances. But it was with 8 minutes to go that Queen’s took the lead courtesy of Simon Murray. It was terrific battling in the middle of the park from substitute Jack Thomson who dispossessed Frizzell, drove forward with the ball 40 yards before playing in Murray down the left who chopped inside and was hauled down. Murray stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way and slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner. 2-1 for the Spiders.
That goal was enough to give Queen’s back to back promotions and take the Spiders to the Championship, and provide a night which few will forget.
This was a busy month with new signings, re-signings and a pre-season trip to the Netherlands.
Quite a number of existing players sign up again
On Sunday 26 June the squad and coaches flew Amsterdam for seven day intensive pre-season training. They stayed in a hotel near Arnhem and used the training facility close to the hotel, at the ‘Renkumse Voetbalvereniging Wilhelmina’ with three full size pitches at their disposal.
On Wednesday 29th Queen’s played Lokomotiva Zagreb at the training centre. With a cloudless sky and the thermometer hitting 30º it was going to be testing environment for both sides. The format of the match was three periods of 40 minutes so that the coaches of both teams could give minutes to a larger pool of players.
The game finished 3-1 to Lokomotiva Zagreb, but a great test for the young Spiders side against a very strong, experienced and skilful Croatian side who’s play at times was mesmerising with its fluidity and pace.
The following Saturday Queen’s took on Dutch Eredivisie side FC Utrecht. A large crowd of over 1200 welcomed both sides to the immaculate playing surface of FC Utrecht’s Sportcomplex Zoudenbalch. It was another very warm evening for football, thankfully a few degrees less than Wednesday’s game.
A double from Simon Murray with additional goals from Grant Savoury and Patrick Jarrett saw Queen’s finish off their Netherlands training camp with a 4-2 win.
Queen’s certainly kicked off the new season with a bang. A 5-2 win over Stranraer in the ViaPlay (League) Cup. Queen’s were drawn against Dundee, Hamilton Academical, Forfar Athletic and Stranraer in Group H of the competition.
Queen’s continued their top form with a 4-1 win over Forfar Athletic on July 12 before losing 2-1 to Dundee at Ochilview on the 19th July. Queen’s final match in the group was a 1-1 draw with Hamilton Academical on the 23 July.
The Championship season started on Saturday 30 July and Queen’s had the long journey to Inverness to take on Inverness Caley Thistle. The game ended 1-1 with Jake Davidson scoring Queen’s only goal of the day.
Queen’s played their first home game in the Championship against Ayr United at Ochilview on 5 August. The Honest Men were 3-2 winners. Queen’s then won their next three games beating Partick Thistle 3-2, Arbroath 2-1 and Cove Rangers 2-1 putting the Spiders in third position in the league at the end of the month.
September saw Queen’s beaten 3-0 by Dundee at Dens Park on the 3rd before bouncing back with a 2-0 win over Hamilton Academical the following week. Queen’s then travelled to Belfast to play Cliftonville in the 3rd round of the SPFL Trust Trophy. Queen’s progressed to the next round courtesy of an outstanding goal by Dom Thomas in the 71st minute. Fans who travelled to the game will remember the warmth and hospitality shown by the Cliftonville officials and fans on the day.
October was a busy month with six Championship games. Queen’s started the month beating Raith Rovers 1-0 on the 1st. This was quickly followed three days later losing 2-1 to Morton at Ochilview. Then another four days later losing 5-0 to Ayr United at Somerset Park. Queen’s upped their game for the remaining fixtures first drawing 1-1 with Arbroath on the 14th. Then an excellent 4-0 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill on the 22nd before drawing 2-2 with Dundee on the 28th.
Queen’s started November off with a poor performance losing 2-0 away to Cove Rangers in a BBC televised game. The following week Queen’s totally dominated Inverness Caley Thistle and beat them 2-1 at Ochilview. On the 19th Queen’s travelled to Stark’s Park and romped past Raith Rovers 5-2. The final weekend of the month saw Queen’s in Scottish Cup action away to Peterhead. Despite the gale blowing down the park the Spiders won the game 3-0.
Queen’s certainly finished the year on a high winning all three games. We were back at Hampden Park for our first two games and the boys certainly enjoyed playing there. First up was Hamilton Academical on the 3rd. With a crowd of more than 3000 cheering them on Queen’s ran out 4-0 winners. The following week it was back to the SPFL Trust Trophy beating Montrose 2-0. The final game of 2022 was at Arbroath and Queen’s perhaps saved their best display for the final game beating the Red Lichties 4-1 in atrocious conditions,
So it’s been a great start to the season:
Played – 24
Won – 15
Drawn – 5
Lost – 5
Goals scored – 49
Goal conceded – 28
Still in the Scottish Cup and SPFL Trust Trophy
Sitting one point off the top of the Championship.
We hope you have enjoyed a look back at the year. It’s certainly been some year.
Thank you for supporting Queen’s this season and we looking forward to seeing you back in 2023.
Happy New Year from all at Queen’s Park.