Match report by Chris Marshall and photo courtesy of Ian Cairns.
Queen’s Park were handed a tough introduction to SWPL life as they fell to a 6-1 SWPL Cup Group B defeat to Hamilton Academical at a blustery Lesser Hampden.
Mark Kirk’s side secured promotion to SWPL 2 in dramatic fashion on the final day of the 2019 SWFL season but there would be no repeat of that November fairytale as they succumbed to an Accies side that has added quality and experience to a squad that finished runner-up in SWPL 2.
It was one of those new signings, Georgie McTear, who would give the visitors the lead with six minutes on the clock, as the former Glasgow Women centre back would be the one to eventually scramble the ball home after Kirstie McIntosh’s whipped cross had caused chaos in the Queen’s area.
Accies would double their lead seven minutes later when a deep MT Gardiner cross would find Ellie Kane unmarked at the back post, with the winger taking the time to bring the ball down before blasting past a diving Toni Harkness. That lead would stretch to three with just twenty minutes on the clock as Accies captain Amy Anderson parted the black and white defensive sea to beat Harkness and seemingly wrap things up with less than a quarter of the game played.
As conditions worsened, Accies failed to add to their tally whilst the Spiders best chance of a goal looked set to come via striker Ashley McKeown although she was often isolated as evidenced by the dangerous ball that she flashed across the six yard box with no takers from the home side in sight.
The Southsiders did have the first sight of goal after the interval but Lauren Ray’s looping header would bounce off the bar and be hooked clear as Gary Doctor’s side made a sloppy return from the break.
Despite that though they would soon be four up as Teigan McCann squared for last season’s SWPL 2 joint-top goalscorer Dionne Brown allowing her fellow striker to stroke the ball home.
Accies sloppiness would continue though and was punished when McKeown cooly steered home for Queen’s but it would be the Lanarkshire side that would have the final say in a game that they dominated. Gardiner added a fifth at the second attempt after originally being thwarted by Harkness before Anderson got her second after neat set up play by another new signing, former Hearts striker, Lauren Evans.
Both sides begin their league campaign next week before Queen’s Park face Dundee United and Accies host Rangers on March 1st as teams play fixture catch up following a disrupted start to the re-launched SWPL Cup.
Queen’s Park: Harkness, Davies, H. Coleman, Ray, Cameron, Macleod, Anderson, Fulton, McKeown, Fyfe, Hopgood. Subs: Macpherson, Mullen, Porter, L. Coleman, Mackinnon, Mcdonald, Wardlaw.
Hamilton Academical: Grant, Ross, McTear, Fitzsimmons, McIntosh, Anderson, Sturrock, Quinn, Kane, Gardner, McCann. Subs: Rhind, Connolly, Quigley, Coakley, Brown, Stewart, Evans.
Post-match interviews with Hamilton Academical Head Coach, Gary Doctor, Queen’s Park Head Coach, Mark Kirk, and Hamilton Academical Captain, Amy Anderson