Queen's Park 3-0 Clyde
“Clyde killer!” shouted a Queen’s Park supporter as Jamie Longworth slid home the game’s opening goal.
The nickname is thoroughly deserved – since joining the Spiders from Kilbirnie Ladeside in the summer of 2010, Longworth has now netted seven in eight games against Clyde.
His seventh minute strike, along with finishes from Ian Watt and Martin McBride, secured a deserved win for an upwardly-mobile Queen’s Park side trailing league leaders Alloa by nine points.
In their last three home games against the Bully Wee, the Spiders have scored ten without reply. Their goals put the gloss on an otherwise poor match – despite racing to an early lead, Queen’s failed to press home their advantage and almost allowed the visitors back into the contest in its latter stages. Clyde, for the best part, were utterly abject.
From the first whistle, Gardner Speirs' side out-passed and out-manoeuvred Clyde in every part of the pitch. McBride and David Anderson in particular moved the ball with zest and zeal, spreading the play and finding teammates with ease.
After seven minutes, McBride slid a delicious pass through the defence for Owen Ronald to run onto. Ronald drilled the ball across the face of goal and Longworth prodded it into the net. In two simple moves, Clyde were fatally undone.
One goal became two moments later. The movement was almost a carbon-copy of the first, with Longworth this time turning provider. He cut in from the right wing and Watt crashed home his fine centre.
Longworth should have put the game beyond doubt in the 15th minute as Queen’s ruthlessly exposed gaping spaces in the Broadwood outfit's backline but he stabbed Watt’s cross wide of goal.
From then on, the home side failed to exert their authority on the game and seemed content on keeping possession instead. Clyde struggled to answer their hosts’ bluster and played poorly throughout the opening exchanges, rarely coming close to threatening Neil Parry in the host's goal. Their fullbacks Iain Gray and Lee Sharp were especially poor.
Pat Scullion, nominally played as a midfielder anchor during his spells with Cowdenbeath, Alloa and Stenhousemuir, was shoehorned into an unfamiliar role as a lone striker in the Clyde’s 4-5-1 system. His side’s sole tactic during the opening half was to lob hopeful punts in his general direction. While Scullion battled away, his teammates failed to read any of his flick-ons or knock-downs. He looked thoroughly dispiriting.
The game quickly became a tepid affair and with the exception of a Jamie Brough header that flashed over the Clyde crossbar, neither side played with any potency or penetration.
The second half continued the same way as the first with each team unable to exert any authority. Both sides were loose and scrappy and struggled to play with any fluency. Other than John Neill’s header that crashed off the Queen’s Park post from six yards, there were few goalscoring chances.
Clyde reconfigured their formation into a more attacking 4-4-2, replacing Stephen McDonald with Jason Marr, and began to press in the hope of salvaging something from the game. Although they had the better of the possession after the interval, they were consistently let down by poor passing and decision-making in the final third.
In the final minute, Queen’s successfully broke up a Clyde attack and charged upfield, creating a three-on-two situation. McBride galloped forward, flanked by substitutes David Murray and Tony Quinn. He didn’t need them; from the edge of the area, he sent a glorious finish with the outside of his foot high beyond Nick Feely and into the net.
Speaking after the game, Gardner Speirs seemed in a philosophical mood. “We’ve been to Berwick on Saturday and won 4-1,” he said. “And we’ve come back here and scored another three goals, so we’re pleased.”
The victory sets up the Spiders with a top-of-the-table clash against Alloa at Recreation Park on Saturday. If Queen’s secure a victory, they close the gap on the table-toppers to six points. Lose, and they can probably dismiss any fanciful notions of winning the championship.
Clyde, meanwhile, remain in eighth place on 27 points. ahead of entertaining Elgin at the weekend.
“Overall I’ve got absolutely no complaints about the result,” said Jim Duffy, the Clyde manager. “Queen’s Park were the better side and they thoroughly deserved their victory."
Goals: Longworth (7), Watt (10), McBride (89).
Queen's Park : Parry; McGinn, Little, Brough, Meggatt (Bradley 72); McBride, Longworth, Anderson; Ronald, Daly (Quinn 76), Watt (Murray 61). Subs not used: Strain, Capuano.
Clyde : Feely; Gray, Declan Gallagher, McQueen, Sharp; Neill, Pollock, Marr (McDonald 58), Sweeney; Scullion, Oliver (Daw 76). Subs not used: Crawford, Ramsay, Carrick.