SPFL Trust Trophy 

Cliftonville 2-3 Queens Park 

CLIFTONVILLE exited the Scottish Challenge at the first time of asking after going down 3-2 to Queens Park at Solitude on Sunday afternoon. 

The Glasgow side led throughout the tie, but goals from Grant Savoury and Scott Williamson were cancelled out by centre-half duo Colin Coates and Jonny Addis either side of the break. 

It took a tremendous strike from Dominic Thomas to ensure progression for the Championship outfit and see off the determined Reds on their first outing in the competition. 

 

Reds boss Paddy McLaughlin felt the game was too open and exposed at times and admits he was disappointed to come out on the wrong side of an entertaining tie. 

“I’m sure it was a cracking game for the neutral,” reflected McLaughlin. 

“It was end to end and it was entertaining, it was definitely too open of a game. I don’t know what Owen's [Coyle] view of the game was, but for us, I thought it was too open and too exposed at times.

"Both sides counter-attacked each other really well and it was just unfortunate that of all the counterattacks that happened in the game, we came out the wrong side of a 3-2 defeat. 

“There were a lot of positives in there, I thought both sides played really well; they were very sharp and came out the blocks really early. When the game settled down, I thought we played well.

"They were high intensity they were good, and they were down on top of us and it was good to see our boys moving the ball quickly – we play better when we do that. I’m sure it was entertaining, but we were disappointed to come out the wrong side of it.”

McLaughlin two changes to the side that defeated Glenavon last weekend as Fynn Talley came into replace Nathan Gartside and Rory Hale also returned from injury for his first appearance in three weeks. 

Queen's Park were ahead within three minutes at Solitude as they turned defence to attack in a flash and hit the front through a sweet finish from Grant Savoury. 

At the other end, Ryan Curran failed to hit the target from Jamie McDonagh’s neat cross, but they levelled on the 13th minute. 

Ronan Hale dropped in a corner and Colin Coates rose highest to glace past Callum Ferrie and make it 1-1. 

It settled the hosts down, but Queens Park restored their lead two minutes shy of the half-hour mark. 

The visitors quick transition was proving to hard to deal with and Scott Williamson was slipped through one-on-one and had the composure to finish past Fynn Talley and make it 2-1. 

The Scots almost extended their lead before the break, though Josh McPake fired wide from the edge of the area. 

Cliftonville upped the ante after the restart, Ronan Hale combined with Jamie McDonagh whose near-post effort was held by Ferrie. 

Rory Hale then tried his luck, but his shot was deflected behind for a corner and it was from the resulting set-piece that parity was restored. 

Hale played a low corner to younger brother Ronan who hooked the ball to Jonny Addis at the back post; Addis’ header was blocked, and Luke Turner failed to scramble the ball home before Addis sent a sweet strike high into the top corner to level for the second time. 

Just after the hour-mark Fynn Talley did well to turn a Josh McPake effort past the post at the expense of a corner as Queens Park sought the winner. 

The visitors increased the pressure and made it count on 71 minutes when Dominic Thomas thumped home- what would prove to be the winner- and send the small travelling support into raptures at Solitude. 

Cliftonville were unable to fightback for a third time as Queens Park booked their place in the fourth-round draw. 

CLIFTONVILLE: Talley, Lowe, Addis, Coates (C Curran 79’), Turner, Gallagher, Doherty, Rory Hale (Gormley 66’), McDonagh (Moore 74’), Ronan Hale, R Curran.

QUEEN'S PARK: Ferrie, Kilday, Thomson, McPake (Longridge 79’), Thomas (Moore 79’), Davidson (Naismith 87’), Williamson (Connolly 87’), Savoury, Boating, Akrobor-Boating (Bannon 60’), Eze. 

REFEREE: Lee Tavinder