A cold wet evening in Lochinch Playing Fields provided the stage for a City of Glasgow Cup clash between Queens Park and Partick Thistle. The conditions were perfect for both side’s youngsters to put their talent on display.
Queens Park gained the upper hand in the opening few minutes, showing tidy and patient football, Partick on the other hand offered a much more physical threat. Thistle adopted a 3-5-2 formation throughout the first half, a tactic that seems to be prominent throughout the majority of their age groups.
It was Queens who drew first blood, when an angled pass was fired into the feet of Arron Mooney who raced down the inside left channel, cut inside to beat the central defender, and slotted the ball underneath the ‘keeper to open the scoring for the away side.
The physical aspect of the game was very much present, collisions and meaty challenges constantly on the table, although the referee clearly tried to allow the game to flow, despite having to deal with a high number of fouls.
Queens 4-2-3-1 shape proved to be a handful for the Thistle group, and their high-energy style and constant pressing was proving a real thorn in the side of Thistle, who really struggled to create clear-cut chances as a result.
The second goal was a result of this pressing, with the lively Arron Black chasing, harrying, and making life uncomfortable for Partick’s players. A stray ball kindly dropped to centre forward Ronan McLauchlin, who found himself with time and space, and he calmly volleyed home to make it 2-0 to Queens.
Eventually the ball found itself into the Queens half, providing an opportunity for Thistle to get themselves back into the cup-tie. Thistle pressed with intent in the closing stages of the first 45, Gallasso giving everything to drag his team away from defeat. They couldn’t find their goal before half-time though, despite Grainger, Last and Galasso all combining well in possession, and using their width to attack Queens.
The cup-tie very much became a back and forth affair until James Grant, who was often the creative outlet for Queens, regained possession in the centre and angled a pass out to the lightning fast Mooney. Just as before, he cut inside and slid the ball across to Black, who smashed home to put his team three goals to the good, and dampen the spirits of the Thistle team.