The Ramsdens Cup final is seen by many as a trophy that doesn’t even radiate on the Scottish football Richter scale. Tell that to a Patrick Thistle side, flying in the First Division, and Queens who dominated the Second Division this year.
Prior to the game, the local public houses were full of both sets of fans, many tables had both sets of fans discussing their teams fantastic seasons and looking forward to a final all about the football.
Indeed both teams have been touted as being the best footballing teams outside the SPL. However, with an important game versus Morton this week – would Partick be looking to far ahead and would Queens take the foot off the accelerator after being crowned
The game, held at the home of Livingston FC, was a sell-out, just under 10,000 fans decked in either blue and white or yellow and black filled the stadium prior to kick-off.
Both sets of fans backed their club to the hilt and during a tense first half the game played out 0-0. The second half, like the first, was played out in a goalless half, but the game was getting stretched due to the nervous tension inside the ground.
Clear chances throughout the game had been at a premium. The difference in leagues had not been so obvious. Both were good teams and in truth there was not much between the two sides.
Extra time, for some was torture, as the cold wind was biting due to the late kick-off time. This didn’t affect the majority of the supporters as the atmosphere from both sets of supporters started in earnest.
Partick looked stronger in extra time; maybe playing First Division football would be the difference. Players, especially Queens, were showing signs of cramp. It was looking like penalties until Danny Carmichael, for Queens, who to watch reminds you of Scottish football legends like Jimmy Johnstone, curled a shot off the bar and Nicky Clark headed in the rebound.
Could Queens hold on?
Partick took total control of the game in an attempt to force an equaliser. A debatable penalty was awarded to Partick with just three minutes of extra time remaining.
The challenge was clearly outside the box.
Aaron Muirhead stepped up, but Lee Robinson, the Queens keeper somehow kept the ball out. In the over-exuberant celebrations of the blues, tempers flared culminating in Muirhead being sent off for a crazy head-butt on Higgins.
Partick weren’t finished, to their credit, and in the last-minute a fantastic cross by Forbes was forced home by Kris Doolan.
The Partick end just exploded, supporters spilled onto the pitch. Before anyone writes in, it was just over excitement. There was never any cause for concern; however whether the governing bodies see it that way will be another matter.
So it was penalties, a great way to win it and terrible to lose it. Both teams’ players showed fantastic technique and control, under immense pressure.
The difference was Lee Robinson, who has previous for penalties in this completion, just edging it. Queens were Ramsden cup winners, double winners, and the celebrations began.
Our pre-match worries were unfounded, both teams gave everything. Partick have a young side but play good football to watch. They now focus on Morton with the aim of playing Premier league football next season. On this evidence they should have enough. They are certainly a club that merits that standard of football.
As for Queens, well what can I say. What a season it’s been. They have been streets ahead of any team in the Second Division. It was a good test to face this Partick team. A test passed and hopefully a confidence boost for next season, showing them that it’s the level we should be playing at.
Congratulations to the magic Allan Johnstone and Sandy Clark on a season to be proud off. Man of the match went to Lee Robinson for the obvious penalty saves. However, the obvious was never my strong point, so I went for Stephen McKenna as my man of the match from Queens. This guy just gets better and better and in my opinion is capable of playing SPL football.
Good luck to Partick for the rest of the season, Sunday showed Scottish football is alive and well.
Written by Ross of the South