STJWFC 2 - 3 Queen's Park
6th November 2023
St Johnstone Women lost 3-2 to league leaders Queen’s Park on Sunday, with Megan Quigley heading home a corner in the final seconds of the match.
There were a few changes to the side that started against Stirling University with Niamh Irvine, Nicole Carter and Megan Paterson coming into the starting eleven.
It was a fairly bitty start to the match with neither side giving an inch before Queen’s Park began to establish themselves enjoying the bulk of the possession. They opened the scoring after twelve minutes when a neat move down the left was finished by the prolific Ellie Kane slotting the ball past Ellie Mitchell.
The Glasgow side nearly extended their lead from a corner, won after a Megan Burns clearance was sliced into the side net. When the corner came in the ball took a deflection of Ellie Kane before Saints keeper Ellie Mitchell was brave and dived to smother the ball taking a head knock in the process.
They didn’t have long to wait for their second however, and when a cross was played into the box, it fell to Nicole Cairney who dinked it past Ellie Mitchell. Cairney really ought to have had a second soon after but fired wide of the goal after a quick counterattack.
Another corner caused real issues when the ball was pinging about the box coming off Ellie May Cowie, then the post, and into the arms of Mitchell.
Saints hadn’t really tested Lauren McGregor, but they came pretty close after twenty-five minutes. Niamh Irvine played a delightful ball from the right which Ellie-May Cowie was only just inches from connecting with as the ball flashed across the six-yard box.
It would be Cowie who got Saints back in the match just before half time. A long ball was played forward and both Cowie and Morgan Steedman showed real strength in a tussle with the Queen’s Park defence to win the ball. The ball broke for Cowie who went to the right and struck a powerful shot past McGregor.
There was a change at the break for Saints as Bobby Cochran replaced Ellie Mitchell in goal who was still suffering after taking a few knocks in the first half, especially the head knock mentioned previously. It would be the first competitive action for Cochran since her return to the club earlier in the year.
Saints started the second half much better and were enjoying more possession and getting forward more than they had in the first half. This was exemplified by Eilidh Begg just four minutes in who picked up a through ball on the right and struck a powerful first time shot which was well saved by McGregor, who surely had stinging palms after such was the ferocity of the strike.
Another move was thwarted when Ellie MacIver was tackled as she went to strike from just inside the penalty area. At the other end Bobby Cochran made two excellent one-handed saves to keep Saints in the match.
With fifteen minutes left Saints were dealt a blow when they were reduced to ten. Already on a yellow card, Ellie May Cowie lunged into a tackle and took the player not the ball leaving with referee Jordan Kinnon no other option but to produce a second yellow card, then red card, despite Cowie's protestations.
Shortly after being reduced to ten Queen’s had a chance to put the game out of sight. Alix Moodie fouled a Queen’s attacker right on the edge of the penalty area. The free kick was dummied first of all before then being put wide of Cochran’s left-hand post by Callaghan.
However, with ten minutes left, Saints drew level. From out on the left, substitute Elvie McLean, not unfamiliar with goals from distance, curled a shot that looped over McGregor and into the far left corner of the goal.
No quarter was given as both sides tried to find a winner in the final minutes of the game, neither happy to settle for a draw. Elvie McLean launched an effort from close to thirty yards out which dropped onto the roof of the net. Morgan Steedman was played in by Steffi Simson, and while she got a shot away, she wasn’t able to direct it on target.
Last season Saints snatched a victory in the final minutes three times against Queen’s Park. They say things come in threes, so it was perhaps no surprise that it would be Queen’s who got the late winner this time.
Into the final minute of injury time and Saints conceded a corner. When the ball was flighted in, Megan Quigley rose unchallenged to head the ball home sparking wild celebrations for Queen’s and dejection for the home side with the full time whistle coming as soon as the kick-off was taken.
Queen’s now move five points clear of second place Kilmarnock, while Saints slipped to sixth place. The side are next in action Wednesday 15th November when Boroughmuir Thistle visit Riverside in a re-arranged fixture.
Saints: Mitchell (Cochran), Cowie, MacIver (McLean), Carter, M.Steedman, Irvine (McCafferty) Moodie, Paterson (Simson), Begg, Burns, Robertson.
Subs not used: Brady, Malcolm, Ovens
McGregor, Davis, Bonner, Cairney (Quigley), Kane, Callaghan, Harty (Gallagher), Daly, Robertson, Craig, Smith
Subs not used: Ross, Fulton, McKee, McConnachie, McGoldrick, Inman
Saints: Cowie 43’ McLean, 85’
Queen’s Park: Kane 12, Cairney 18, Quigley 95