Queen’s Park 1 Stenhousemuir 2: Warriors relegate Spiders

Stenhousemuir will play Peterhead for promotion.
Stenhousemuir will play Peterhead for promotion.

Stenhousemuir will play off against Peterhead next week for a place in Ladbrokes SPFL League One next season.

A Mark McGuigan double, a goal in each half, gave the Warriors the win at Hampden and relegated the Spiders.

Missing Colin McMenamin, pitchside with his arm in a sling, McGuigan stepped up and extended the Warriors season by a week – and might just have returned them to League One at the first time of asking.

That depends on the outcome of next week’s double header against the Blue Toon, who saw off Stirling Albion convincingly in the north-east today.

Stenhousemuir were the brighter of the sides at Hampden especially down the left with Alan Cook ahead of Ruaridh Donaldson and the pair combined well in the early stages.

Indeed it was a cross from this side that gave the Warriors the lead. McGuigan didn’t connect particularly well but did enough to steer Donaldson’s cross by Michael White.

Martin Scott, joining the prolific striker in attack with McMenamin out, had already missed a gilt-edged opportunity from a Cook cross earlier. Ross Meechan had kept them in it too, hacking a Luke Donnelly effort off the line during a brief Queen’s Park rally.

But after the goal Stenhousemuir began to stroll, the Spiders looked in disarray but they returned to terms with a goal just before half-time.

Veteran Gerry McLaughlin’s diving header sent the sides in level after Donaldson had been harshly penalised for a free-kick in the south-east corner of Hampden.

After the break neither side looked capable of saving the game from extra-time, and there was copious added on by ref Euan Anderson and necessary too. Sub Innes Murray was fouled by a clumsy challenge from Ross Mileln. The home defender tumbled in the process and as he did caught a McLaughlin clearance full in the face from close range and required immediate medical treatment and to be stretchered off.

He’s since been taken to hospital having lost consciousness and suffered concussion.

Dad Andy was amongst the crown watching at the National Stadium, as was ex-Queen’s Park boss Billy Stark and Falkirk midfielder Lewis Kidd.

The Spiders made their final change of the afternoon changing the shape of their side and losing a key defender. It was down the Stenhousemuir left, and QP right, that the goal came from.

Harry Paton zipped through the middle slaloming past challenges and threaded a lovely low pass into McGuigan’s path. The big marauding striker peeled wide to the left, took the ball in his stride and tucked it under White and in for the winner.

Stenhousemuir will host Peterhead on Wednesday night, with the second leg at Balmoor on Saturday.