Queen’s extend winning streak to 3 in a row following an unconvincing win against Temple.
Weather conditions in the days leading up to match day implied many games would be postponed. However many thanks to the groundsmen at the Dub who ensured that the pitch was playable, despite further rain on the morning of the game.
Ogilvie’s men were hoping to build on their previous wins in their last two games, and were boosted by the return to fitness of a number of key players, including skipper Boyd. Adopting a 4-4-2 formation, with first team players Murphy and Mulholland leading from the front, Queen’s were hoping for a ruthless attacking play, with clear instructions from Ogilvie demanding constant involvement of the front two in attacks.
Conditions were poor on what was a cold, wet and overcast day; with the heavy rain adding a deadly slipperiness to the surface. Although both teams had to deal with these conditions, it was the away side that started the brighter, with their two frontmen willingly running down the channels. One such foray forward by their dangerous number 9 lead to a corner which resulted in an effort on McCrea’s goal that required a quite brilliant fingertip save from the home custodian to tip the effort over the bar. Much of the first half followed this pattern, with centre half pairing of Watts and Nutman marshalling their defence astutely. The home side were slowly beginning to create a foothold in the game, with efforts from the lively Murphy testing the opposition goalie. Queen’s were creating more chances and following neat interplay between O’Reilly and Murphy on the right, the ball was released by the latter to Mulholland on the edge of the box who cleverly skipped past the opposition defender to create space but his resulting left footed strike was just over the bar. Shortly after this, a similar chance fell to Mulholland but again he was unable to test the goalie when he shot from the edge of the box.
15 minutes before the break, the home side took the lead following a great passage of play. Mulholland was released on the right by a clever ball from the back and with very quick feet managed to dribble past the lunge of the defender, and cleverly slipped a perfect ball through to Murphy who ran onto it and calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing goalie. This goal seemed to spark Queen’s into life, with further efforts on goal from O’Reilly and Murphy narrowly failing to test the opposition goalkeeper. One such effort from just outside the box from Mulholland drew a save from the goalie, with the onrushing Maguire drawing an excellent point blank save from the goalkeeper.
In the second half, neither team managed to take a hold of the game with weather conditions worsening. Defender Watts was presented with the perfect opportunity to extend the home side’s lead shortly after the restart but he headed against the bar when unchallenged following O’Reilly’s excellent ball into the box. Halfway through the period, manger Ogilvie made a couple of changes in an attempt to liven things up, bringing on Abladey and McDermott. The latter was to have quite an interesting 25 minutes when 3 of his goals were ruled out for offside. A fourth was inexplicably ignored when his effort on goal clearly crossed the line and made contact with both the net and wheel inside he post. It seemed Queen’s might go on to rue all these missed chances as chance after chance came and went begging. However that was not to be the case as Abladey put the home side ahead when his effort on goal took a wicked deflection and looped over the goalie to make it 2-0. In fairness to the away side, they continued to push forward for a goal and almost did so right at the death when their forward rounded McCrea and his goal bound effort was brilliantly cleared by the retrieving Nutman, who together with Watts and McCrea had a very impressive afternoon.
The home side held on to register their first clean sheet of the season and their third win on the bounce. In his address to the squad at the final whistle, manager Ogilvie congratulated his side on the result and clean sheet but warned them of his disappointment at the quality of the performance, going on to highlight the need for the players to rid the squad of any complacency, and a more urgent need for sticking to tactics and instructions.
Next Game: Finaghy FC (Home) Cochrane & Corry Cup Round 2, Saturday November 22nd 2015, 13:30pm KO
Queen’s: McCrea, Renwick, Watts, Nutman, Andrews, Maguire, Homan, Coulter, O’Reilly, Murphy, Mulholland
Substitutes: Abladey, McDermott, Boyd
Goal Scorers: Murphy, Abladey