By Ben McNicol
Queen’s Park continued their impressive start to the League Two season with a 3-1 win against Stenhousemuir at Hampden.
Botti Biabi put Davie Iron’s team in front on the 11thminute before Lee Kilday levelled on the stroke of half-time for the Spiders. The Warriors just about looked like holding on for a hard-earned point, but two late strikes from Bob McHugh and Simon Murray sealed victory for Ray McKinnon.
The home side started brighter, Jai Quitongo doing well to brush aside a couple of Stenny defenders and his cross was headed narrowly wide by McHugh.
It was the visitors who took the lead though up the other end with their first attack of the afternoon. A long ball forward was flicked on by Tommy Muir into the path of Biabi, who shrugged aside his marker and slotted under Willie Muir.
McKinnon’s men responded well and went on to dominate the remainder of first half. On the 18th minute, Tommy Robson found Will Baynham and his cut-back landed at the feet of David Galt, but his effort swerved wide of the target.
It looked only a matter of time until Queen’s Park levelled and they duly obliged on the stroke of half-time when Galt’s corner landed on the head of Lee Kilday and the towering defender made no mistake from close-range as he headed beyond Paddy Martin.
The Spiders continued to press on the front-foot in the second half, but the visitors continued defend resolutely. Quitongo should have put the hosts ahead on the hour mark when he skied Galt’s cross over the bar, before McHugh capitalised on a defensive mistake, slipped Ross Maclean through one-on-one, but his effort went painfully wide.
It was beginning to look like one of those afternoons for the League Two favourites, but like London buses, two goals arrived within the space of five minutes.
On the 87th minute, Murray played the ball through to McHugh and his powerful effort beat Martin. And minutes later, McHugh returned the favour to Murray, who netted his first Spiders goal with a composed finish. Here are three things we learned from a strong Queen’s victory.
Spiders continue impressive start
Queen’s Park were installed as red-hot favourites for the League Two title this season after making the decision to become full-time.
They have recruited some top, top players who could easily play in the Championship, maybe even the Premiership. It was far from plain sailing against a well-organised Stenhousemuir side, but they continued to fight until the end and were ultimately rewarded.
Murray nets first Queen’s goal
Murray’s move to Queen’s Park in the summer raised a few eyebrows as the striker had recently competed at the top level of Scottish football.
However, that just goes to show how big a project is in place at the Spiders. The 28-year-old netted his first goal of the season following a frustrating few months and should the former Dundee United and Hibs man start firing, it’s more than likely he’ll add plenty more goals to his tally.
Positives for Stenhousemuir
Despite being on the end of defeat, there will undoubtedly be plenty of positives to take from the game for the Warriors.
They will most likely be bitterly disappointed with the manner they conceded the two late goals, but overall, it was a solid defensive performance, and should they keep up that level consistency throughout the season, they should have no problems in achieving the play-offs.