ON the day that Queen’s Park went back to their spiritual home of the past, they treated a very decent 3231 crowd inside Hampden Park to a glimpse of a club with a bright future. Which was in stark contrast to the visiting Hamilton side, who have gone backwards at an alarming rate.

Their manager John Rankin has vowed to fight on though despite being ‘disgusted and embarrassed’ by the performance of his side as they shipped four goals in a torrid first half to slip two points behind Arbroath at the bottom of the Championship.

A sizeable chunk of the band of Hamilton supporters at the national stadium made their feelings plain, with several ejected from the ground as they bayed for the head of Rankin and registered their disgust at their players.

“I totally understand the fans,” Rankin said. “I’m not happy that we’re bottom of the league.

“We were soft, timid and so naive at times. I’m disgusted and embarrassed by it. So, I totally understand why they’re upset.

“But I’m not going to accept it. I’m going to fight, try to make us better and get us up the league.

“In football you never know what’s around the corner but I’ll never give up. I’ll fight, scrap and drag players with me. I want to take us forward and get off the foot of the table.

“We’re only two points behind, so one win changes everything.”

The contrasting trajectories of these two clubs was writ large across this contest, with Queen’s Park seeing off a bright start by Accies to move ahead through the first of two Grant Savoury goals.

From that moment on, there was only ever going to be one winner, and Owen Coyle’s men deserve huge credit for smelling blood and killing off their fragile opponents with a further three goals before the interval.

Simon Murray added a well-taken second after being played in brilliantly by the impressive Malachi Boateng, before Josh McPake strolled in from the left to slam home a third and Savoury added his second and his team’s fourth with almost embarrassing ease inside the Accies area.

For all that the Spiders do indeed deserve praise for their ruthless streak, there is no getting away from the fact that the feeble resistance of the Accies players made their task all the more straight-forward.

They simply collapsed, and the heated arguments between their players and the coaching staff after the third and fourth Queen’s Park goals proved far too little and way too late to make any meaningful difference to what could hardly be called much of a contest.

If only they had shown so much passion in defending their goal. The only positive they can glean from the day is that when youngsters were called from the bench, they managed to avoid any further damage in a non-event of a second half.

As for Queen’s Park, there are no such worries. They are just two points behind Ayr United at the top of the table, sitting in third.

The club distributed free tickets among local schools and gave away hats, scarves and flags to help entice a larger than usual crowd on their return to Hampden, but manager Coyle is hoping it is the performance of his team that might just tempt them to come back.

“It was a decent wee crowd and to come and play at an arena like this was special,” Coyle said.

“You think of the great players who have played here, and I didn’t want my players to get caught up in the occasion.

“Most of them haven't played here before so we brought them along on Friday to have a look round. We have been to Falkirk, Firhill and Ochilview but we got a lift being back here. It has worked out well and we enjoyed the way we went about it.

“I’m delighted with the result, but the performance was more important.

“We are trying to develop a way of playing while trying to remain on an upward trajectory.”