From Ochilview to World Cup bid for Andy Robertson and Paul McGinn as team-mates
Prior to Tuesday night’s fine 1-0 World Cup qualifying win in Austria, it has been revealed that the last time Scotland stars Paul McGinn and Andrew Robertson played on the same team was at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on Saturday, January 19, 2013, writes David Oliver.
Just 415 spectators were in attendance that day, but that wasn’t quite the case 3154 days later in front of 18,800 at the Ernst Happel Stadium, as Lyndon Dykes’ first half penalty earned Steve Clarke’s side a crucial victory which keeps alive our hopes of qualifying for Qatar 2022 via the play-offs.
Robertson’s storied journey from Queen’s Park to the Champions League trophy and captaining his country is well known. McGinn’s began same place, same time.
The former Spiders both finished Tuesday night on the winning side – as they had done in all but two of their previous games together under Gardner Speirs.
"I’m immensely proud. I’ve been on a similar journey to Andy Robertson from the bottom; we both played at Queen's Park together so it’s nice the next time we end up playing together is in a Scotland jersey,” McGinn said in the aftermath of his Scotland debut.
He moved to join brother John at St Mirren that January, while Robertson’s rapid ascent began at the end of the season with a move to Dundee United.
That meant their last appearance together was at Ochilview in Stenhousemuir. Spiders captain Tony Quinn gave the visitors a first-half lead before East Stirlingshire’s Ricky Miller scored an own goal.
Scotland cap Lawrence Shankland also entered off the bench helping lift Queen’s Park to second in Irn-Bru Third Division behind Rangers with the inconspicuous win. The next time McGinn and Robertson would share a pitch on the same side they’d be steering Scotland to a win which could determine their World Cup destiny.
Hopes were not high among the Tartan Army about our prospects of finishing Group F as runners-up behind runaway leaders Denmark following last Wednesday night’s hugely disappointing 2-0 success for the Danes which was achieved at a canter over a poor Scotland side in Copenhagen.
But a narrow 1-0 home win over Moldova at Hampden Park on Saturday – thanks to a lone Dykes goal – lifted spirits ahead of the tough looking game in Austria on Tuesday.
But another single goal victory has second placed Scotland a point clear of third placed Israel, setting up a vital clash between these two sides at Hampden on Saturday, October 9.