Sunday 28th August - Meadowbank Trophy
v Edinburgh City at Meadowbank Stadium
Martin Kelly, Arthur McCue (Danny McFarlane), Iain Campbell (Ally McNaught), Calum Colquhoun (Gav McDonald), Stuart Waugh, Alan Raeburn (Alan Galindo), Tam Moon (Andy Dick), Craig McKenna (David Blair), Paul Joyce (c), Andy McNaught (Willie Fernie) and Sean Connolly (Adam Walker)
For the first time in nine years Queen's travelled to Edinburgh for eleven a side action, as we took on old friends Edinburgh City for the Meadowbank Trophy.
In our 25th season we are making a special effort to play against sides who we regularly locked horns with in the past, and City (then Meadowbank Thistle) were our inspiration for beginning an eleven’s team in the mid to late 1980s.
It was a large squad that gathered at Queen Street station early in the morning, and this was further boosted by the return of two club legends. Tam Moon and Alan Raeburn decided to pull the boots on once more due to the special nature of this game as did the gaffer Iain Campbell.
As a further bonus, the game was to be played at The Meadowbank Stadium, and was the first experience of playing at a Senior football ground for most of the side.
The Edinburgh outfit were an “experienced” bunch and boss Mr. C decided to play his jokers in the first half. Martin Kelly was in goals with a defence of Arthur, Stuart, Calum and the gaffer himself in front of him. Veterans Raeburn and Moon returned to the side as part of a midfield four with Craig and Sean, while skipper Paul partnered Andy McNaught up front.
The home side included some veterans from the very early contests for the Meadowbank Trophy which predated our official birth in 1987. The likes of Jimmy McKellar, Jah Lumsden, Davie Gardiner, Dave “Biddy” Baxter, Andy “Bounce” McDonald, Alick “The Pastor” Milne, Spider “Steven” McCluskey and Colin “Neebs” McPherson all came out of the retirement home for this special occasion.
Also included in the Edinburgh City ranks was one of our Legends Stephen “Stormy” Stormonth who is now domiciled in The Capital and was apparently deemed surplus to requirements for our squad !
The blustery conditions would make this a difficult game for both sides but QP started the brighter. McKenna fired a trademark shot from range well wide of the mark after four minutes before Andyboy fired over from 18 yards after good work by Raeburn.
Craig fired another shot well wide on eight minutes before City created their first chance of the game. A shot from distance well held by Kelly in the QP goal.
Paul Joyce then had a low shot tipped round the post by the impressive City goalkeeper. Arthur's corner was poor and he couldn't improve his delivery when given a second chance straight away.
Joyce had another chance soon after but the keeper stood firm when the captain tried to round him in the box.
Queen's had most of the ball but they were struggling to make it count. Paul couldn't quite get on the end of an excellent ball in from Tubsy before Craig fired a low shot straight at the keeper.
We were made to pay for our wastefulness on twenty minutes as City took the lead. A corner into the box caused havoc and a shot from Wee Jimmy McKellar twelve yards was squeezed past Arthur on the line with Martin out of position.
A free kick into the home side's penalty area caused similar chaos on the 24 minute but the home keeper was not to be beaten and he punched the ball away under pressure from Andy and Tam.
Queen's finally got their goal just after the half hour through their captain. Man of the Match Raeburn skinned the full back, sent a lovely cutback into Paul's path and he swept the ball into the corner of the net. Not even a strong hand from the home 'keeper could keep it out.
The away team were back on top now and Tubsy was the next to challenge the goalkeeper with a long range shot which he did well to hold.
Kelly made a good save to keep things level just before half time, but QP managed to go in ahead at the break.
Paul took Craig's pass in his stride, rounded the keeper and was pulled to the ground. The skipper dusted himself off and rolled the resultant penalty kick into the corner of the net to make it 2-1.
At half time Mr. C made a number of changes to his side giving all his subs a game. Only Kelly, Waugh and Joyce remained on the park with Andy Dick, Adam Walker, Alan Galindo, Ally McNaught, Gav McDonald, David Blair, Danny McFarlane and debutant William Fernie all coming on.
Almost straight away, Edinburgh pulled level. A high shot from the prolific McKellar flying over Martin's head and into the top corner.
Willie Fernie had a great chance to mark his debut with a goal but he inexplicably managed to head a Walker cross over the bar when it looked easier to score. Queen's third goal did come however, and it was another spot kick that did it.
Andy Dick tried a dinked pass from the edge of the box, but it was handled by Grant Coffin and the elder Dick brother slammed home the penalty to give Queen's the lead again. It wouldn't last for long.
City were awarded a free kick wide on the far touchline and the wicked ball in caught the wind and flew into the top corner of the net. The home side had taken control of the game by now and ex-QP man Stephen Stormonth smashed a shot off the crossbar as QP held on to 3-3.
Moments later, City hit the woodwork for second time. Their young midfielder bent a brilliant shot beyond Martin and he was unfortunate to see it hit the post and go out for a goal kick.
Mr. C re-introduced Craig in place of Stuart for the remainder of the half and the change almost paid dividends when Craig's left foot shot caught the wind, and hit the junction of bar and post.
Adam had Queen's best chance of the half when he ran onto a great through ball from Ally McNaught but he couldn't beat the onrushing keeper who pushed his shot to safety.
Danny, playing at right back, then made a great overlapping run and swung in a cross which Fernie headed over from six yards. It was another great chance for the new boy and he should have given Queen's the lead.
We did manage to squeeze in a fourth with 15 minutes left. Danny's through ball played in Alan Galindo and his low cross was bundled home by Adam at the back post.
The drama was far from over though and when Gav brutally brought down Jimmy McKellar in the penalty area the referee awarded his third penalty of the day.
It was a terrible tackle, sorry, a terrible dive, as Jimmy showed all the experience which he regularly puts to good use at the Edinburgh Festival. This year he has the lead role in the comedy farce “The Edinburgh Trams” and hopefully his acting in the play is as good as on the pitch.
Up stepped Spider McCluskey and he beat Martin with ease to make it 4-4.
Just when it looked like Queen's three year wait for an away win was to continue, we stole the Meadowbank Trophy in the last minute.
Andy Dick played Ally McNaught in up the left hand side and his brilliant back post cross was met by Galindo who steered it into the net.
A great end to a great game of football which in truth could have ended eight all.
Well done to the Edinburgh City team most of whom have probably not played elevens for nine years since our last game. A great effort by their guys.
Well done to our team as well who all got at least 45 minutes on the pitch and went forward at every opportunity, leaving the defence and Safehands exposed on many occasions.
After the game we headed to The City Club in the city centre and the presentation of the Meadowbank Trophy was made by Colin McPherson to skipper Paul. Colin also presented a silver plate to Mister C as a memento of our 25th anniversary.
The Trophy got filled with various liquids and we had a superb afternoon and evening in the company of the City/Meadowbank guys.
A huge thanks to the Edinburgh City guys for the game and their hospitality, and we hope that it is not another nine years until we meet them again in eleven a side action.