In a largely one-sided affair, Queen’s IIs added to their already impressive win streak by beating Civil Service 5-1 at the Dub.
After persistent rain over the past fortnight, one culd be forgiven for anticipating a scrappy affair against a physical Civil Service team. However, Luke Ogilvie’s players started the match on the front foot with impressive passing combinations from the front to the back. From the first whistle, Andrews and O’Reilly posed a danger down the right channel, and Renshaw and Devine asked questions down the left. The team was working well as a unit and it was clear to the onlooker that the philosophy implemented by the manager was one of quickness and simplicity of play.
Despite this, it was Civil Service who took the lead. A corner-kick was allowed to bounce in the box and finding themselves presented with a clear-cut chance, the opposition made no mistake from close range.
Yet Queen’s remained calm and confident in their ability. The goal was conceded against the run of play and there was a considerable proportion of the first half still to go. The team remained to battle in the midfield and still looked the more dangerous in the final third. This defiant display of character was soon to be met with reward. A quickly taken free-kick found its way to Murphy, whose cross was neatly controlled by Devine and slotted home with ease. This added to an impressive run of form for the front man after scoring no less than five goals in training during the week.
Queen’s went from strength to strength despite the difficult conditions. An early through ball by O’Reilly found Coulter on the edge of the opposition’s box and after a quick turn of pace the defender risked seeing red and opted to bring him down. Maguire stepped up and converted the penalty with the utmost composure to ensure Queen’s finished the half 2-1 up.
Ogilvie was pleased with his team’s first half display and asked for much of the same for the second period. Things certainly went to plan and his team started the second half on the front foot. Tenacious work by Devine up top led to what appeared to be another goal-scoring chance in the making. Yet again, however, Civil Service demonstrated an inability to deal with the pace and attacking force of Ogilvie’s side. The referee was left with no choice but to award a second penalty to the home team after the striker was impeded by not one but two defenders. Maguire demonstrated his calmness by sending the ‘keeper the wrong way in a carbon copy of his first goal.
With the score at 3-1, Queen’s began to dominate proceedings. Watts and Nutman were ever-dominant from the back and Maguire and Homan were calm yet authoritative in the middle of midfield. It was down the left channel however, from which their fourth goal stemmed. In an impressive counter-attack, the ball was fizzed into Murphy who neatly set Homan on his way. A rare burst of pace sent the defender back to school before he managed to find O’Reilly on the other side of the box. The former Coventry man made no mistake from 18 yards, firing low across the ‘keeper into the far corner of the net.
At 4-1, Queen’s could sense that the opposition had all but given up on getting anything from the game. Ogilvie swapped Andrews for H. Maguire and insisted on a disciplined approach to the final phase of the match. Queen’s responded positively to this, controlling the tempo of the play whilst simultaneously creating a number of chances. H. Maguire proved himself to be a real ‘baller’. He worked tirelessly at left-back and proved beneficial to the team going forward, taking charge of deliveries from the right hand side; he even nearly netted with one corner deflecting off the beans! Murphy nearly caught the ‘keeper off guard from distance and Homan spurned a shot high and wide.
<p”>Queen’s completed the rout with a fifth from Coulter. The opposition’s back four failed to deal with a ball into the box and he capped a superb performance with a clinical finish from close range.
With little more than ten minutes remaining, the game had lost its way slightly and it was clear that Civil Service were awaiting the final whistle. Despite this, Gawne was called into action late on. After a flurry of excellent saves, he was put to the test from the penalty spot in what must have been an attempt by the referee to deliver equity in his decision making. The Queen’s keeper pulled off an excellent save from 12 yards however, diving to his right to keep his team on track for their biggest victory this season. This was soon to be confirmed with the final whistle signalling an end to what had been an impressive display by the home team.
The victory means that Ogilvie’s team remain unbeaten since mid October, winning their last seven games. The manager will hope that such form continues into next weekend when they travel to Aquinas.
Queen’s IIs: Andrew Gawne, Robin Renshaw, John Nutman, Eoin Watts, Matty Andrews, Eoghan Maguire, Jack Homan, Mark Coulter, Sean O’Reilly, Fintan Devine, Ryan Murphy
Subs: Niall Boyd, Hugh Maguire