Queen’s park’s first league game of the exciting new season, and it’s just the Spiders’ luck to be hit with a defensive crisis already.
Hosting perennial play-off rivals Annan Athletic with a full squad usually proves problematic at the best of times. Attempting to get three points from them when three of the regular back four are crocked is another task altogether.
Gavin Mitchell got a bad injury in pre-season and last week’s League Cup defeat to Forfar has cost us the services today of skipper Tony Quinn and Sean Burns, who both had to come off at Hampden.
Those three injuries have highlighted the dearth of defenders in the Spiders squad after the close-season clear-out. Six players were signed pre-season but keeper Connor O’Boyle was the only defender.
Coach Gus MacPherson has moved quickly in a bid to alleviate some of the damage by signing former Falkirk defender Ryan McGeever.
The 21-year-old Glaswegian actually came through the Queen’s youth system before joining the Bairns in 2012, but he didn’t get much football with them and the past two seasons he spent on short-term loans with Peterhead and then Arbroath.
Given that lack of game time it was not surprising that McGeever was listed on the bench against Annan who beat Airdrie 2-1 in the Petrofac Cup and last week narrowly lost 4-3 to Queen of the South after extra time in the League Cup.
Queen’s passed the 20-minute mark not merely holding their own but actually forcing the pace against their more experienced opponents. It was a very positive end to the scoreless first half.
Queen’s had been coping well with the obvious pace of Osadolor, but when he got clear in 63 minutes he left Wharton for dead as he hit the byeline and his low cutback was knocked past Muir by Flynn. Simple.
It was rough on Queen’s – they had looked nearer scoring their first goal of the season – but they were still in the game They came close in a late goalmouth melee when a header was hacked off the line but ultimately they didn’t get what they deserved.