After a seven-year absence, Queen’s Park returned to Ladbrokes League 1 this season after an impressive 2015-16 season where Gus MacPherson’s charges won promotion on the back of a steely defence and the goals of Partick Thistle loanee Chris Duggan.
But with the third-tier a big step up and Duggan exiting for East Fife, the question was ‘can Queen’s Park cope at this level?’. The signs so far suggest they certainly can.
The Spiders have remained tough to break down, with a 3-1 opening day defeat to Airdrieonians followed by a run which has seen the Glasgow outfit concede just three goals in four games – the league’s equal-lowest tally in that period.
And the away-day struggles which plagued Queen’s Park during their last season at this level in 2008-09 (taking just 14 points on the road) seem to be no issue this time out. They’ve already ended Brechin’s eight-game home winning streak in the League and battled back from behind to win at Stenhousemuir.
However, the Hampden Park outfit are struggling at the other end. Their four goals is the division’s equal fewest, with Aiden Malone’s deflected effort against Livingston their only goal in the last three league games – a run in which they’ve managed just six shots on target.
But there are signs that Queen’s can not only survive but excel in this division. Interestingly, that came in the Challenge Cup, as MacPherson’s men produced a solid, counter-attacking performance that caught their more illustrious opponents – Greenock Morton – cold.
If they can adopt that style against League 1’s most technically gifted sides like Alloa Athletic and Livingston, and continue to grind out results against workmanlike teams such as Stenhousemuir, there’s every reason to believe the Glorious Hoops can quickly rise up the table.
With Queen’s Park already settling in (fairly) nicely in the third-tier, the 33/1 for them to lift the Ladbrokes League 1 title this season could give punters a great run for their money.
They’re next in action against Alloa at Hampden Park, with 27/10 for the hosts to taste victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing