Stenhousemuir v Queens Park at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 1.5.18
SPFL Ladbrokes League One Play-off Semi Final First Leg Att 657
Stenhousemuir 1 [Scott 27] Queens Park 1 [Leitch 46]
Stenhousemuir – Smith, Meechan [b36], M.Dunlop, R.Dunlop, Donaldson, Ferry, McGuigan [Cook 68], Paton [Longworth 88], McMenamin, Scott[Dallas 77] and Ferns. Subs not used – Marsh, Halleran and McMinn
Queens Park – White, Mullen, Burns, Fotheringham, Cummins [so 79], Gibson, Leitch, Brady [McVey 83], Keena, Donnelly [McLauchlan] and Galt [Mortimer h/t].Subs not used – Orr, DSocherty, Ruth and MacPherson
Referee – Alan Newlands Assistants – Gordon Crawford and Drew Kirkland
With the Warriors securing fourth place in League Two it meant that they are the lowest ranked team in the League One play-offs and as a consequence their first opponents were Queens Park who were ninth in League One and thus the highest rated team. Although Queens are still in danger of being relegated they would have been happy to be in the play-offs as they had leapfrogged Albion Rovers on the last day of the season.
The early stages of the game were a cagey affair with neither team causing the other side problems until the 20th minute when the home side defence was opened up and it was only good tracking back by Harry Paton that denied his Hearts team-mate Aidan Keena a goalscoring opportunity.
With their first real opportunity Stenhousemuir took the lead in the 27th minute when an Eddie Ferns cross picked out Jimmy Scott and the forward steered a header into the net to cap a fine return to the starting eleven.
On the half hour Chris Smith made a routine save from a long range effort by ex-Warrior Gregor Fotheringham. This was followed a couple of minutes later by a Ferns effort from 25 yards that dipped and bounced before going just the wrong side of the post. The Warriors then came close when Mark McGuigan, who was also making his first start after games out through injury, took a gamble to anticipate a bouncing ball and his first time shot just went over with Michael White struggling to get back into position.
The Warriors would have been happy with how the first half had played out but all the hard work counted for nothing when Queens equalised almost immediately after the resumption. Fotheringham, who was one of the best players on the park both as a disrupter and in an attacking sense timed an overlapping run and his cross was met by Robbie Leitch who swept the ball home.
In the 48th minute Stenhousemuir’s Colin McMenamin was unlucky not to score when his powerful header from 16 yards out beat the keeper but came off the post. That was to be the last real chance for a while as both teams tended to cancel each other out for large parts of the game.
In the 79th minute of the game Adam Cummins was sent off for a terrible tackle on Ruaridh Donaldson and there could really be no complaints. It was fortunate that Donaldson didn’t pick up a bad injury in the tackle. The tackle was out of character for the game and left the Spiders with a disadvantage in the closing stages of the game.
Despite this Fotheringham hit a shot onto the roof of the net but it was the Warriors that came closest to scoring when a McMenamin header was scrambled clear as the Queens were resolute in defence.
The final whistle blew with the scores level and both teams have everything to play off in the second leg. For the Warriors though Colin McMenamin who was the main source of threat will be missing as despite playing the full game had broken an arm in the closing stages and had to undergo surgery the next day to get a plate inserted.
|May 1, 2018||7:45 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1 Playoffs||2017/18||90'|