Sunday 25 July 2010

Queen's Park 3 - 2 Livingston
AET (1-1 FT)

Livi fell at the first Alba Challenge Cup hurdle for the second successive year as an extra time collapse saw Queen's Park deservedly go through to the second round.

Star performer on the day was undoubtedly the Spiders' Graeme Eaglesham who left Hampden with the match ball having scored an excellent hat-trick. But at the other end of the bragging scale it was a day for debutante Livi keeper Tony Bullock to forget.

It all started so well for the Lions who dominated the opening period. David Sinclair firstly rattled the bar with a powerful free kick before defender Cammy MacDonald scored what was surprisingly his first senior Livi goal, slotting home a Winters through ball from a tight angle on 25 minutes.

But Queen's Park refused to buckle under the near constant pressure, and in fact began to turn the tables on their attackers. And with five minutes to go till the interval, Eaglesham headed home the first of his trio for a well deserved equaliser.

The traveling support had hoped a Gary Bollan half time rocketing would have spurred the Lions into action, but the Spiders showed little sign of being intimidated by their erstwhile conquerors. And in a second half where both teams were limited in attacks, Queens nearly stole it at the death with a powerful Harkin drive which Bullock did well to block.

And so into extra time - and disaster for Livi. With only six minutes gone of the first period, Malone left a through ball for Bullock to deal with, but the keeper was slow on the uptake and a Watt strike rebounded off the stopper straight to Eaglesham, who deftly lobbed the ball into Livi's empty net from 40 yards out with Bullock stranded.

And then it was 3-1 when Eaglesham completed his hat-trick from the spot after goal hero MacDonald felled Anderson in the box.

Into the second period of extra time, and Livi's uphill struggle became more Alpine as Bullock finished a bad day at the office by taking an early bath, the result of a second caution for handling outside the box. Hamill was sacrificed to make way for McDowall to take over in goal, and as time ticked away Livi clawed a goal back from a magnificent Sinclair free kick. But it was too little, too late for the Lions.

Queen's Park: Hamilton, Little, Burns, Gallagher, Brough, McBride, Watt, Anderson, Eagleshan (Quinn 105), O'Hara (Harkins 85), Smith (Murray 76).
Subs Not Used: McPherson, Meggatt.

Livingston: Bullock, MacDonald, Malone, Sinclair, O'Byrne, Watson (Ky.Jacobs 87), Barr, Kn.Jacobs, De Vita, Winters (McNulty 68), Hamill (McDowall 120).
Subs Not Used: Hastings, Conway.

Att: 605

Ref: K Clancy