Dec 30 2012 By Gordon Waddell
Proud: Gardner Speirs hailed his players
QUEEN'S PARK boss Gardner Speirs last night refused to blame whistler Willie Collum for his side's narrow defeat to Rangers.
The Hampden amateurs lost a heartbreaking 92nd-minute winner to the league leaders after surviving the last 36 minutes without Jamie Brough.
The stopper was harshly handed a second yellow by Collum but Speirs said: “There were inconsistencies yet that’s not the reason we lost.
“I just want to focus on how brave my team were against a team with that kind of quality in it.
“We’d watched a lot of Rangers before this game. Most of the time the fact they’re full-time and keep the ball for so long ensures the opposition are out on their feet early.
“But I asked our lads to take the ball and they stayed in it for a long time.
“We defended by the skin of our teeth a couple of times and the keeper had some excellent saves but I’m delighted with how we played.”
With over 30,000 fans and three years’ worth of gate money coming in a 90-minute splurge, Spiers also acknowledged the game had gone a long way to setting his side up for the future.
The Spiders gaffer said: “It’s a huge positive for us – we’re about to be rehoused for the Commonwealth Games but the money from today will be reinvested in a fantastic new facility we’ll be left with afterwards.
“It will secure the next couple of generations for the club.”
That was of scant consolation to keeper Neil Parry, though, after Fraser Aird’s fantastic strike beat him in stoppage time.
After a superb second-half show he confessed: “It was a heartbreaker at the end. We played so well for 91 minutes and I’d had three or four saves in the second half I was really pleased with after a quiet first half.
“But Rangers will keep going to the whistle and when the goal did come it was through a ruck of legs and I just didn’t see it.”