Match Reports 2006/7

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Sat 28th Apr
Queens 0 Airdrie Utd
After retaining our first division status last weekend up at Perth,despite the 3-0 defeat I was expecting a good display for our final home match against Airdrie Utd who needed a result to ensure they finished above Ross County and avoided the automatic drop down to division 2. Then during the week it was announced that both Ian McCall and Gordon Chisholm would be leaving the club after the final game. McCall felt it was time to move on but although he has kept us in this division for the last two seasons he has hardly set the heather on fire so I for one was not too bothered by his departure. I have every faith in our chairman Davie Rae and the board of directors and Im sure they will get a quality replacement in at the club in plenty of time to prepare for next season.
As for todays game. Well while having a pint with gogs beforehand we were discussing how the team may line up and what changes might be made. We fully realised the importance of this game to both Ross County and todays visitors Airdrie Utd and we fully expected a familiar starting line-up with maybe a couple of changes but nothing drastic.
How shocked was I when the team reverted  to the three at the back model which had been so unsuccessful in the earlier part of the season. Jamie MacDonald had in front of him a back three who had not played together in that role all season. Our player of the year Neil Scally was in the middle of Jim Thomson and a returning to fitness Andy Aitken. Eric Paton and Jamie McQuilken were wing backs with Jamie Adams and Stevie "still not 100% fit Tosh" in the middle. McCall then played Stephen Dobbie just in behind a front pairing of Graham Weir and Sean O'Connor. On the bench we had Lauchlan,Murray,O'Neill and Hyslop.
The game started in bright sunshine but with a strong breeze  which could be seen by the way the masses of Airdrie flags on the Terregles St end were blowing around. The visitors brought a large and noisy following of nearly 1000 fans with them today and they were right behind their team from start to finish. Queens started brightly and after just a minute Dobbie made himself some space and unleashed a fine shot which beat the Airdrie keeper but came back off the post. That was as good as it got and as near as we came to scoring all game. We did have the best of the early possession but the visitors took the lead after 10 minutes when Taylor finished off a free kick from McKenna. After 20 minutes the visitors doubled their lead when  Ian Harty was first to the ball to knock it into the net. It was now looking good for Airdrie as Queens hardly threatened. It was just like a year previous in our last home match against Dundee and in the end it was the same 3-0 scoreline when in the second half a free kick after an hour was hit home by Paul Lovering. Queens had reverted to a 4-4-2 formation at the break when Lauchlan and Murray replaced Tosh and Aitken but it made no difference as the damage had been done by then.
Adams,Tosh,McQuilken and Murray had all seen yellow cards before Jim Lauchlan received a straight red for an elbow on Twigg near the end. By the time the final whistle had been blown a great number of fans had alraedy seen enough and headed for home. The players came back out to aknowledge the supporters but it was all a bit flat and most of us were just glad the season was over and we were still in the first division.
I cant say I am too sorry to see Ian McCall depart but I would really like to know his reasons with regards to his team selection and line up today. I dont think it done Ross County any favours at all. In the end it did not matter as Gretna won at Dingwall and lifted the championship and Airdrie Utd now have to face Brechin City in the first play off match on Wed night.

Sat 21st Apr
St.Johnstone 3 Queens 0

It was an early start for most Queens fans as we set out on the journey to Perth. Talk on the New Bazaar Doonhamers bus was all about the different combination of results over the last two games and what effect it would have on both the three teams at the bottom and the two at the top. We headed to the village of Abernethy for our pre match refreshments at the Crees Inn.Its a lovely pub with a good selection of real ales. After lunch and a few beers we were back on the bus for the short journey down to McDermid Park. As we neared the ground it was obvious that there was going to be a decent turnout today. The official crowd was given as 4168 with a travelling support of 403.

Queens started with Andy Barrowman and Stevie Tosh in the midfield and in the opening twenty minutes we played some nice football and never allowed the home side to get a grip on the game. We came very close to grabbing the opening goal when Dobbies shot was headed off the line. It looked like we would head in at half time level but in 40 mins Saints scored from a corner on the left when Jamie MacDonald made a rare mistake in not catching or punshing the ball clear and it fell to Andy Lawrie to head home. 1-0 to Saints at the interval. Everybody was keeping a close eye on the scoreboard at the corner of the ground to see what was happening at Gretna,Airdrie and Livingston.

The second half belonged to the home side but might have been different if the referree had given Jason Scotland a red card when he appeared to lunge a kick at Jamie Adams. It was then a bit farcical as the ref booked 5 players ! Saints were now on top and it was no surprise when they made it 2-0. This time Mensing was unmarked to head a corner kick past MacDonald. It was now just a matter of waiting on news from the other games and at this time with Airdrie and Ross County only drawing we were safe. Saints got a third when McLaren was put clean through on goal and he made no mistake. Game over. We were then anxoius for news elsewhere. The good news came through that Airdrie had failed to beat Partick so therefore could not finish above us even if we lose to them next week. It was now all about County and it was at 16.57 that the score came through on Skysports that they had only drawn at Livingston. We were safe and everbody made their way back to the buses in good spirits despite the 3-0 defeat. St.Johnstone now need to win at Hamilton next Saturday and hope that County beat Gretna up at Dingwall for them to return to the SPL.

Tues 3rd March
Queens 1 Hamilton 1
Hamilton Accies made the short trip down the A74 for this midweek league fixture. The previous three games this season had all ended in scoring draws and as I made my way to Palmerston on a clear Spring evening I felt that this latest encounter might well end up the same. It was third top against third bottom and an unchanged Queens line up from the one that picked up 3 points at Broadwood on Saturday took to the field in front of a 1650  crowd which included a couple of hundred visiting fans.
Queens opened brightly attacking the Terregles Street end and both Dobbie and strike partner O'Connor linked up well in the early stages as Dobbie had an effort held by Accies keeper Murdoch then big Sean found space down the right but his ball across the box was too deep and there were no takers. The home side were then shocked as the visitors took the lead in what was their first attack. A through ball seemed to be missed by Jim Lauchlan and it ent right through to ex Gretna striker Brian Wake and he had the easy task of slipping the ball past Jamie MacDonald giving the young Queens keeper no chance. My worry was that Hamilton would now just sit back and defend their lead as they certainly aint the most adventurous side in the Division but Queens kept the heads up and a couple of minutes later good play by Stevie Murray on the left saw the ball arrive at the feet of Stevie Tosh 25yds out and his powerful shot was well held by the keeper.
Hamilton were awarded a number of free kicks in the first half just outside the box , the first was awarded for a foul by Jim Thomson on McLeod but the ball went over the top and from the next one it was cleared by Eric Paton. On the quarter hour mark Queens had a great chance to level when Dobbie latched onto a long ball over the Accies defence but decided to have a shot which hit the keeper when a better option was a ball to an unmarked O'Connor inside him.
Queens then put a little period of pressure onto the Accies defenders and a leveller arrived just after the 20 minute mark when a Paton cross from the right was met by the head of Sean O'Connor and his looping header went over Murdoch and into the net.
It was then the visitors who put some pressure on Queens but without ever really troubling Jamie MacDonald. As half time neared big Jim Thomson got upfield and his header from a Murray free kick was held by the keeper. The ball then nearly ended up in the Queens net but Eric Paton cleared the ball off the line and the follow up shot was well held by Jamie MacDonald. The first half ended at 1-1 but the visitors certainly had quite a lot of the play and deserved to be level. Big Sean was immense in the first half but I thought that Dobbie was quiet and Stevie Tosh is certainly not 100% fit.
Queens made no changes at half time and were soon on the attack towards the Portland Road end of the ground. A corner from Paton skimmed across the goal with no takers after 49 mins then a minute later Sean O'Connor was taken off and replaced by John O'Neill. It was later reported that there is no serious injury with Sean and he was taken off just as a precaution. Following the change Andy Barrowman moved up front to partner Dobbie and it was Dobbie who had the next chance when he turned well just inside the box but his shot was so high it nearly went over the covered terracing. A good long ball out of defence by Paton was picked up by Stevie Murray who controlled it well but again like Dobbie he shot well over the top. This was followed by a nice cutback from Dobbie but the ball missed both Murray and Barrowman. On the hour mark Billy Reid brought on Gilhaney in place of McLeod and as Accies became more physical it was no surprise to see Marvyn Wilson get the games first yellow card. Wake should have had one earlier for diving in the box and Alex Neil should also have been booked for tugging at shirts and niggly tackles. With less than 15 mins to go Ian McCall swapped Dobbie for Weir. The ex Hearts man gave 100% in the time he was on the pitch and following some good work from Weiro the ball was picked up by Jonjo O'Neill but as he ran into the box the ball bobbled away from him and the chance was gone. Paul Burns then replaced a tired looking Stevie Tosh after 77 minutes just after Elebert picked up another booking for Hamilton. As the game went into the closing stages Queens looked the more likely winners with Weir and O'Neill looking lively.It looked like a winning goal all the way when Jonjo rose to head goalwards but Murdoch made a top notch save to deny the Queens midfielder.The final whistle went and in the end a draw was a fair result and Queens moved upto 7th in the table above Partick on goal difference. This is our highest league position of the season. In the other relegation battle tonight Ross County beat Partick 2-1 up at Dingwall to close to within 4 points of Queens. A massive game is in store at Firhill on Saturday as Queens are the visitors. A victory for the South then would surely see us safe for another season of Div 1 football. I will have to miss this game as I am away out to France snowboarding for the next two weeks and will also miss the Livingston game at Palmerston. I will be making sure I can get the laptop connected to the internet during these two games but if I cant get a connection I might be pestering some of you with a phonecall or two from the Alps !!!
Hope we get the points required for safety before I return so thet the last two games against St.Johnstone and Airdrie can be party time.
MUSKY.
P.S. Ian, get Jamie MacDonald signed up for us for next season.....it makes sense both for the lad and Queen of the South Football Club.
 

Sat 31st Mar
Clyde 0 Queens 1
After last Sunday at Palmerston I was not in the most positive frame of mind as I boarded the bus for Broadwood on a bright and sunny Saturday morning.  With the midweek news that Jamie Adams was out and Eric Paton was doubtful and along with Tosh and Aitken not being 100% fit it seemed we would be well up against it for the latest clash with the Bully Wee.
But as we got of the bus at the Smiddy in at Balloch I started to feel a bit more positive. The pub laid on a fine spread for their visitors and after watching the mundane SPL match between Dundee Utd and Celtic on Setanta it was time to get back on the coach for the short drive back round to Broadwood stadium.
There was a good turnout of visiting fans as we made our way round to the turnstiles, where I was just in time to get one of the last matchday magazines which were on sale.
It was then up into the main stand where we were allocated the end section just along from the minimal and very quiet home support. Today, as in the last couple of away games I had a seat  next to the Parents of our excellent young keeper Jamie MacDonald. This was a good omen as everytime I have sat with Jamies Mum & Dad he has kept a clean sheet and we have got all three points.
Queens kicked off  with a familiar back four of Paton,Thomson,Lauchlan and McQuilkan in front of on loan Hearts keeper Jmie MacDonald. In midfield we had a surprise when Andy Barrowman was included alongside a not 100% fit Stevie Tosh,Neil Scally and Stevie Murray. Up front we had the reliable Dobbie and big Sean.
The official attendance was around 1200 with only 230 odd Queens fans but Im certain that was wrong as there was a  far bigger turnout from Dumfries than that.
Queens started well and were looking to take the game to Clyde and  had a few forward moves early on which came to nothing. The first real chance came from a Stevie Murray free kick after Dobbie had been tripped at the edge of the box but his effort was low and wide. O'Connor then had the ball in the net following good work from Dobbie but the flag was up for off-side. Then after 24 mins a free kick from Masterton rebounded of the crossbar as Clyde went close to taking the lead.
News then came through that Ross County were a goal down to Hamilton  before  good work from Stevie Murray  saw Dobbie cut inside  before firing a shot just over. Arbuckle, whom I thought was excellent last Sunday then went close for Clyde when his effort went just wide . Then after 39 minutes Jim Thomson got onto the end of an Eric Paton corner from the left but his header was well held on the line by the Clyde keeper. The whistle went for the end of the first 45 mins with Queens getting more and more into the game and having never looked really troubled at the back.So we had  now went 135 mins without a goal between the sides, would that change in the second 45 minutes, time would tell !
There were no changes at the interval but Clyde nearly broke the deadlock when an effort from 35 yds was well saved by Jamie MacDonald.  Higgins then headed over for Clyde before O'Connor had a half chance for Queens but his effort was held by Hutton. Then Andy Barrowman had a curling shot saved by Hutton for a corner before the deadlock was broken. Dobbie appeared to be tripped in the box and the Ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The striker then stepped up to take the kick and give his side a one goal lead. Immediately after the goal  Queens were lucky not to concede when Mastertons effort was well tipped over by MacDonald.
After 73 mins Stevie Murray went on a run and as he was bundelled down in the box it looked like penalty No 2 for Queens but this time the Ref did not give it.
Joe Miller then brought on Williams and Ferguson for Arbuckle and MacLennon as he pushed to preserve their own unbeaten run of 7 games.  Clyde were not putting the Queens defence under a great deal of pressure and all they really managed was a long range shot which MacDonald safely parried away. Ian McCall then brought on John O'Neill for Stevie Murray  with 7 minutes left to play but it was Clyde who came close to a leveller when a header from Fergusson was touched onto the bar by MacDonald . Clyde then went close again from a corner  before Graham Weir replaced Stephen Dobbie with 5 mins remaining. Jim Lauchlan then made a block for a corner before Clyde had a shot from 25yds well over the top. The referee then blew for full time much to the delight of the travelling support who had seen a hard working display from Queens. There were some decent performances today and special mention should go to Jamie McQuilken, Andy Barrowman and the consistant as usual pair of Jim Thomson and Neil Scally but Muskys man of the match goes to our keeper Jamie MacDonald who made the saves required at the right time. Class.
 
 
 

Sun 25th Mar
Queens 0 Clyde 0
It was a warm,Springlike afternoon as I made my way to Palmerston for the clash of the two in-form sides in Division 1. Queens were looking to stretch their unbeaten league run to 8 matches in what was the first of the two back to back matches against Clyde. Joe Millers side have been playing well recently,they are a good footballing side who like to play the ball on the deck and would be a stiff test for Queens where 3 points would go a long way towards securing our first division status for next season. Although it was a bright sunny day there was a fairly strong breeze blowing and this had quite an impact on the game.
Queens brought Jim Lauchlan back into the centre of defence after his recovery from injury which kept him out of the team last week. He partnered Jim Thomson in a back four along with Jamie McQuilken and Eric Paton. The midfield was Murray on the left,O'Neil on the right with Scally and Adams, who was sporting a new haircut in the centre. Up front we had O'Connor and Dobbie. Stevie Tosh took a seat in the stand as the bench was filled by BJ.Corr,Paul Burns,Graham Weir and Andy Barrowman.
There was a decent crowd of 2109 of which Clyde contributed a healthy 300 or so.
Queens kicked of towards the Terregles Street end in bright sunshine but after a few minutes it was obvious that the wind was going to have a big part to play in this game and it was in Clydes favour in the first period. Queens started brightly enough but it was not long before the Bully Wee got a hold of the game and after 3 minutes a long ball forward saw the ball bounce back of a Queens defenders leg and in trying to clear our lines we gave a way a free kick in a dangerous area just outside the box. Mastertons shot was blocked for a corner which resulted in a free kick to Queens for pushing by Imrie. Queens then had a nice move and after good work from Dobbie he got the ball into the box but Jonjo O'Neills header was over the top. Clyde then had another free kick from Masterton blocked by the Queens defence before they then won a corner which was headed out by Paton for another one. This time Paton did not make a great clearance and the ball spun up into the air dangerously in the box before eventually being cleared. The Queens back four looked very uneasy and after 9 minutes Lauchlan gave the ball away and Bryson picked it up and his looping shot went over MacDonald and crashed of the bar before being cleared. The strong wind was making things very difficult for the defenders and it seemed it would only be a matter of time before a goal arrived.
On the 15 minute mark Sean O'Connor picked up the ball, turned well and ran at the Clyde defence. He beat two players but the ball was just too far in front of him as he approached the keeper and David Hutton got out to clear the danger. Clde continued to look the more likely side and a miskicked clearance from Jim Thomson gave Clyde yet another corner but this time the ball landed on the roof of the net. Lauchlan then gave the ball away again but this time the Clyde striker shot straight at Jamie MacDonald in the Queens goal.
The first booking of the game was for Jamie McQuilken when he tripped Bryson just inside the Queens half. Referee Willie Collum seemed to be stopping the game far to often and then letting play go on when there had been an infringement. This was certainly another poor refereeing performance of which we have seen far too many this season. The rest of the half had very little in the way of goal mouth incidents although O'Connor had a header from a Paton cross which went past Huttons post without troubling the Clyde keeper. The whistle went for the end of the first half which had been a mostly scrappy affair but Clyde were certainly the more dominant side in a game where the Queens back 4 looked nervy and lacking confidence and were certainly struggling to cope with the strong wind. The clyde team did not allow Queens to settle on the ball and pressed well when not in possession and were full of running when they had the ball, especially the hard working Arbuckle.
The half time score from Firhill saw Airdrie a goal up on Partick so it was important that we took something from this match. The players came back onto the field with no changes to either lineup. Queens now had the advantage of the wind as they attacked the Portland Road end in the second half and they were soon putting Clyde under pressure. After 47 minutes a corner from Scally was played low into the box but it was blocked by the Clyde defence before Queens had a penalty claim turned down as O'Connor was shoved by Craig McKeown. From where I was sitting in the main stand it would have been a very soft one if it had been given and the ref probably got it right on this occasion. This was followed by turmoil in the Clyde box as they failed to clear the ball and when it broke to Dobbie his powerful shot was not far wide. Sean O'Connor then beat two defenders and was clear in on the keeper but he shot straight at Hutton when Dobbie was unmarked in the middle awaiting a pass and the chance of an easy finish ! Queens continued to put on the pressure and a poor kick out from the Clyde keeper was picked up by John O'Neill who fed the ball wide to Stevie Murray who made a good run before putting in an excellent cross into the box which was met by the head of O'Connor but his header was cleared off the line by Imrie. Clydes defence eventually got a breather and they worked the ball forward to Bryson who went down as he ran across the edge of the box, but when he got up the referee gave him a yellow card for diving.
After 55 minutes Jim Thomson got onto the end of a free kick from Neil Scally and his header was deflected for a corner. Dobbie then tried his luck with a shot from 30 yards out which went over the top. On the hour mark a long ball out of defence saw it come down towards the head of O'Connor mid way inside the Clyde half and as the Queens man jumped for the ball he was clattered from behind by Masterton. It looked a serious head knock and big Sean fell flat on the ground with the Clyde man just behind him. The stretcher came on but after a few minutes and being checked out by the Doctor he was able to play on. After 65 minutes Stephen Dobbie went off to be replaced by last weeks goal hero Andy Barrowman. A minute later John O'Neil saw his name go into the refs book for a foul out on the left. Queens were well on top by this stage and soon after coming on Barrowman should have played O'Connor through but he lost possession and then a deep free kick to the back post was headed back by O'Neil before the Clyde defence cleared. Jamie Adams then saw a yellow card for a tackle before Clyde replaced Andy Ferguson with former Queens player Alex Williams.
After 73 minutes a good run from Adams into the box saw the midfielder cut the ball back for O'Neil but his shot was blocked before Scally followed up with a shot over the top. Paul Burns then came on to replace John O'Neil after 75 minutes had been played before a neat move from Clyde saw the ball go just wide of MacDonalds post, although it would not have counted as the linesmans flag was raised. As we went into the final 10 minutes a n effort from Adams went over the top  before Clyde had a couple of late corners which were eventually cleared away by a much more confident Queens defence in the second half. In the 89th minute Paul Burns made some space down the right and he put in a decent ball which Barrowman nearly latched on to before the ball was deflected for a corner. The final whistle went and as the players left the field Lord Palmerston announced that Sean O'Connor had won the sponsors man of the match award which he richly desreved for a very hard working and determined performance.
In the end a point was probably a fair result over 90 minutes but Queens certainly had a few chances to take all 3 points, especially in the second half. It was a tough battle today  and the players now have less than a week to regroup before the two teams meet again next Saturday at Ice Station Broadwood.
 
 
.
 

Sat17th Mar
Queens 2 Dundee 2
On a cold,wet and windy afternoon Queens took to the pitch at Palmerston looking to keep their unbeaten run going and to get more points in the bag to pull away from the bottom of the league. Dundee had not completely given up hope of catching Gretna and making a return to the SPL but a 13 point gap looked to be too much with only 7 games remaining.
Queens pretty much lined up as expected with Murray Henderson taking over at the back beside Jim Thomson following Jim Laughlins groin strain last week against County. There was no place for Graham Weir in the starting eleven or on the bench as he had injured himself in the pre match warm up. Andy Aitken was back on the bench following his recovery from the knee injury he sustained over in Ireland against Coleraine in the pre-season friendly. Also on the bench were Stevie Tosh,Andy Barrowman,Scott Robertson and Barry John Corr. Dundee were without strikers Bryan Deasley and Del Lyle but had brought in giant Dutchman Dyron Daal on loan from Aberdeen. Our last league defeat was up at Dens park against the Dees back in January so Queens were out for a bit of revenge in front of a crowd which was just under 2000.
Queens kicked of attacking the Terregles Street end in a now familiar 4-4-2 formation but it was the visitors who looked to grab hold of the game early on and after just 3 minutes a shot from the excellent and influential Paul McHale forced a save from Jamie MacDonald. In the first 10 minutes Queens could not get a hold of the ball and just didnt settle. Dundee winger Gavin Swankie then had a turn and shot which went wide before Queens won the ball with a fine tackle from John O'Neil who played the ball to Jamie Adams. It looked like Adams might shoot as he drove towards the box but he then played the ball out left to Stevie Murray whose low shot beat Ludovic Roy and flew into the net after 13 minutes. A brilliant move by Queens and an excellent finish from the little winger. A minute later and it could have been 2-0 to Queens as Sean O'Connor  was through on goal but his effort was saved by Roy at the expense of a corner. Chances were few and far between but on the half hour mark Eric Paton picked up the ball midway inside the Dundee half, moved forward and fired a shot just wide of the left hand post.
Dundee then levelled the match at 1-1 when Murray Henderson misjudged a ball forward and it was picked up by big Dutchman Daal and he fired a powerful shot past Jamie MacDonald from outside the box. This goal seemed to lift Dundee and they then took the game to Queens. Jamie MacDonald made another fine stop then a shot from full back Dixon went just wide before Dundees Scot Robertson had an effort that also went wide. Queens had one more chance to get back in front before the break but after a good ball forward from Stevie Murray big Seans effort went wide. There was a bit of panic in the Queens defence as half time approached when Swankies cross was blocked for a corner before the ball was cleared. Referee Alan Muir, who had a decent game produced the first yellow card of the game after 44 minutes when he booked Jay Shields for a tackle on Stevie Murray.
The second half started with no changes in the line-ups but it was still Dundee who looked the more likely to score and a shot from Kevin McDonald went high and wide after 47 minutes. A neat flick from Stephen Dobbie, who was having a quiet game by his standards found Sean O'Connor but the ball deflected for a corner from which a Dobbie shot was held by Ludo Roy. Disaster struck for Queens after 56 minutes when Murray Henderson lost the ball and Dundee striker Bob Davidson picked it up and shot past Jamie MacDonald to put his side 2-1 up much to the delight of the 80 or so travelling fans. The Dees were now dominating the match and obviously Ian McCall could see this and he decided to make a triple change after 65 minutes. On came Andy Aitken for his first game of the season as he replaced Murray Henderson who had contributed towards both Dundee goals. Stevie Tosh replaced John O'Neil and Andy Barrowman came on for Stephen Dobbie. Queens then began to push forward in search of an equaliser but the Dundee defence was well organised and solid and Ludo Roy was never being put under any real pressure. After 87 minutes O'Connor looked like he must level but his header from a Tosh cross was over the top and just as it looked like we were going to come to the end of our recent good run we got a last gasp leveller. Stevie Murrays cross into the box was met by Andy Barrowman and his header crept in at the post. There were calls for a penalty well into added on time when O'Connor was knocked in the box but it would have been a harsh decision and a bit harsh on Dundee if they had went back to Tayside with nothing.
As I got back to the car it was pleasing to find that we had lost no ground on the other teams around us at the bottom of the league. Airdrie lost at home to St.Johnstone while Particks defeat at home to Hamilton pulls them down into the relegation mix. County only managed a point at home to Clyde so all in all it was not a bad day. We can certainly play much better than we did today and next Sunday we will have to be at our best to take anything from Joe Millers high flying Clyde. Positives today were the return to the team of Andy Aitken who looked as though he had never been away and a first goal for the hard working Andy Barrowman.
 

Sat 10th Mar
Queens 2 Ross.C 0
When the highlanders made their last visit to Palmerston in early November they were sitting in 8th place with 13 points while we were rooted at the foot of the table with just 5 points to our name. A crowd of just 1497 turned up that afternoon to see us get our second league win of the season following a 2-0 win over Livi the previous week. That afternoon goals from Weir and O'Neill saw us close the gap to 5 points. A lot has changed since then although, the bottom 3 sides have been ourselves,County and Airdrie Utd all season. Since the turn of the year Ian McCall has brought in a few quality players and the results along with the performances have improved greatly. County got a decent point at home against St.Johnstone last Saturday while we were demolishing Gretna down at Raydale. Since then we have picked up another 3 points in the cracking game against Saintees on Tuesday night. So the Staggies arrived down at Palmerston yesterday sitting 2 points behind Queens in the table meaning this was a vital match for both teams. With a run of 4 home league games in a row I was not expecting a huge turnout for todays game but it was a pleasant surprise to see the attendance was a healthy 2479 which included 38 County fans if my counting was accurate. That meant there were almost 1000 more through the turnstiles than in the November fixture.
It was no surprise to see Queens announce an unchanged squad and starting line up to the games against the village people and Saints. The team has been playing so well,scoring goals and keeping clean sheets at the back and looking assured and confident throughout that it would have been a mistake to tamper with it. Queens started well and pushed forward towards the County goal from the off. Our on fire striker Stephen Dobbie was first to have a go when he shot at goal after 2 minutes but Italian keeper Matieo Tomei had an easy save to make. We did not have to wait long for the opening goal though, only 5 minutes were on the clock when good build up play from Scally and Paton saw the ball played to Sean O'Connor whose neat pass found John O'Neill with a little bit of space on the right hand edge of the box, he took a touch, moved forward and unleashed a low powerfull shot to the keepers right which ended up tucked into the back of the net. This was just the start we were after and Queens continued to do the pressing and due reward and goal number two arrived after just 12 minutes when Eric Patons free kick was knocked back across the six yard box by John O'Neill and there was Jamie Adams with an easy knock in for his third goal in a Queens jersey following strikes against Cowdenbeath and Hamilton.
It looked like the floodgates might open and Queens could run up a cricket score but this failed to happen as County to their credit did not fold. Instead the dug in and started to take the play to Queens. After two hard games in a week it could be expected that Queens might take the foot of the gas, and we now had the comfort of a two goal cushion.But after 20 mins Queens nearly went 3 up when a free kick from Stevie Murray was met with an Adams header but the County keeper made a fine save putting the ball past for a corner. Wee "Ruby" Murray then picked up the first yellow card of the game a minute later for a late challenge. County had plenty of the ball but had no cutting edge and Jamie MacDonald was having a quiet time in the Queens goal. The only other effort of any note that I can recall before the interval was a shot by Dobbie but it was well wide of the right hand post.
County brought on Derek Adams and on loan Celt Michael Gardyne for the second half in an attempt to add more firepower up front and they nearly pulled a goal back soon after when Jim Laughlin made a rare mistake just outside the box and the ball fell for Sean Higgins but fortunately his shot was well saved by young Jamie MacDonald who had to make another stop a minute later when he held a shot on the turn from Gardyne. Big Jim Laughlin was then replaced after 48 minutes when he appeared to be suffering from a hamstring injury. Murray Henderson slotted in at the back alongside Jim Thomson and played well for the remainder of the game. After 53 minutes Ian McCall decided to make a change when he replaced Dobbie with Barrowman. The striker was only on the park a few minutes when he picked up a yellow card and not to be out done Jamie Adams got one a minute later. Adams then had a good chance to play Barrowman through but his poor ball when in space saw the move break down. County were now doing all the pressing but with nothing to show for it. Stevie Tosh then came on for Sean O'Connor with 25 minutes to go resulting in Andy Barrowman being the loan frontman for the remainder of the game. In 69 minutes County got a free kick for a handball but the shot was blocked by the outstanding Neil Scally.
In 72 minutes a neat move involving Tosh and Barrowman saw the ball end up with Stevie Murray but his run towards the box was halted by a strong challenge from a County defender. The free kick was in Eric Patons range and he forced a decent save from Tomei, the ball came back out to Paton but his shot went well over the top. Shortly afterwards Gardyne was robbed of the ball by Eric Paton  who played a nice ball to Andy Barrowman but as he set out on his run he was hauled down by Sean Webb who earned a yellow card for his efforts. The game began to fizzle out but from a Paton free kick Adams poked a shot just wide before Kevin McKinlay picked up another booking for County for a foul out on the right hand side. The final whistle then went and Queens had recorded a 4th straight league win on the bounce,scoring 9 goals and conceding none. Big Jim Thomson was given the sponsors man of the match award and I could not argue with that although Scally and Jonjo were not far behind. Lets hope Jim Laughlins groin strain is not serious but at least Murray Henderson got a decent runout and with Paul Burns now back in contention for selection and Andy Aitken not far away from fitness we are looking in decent shape as a squad for the difficult games ahead. We have another two home games on the way, the first of which will see Dundee visit Palmerston next Saturday in what will be another very difficult game but Im confident that the way our defence is playing just now that we can keep Del Lyle and the Dees forwards quiet.
Airdrie had an important win over Livingston and are now above County on goal difference,both of them 5 points behind Queens. Both Livi and Partick are now well within our sites. If the team keeps performing a mid table finish looks well within our grasp.

Tues 6th Mar
Queens 1 St.Johnstone 0
What a night of action at Palmerston. Following the great result and performance at Gretna on Saturday we were treated to another fine display from a Queens team in top form at present.In the main stand tonight were quite a few Gretna players and officials and they must have been impressed by the performance of Dumfries and Galloways number one team.
There was a crowd of just under 1800 and I was amazed at just how well the pitch looked and how green it was following all the recent rain. Queens lined up exactly as on Saturday with the same players also on the bench. Saints were almost the same line up as in their 1-1 draw at Dingwall.
The match started with Saints pushing forward and looking eager to make an early mark on the game. After just 3 mins ex Airdrie winger Willie McLaren got space down the right side and fired the ball across where Peter McDonald got in a header which was well saved by young Jamie MacDonald in the Queens goal. This was the first of many saves tonight including a few exeptional ones.
Queens first effort arrived in 7 minutes when Stevie Murrays free kick was knocked back out by O'Connor and Paton flashed a shot just wide.The lively Paul Sheerin then shot over for the visitors before ex Saints striker Stephen Dobbie picked up the ball just outside the box and let fly with a low shot which went just wide of the left hand post. Simon Mensing then had a turn and shot which the Queens keeper did not hold but the ball was cleared. It was end to end stuff and next up was Jason Scotland but his powerful shot was saved at the expense of a corner but big Kevin James saw his header saved by Jamie MacDonald. It was then that man Dobbie who replied for Queens when after good work from Jim Thomson he hit a shot on the turn which was just wide of the target. This was followed by an Adams shot which was blocked for a corner. Im not sure how many corner kicks there were in this match but it was certainly a lot more than usual. Kevin James then got the first yellow card of the game after 27 minutes for a block on Dobbie. Queens were now getting into top gear and looking the more likely side to score and that goal arrived after 33 mins when the ball was not cleared in the box and the lively Stevie Murray popped up in the six yard box to force the ball home for his first Queens goal. The delight on the wee mans face was a joy as he raced away to celebrate.
After 38 minutes we should have been 2-0 ahead . Some neat work from John O'Neill saw the ball end up in the box where an unmarked Sean O'Connor somehow managed to hit the post when it looked easier to score,with the ball bouncing back into the keepers arms. At first I thought it was Jamie Adams who had this effort as from a distance I theink him and big Sean are quite alike !
A couple of minutes later big Jim Thomson got forward and his header from a free kick was well saved but the flag was already up for off side. Half time arrived and the players left the park to great applause.
The second forty-five minutes started at a frantic pace and the play was flowing from end to end. A nice ball from Murray looked like it had set O'Connor free but the linesmans flag went up. Saints had brought on the young Portugese player Morais, on loan from Charlton at half time for Sheerin.There was then a period of a lot of free kicks being conceded ,mostly by the visitors and I had a feeling a few more names would be joining Kevin James in the Refs book and unfortunately the next one to be added was Jamie Adams after 54 mins. A minute later most of Palmerston had their hearts in their mouths when the ball was not cleared in the Queens box and after a frantic scramble the ball came back of the post then the follow up shot went just wide. The yellow cards continued as first Derek McInnes then Morais went into the book as Saints tried to push for a leveller. Stephen Dobbie then received the ball from Laughlin but his shot was saved by Cuthbert. Jason Scotland, who had shown some decent pieces of skill was replaced after 67 mins by Steven Milne and at the same time Jonjo O'Neill went off for Stevie Tosh. There was then a shot by James that was wide folowed by another Saints shot which was well saved by Jamie MacDonald. Lilley came on to replace McLaren for
the visitors and a minute later Queens replaced O'Connor with Barrowman and shortly after Graham Weir came on for the hard working Dobbie. These were identical changes from the win at Raydale on Saturday and were made at similar times. As the game went into the closing stages a goal could well have arrived at either end but we had Jamie MacDonald to thank for a top class reflex save after 85 minutes when he stopped a close range header from Lilley hitting the net. As we entered the final minute a clearance from Jim Thomson found Andy Barrowman in space but his shot was weak and was saved by Kevin Cuthbert and this was then followed by a neat lob from Weir which the keeper also saved. In stoppage time Saints had the last chance from a corner but it was cleared and to the releif of most of the fans inside the ground the final whistle went and Queens had jumped above Ross County into 8th place in the league. It had been a brilliant few days and to take maximum points from the two top sides was an amazing achievement. We now look forward to the visit of Ross County on Saturday in what is another crucial game. A win then would see us well on our way to safety and a mid table finish. Who would have thought that 3 months ago.

Sat 3rd Mar
Gretna 0 Queens 3
What a day, what a result and isnt revenge sweet. After 3 heavy defeats to our border rivals so far this season we were determined to get something from the final league encounter between the teams for this season. Gretna have went through a mini slump in both results and form over the last few weeks while Queens have gone from strength to strength. The new signings in January have made a big difference and with Stephen Dobbie banging in the goals for fun things are now looking much better.
Queens started brightly and Gretna seemed surprisingly nervy and were lacking any flow in their play. The opening 20 mins saw the visitors doing all the pressing and young Jamie MacDonald in the Queens goals had very little to do on a bright ,warm springlike afternoon on the solway coast. The travelling Queens fans who were stuck in the narrow tin shed that runs the length of Raydale park and the other hundred or so who had seats in the stand behind the goal were all in fine voice. The side was the same as that which took the field against Hibs in the Scottish cup last weekend with the exeption of Stevie Murray taking over from Willie Gibson who has now moved onto Kilmarnock.
As half time neared the only surprise was that Queens had not scored but after 38 mins all that changed. Gretna on a rare foray into the Queens box saw a cross blocked by John O'Neill and the ball clearly struck the midfielders hand. It was not deliberate and to the relief of all of us behind the goal play was waved on. Jamie MacDonald booted the ball up the park where it found Stephen Dobbie. The striker ran at the Gretna defence and it looked like he might square the ball to O'Connor but he beat his marker and shot low past Alan Main. The celebrations started in the crowd and the roof nearly came off the covered shed along the pitchside.
The second half started with Queens still pushing forward and it was the gretna defence that was kept under pressure. Laughlin and Thomson had everything under control at the other end when Gretna did occasionally venture forward.
The only real scare for Queens was when a ball came back towards Jamie MacDonald in the Queens goal and he went to trap it with his foot but the ball went underneath and just wide of the post to the relief of all the Queens players and fans. We did not have too long to wait for the killer second goal. Alan Main in the Gretna goal had been having trouble with his kicking all day and after 69 mins a clearance went right to the feet of Sean O'Connor who then knocked it into the path of Stephen Dobbie who strode forward and rounded the keeper and put the ball into the net to make it 2-0. All the people who had backed Queens at odds of around 6 or 7/1 were now looking forward to collecting their cash. Brilliant stuff.
Then with just a couple of minutes to go former Gretna star Stevie Tosh was tripped at the edge of the box and Eric Patons free kick with a little help from a deflection beat Alan Main at the near post to put the icing on the cake by taking the score to 3-0.
This had been a brilliant all round performance from the lads. I was impressed with both J.T and J.L at the back and in midfield Adams and Scally were again magnificent. Up front Dobbie is on fire at present and he has now notched 10 goals in 9 games for us. Long may it continue.

Sat 17th Feb
Airdrie Utd 0 Queens 3
The view today as we joined the bus on the Whitesands for the latest New Bazaar Doonhamers day out was that this was a match we just could not afford to lose. We started the day 4 points behind todays opponents but with a game in hand. Third bottom Ross County were away at Gretna so we were looking for them to pick up 3 points so that we would close the gap on County if we took anything from todays visit to the Shyberry Excelsior Stadium.
We had a full minibus for todays trip and after a quick stop at Palmerston where some of us had the chance to get a quick refreshment we were on our way. It was a lovely,clear and very springlike day and we were soon passing through Lanark and Carluke before being dropped of in the centre of Airdrie from where we made our way to the nearby Weatherspoons pub the " Robert Hamilton". It was a mad rush by a few of us to get upstairs to the toilets before having a few refreshments at the bar. We were soon back onto the bus and Ted drove us round to the stadium. We were seated in the same stand as the Airdrie support. We had an official head count of 701 away fans and everyone was in good voice.

It was a now familiar 4-4-2 line up with young Jamie MacDonald in goals and a back four of Paton,Thomson,Laughlin and McQuillken. In midfield we had Tosh,Adams,Scally and Murray with O,Connor and Dobbie up front.
Queens started brightly and after 5 minutes Dobbie turned and shot but although his effort was spilled by the keeper it was cleared from danger.We did not have long to wait for the opening goal though as Sean O'Connor was brought down in the box as he chased a ball from Eric Paton. Up stepped Stephen Dobbie and he hammered the ball hard past the keeper to make it 1-0 to Queens. Brian sitting next to me was extra pleased as he had got Dobbie in the sweep on the bus as the first goal scorer.
It was all Queens at this stage and Sean had a header held by Robertson in the Airdrie goal. Stevie Murray then made a fine defensive tackle on Airdries McDougal as he looked to get a shot away inside the box .Murray and McQuillken were linking up well down the left side and getting a few good balls over into the box.It was 32 mins on the clock before the home side recorded their first shot on goal and it was easily held by MacDonald.

In 33 mins Queens went 2-0 ahead.The ball landed at the feet of Dobbie about 25 yds out and his low shot took a slight deflection before ending up in the back of the net. The travelling support went wild.
As half time approached I decided to head out for a pie and missed a couple of Airdrie chances one of which saw Twiggs header hit the post. So we got to the end of the first 45 mins 2-0 ahead and with the news that County were losing by the same score it was looking good.
Airdrie brought on their new Polish defender at the start of the second half. Queens were awarded a free kick for a late tackle on Murray then Sean O'Connor clasged with the keeper who was down injured for a short time. The game seemed to be getting a bit physical and ended up a few minutes later with Airdrie reduced to 10 men when Neil McGowan was shown a straight red card for a hard challenge on Stevie Tosh. It happened right in front of us and I felt that on another day he might have only been shown a yellow. Tosh hobbled around for a few minutes but couldnt continue and McCall shouted at Willie Gibson to hurry up and get stripped and he replaced him after 56 mins. A minute later saw a brilliant run from Stevie Murray and the wee winger cut inside before firing a shot goalwards which was well saved by the Airdrie No1. Sean then headed the ball into the net but the flag had already been raised. Airdrie had a low shot well held by Jamie MacDonald before big Sean did get on the scoresheet and what a good goal it was. Willie Gibson picked up the ball down the right hand side and got to the goal line before firing across a fine ball which big Sean burried into the net. 3-0 Queens and it was surely game,set and match.

Queens continued to push forward and create chances. Adams shot over from 30yds then following good build up play Dobbie shot straight at the keeper. Scally had a shot saved before Dobbie had another go. He then had a clear chance for his hat trick when he was right through and one on one with the keeper but he somehow managed to hit his shot straight at him. O'Connor was replaced by Barrowman up front for Queens after 70 mins.
Airdrie brought on the player Queens fans love to hate Ian Harty but he was isolated and never got into the game, they then took Twigg off and replaced him with Taylor as they looked for a consolation. With 6 minutes to go Barrowman had a chance but his good run from the half way line was spoiled by a weak shot across goal. Gibson picked up a yellow card for what I thought was a soft tackle and then with a couple of minutes to go Dobbie came off to be replaced by Graham Weir. The final whistle went and the Queens players came off the pitch to a standing ovation from the travelling support.
A great 3 points and we can now look forward to the cup tie with Hibs before taking on Clyde then Gretna in our next two vital leagye games.

Sat 3rd Feb.
Queens 2 Cowdenbeath 0
Scottish cup 4th Round day at Palmerston and hopes were high that the club could progress through to the quarter-finals for the first time in 30 years. The morning started frosty and bright but soon a low fog rolled in and it became cold and dreich. On the playing front Queens gave Stevie Tosh his debut in a line up very similar to last weeks as he replaced the cup tied Stevie Murray. Queens lined up 4-4-2 with on loan Hearts keeper Jamie MacDonald starting with a back four of Paton,Laughlin,Thomson and McQuilken. In midfield we had Tosh wide on the right,Gibson on the left and in the centre young Jamie Adams who is on loan from Kilmarnock beside the clubs" engine room" Neil Scally. Up front it was the pairing of Sean O'Connor and Stephen Dobie.
Cowdenbeath were without the second divisions top scorer Liam Buchanan but did have Graham Weirs brother Steven playing up front with the number 9 shirt on.
He is a dead ringer for his brother and  a couple of times when I looked at him  I thought Queens were playing in yellow for a few seconds !
The Blue Brazil started well and gave their band of around 250 fans some hope as they took the game to Queens.They had an early corner which was headed into the side netting and Stevie Weir looked sharp and lively up front. Stevie Tosh had the first shot for Queens when he hit the ball well over the bar from outside the box on the 10 minute mark. This was quickly followed by an excellent passing move from Queens which saw Willie Gibson cut inside and play a one-two with Dobbie but the final ball into Gibson was just too hard and the keeper got there first. Tosh then had another decent shot from the edge of the box tipped over for a corner by keeper Davie Hay. There were then other efforts from Gibson and a miss-hit Paton cross which went just wide. Cowdenbeath were not troubling the Queens keeper but they did look lively on the break. After 24 mins Tosh went down in midfield looking for a free kick and referee Kenny Clark had a word with him. The visitors then had their best chance of a goal when Jim Thomson gave away a free kick for a foul on Stevie Weir which was not cleared and ended up as a corner on the right. The ball was played across and MacDonald had to tip it over for another corner which resulted in a shot which the keeper held well. We did finaly get the break through after 28 mins when a move involving Gibson saw Dobbie play a neat ball into the box and Jamie Adams ran through onto it from midfield where he was brought down for a clear penalty. Up stepped Dobbie and he blasted his shot high into the net to give us the lead.
Cowdenbeath replaced Mark Baxter with Pat Scullion on the half hour mark but Queens continued to push forward as half time approached and a good move saw Tosh shoot across goal from a tight angle and then Dobbie headed wide when in a good scoring position. Half time arrivede and the mist rolling across the pitch was a concern. It was vital that the game was not abandoned. The Queens announcer.Alec "Lord Palmerston" Wilson then got a good cheer when he read out the half time scores and it came to Airdrie 0 Dundee 1. There was a short pause before he then said " Derek Lyle". The ex Queens man doing us a favour up at Airdrie.
The second 45 started with a couple of good runs from Gibson down the left side, a shot by Dobbie before we got the crucial second goal. Stevie Tosh down the right was able to get to the goal line and he cut the ball back across goal where it found on-loan Killie youngster Jamie Adams and he blasted the ball past Hay in goal. 2-0 Queens and the quarter finals looked much nearer now.
Pat Scullion then got the first yellow card of the game for a late tackle on Paton before they took off Iain Ramsay and replaced him with Martyn Fotheringham.
After 67 mins Willie gibson who had a good game released McQuilken down the left and he put a decent ball across goal but we had no takers. Just after this we saw Dobbie replaced by the returning Andy Barrowman. Queens then should have scored a third when the Cowdenbeath defence were in disarray and a ball played across the box went right to Tosh who was unmarked. He collected the ball but shot against the post. It may not have counted as I thought the flag went up for off-side.The visitors then made their final change when Murray Davidson was replaced by Scott Dalziel. Big Sean O'Connor then made the keeper pull off a fine save when he shot for the top corner from about 6 yds out. The resulting corner from Paton was cleared and the game began to fizzle out. Stevie Tosh was replaced by Scott Robertson near the end and a couple of minutes later Graham Weir got on in place of O'Connor. The last real effort fell to Barrowman but his looping shot came back of the post. The final whistle went and Queens fans went home happy with a place in the last eight secured.
In Sundays draw we got a home tie v Hibs.

Sat 27th Jan
Queens 4 Partick.T 3
As I made my way to Palmerston on Saturday I was not aware that Ian McCall had some more new faces in the squad to face Partick. It was no surprise to see young Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald take over the No1 jersey. We had a back four of McQuilken,JT,Laughlin and Paton with a midfield consisting of new loan signings from Kilmarnock Stevie Murray and Jamie Adams along with Neil Scally and Willie Gibson. Up front was the pairing of Sean O'Connor and Steven Dobbie.On the bench we had Barry John Corr, Murray Henderson,Graham Weir,Paul Burns and John O'Neill.
Queens started brightly and Steven Murray was involved when he put O'Connor through in the opening minute but his effort was blocked by the Thistle keeper. The opening goal came after 10 mins when Jamie Adams drove forward on a good run only to be fouled 30 yds out. Murray took the free kick and O'Connor rose above the defence to head home. Just the start we had wanted and it was Queens who were dominating play and looking very strong in the midfield.After 26 mins it was 2-0. This time a ball into the box from Willie Gibson found O'Connor but his effort was cleared for a corner. Stevie Murray took it and it landed on the head of the in running Jim Laughlin and he made no mistake. In 34 minutes a good run from Dobbie looked like creating another goal when the ball came over to O'Connor and Gibson in the box but the Thistle keeper who ahd a busy first half cleared it for another corner. When the third goal arrived it was a cracker. Willie Gibson picked up the ball in the middle of the park, he moved forward before releasing a good pass to Dobbie on the right. The striker strode forward and from about 25 yds out struck a perfect shot which beat the keeper and went in at the far post. 3-0 and it was looking good. The Thistle players were ragged and putting in some hard challenges. By the end of the game they had 5 yellow cards. Adams picked up a booking in the first half and was replaced at half time by Paul Burns.
The second half started as the first had finished with Queens pressing forward. Burns fed in Murray wo went to the by-line and won a corner . This was cleared but when the ball came back in Jim Laughlin was clearly pushed in the back and a spot kick was awarded. Dobbie stepped up and made no mistake. 48 mins on the clock and we were 4-0 up, brilliant. Thistle then had another couple of players booked as Queens looked set to run up a cricket score. Dobbie looked like getting his hat-trick but as he closed in on the keeper the refs whistle went. Big Sean O'Connor had put in a great shift and was replaced after 68 mins by Graham Weir. A couple of minutes later Queens had yet another corner and an effort from midfielder Neil Scally was well saved by Tuffey in the Thistle goal. After 78 mins Scally was replaced by John O'Neill. Reports later said that he was not feeling too well. He has been a stand out for Queens this year and when he is not playing we always struggle. Willie Gibson, in what might well be his last game for Queens had a run and a shot but it was well wide.
After 84 mins the Queens defence failed to clear the ball from inside the box and somehow Thistle managed to scramble it over the line for what most people thought was an undeserved consolation.Queens came close again a minute later  when Murrays cross was met with a Dobbie header but the keeper made a fine save. They were then awarded a penalty, for what I dont know as I saw no contact in the box.Mark Roberst stepped up and the score was then 4-2. Things got worse following a Thistle corner and Pat Keogh bundled the ball home at the far post. It was a tense final few minutes but we held on for the points in a game we all but dominated from start to finish bar the mad 5 minutes near the end.
My man of the match was new signing Stevie Murray. He is a player who gets the crowd on their feet and had an excellent debut. Neil Scally was again immense in midfield and the front pairing of O'Connor and Dobbie look capable of troubling any defence in this league.
We are away from the pressures of the league next Saturday when we entertain Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup 4th round. Its a big big game for Queens as a victory would see us into the last 8 in the competition and give us the chance of landing a money spinning tie.

Sat 6th Jan
Dundee 1 Queens 1
Queens fought hard to earn a replay at Dens park.
Former Queens striker Derek Lyle put the Dees ahead
before Sean O'Connor levelled just before the break
with a half volley from just inside the box. Queens
had new signings Jamie McQuilken and Steven Dobie
in the starting line up today. Near the end Graham
Weir nearly won it for Queens but his effort was just
saved by Ludovic Roy in the Dundee goal.

Tues 2nd Jan
Queens 0 Gretna 4

A crowd of  3714 turned up at Palmerston  for the 3rd derby match of

the season between Queens and Gretna. Queens lined up in a 4-4-2

formation  with Colin Scott back in goals following the end of Craig

Hinchcliffes loan spell from St.Mirren. The back 4 consisted of Paton,

Laughlin,Thomson and Swift with a midfield of Moon,Scally,O’Neill

and Gibson. Up front was the pairing of  Weir and O’Connor. On the

bench was Barry John Corr, Andy Thomson, Paul Burns, Murray

Henderson and Barry Callaghan.

Queens started brightly attacking the Terregles Street end but the first

real point of note came when Colin Scott gave the ball away with a

poor kick out which fell to Gretna striker David Graham but his shot

was held by Scott. Queens were awarded a free kick when Weir was

fouled by Grainger after 5 mins which resulted in a bit of panic in the

Gretna box  as they failed to clear the ball which eventually fell for

O’Connor who shot over.

Willie Gibson on what may well have been his last game in a Queens

jersey was looking a real threat and after 10 mins he had a good run

down the right and when he put the ball over, Weirs header nearly

gave us the lead. Willie then had a decent shot saved by Alan Main

which resulted in a corner. Queens had plenty of corner kicks in the

first half but could not produce a goal from them.

Gretna were awarded a free kick on the quarter hour mark when

McMenamin went down very easily following a challenge from J.T.

Then Eric Paton was in the right place in his own box after 20 mins

to head away a dangerous looking ball from the Gretna left. At this

stage the game became a bit scrappy with too many long balls out of

defence from both sides but Willie Gibson then had the home crowd

up out of their seats when he set out on a run down the wing only to

be brought down by Grainger. Referee Ian Brines, who was poor

throughout then yellow carded the wrong Gretna player with Skeltons

name going into the book. Gretna had not produced a real goal threat

in the first 25 mins but it suddenly went all wrong for Queens when

striker David Graham went past Eric Paton down the right hand side

before knocking the ball across goal for the unmarked McMenamin

to easily put his side ahead. He was then booked for gesturing to the

home support as he over celebrated his strike. Queens fought back

and had a corner from Warren Moon which keeper Main dropped but

he gathered it when it came back in, this was followed by some good

work from O’Connor down in the far corner when he fought hard for

the ball and it  eventually got  put into the box but it was the same old

story in that nobody was there to put the ball in the net.

Laughlin then picked up a booking after 40 mins and shortly afterwards

a shot from Moon went over the top before John O’Neill  ran at the

Gretna defence and when the space opened up he had a shot but it was

wild and wide when he really should have hit the target. Just on the

stroke of halftime Gretna had a good chance when they kept the ball

in play near the goal line on the far side and when the ball was cut back

a Gretna player hit it over the top when it really should have been a second

goal. The halftime whistle went and Queens left the field a goal down but

they had shown plenty of fight and determination and had seen plenty of

the ball but the league leaders were a goal up thanks to the ability to finish

of their chances.

The second half started badly for Queens as Gretna came out full of running

and looking sharper and playing with more urgency. Firstly they had a good

run from Jenkins who played the ball into Graham who shot wide but on

47 mins poor defending allowed them to score the killer second goal. The    

home defenders allowed Gavin Skelton far too much time and room and

the Cumbrian ran towards goal and neatly chipped the ball over the

advancing Colin Scott to make it 2-0.

Queens were still fighting and a few minutes later a good run from Weir

saw him move into the box and he put a neat ball across goal but yet again

there were no takers. Then we saw a free kick from Eric Paton which he

hit well from about 30yds out but it was deflected for yet another Queens

corner. Then a raging shot from Willie Gibson was pushed around the

post by Main. This was followed by a Weir header which the keeper again

saved at the expense of yet another corner kick. It was a decent spell of

pressure from Queens but just as its been for most of the season we have

nobody with the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. On the hour

mark Ian McCall made a double substitution when Murray Henderson

replaced Jim Laughlin and Barry Callaghan came on for Warren Moon.

This saw Willie Gibson move back over to the left side of the pitch. It

was only a matter of seconds after these changes had been made that

it was 3-0 and the game was well and truly over as a contest when

former Queens favourite Derek Townsley  moved forward out of defence

with the ball and struck a low shot from about 25yds out which took a

deflection of a Queens defender before ending up in the back of the net

giving keeper Colin Scott no chance.

A few minutes later Sean O’Connor went down inside the box but the

appeals for a penalty were waved away. As O’Connor was still on the

ground it appeared as if Danny Grainger had stood on his hand. Gretna

then replaced the young Aussie Eric Paartalu  with Dene Sheilds. A shot

from O’Connor inside the box was saved by Main then O’Neill received

a yellow card for a foul before Andy Thomson was brought on in place

of the hard working Graham Weir with just under 20 mins remaining.

Gretna then replaced David Graham with Matthew Berkely  after 82 mins

and with 5 mins to go Skelton got his second and his teams fourth goal

as his low shot beat Colin Scott to complete a miserable afternoon for

the Doonhamers.

Queens had some decent spells in the game and the scoreline probably

does not really represent a true picture of the match but at the end of the

day it was the same old story, they took their chances while we didn’t.

Lets hope Ian McCall has a few new faces on board for the trip to

Tayside next weekend to face Dundee in the Scottish Cup 3rd round.

Sat 23rd Dec
Livingston 0 Queens 1

Queens got their first away win of the season and it was well worth the wait. Big Jim Thomson scoring the winner 6 minutes from time with a spectacular overhead kick.

It was a great day out as I went up the road with the travel club. We were refreshed before the match at the Almondvale Lodge and everyone was in good voice and confident as we made our way to the ground. Its just a shame that Livingston football club decided to go back on their word to give us a refund at the turnstiles following the opening days game where we had to pay 18 entry. We were told we would have to pay only 14 but they charged us 16. At the end of the day it did not matter as we had the last laugh whan we headed away with the 3 points.

We were well worth the victory and we may even have found a new front pairing of Murray Henderson and Jim Thomson !! Every player was magnificent and Neil Scally put in an outstanding performance. I was also pleased to see Scott Robertson performing well. This is a lad who needs a run of first team matches and Im sure if he gets them we will see a really fine player developing. We jumped out of the bottom two in the league for the first time this season and if we get a win at Dingwall next Saturday Im sure we will start to open a gap between ourselves and the relegation spots in the table. My man of the match award goes to big Jim. Thats two goals in our last two away games so lets hope he makes it a hat-trick at Dingwall.

Sat 16th Dec
Queens 1 Airdrie Utd 1

A second home game in a row and the same result . 1-1 for the third week on a trot when we should really have had 3 wins out of 3 !

Losing late goals seems to be Queens Xmas present to Thistle, Accies and Clydebank ( sorry Airdrie !).

Ian McCall who was banished from the touchline, but could still be heard shouting from the main stand again put out a side dedicated to the 3-5-2 formation. Craig Hinchcliffe was again in goals with a back 3 of Thomson, Laughlin and Henderson and a midfield of Scally, O’Neill and Burns who replaced Warren Moon. Up front it was the uninspiring (but hard working ) pair of Weir and Barrowman….neither who could tie the laces of the legend Andy Thomson !!!

The game started in front of a crowd of around 1500 with Airdrie bringing down a decent support. It was certainly better than most of the other first divison visitors. Airdrie certainly started brightly enough and in the first 20 mins had most of the play. The first half saw Weir yellow carded for showing his feet at the Airdrie keeper before a header from Murray Henderson was tipped on to the bar by the Airdrie keeper. It was the visitors who then threatened when Hinchcliffe had to save from McDougal who was outstanding for Kenny Blacks side.. Soon after Jonjo got Queens second yellow quickly followed by the same Airdrie player going into the book for a retaliation challenge. Weir was lucky not to get a second booking when in my view he dived in the box looking for a spot kick. Paul Burns was then booked for what looked like a soft challenge as we neared half time. All in all it was a poor and uneventful first 45.

The second period started with Queens pushing forward and Eric Paton saw a shot pushed over by the Airdrie keeper. O’Connor then replaced the ineffective Weir before Queens took the lead. Pual Burns got down the line and whipped a great ball across the face of the goal and it was knocked into the net by Airdries Paul Lovering. I was now looking towards another 2-0 home win but we then started to sit deeper and deeper and Airdie started to press us back. It looked like we were going to hold on for all three points but with a minute to go disaster struck when the ball broke to ex Celtic youngster Brian Prunty and he finished well from a tight angle to send the travelling support wild. It was no more than the visitors deserved but left the home faithful devastated.

As I walked home my thoughts turned to the transfer window !! Ian, a few players need to move on and a few better quality players need to come in…..easier said than done but I am confident Mr McCall is the man who will see us secure our first division status for another year……

Stevie Tosh and Craig Brewster would be a good start !!!!!!!!!

Sat 9th Dec
Queens 1 Hamilton 1

I walked down to Palmerston today with a cold wind blowing and a clear sky overhead and I was confident that we could continue with our recent run of home wins. After the decent showing from the lads at Firhill last week when we drew with second place Thistle I was sure we would get the better of third placed Accies.

The crowd was just over 1700 today with about 150 away fans coming down the A74.

Queens started again with Ian McCalls favoured 3-5-2 formation. Craig Hinchcliffe again starting in goals behind a back 3 of Thomson, Laughlin and Henderson with Paton and Gibson as wing backs and O’Neill, Scally and Moon in midfield. Again it was the hard working but lack of goals pair of Weir and Barrowman up front. Queens started brightly and made all the running early on and after 5 mins Barrowman headed over a cross from Paton then a minute later another shot from the on loan Killie man went over the top but we had not long to wait for the opening goal. John O’Neill burst through into the box and was nudged by McEwan the Accies keeper. He went down and Ref Mike Tumilty pointed to the spot. Jonjo brushed himself down and stepped up to take the kick. There was never any doubt that he would score and he blasted an unstoppable shot past the keeper to give Queens an early lead.

We continued to dominate and all we needed was a second goal. A Warren Moon free kick was cleared away by the Hamilton defence and then the first yellow card of the game went to Hamiltons Alex Neil for a foul on Willie Gibson. Andy Barrowman was seeing plenty of the ball and had a couple of good runs at the Accies defence firstly seeing his shot blocked then another deflected. Willie Gibson then saw his name go into the book after 24 mins after a softish foul on the far side. This yellow card unfortunately came back to haunt us later in the game !

There was then a good move involving Paton , Weir and Barrowman which resulted in a corner which the keeper knocked over the bar.

On the half hour mark a Hamilton player hit a shot from inside the box which Hinchcliffe parried for a corner. The visitors were slowly getting more into the game but Queens had another chance after 35 mins when O’Neill played the ball into the box for Barrowman but the Accies defenders cleared the danger. Then a good ball across goal by Warren Moon was just missed by Willie Gibson at the back post. On the stroke of half time Queens were fortunate not to concede a goal when O’Neill failed to clear the ball properly and an Accies player seen his shot come off the underside of the bar before it was cleared by Jim Laughlin.

The second half saw Hamilton bring on the excellent Richard Offiong and Mark Gilhany. Both these young players have plenty of pace and their introduction seemed to turn the game. Offiong was at Newcastle and while there had been capped by England at U20 level. He certainly seems like a player who could play at a higher level and in the second half he caused the Queens defence no end of problems with his strength and direct running. Accies started well but the game was turned on its head after 57 mins when Willie Gibson lost the ball but tried hard to regain it and he and the Accies player fell to the ground with another couple of players in close attendance. The ref blew his whistle and then showed Gibson another yellow card. This seemed very harsh as from my position he did not seem to do much wrong. So Queens were now down to 10 men and the Ref seemed to be doing us no Favours at all. As for Hamiltons Manager Billy Reid he must have encroached onto the field of play at least 6 times but neither the Ref or his assistant done a thing ! It was now all Accies as they pushed forward in search of an equaliser. Ian McCall then brought on Callaghan for Moon. In hindsight it would have been better if he had replaced Willie Gibson at halftime. Accies had most of the ball with Offiong looking a threat all the time but they never created a clear cut chance. Queens then replaced Graham Weir with Scott McKenzie as they tried to defend the slender one goal advantage. Accies continued to force the play and had a couple of corners which we managed to clear but in the end the goal arrived. Hamilton got a free kick 20 yards out which went over the top and from the resulting goal kick the ball was played back into the box and not cleared and in came Offiong to rifle the ball past Hinchcliffe to level the scores at 1-1.

Queens came forward a few minutes later and good work from O’Neill saw the ball played to Barry Callaghan who shot wide. Then shortly after from a Callaghan free kick Jonjo headed the ball back across goal and I think it was Jim Thomson who shot wide. In the final minute Scot Robertson came on for John O’Neill and soon afterwards the final whistle went.

The Ref was given a hostile send off as he left the pitch after what can only be described as a below average performance. The Queens players fought hard but after the sending off it was more trying to hold on to what we had got than looking for the killer second goal. I thought Jim Thomson and Eric Paton had good games today as did Warren Moon and I was sorry to see him subbed but my Man of the Match was goalkeeper Craig Hinchcliffe who was confident and assured thoughout and had no chance with the Hamilton goal.

The bad news after the game was that Gretna had been beaten by Airdrie who jumped above us in the table but with Ross County being thumped at home by Partick we have now closed in on them a little. Its now a vital game next Saturday when we take on Airdrie Utd at Palmerston. The Scottish Cup 3rd round draw at 5pm was not brilliant for us either with an away trip to Dens Park to face Dundee in early January.

Sat 25th Nov
Clyde 4 Queens 0.
 

Saturday started well. I was up nice and early, had a decent breakfast and got dropped off at Lochfield Road in plenty of time to get on the second travel club bus heading for Broadwood. It was a dry fairly cool morning and everyone on the coach seemed confident that we would notch up our first away win of the season, especially after the really good home win the previous Saturday against Dundee. The two previous away trips had been disasters but as we neared Glasgow they seemed but a distant memory.

We drove past the stadium and its bleak location through to Balloch where we parked up at the Smiddy Inn. This local pub on the edge of the village gave us a very warm welcome. The service was excellent and they provided us with a great buffet lunch. I certainly ate too much but still left room for a few beers and a couple of Whiskys before we got back on the coach for the short trip back to Broadwood. We parked round at the far side of the stadium allocated for the away support but with only one stand being open we had to walk round to the other side and join the queue along with the Clyde fans. It makes sense to only use one stand with a crowd of under 1200 but how they could tell there were only 114 Queens fans is not clear to me as a lot of us went through the same turnstiles as the home support.

Bought the official 2.50 match programme, which is an excellent read and full of interesting articles. The away team always has good coverage in it and as usual there are articles in it about players and links between the sides.

Ian McCall continued with his favoured 3-5-2 formation which at home has been successful recently but on the road has been a disaster. Anyway it was good to see Colin Scott starting in goals after recovering from his thigh strain as he has certainly done well recently. We had a back three of Swift, Laughlin and McCaffrey and a midfield of MacKenzie, O’Neill and Moon supported by the two wingbacks of Paton and Gibson. Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies was reportedly in the stands watching Willie , who had been on a weeks trial at Killie last week. Up front we had the hard working pair of Weir and Barrowman. On the bench was Corr, J.T, A.T, Robertson and Callaghan.

The suspension of Neill Scally following his sending off last week was a big blow to Queens hopes and it was also no surprise to me to see Sean O’Connor drop out of the squad as he certainly did not look 100% fit last weekend.

The game started reasonably well for us and the players seemed to settle quite quickly. There was no real early goal mouth action until the 16th minute when Clyde were given a free kick following a foul by McCaffrey. The ball was cleared for a corner which put the Queens defence under a lot of pressure and the ball seemed to be cleared away 3 times before the danger had past. After half an hour Scott seemed to scoop a Clyde shot up into the air and I thought he might let it end up in the net but we survived and it looked like we might hold out for half time. Disaster then struck twice within the space of a minute. In 44 minutes a ball into the box from Imrie was not cleared and it was knocked in by McGregor to give the Bully Wee a deserved lead. Within seconds of the restart Clyde had doubled their lead, this time it was Bryson who fired the ball into the box and in the confusion the ball ended up in the back of the net. The ball might have been knocked in by Clyde forward Arbuckle but a lot of people thought it was an OG from Swift ! Half time arrived and the travelling Queens fans were stunned.

McCall decided to make changes at the interval when he brought on big Jim Thomson and Scott Robertson for MacKenzie and Moon. Queens soon had their only chance of the game when Weir was set through by Willie Gibson but his shot was saved. Queens then had a spell of seeing plenty of the ball but with no cutting edge or threat to the home sides defence. It was then game, set and match after 55 minutes. It came from another free kick which resulted in a shot from Imrie being knocked in by the lively Gary Arbuckle.

The ex Celtic youngster had a fine game and was a thorn in the QOS defence all afternoon. Queens then continued to add to their disciplinary count when Jonjo and Scooter were both yellow carded in quick succession. Andy Thomson then got a run out for the final 20 minutes but had very little service to feed on. As the clock counted down and a few fans started to drift for the exits Clyde got a penalty. Jim Laughlin fouled Malone and although I agree it was a foul it was infact just outside the area. But up stepped McHale and he made no mistake from the spot when he put the ball past Colin Scott. The same player came close to scoring again before the final whistle but Scotty got to it and made a good save.

Today was another very poor performance on the road from Queens. The 3-5-2 formation in my view is not working on our travels and I would like to see us playing a bit more defensively away from home. As for the players on the pitch it was difficult to give many of them pass marks. I don’t blame Scott for any of the goals and Willie Gibson tried hard and had a few good touches and passes but whether he done enough to impress the Kilmarnock manager is another thing. Very disappointed with Scott Robertson when he came on. I know this lad can play a bit but today he only touched the ball about 5 times and looked lost and isolated at times. So its back to the drawing board before next weeks trip to Glasgow to take on high flying Partick Thistle. The jags did suffer a big defeat at Gretna and will be looking to jump back to form with a win against a struggling Queens side. Only consolation today was that Airdrie are still bottom after losing at Dundee.

Sat 18th Nov
Queens 2 Dundee 0
 

It was so good that this game got the go ahead. With the rain that had been falling in Dumfries over the previous few days it looked very likely that it would be called off. But just in time the rain eased and groundsman Kevin and his team of helpers got to work on the surface. A big thanks must also go to Gretna F.C for lending us their pitch drying machines. When I took my seat in the stand at 2.50pm I was amazed at how well the pitch looked considering the conditions. A big pat on the back to all concerned. As it turned out it was even more important that we got the game on and the lads got back to winning ways since Airdrie caused a surprise in beating St.Johnstone which would have seen us fall back to bottom spot.

After last weeks defeat at Gretna ,where the display was just not good enough it was nice to get back to Palmerston and the chance to record our third home win in a row. It was good to see Colin Scott back in goals as he seems to give us a more confident and assured defence. Big Jim Thomson returned to a back three beside Laughlin and McCaffery and the influential Warren Moon coming back into a midfield five with Paton, Scally, O’Neill and Gibson. Up front we had the hard working pair of Weir and Barrowman. BJ.Corr was on the bench along with Andy Thomson, Sean O’Connor, Steven Swift and Scott McKenzie.

The game started in lively fashion and continued at a fast pace for most of the ninety minutes. Both sides had a couple of early corners which came to nothing before a good shot from Dundee player/manager Alex Rae forced a decent save from Scotty. After this he had very little to do which was just as well as he seemed to be struggling with his thigh injury which kept him out of last weeks Gretna shambles. Weir then had the chance with a free kick in almost the same position as they scored in the last home game. The rehearsed move was just the same but this time the ball was stopped by the defensive wall. But the goal soon arrived when after 32 mins when Barrowman released Weir behind the Dundee defence. The hitman raced towards goal and as he went to round Ludovic Roy the keeper pulled him down for a stonewall penalty. The referee showed the keeper a yellow card which on reflection was the correct decision as Weiro was heading away from goal at the time. Derek Lyle then tried to help his keeper by having a word in his ear to tell him how Jonjo O’Neill would take the spot kick. In recent times he has tended just to blast the ball but on this occasion he placed it accurately into the corner leaving the keeper well beaten.

A few minutes later Willie Gibson waltzed past Rae and Griffin and his ball across goal was saved by Roy. Half time arrived and the team were applauded of the park after playing really well.

The teams came out for the second half with no changes but it was the visitors who had the first effort when a shot from their best player Scott Robertson was just wide. But the home fans did not have long to wait for the lead to be increased when Alex Rae gave the ball away and it was the outstanding Graham Weir who drove forward before slipping a perfect pass to allow John O’Neill to race clear towards Ludovic Roy. The Queens midfielder made no mistake as the ball went under the advancing keeper and into the net to give us the two goal cushion we needed. Queens were looking good and I just could not see Dundee getting back into the game and we actually scored a third goal when Jim Thomson headed a Moon free kick into the net but the off-side flag had been raised. There were then a few changes made by both sides with Queens replacing Warren Moon with Stephen Swift and then Scott McKenzie came on for Eric Paton. Then with ten minutes left Sean O’Connor came on for Graham Weir. As the game neared its conclusion there were a few moments of controversy when I feel the Referee, Crawford Allan made a few errors. Andy McLaren, one of the Dundee Subs lunged out at Willie Gibson and was shown a Yellow card which in my view should have been a Red. Then with a few minutes to go Neill Scally was shown his second Yellow of the game for time wasting and was sent off. Andy McLaren should have then been sent off for dissent but the referee turned a blind eye. The final whistle went and a huge roar went up round Palmerston as the players came of the pitch. Graham Weir got the man of the match award and I would not argue with that. There were no failures today and some really good displays notably from Moon, Paton and Barrowman as well as John O’Neill who I thought worked really hard and was more involved than he sometimes is. Only downsides today were the sending off for Neill Scally, which will mean changes for the trip to Clyde next week, the continuing injury with Colin Scott and I still think Sean O’Connor looks laboured and stiff in his movement and is not 100% fit.

Sat 11th Nov
Gretna 5 Queens 0

On Friday night I went to bed hopeful that Queens could gain revenge over Gretna for the 3-0 defeat they inflicted on us back in August . On getting up and checking the weather my enthusiasm for the day was somewhat dampened as the rain continued to pour down and it looked like the game might be in danger of being called off.

I perked up as I got a lift into the New Bazaar just before noon and as the beer flowed my spirits rose again, and as I filled in my prediction sheet and handed my 1 over to Jim I was confident that my 2-0 scoreline in favour of Queens might be a reality…..how wrong could I be !

Anyway the sun began to shine as we got on the bus and left Dumfries just before 2pm, everyone was on good form as we belted out songs old and new during the short drive down the A75 towards the village. On arrival we were informed that the match was in doubt and that the 4 travel club buses had delayed their departure from Palmerston just in case. In the end Referee Kenny Clark gave the thumbs up. We were housed in the Dominion Road end along the side of the pitch, a long covered tin shed which offered a poor view of the playing area. The Queens fans certainly outnumbered and out sung the home support. Before kick off it was good to see the Queens support singing “ there’s only one Kenny Crichton” and the former Queens physic responding with a wave and a smile in our direction. A similar reaction was also received from former Queens favourite Derek Townsley. A pity a number of the other Gretna players could not have been so sporting, Davie Nicholls and Stevie Tosh should be ashamed of themselves.

There was bad news for the noisy travelling support before kick off when Colin Scott got a late injury. Just how many times has this happened in the past ? He was replaced between the sticks by B.J Corr whose last start was the 5-0 trouncing 3 weeks before by St.Johnstone up at Perth. Ian McCall started with a 3-5-2 line up with Stephen Swift making his first full start for the club, Eric Paton moving into midfield and Warren Moon dropping to the bench.

With water laying on the surface of the pitch the match got under way and the last thing Queens wanted was to loose an early goal but after 7 minutes a cross from Townsley was punched out by Corr and it landed at the feet of Tosh who sent a fine shot back towards goal which gave the keeper no chance. Queens found it hard to settle and things went from bad to worse 10 minutes later when McMenamin picked up the ball on the right byline and cut the ball back to his strike partner David Graham whose shot ended up in the net for 2-0 Gretna. Queens only showed a rare threat to the Gretna defence and the nearest they came was a free kick from Scally which was cleared by the home defence. It was then game ,set and match before the half hour mark was reached when Graham raced clear of Jim Laughlin only for the Queens defender to pull him down as he raced clear towards the goal. It was a definite penalty and the only surprise to me was that Laughlin was only shown a yellow card. Up stepped the leagues top scorer Colin McMenamin and he made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-0. Queens did have a chance to pull one back before the break when Weir forced a fine save from Alan Main in the home goal and the rebound was cleared from the danger area by one of his defenders.

Warren Moon appeared for the second half in place of Scott McKenzie but this never made much of an impact and it now looked like a day for damage limitation from Queens as they tried to avoid a heavy defeat. Ten minutes into the half Jim Thomson came on for the injured Neil Scally as Gretna kept pressing forward looking for a fourth goal which came after 68 minutes when the Queens defence failed to pick up and close down the Aussie with the Finnish name , Eric Paartalu who had all the time in the world to hit a fine shot from outside the box past Corr. I looked at my watch and cringed when I realised just how long was still to play as I now just wanted to get back on the bus and back to Dumfries. But it was not finished and the Queens support had to suffer more agony when McMenamin got his second of the afternoon in 74 minutes when a long ball over the top was missed by the Queens defenders and he knocked it over Corr and high into the net. That was enough for quite a few Queens fans as some of them began to leave the ground. It seemed an eternity but the final whistle eventually went and we were put out of our misery. There were a lot of sad and dejected faces as we climbed back onto the bus but by the time we were back in Dumfries Capt Blackadder had the songs going again and we started to forget what had happened and now we look forward to the visit of Dundee to Palmerston next Saturday. This will be another difficult game as the Dees had a good victory at Livingston as we struggled at Raydale but I cant wait…..bring it on.

Sat 4 Nov
Queens 2 Ross.C 0
Our second home game in successive weeks and it was the same result. A well deserved 2-0 victory over a poor Ross County side who rarely threatened our defence. Ian McCall stuck,unsurprisingly with the same starting eleven as against Livingston and the only change to the 16 being a return to the bench for Jim Thomson following his suspension.
Our lowest home league crowd of the season saw Queens make a bright start without troubling ex Queens loan keeper Craig Samson. His first save came from Andy Barrowman when his cross was scrambled over the bar at the expense of a corner.A curling shot from Countys on loan Celtic striker Gardyne then curled past Colin Scotts left hand post and that was about the only threat they posed on the home goal in the first 45 mins.
The second half started with Queens pressing towards the Portland Road end and although Countys French striker Amick Ciani who had replaced the injured Sean Higgins before the break,looked strong and lively he was well marshalled by the Queens defenders. As last week Laughlin,McKenzie and especially young Des McCaffrey were strong and reliable and giving good protection to Scott in goals who is also playing with lots of confidence just now. Just a pity his kicking was not a lot better as that is the part of his game which always makes me worry !
Ciani had a shot just past the post and to be honest he should have done better but it was Queens who then scored and what a goal it was. Referee Callum Murray gave a free kick just outside the box and in what was obviously a well rehearsed set piece as. It looked like either Moon or Weir was going to hit it but Moon ran over the ball and then the outstanding Neil Scally tapped it to Weir who hit it really well with so much power that Craig Samson could only help it on its way into the net. Palmerston went wild and it was easy to see how much this meant to the players as they celebrated.
Stephen Swift then came off the bench for the second Saturday in a row when he replaced the hard working and impressive Aussie Warren Moon. This resulted in Eric Paton, who is getting better and better every game moving into midfield.
At 1-0 it is always in the back of your mind that the opposition may create a chance or get a lucky break and manage to steal an undeserved point. We had no need to worry as Queens got another free kick. Willie Gibson swung the ball over the defence and at the back post was our top scorer,John O'Neill to head in the all important second goal.
The outstanding and hard working Graham Weir left the pitch to great applause as he was replaced by Andy Thomson with just under 15 mins left. Queens continued to look the more likely side to score and had another couple of chances before the final whistle was blown.
This was another hard working team performance with no failures and sets it up brilliantly for next weekends trip down to Gretna.
My man of the match was in agreement with the official award,Graham Weir worked his socks off and looked dangerous throughout and capped a fine performance with his goal. Eric Paton looks like he is back to his old self and was not far behind.

Sat 28 Oct
QOS 2 Livingston 0
What a difference a week makes. The previous Sat Queens had come away from Perth following a 5-0 whipping from St.Johnstone. But the lads regrouped well during the week and put on a much improved performance against a Livingston side who have stuttered a little in recent weeks. Ian McCall brought in Gordon Chisholm during the week as his assistant. They have worked together at a number of clubs in the past including at Dundee Utd where Chisholm replaced McCall as boss when he got the boot from the hot seat.
B.JCorr was replaced by Colin Scott in goal following a less than inspiring show from the former Stranraer keeper last weekend. Jim Thomson was suspended after his sending off and Burns and O'Connor dropped out of the 16 altogether.
The game started in an unsettled manner and for the first 10 mins it was scrappy with no flow to the play. Livi then began to get on top and after 10 mins had a shot well wide followed  a few minutes later by a superb save from Scott from Hammill who looked certain to score. Gibson then got a yellow card as Queens started to settle into their game and took the game to Livi,forcing a succession of corners the best of which saw an O'Neill header go over the bar. The impressive and hard working Andy Barrowman was then foiled by an excellent tackle by Tweed which resulted in anothe Queens corner.
The second half started with the home side taking the match to the visitors and a shot from O'Neill was just over before Livi got their first corner of the match in 50mins. Eric Paton then tried his luck with a long range shot which was well  over the top.
The turning point in the match came after 63 mins when Ian McCall brought on Andy "the legend" Thomson in place of the hard working Graham Weir. Andys first touch was nearly a disaster as he gave the ball away and Livi came forward and the shot was well saved by Scott as he turned it round the post for a corner.
But within 4 mins he had made amends with our first home league goal of the season,and what a fine one it was.A bad tackle on the outstanding Scally gave Queens a free kick which was knocked deep towards the back post by Willie Gibson and there was Andy Thomson unmarked to volley it past the Livi keeper.
Queens then continued to look lively and Barrowman then had a great chance when he was one on one with the keeper but Colin Stewart made a good block.
Chances kept coming our way and we were rewarded with a second goal in 86 mins when Barrowmans cross was met by a diving header from Andy Thomson which gave the keeper no chance.
This was a good all round team performance but standouts for me were Barrowman,Scally and the legend himself,Andy Thomson.

Sat 30th Sept.
Hamilton 1 QOS 1
A much better display from Queens today in a game where they
should really have picked up the 3 points. We went a goal down
after 25 mins when Offiong put Hamilton ahead when he shot in
off the post. The QOS players did not let the heads go down and
the 4-5-1 formation with Barrowman the loan striker seemed to be
creating more chances than the usual 3-5-2 formation. Queens
got a deserved leveller just before halftime when the ball was
knocked back into the box by Willie Gibson and John O'Neill
powered the header home.
With 30 mins to go the home side were down to 10 men when
Easton pulled back Paul Burns as he went through on goal and
was shown the red card. Queens then had most of the pressure
and O'Neill hit the post in 76 mins with the keeper well beaten.
Hamilton held out till the end to get a point. Gretna were beaten
2-0 at home by Airdrie today which did us no good at the bottom
of the table.

Sat 23rd Sept
QOS 0 Clyde 2
This was possibly the poorest display I have seen from Queens in
over 20 years. They were clueless and only had about one shot on
goal all game. They started ok and in the first 20 mins there was
nothing between the sides but once Imrie put Clyde ahead when
he scored from a well taken corner, the heads went down and we
never looked like scoring. Clyde and Imrie got a 2nd with 10 mins
to go when a poor pass back from Robertson was picked up and
he gave Corr no chance.
Queens manager Ian McCall later came out and apologised for the
dreadful show. Things dont look good and we have now dropped
below Airdrie to the bottom of the league.

Wed 30th Aug
Queens 2 Ayr Utd 2 (Ayr win on Pens)
After two succesive home defeats Queens were hoping to get
back to winning ways in this Challenge Cup 2nd round tie at a
damp and breezy Palmerston park. Ayr Utd from Div 2 were
the visitors and although Queens were a few players down with
injuries and had played a lot of tough matches in recent weeks,
we were favourites for this one.
The crowd had dropped from 5500 down to 1300 for this game
and Ian McCall made a few changes from Sunday. B.J Corr was
back in goals and on loan signing Barry Callaghan made his
home debut.
Queens started with Mullen and Thomson playing up front and in
the opening half hour we looked well in command.But the game
reached half time without a goal. The second period started with
Queens showing much more urgency in their play but it then went
wrong when B.J Corr brought down an Ayr striker in the box when
he looked to be going wide and away from goal. Chris Robertson,
who had an excellent game took the spot kick and sent Corr the
wrong way to give the visitors an unexpected lead.
Queens then fought back and got on level terms when John O'Neill,
who had only been on the pitch a few minutes was there to pick up
a great cross field ball from Callaghan and he flicked the ball over
the Ayr keeper to score.Queens started to dominate the game and
took the lead with just over 10 mins left when a corner was cleared
only as far as Jim Laughlin whos shot took a bit of a deflection to
beat the Ayr keeper. With a couple of minutes to go Willie Gibson,
who had been ineffective all night went down injured and could not
continue. Queens had already used up their subs so had to hope
that they could hold out for the final whistle. They looked like doing
so and a lot of the fans were making their way to the exits when
Ayr grabbed a last gasp equaliser.Paul Weaver hit a shot which
took a big deflection and looped over Corr to level the tie.
The extra 30 mins had Queens down to 10 men and Ayr dominated
without really looking like scoring. It then went to penalty kicks.
O'Neill, as expected went first and scored. Andy Thomson was
next and he had his kick saved.McKenzie,Paton and Scally all
scored for Queens but we went out as Ayr converted all 5 of their
spot kicks.

Sat 27th Aug
Queens 0 Gretna 3
Well what a dissapointment. A crowd of nearly 5500 turned up at
Palmerston on a Sunday afternoon,hoping for a decent first match
of the season between the Dumfriesshire rivals. Gretna brought a
larger support than expected and some of them could not find seats
in the East stand and had to overspill onto the Terregles Street end.
The game got underway with Queens starting quite brightly but they
were hit with their first setback of the afternoon when with about 20
mins on the clock, a clash between Weir and O'Connor resulted in
the ex Hearts man walking off the field in a daze. It was later found
that he had a fractured cheekbone. Andy Thomson came on to take
his place up front. Things were pretty even until 5 mins before the
break when the visitors took the lead. After Queens failed to clear the
ball it came back through to an unmarked McMenamin and he rounded
Colin Scott to put the ball in the net and make it 1-0 to Gretna. As if
thios was not bad enough ,things got worse a minute from half time
when Gretna were awarded a debateable free kick just outside the box.
They seemed to take forever to take it and in the confusion Colin Scott
was unsighted behind his wall,Graingers low free kick beat both keeper
and defenders and trundelled into the net to give Gretna a 2-0 interval
lead. The home support was stunned and the players trooped off the
pitch in disbelief.
The second 45 mins was terrible from Queens and they hardly created
a thing as Gretna began to play the ball about well and take a real grip
of the game.On the hour mark there was further misery for Queens when
Sean O'Connor had to be taken off on a stretcher with what looked like
a serious anke injury.There now seemed no chance for Queens to take
anyrhing from the game and in the final minute Coilin McMenamin scored
his 2nd and Gretnas 3rd when he headed home after Colin Scott had
made a good block on the line.
Gretna deserved the win but things may have been a little different had
Queens not lost the two goals just before half time and had we not lost
both of our main strikers with what were serios injuries.

Tues 22nd Aug
QOS 1 Kilmarnock 2
An exciting cup tie tonight with some decent action
and Queens can feel proud with the effort they put
into the match.The first half was pretty even with a
couple of chances for both sides, the nearest to a
goal being a lob over Colin Scot from Naismith
which bounced over the bar.
The second half started with a bang when Queens
took the lead when the ball was flicked on by Murray
Henderson and in a goal mouth scramble Sean
O'Connor pushed the ball over the line to make it 1-0.
Queens then had a good spell where they came close
to a second goal on a number of occasions and had
they got it, I think they might have gone on to win the
match. There were only 15 mins left on the clock when
Killie equalised when a header from Grant Murray beat
Colin Scott.
The match then went into extra time and it looked like
going to penalties until a superb strike from highly rated
Steven Naismith gave Kilmarnock the victory.

Sat 19th Aug
Airdrie 2 QOS 2
Well Queens got their first point of the league
season against an Airdrie Utd side who were
in a similar position to us at the bottom of the
table. Queens started well and had a fair bit
of possession in the first twenty minutes without
ever really threatening the Airdrie goal. The 2nd
half started with the home side hitting the post
when Jim Thomson mishit a clearance. Big Jim
is clearly suffering with a knee injury but had to
play today with Jim Laughlin being suspended.
The opening goal came after 70 mins when
veteran striker Brian McPhee latched onto a
long ball which J.T had missed and shot past
Colin Scott. Queens did not let their heads drop
and they got an equaliser after 73 mins when
John O'Neill was brought down in the box. He
got up and buried the penalty in the back of the
net just as he always does !
Things got even better for the noisy band of
travelling Queens fans when in 83 mins a free
kick from Willie Gibson was flicked on by J.T
and bundled home by fellow defender Murray
Henderson.
It looked like Queens were about to get their
first win of the season but in stoppage time
Grant Tierney headed home a Willie McLaren
free kick to end the match all square. Three
Queens players booked today,the midfield trio
of Burns,O'Neill and Scally.
 

Tues 15th Aug
QOS 1 Stranraer 0
This was a better performance than the
league game against St.Johnstone on
Saturday but we are still not firing on all
cylinders. Stranraer put up a decent fight
tonight and if they can play that way in
the 2nd division this season they should
do fine.
Colin Scott took over the goalkeepers
jersey from B.J.Corr and John Henry also
came into the starting eleven.
Queens had a few chances in the first half
but did not convert any,so the teams went
in at the interval level at 0-0.
The second half got under way with Queens
pressing forward and a shot from Weir was
knocked over by the Stranraer keeper. The
breakthrough came after 55 mins when Paul
Burns set Weir free and as he raced into the
box he was impeded by a defender and the
Ref pointed to the spot. Up stepped Mr
Reliable John O'Neill and he blasted it well
past Morrison for the only goal of the game.
Stranraer pressed looking for a leveller but
never really threatened and it was Queens
who held on to go into the draw for the next
round.

Sat 12th Aug
QOS 0 St.Johnstone 1
This was a poor game and was not helped by
a poor referee in Callum Murray. Neither side
played any decent football and chances were
few and far between. The winning goal came
after 10 mins when the ball was swung in from
the left and Simon Mensing rose above the
Queens defence to head past Corr. Queens did
not make the Saints keeper have a save in the
whole game. Our best chance fell to Paul Burns
near the end but his shot flew high over the bar.
In injury time Jim Laughlin was sent off when he
held back Steven Milne as he raced through on
goal.
A poor game and a disapointing result for our
first home league match of the season but the
vistors certainly didnt look like one of the favs
for promotion going by this performance.

Tues 8th Aug
QOS 4 Clyde 2
The kick off for this game was delayed by 10 mins
following an accident on the A701. But once the
action was underway Queens got of to a great start
when John O'Neill struck after 8 mins with a neat
finish. The visitors then had some decent spells of
pressure and forced a few corners but it was the
home side who doubled their lead after 17 mins
when Murray Henderson powered a header from
an Eric Paton cross into the back of the net. Clyde
were then reeling when after the half hour mark
it was 3-0 when Graeme Weir turned well and shot
past the Clyde keeper.
Barry John Corr in the Queens goal then gifted the
visitors a goal when he dropped the ball at the feet
of Imrie and he had an easy finish. Queens were not
to be outdone and on the stroke of halftime they
regained their 3 goal cushion when O'Neill got his
second.
In the second half Clyde piled on the pressure and
pulled it back to 4-2 from the penalty spot when
Henderson brought down the Clyde striker after a
mix up involving Corr in goal.
Although they had a lot of possession and had
Queens penned back for long periods they could
not score again thanks to some good defending
and a couple of good saves from Corr.
So it ended 4-2 and we went into the draw for the
second round.
 

Sat 5th August
Livingston 2 QOS 0
I was not at todays game as I was at
the Dumfries Show. Queens took over
530 fans to the match and were a
little unlucky to come away with nothing
after putting up a strong fight against the
team relegated from the SPL last season.
Graeme Weir missed a great chance in
the second half before the home side
took the lead with a looping header after
73 mins from MacKay. Then in 76 mins
former Queens player Paul Sheilds scored
from 16 yards out after a mix up in the
QOS defence.
Teams.
Livingston: Wight, Thompson, Mackay, McPake, Tweed (Miller 57), Mitchell, Smylie (Hamill 53), Walker, Shields, Makel, Craig (Weir 69). Subs Not Used: Hislop, Monteith.
 
Queen of the South: Corr, Paton (Scally 66), McKenzie (Andy Thomson 75), Lauchlan, Henderson, Jim Thomson, Burns, Weir, O'Connor (Mullen 64), O'Neil, Gibson. Subs Not Used: Henry, Scott.

Tuesday 1st Aug
Queens Park 0 QOS 4
Another good win for Queens in what
was their final pre-season friendly.
Colin Scott started in goals tonight in
a game where we could well have
scored a few more.
In 33 mins from a Paton corner the
ball was headed on at near post and
John O'Neill slotted it home.
In 47 mins Whorlow put Mullen away
and he cut the ball back for Andy
Thomson to score.
In 75 mins Lewis Sloan pushed toards
the Queens Park goal then released
Mullen who finished well from the
edge of the box.
In 76 mins it was 4-0 when Andy
Thomson got his second following
neat play from Mullen.
Only concern tonight was an injury
to Eric Paton.

Sat 29th July
Penrith 0 QOS 4
A bit of a stroll for us today but the team seemed settled and quite well balanced.
1.Corr
2.Lyle
3.MacKenzie
4.Laughlin (had no number on shirt though)
5.Henderson
6.J.Thomson
7.Burns
8.Weir.
9.O'Connor
10.O'Neill
11.Gibson.

Queens dominated the game as expected and won easily without breaking out of a canter. Got off to a good start when Weir raced onto a through ball into the box to finish well after 6 minutes.
Willie Gibson was lively in the first period and put a number of decent balls into the box.Just before half-time Jonjo struck the bar and the only surprise was that Queens were only 1 up at the interval on a pitch which was very undulating and bumpy.
Eric Paton replaced Lyle for the second period and Queens continued to press forward. A second goal came from Sean O'Connor after 55 minutes when he finished a good move involving Graham Weir. Big Sean was replaced on the hour mark by Andy Thomson and he got on the scoresheet after 76 minutes when he eventually scrambled the ball across the line after a few blocks and saves on the Penrith goal line.
Michael Mullen had come on for Weir in 68 mins and he looked lively and pacy and joined his fellow strikers on the scoresheet after 84 mins with a nice finish.
John Henry replaced John O'Neill after 70 mins
Near the end Andy Thomson turned well in the box and his shot hit the post and late on Corr made his only sace of the day with a good block from a close range shot.
A good turnout had come down the road to support the lads and should be happy with the way things are shaping up with only a week to go until the new league campaign begins.
Had a nice lunch in the White Swan and a couple of beers at the ground from Blues Nightclub !! Some place which really took me back to my youger days in the early 80's....
 

Sat 22nd July
Coleraine 0 QOS 3
Queens travelled over to Ireland to meet Coleraine in a friendly which had only been arranged a few days before. There were still around 80 Queens fans at the game as the travel club had arranged a trip at short notice while a few others made the trip on their own.
It was a good work out for Queens and they ran out 3-0 winners with goals from John O'Neill-53.
Sean O'Connor-61 and Andy Thomson after 65 minutes. The only downside from the game was a knee injury to Andy Aitken but fortunately this appears not to be as serious as first thought.

Sat/Sun 15/16th July
Annan 1 QOS 1. Queens win 4-1 on Penalties.
Queens won with penalties converted by Gibson,McKenzie,Mullen and Paton.
Team was as follows -
1.Green
2.Paton
3.McAnespie
4.McKenzie
5.Henderson
6.Bryson
7.Henry
8.Robertson
9.Lyle
10.Thomson
11.Sloan.
 
QOS 1 Stranraer 0
 
We won the Competition with a 1-0 win over Stranraer but after they went down to 9 men we were far from convincing.
Queens took the lead inside 10 minutes when a shot from O'Connor seemed to be mis-hit into the ground but bounced past the keeper...the announcer gave the goal to Weir who may have got a touch on it but difficult to say from where I was sitting.
Queens looked good early on with some nice build up play which was creating shooting chances.
Stranraer had their first shot easily saved by Corr after 20 mins.
Then a few minutes later Snowdon kicked out at O'Connor and was given a Red card.
Burnsy then had a shot tipped onto the bar by the keeper before Gibson had a couple of poor efforts on goal which never troubled the keeper.
The second half started with Whorlow replacing Paton who still did not look his old self in the first half.
The period was only about 1 minute old when the Stranraer keeper saw Red when he used his hands to stop the ball well outside the box as Weir raced in on goal.
This should have been the signal for more Queens goals but the Stranraer side defended well and were never at any stage under sustained,backs to the wall pressure.
Queens created some other good chances incuding a turn and shot from big Sean which went just past the post,a couple of headers from Jonjo which went over the top then young Whorlow (who impressed) hit the post.
O'Connor was replaced after 65 mins by Michael Mullen who looked sharp and hungry and was eager to be involved in everything.After 74 mins Jim Thomson went off for Murray Henderson who did not get the friendliest welcome from the band of Stranraer fans in the stand.
In 78 mins Mullen was clear in the box when the substitute keeper pulled him down but the ref allowed play to go on when it looked a clear cut penalty.
By this time Scott Robertson was on for John O'Neill and he gave away an unnecessary free kick 25 yards out but the Shot from Alex Burns was easily saved by Corr.
Weir went off after 83 mins to be replaced by young Baty and the game then fizzled out with Queens always holding their own defensively.
All credit to Stranraer though who could easily have thrown in the towel when a goal and two players down.
Some decent performances from Queens today,Laughlin and Scally were superb and O'Connor looked lively.Burns had a real good second half and Mullen did well after coming on. Young Whorlow also done very well. As for Willie I dont know whats up with him. He has all the ability and today was a great chance to shine but Im afraid he wasted too many passes and just did not really get running at defenders.Saying that he got in a few decent crosses but he is capable of much more.
Paul Burns won the Man of the Tournament award.
All in all a good weekend.

Tuesday 11th July.
QOS 2 Kilmarnock 2
 A decent enough game tonight played on an excellent pitch but watched by a small crowd of around 700.
In an uneventfull first half Queens took the lead from the penalty spot courtesy of John O'Neill after 25 mins when Andy Thomson went down in the box.
In the 2nd half Killie levelled after 52 mins when a shot from Invincible was deflected past Corr.
Queens took the lead again when Mullen went clear in the box after 65 mins and finished really well.
Kilmarnock drew level with 10 mins to go when Naismith found space unmarked in the box to slot home.
In the last few minutes Queens created a couple of chances with a Gibson free kick hitting the bar and then Mullen having a decent effort saved at the end.
Thought Jim Laughlin was excellent for Queens and Mullen showed up well when he came on.

Thurs 6th July.
Dalbeattie Star 1 QOS 2
In the gloom at Islecroft stadium Queens came out 2-1 winners against a stuffy Star side who performed with credit.
In the first half Queens went ahead in 21 minutes when Weir knocked the ball home from a Henderson header inside the box.
After the break Star equalised before Henderson scored the winner in 66 minutes.
QOS line up was as follows (or we think it was!!!!)
1.Corr
2.Batey
3.Paton
4.Mackenzie
5.Henderson
6.Hanley
7.Henry
8.Weir
9.Lyle
10.Sloan
11.Gibson.

It was a typical early pre season friendly with a lot of players just getting to know each other.
Corr made one really good save when he knocked the ball onto the post.
Henderson was doing the organizing and looks like a "leader".
I thought Lewis Sloan had a good game and was well involved with everything that was going on.
A good work out.
Ian McCall was at Kirkcudbright.

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