By Stephen Halliday



dmg media (UK)


THE finishing line suddenly looks a whole lot closer for Queen’s Park as they home in on a remarkable return to top-flight football for the first time since 1958. Owen Coyle’s side had to overcome their own nerves and a vibrant Inverness team to secure a hugely significant victory which extends their lead at the top of the Championship to seven points with seven games left to play. Trailing at half-time to Daniel Mackay’s goal for the Scottish Cup semi-finalists, Queen’s Park had struggled to produce the stylish football which has earned them so much praise this season. Their response after the break was emphatic, sending an ominous message to the chasing pack as goals from Grant Savoury and Stephen Eze proved decisive. ‘We looked a wee bit edgy in the first half,’ said Coyle. ‘This is a young team who have never been at the summit of where they are before. ‘My message to them at halftime was to relax, remember they are a good team. They started playing as they can, they stepped up and showed belief and trust. It’s a wonderful three points.’ Mackay made the first-half breakthrough with a cool finish from distance but Inverness paid the price for sloppy defending after the break with both Savoury and Eze given too much time and space to head home from close range. ‘It’s a golden opportunity spurned for us,’ said Inverness boss Billy Dodds. ‘I thought we could get on the coat-tails of the other teams around the play-off places by winning today.’