7th December 2014 - Friendly
v Fir Park Corner at Toryglen Football Centre
David Stewart; Fraser Anderson (Adam Walker), Ally McNaught (Robert Shimmons), Alan Galindo, Allan Lennox; Gary Duncan, Craig McKenna, Ross Dunbar (c); Raymond Ford, Derek Muir, Scott Macrae
Queen’s wrapped up 2014 with an excellent 3-1 victory over IFA League cracks Fir Park Corner at Toryglen.
Scott Macrae’s 20th goal of the season was followed by an Allan Lennox penalty and an excellent Ross Dunbar goal before Motherwell struck back with a consolation on the hour. We managed to hold out however, to record a memorable win and our first ever against FPC.
There were a number of changes from the patchwork side that managed a comfortable win in Perth the previous week. Gaffer McNaught, Crosbie, Kilpatrick and Connolly all dropped out to be replaced by Galindo, Anderson, McKenna and Ford.
Boab Shimmons and Adam Walker also returned to the squad but they could only manage places on the bench.
It took a while for the game to get going as both sides competed well in midfield, Motherwell weren’t too far away with a couple of long range drives in the opening stages but produced nothing to overly exert QP keeper David Stewart.
Our first opportunity came on the 20 minute mark when good work by Ray Ford resulted in a free kick on the edge of the area. Skipper Ross Dunbar stepped up but his excellent bending shot was cleared off the line by an alert Steelmen defender.
Ford was taking a number of heavy challenges from a concerned FPC defence, but he didn't let that affect him, and he did brilliantly to set up Macrae for the opening goal on the half hour. He ducked and dived past three Motherwell players before picking out Sebo in the centre of the penalty box. The big man steadied himself, brushed off a defender, and slammed the ball low into the far corner to give us the lead.
We were well in the ascendancy now and first Del Muir and then Ford could have both done better when played in behind the away defence but the final ball on both occasions let them down.
By 35 minutes however, we had increased our advantage to two. An excellent Ford corner was headed towards goal by Craig McKenna, and when an away defender handled on the line the ref had no option to give a penalty. Allan Lennox brushed off his pre match hamstring complaint and stroked the spot kick beyond the keeper to make it 2-0.
Motherwell seemed shell shocked by proceedings and it was only now that they started to play the way we expected. We stood up to their attacks quite well but they should have been back in the game when their winger snuck in behind left back McNaught at the far post and somehow headed over from close range.
Right on the stroke of half time they came close again, when a long range shot was palmed up into the air by Stewart. It looked certain to dip back down and under the bar but DS reacted quickly and managed to scrape it away for a corner. The set piece came to nothing and we were in at the break with a 2-0 advantage.
One change at half time as the returning Walker replaced Fraser Anderson at right back, and the game picked up as it left off with both sides battling hard in the middle with chances few and far between.
Ford was first to create for Queen’s when he wriggled down the right and had a fierce shot beaten away by the Motherwell goalkeeper for a corner.
Galindo and Lennox at the heart of our defence were standing firm in the face of increasing pressure, and with Stewart in goal commanding his penalty area at set pieces and crossballs we had a strong foundation, it was no surprise to see us go three up just before the hour mark.
A superb pass from Macrae released Dunbar one on one with keeper, and Ross kept his composure to round him and slide the ball in with his left foot.
A great goal, but this turned out to be exactly the shot in the arm that Well needed, and they had pulled one back only a couple of minutes later.
Galindo got caught in possession wide on the left and with us backpedalling, a Motherwell striker was given the freedom of Toryglen to curl home a low shot from the edge of the area.
FPC had found their feet now and we had Stewart to thank for a truly superb piece of goalkeeping to stop the visitors’ comeback in its tracks.
A ball in from the left found an unmarked striker about 12 yards out at the far post, and as his left footed curler looked set to nestle in the top corner, David threw out an arm to punch it wide to safety.
This took the sting out the Motherwell attacks and with only cross balls and long shots to deal with we looked good for a 4th goal on the counter.
The unusually quiet Muir should have provided on two occasions, first blasting over after an excellent jinking run, and then chipping into the keeper’s arms when he looked set to blast home from twelve yards.
One more chance for Well as they shot over from close range, but that was that and Queen’s had recorded an impressive victory over a talented opponent.