Queen’s Park opened their SPFL Development League West campaign with a 5-1 win over Stranraer last night at Valefield Park home of junior side Kilbirnie Ladeside.
Goals from James MacLennan (2), Andy McGlaughlin, Calvin McGrory and Billy Mortimer were more than enough to see off the challenge from the young Blues side.
A dry, warm and overcast evening greeted both side onto the lush Valefield pitch. There was a good crowd of mainly family and friends to cheer both sides on.
Queen’s started the game very positively driving Stranraer back into their own half. The Spiders moved the ball fast using the full width of the pitch to their advantage.
12 minutes in Queen’s took the lead. Scott Gibson was upended inside the Stranraer penalty box, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Billy Mortimer stepped up and fired a low shot to the keepers’ left. The young Stranraer keeper pulled off a fine save only to see James MacLennam pounce on the rebound and fire an unstoppable shot past him into the net.
The young Spiders continued to dominate the game. They controlled the midfield and exploited the space behind the Stranraer full backs. A succession of excellent crosses were being delivered from wide on both flanks however Queen’s forwards failed to capitalise.
In the 34th minute Stranraer equalised. A long kick out from the Stranraer keeper was not dealt with by the Queen’s defence allowing their number 9 to nip in and roll the ball into an empty net.
Although Queen’s continued to dominate the game they had a couple of shaky moments dealing with long balls fired into the heart of the defence.
Half time: Stranraer 1 Queen’s Park 1
3 minutes into the second half Queen’s took the lead. The ball was played left to right. Andy McGlaughlin picked the ball up, dribbled into the Stranraer box past a defender and fired a low shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net. A well taken goal.
A minute later Queen’s went 3-1 up. The ball is played to Billy Mortimer. Billy controlled the ball and calmly stroked the ball to James MacLennan who knocked it into the net. Good teamwork in the lead up to the goal.
4 minutes later Queen’s moved to 4-1 up. After excellent inter passing in midfield Calvin McGrory took possession of the ball 35 yards out on the left side. Calvin beat a defender then hammered the ball across the advancing keeper into the far top corner of the net. Another superb strike and goal.
In the 55th minute Queen’s made the first substitution of the night replacing Andy McGlaughlin with Joseph Manderson.
The three goals in quick succession took the fight out of the Stranraer side. Queen’s were now completely in control of the game. Calvin McGrory, in particularly in midfield, was playing some superb balls for the forwards to run onto.
In the 64th minute Queen’s added a fifth. Joseph Manderson played in James MacLennan who fired in a low shot. The Stranraer keeper blocked the shot only to see Billy Mortimer blast the rebound past him into the net.
In the 70th minute Scott Gibson was replaced by Andy Henderson.
9 minutes later David Green was replaced by Jordan Pender.
Full time: Stranraer 1 Queen’s Park 5
Queen’s Park: Michael White, Ross McDonald, Ali Miller, Lewis Magee, Anton Houghton, Scott Gibson (70mins Andy Henderson), David Green (79mins Jordan Pender), Calvin McGrory, James MacLennan, Billy Mortimer, Andy McGlaughlin (55mins Joseph Manderson)
Subs: Jordan Pender, Daniel Crawley, Ronan McGlaughlin, Aaron Black, Owen Stott (GK)