St Johnstone got back to winning ways with a comfortable win against Queen’s Park in their first game back at McDiarmid Park. Rebecca McGowan scored either side of Ellie Cowie’s lob to secure a deserved 3-0 victory for the Perth Saints.
Queen’s began brightly though and were arguably the better team in the opening quarter of an hour, passing up a few chances. Sophie McGoldrick was first to try her luck with keeper Molly Reeve making a save low to her right. Both Mhairi Crooks and Hollie McLeod then got their head on the end of crosses, but their headers failed to find the target.
Both McGowan and Morgan Steedman were influential in the St Johnstone play and came close to opening the scoring, Steedman volleyed wide from the edge of the area, then McGowan came out on top in two tackles before seeing her effort held.
Those two were involved again as the Saints took the lead five minutes before half time. Steedman showed great skill to flick the ball around Ho Wan Tung before seeing two efforts blocked by Katie Andrews, but McGowan was on hand to return the ball into the empty net.
St Johnstone added a second on the stroke of half time and despite the defensive error to give the ball away, the finish from Cowie was sublime. She was alert to win back the ball and as it sat up for the forward, she sent an inch perfect lob over Andrews into the corner.
The visitors knew that an early goal in the second half would help in their quest to get back into the game, but instead it was St Johnstone who got the third goal, just 39 seconds after the restart. A quick cross from Hannah Clark found Steedman who managed to square for McGowan who couldn’t miss from ten yards.
Jason McCrindle’s side continued to press, Rachel Todd seeing her effort tipped onto the bar with Cowie then firing past twice either side of the hour mark, as they played with a sense of confidence.
Opportunities were few and far between for Queen’s Park but they did come close to grabbing a consolation after Louisa Boyes picked out Mhairi Crooks in the middle, but the forward saw her effort come crashing off the bar.
Nicola Jameison headed wide when left unmarked at the back post with sub Abbie Ferguson then unable to divert her shot into the corner as St Johnstone ended on top, but there were no more goals as the home side ran out easy winners.
St Johnstone: Reeve; Tweedie, Wight, Jameison, Clark; MacLean, Todd; Carter, McGowan, Cowie (Ferguson, 86); Steedman (Newbigging, 81)
Queen’s Park: Andrews; McLeod (Shearer, 59), Coleman (Cameron, 59)(MacDonald, 73), Ray, Tung (Kerr, 66); Fulton, Docherty, Boyes; Fyfe, Crooks, McGoldrick (McManus, 46)