By Ben McNicol
Queen’s Park extended their unbeaten run to eight games and moved five points clear at the top of League Two as they played out a 3-3 thriller with Edinburgh City.
Hibs loanee Josh Campbell’s first-half howitzer had the Citizens deservedly ahead at the break, but that lead shortly vanished as Ross MacLean and Bob McHugh completed a quick comeback.
Campbell then equalised with another fantastic strike from range before Will Baynham once again put the Spiders ahead. It looked as if Ray MacKinnon’s men were going to record another three points as full time loomed, however, super-sub Gabby McGill levelled with five minutes to play to ensure that his side deservedly got a share of the spoils.
The visitors came with a clear game plan and to their credit they executed it to perfection in the opening 45 minutes as Queen’s Park struggled to get out their own half. On the 15th minute, James McDonaugh’s side found themselves ahead.
Peter Grant’s wayward pass was intercepted on the half-way line and after putting together a well-worked move together, Hibs loanee Campbell unleashed a simply stunning effort into the top corner beyond a helpless Willie Muir.
The Queen’s Park boss freshened things up at the break as Jai Quitongo and David Galt made way for Louis Longridge and Ross MacLean. Four minutes later, McKinnon would’ve been claiming a tactical masterclass as MacLean equalised, slamming home Michael Doyle’s low-driven cross.
Incredibly, two minutes later the comeback was complete. Grant Gillespie’s strike towards goal was blocked by the hand of Campbell, and referee Lloyd Wilson couldn’t have pointed to the penalty spot quick enough. Bob McHugh stepped up and sent Calum Antell the wrong way.
The lead didn’t last long though as Edinburgh City levelled four minutes later as Campbell grabbed his second of the afternoon as his deflected effort beat Muir. The two sides continued to push forward for that all important fifth goal and it was a thoroughly entertaining end-to-end game of football.
On the 70th minute, the goal did arrive for the home side, this time Longridge leaving his man trailing in his wake before his cross found Baynham at the back-post and he tapped home into an empty net from close-range.
City introduced talisman Blair Henderson along with McGill and the pair linked up well to equalise with five minutes remaining, McGill grabbing his second Citizens goal since joining on loan from Dunfermline during the summer. Here are three things we learned.
Points are shared
Both managers probably thought it would’ve been a travesty had they not secured at least a point from yesterday’s game and a draw was definitely a fair result on reflection.
It was an entertaining fixture between the two title heavyweights of the division who will most certainly be up there in the chase for promotion come the end of the season.
First Spiders start for Murray
Simon Murray made his long-awaited first start for Queen’s Park after his fight back from injury which has only seen him come off the bench so far this season.
Unfortunately for the former Hibs and Dundee United marksman, the game was played in the air more than on the deck, therefore we probably didn’t see the best of him as the game wasn’t played for suit Murray.
Citizens battle back makes McDonaugh proud
Edinburgh City boss McDonaugh hailed his players after the whistle yesterday and said he couldn’t have asked much more of his side.
He also revealed that he had to rip up his team sheet just hours before kick-off as skipper Craig Thomson was told to self-isolate after one of his colleagues tested positive for COVID-19 while Rafa De Vita’s wife also gave birth on Saturday morning. It’s fair to say it didn’t all go to plan pre-match, but it certainly did on the pitch.
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