Craig (16, 42)
Report: Scott Lewis
Celtic failed to take advantage of title rivals Hibernian’s draw, as they, too, dropped points for only the second time this season.
The visitors started quick and had the Hoops on the back foot from the whistle.
A shot from their number 8 early on tested Kerr, but only 4 minutes into the game they made a breakthrough as their 9 received the ball inside the box, turned the Celtic centre backs well, before slotting home into the far bottom corner.
This sparked a reaction from the hosts as they started to press on and dominate the game more. It only took them until the 16th minute to be able to find a reply. Emma Craig received the ball into her feet 25 yards out from goal and she rocketed the ball off the crossbar and into the goal to spectacularly equalise.
From then on Celtic continued to press to put themselves ahead, creating some great opportunities to do so, particularly from a quick counter attack from a Queens Park Corner. Chloe Warrington won the ball on the edge of her own area and used her pace to get past the remaining Queens Park defence as she drove to the edge of the opposite box, she then squared it to McAllister who tried to pick out the bottom right hand corner but the keeper produced a great save.
The consistent pressure paid off for the hosts just before the break, when Conner put a brilliant cross into the box that looped over the Queens Park keeper to Craig at the back post to tap in. The keeper did well to recover and managed to get a hand to the attacker’s effort but it was not enough to prevent her getting her second of the game.
Queen’s Park’s number 9 continued to pose a strong threat to the hosts and nearly equalised with an effort almost identical to her first goal, but this time Kerr made the save. It was Celtic who thought that they had scored again however, as Rebecca McAllister had her effort saved with the rebound falling to Bell who slotted home but was judged to have been offside.
Celtic started the second half well looking to continue to dominate and were continuing to threat, especially through Rachel Conner who came close on a number of occasions to adding to the side’s lead.
20 minutes into the half, Queens Park won a free kick just over the half way line and their number 7 put a delivery into the box that looked to run through to Kerr in goal to collect. The keeper was not able to hold onto the ball, fumbling it into the path of the onrushing Queens Park player who found the roof of the net to equalise for the away side.
Celtic had a great opportunity to reclaim their lead only 5 minutes later when great link up play down the left for Celtic allowed Conner to have space in the box, only 12 yards out but a wonder save from the visitors keeper denied her.
Celtic became increasingly desperate in their play and a change in the style of their play was noticeable. This allowed Queens Park to come into the game as well and equally push for a late winner. Nothing for either side was really coming off with the final pass or shot not quite being there. Celtic had a number of efforts from distance go high in wide in the closing minutes as they looked to try to seal the three points, but the visitors defence remained strong and the game finished all square.
Manager Michael Tuohy reflected after the game, “While today I don’t think we showed our best performance today, I think we had enough chances to win the game. Credit to Queen’s Park, at this level you’ve got to be clinical and they showed that. We’re disappointed but we’ll make sure that we respond in a positive way to progress in the coming weeks.”
CELTIC XI: KERR, TOOLAN, WATSON, P. McALLISTER, WARRINGTON, SHEARER, HENDERSON, CONNER, R. McALLISTER, CRAIG, BELL.
SUBS: MOLLEY, O’BRIEN, MENZIES.