QOS Match Reports 2007/8

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Morton 0 Queens 2
 
What a day Saturday was. There was an inspection at Cappielow to see if the Scottish cup 5th round tie could go ahead following overnight rain and snow.
I was up early on Saturday morning and met up with Brian to walk into the town. We were in the "Barrel" just after 9am for a couple of beers before walking down to the "Bazaar" to catch the New Bazaar Doonhamers bus to Greenock. We set off not sure if the game would be on or off and it was not until we were nearly at Beattock that we got the thumbs up. There was quite a bit of snow on the M74 over Beattock summit but it cleared as we  headed down towards Hamilton. We went to the "Fox and Hounds" in the village of Houston a few miles from Greenock where we had a nice lunch and a few beers including the very nice "Doonhamers ale". Suitably refreshed we were soon getting into Cappielow as the rain came down. Sat at the front of the stand and had a good view of the pitch but a few fans were out in the open "Wee Dublin End" behind the goals. They were soaked but it did not stop some of them taking their shirts off and one even stripped down all the way before being ejected by the police.
As for the game Queens were immense, at the back Jamie MacDonald was solid and confident and made a couple of excellent stops. At the back Jim Thomson was outstanding, what a season he is having. It was all square at the interval but when the teams came back out it only took Queens a couple of minutes to take the lead when Sean O'Connor met a Bob Harris corner to head home. I felt that there was only going to be one winner from then on in and the victory was sealed with a few minutes remaining. Ryan McCann, who also had a fine game broke free on the right and his shot was parried out by the Morton keeper only as far as Queens sub John Stewart who hammered the ball home. This sent the travelling support wild and the home faithfull who are having a miserable season so far began to leave for home. The final whistle went and we were one of three clubs definitely through to the last 8, the other two being Celtic and Aberdeen.
We had a good run down the road and it was made all the better when I won a bottle of malt whisky and a bottle of wine in the raffle.
Went to bed dreaming about the draw for the next round and kept wondering who we would get. In the end we got a home tie against either Motherwell or Dundee so we do have a chance of making the semi-finals and a trip to Hampden in April.

Queens 3 Clyde 1
 
I thoroughly enjoyed the game today and it was the best we have played since the opening game of the season against St.Johnstone. We started so well and in the first 10 minutes Clyde hardly got out of their own half as we piled on the pressure.
Then against the run of play they broke down the right and big JT made a rash tackle on the forward as he was going towards the goal line and the ref gave a penalty which Michael McGowan eventually put away after arguing with Imrie on who was going to take it !!
To be a goal down at the interval was hard to take as we had played some nice football at times with Stevie Tosh playing really well and Paul Burns getting a lot of the ball on the right hand side.
Dobbie came off the bench to replace John Stewart and immediately made an impact. It looked only a matter of time before we would score and following a corner Tosh played Dobbie in and from a tight angle he smashed the ball high into the net. Eleven minutes later we took the lead when the ball broke over the wall following a Tosh free kick and it fell to Burnsy who put it away. 2-1 to Queens and for once we did not just retreat and sit back on our lead and we were awarded a penalty when Burns was brought down as he surged through in the box. Tosher took it and made no mistake.
Well done Queens and except for a couple of moments when Jim gave away the penalty,and when Jamie injured himself when he ran out of his box to clear and in the second half the Clyde corner which came off the bar and was cleared, we were never under any pressure from a hard working Clyde side who defend pretty well but lack much threat up front.
Stevie Tosh was my man of the match for a quality,hard working and inspirational display. Wee Burnsy got the official M.O.M award and he too had a fine game as did Brian Gilmour who showed us today that he is a capable and decent player.
Of the others I thought both Sean and MacFarlane worked hard and done reasonably well and Bob Harris also had some decent moments.
A big 3 points today and sets us up nicely for the cup tie next Saturday.

Peterhead 0 Queens 5

When the draw for the Third round of the Scottish Cup was made and it gave us a long trip up to Peterhead I resigned myself to spending that particular Saturday afternoon at home. But a few days later when Jim had a thread up on the QOS Mad message board taking names for the long journey North I decided along with workmate Jimmydoubt to go for it. I had never visited Balmoor before and although on paper this had the look of a very difficult game I was confident that we would do enough to get a replay at least.

So the big day arrived and after what was not the best nights sleep I have ever had the alarm clock went off at 5.15 am. I had heard the wind and rain battering the bedroom window and I thought to myself that maybe this was not such a great idea after all ! I filled my flask with coffee and left the house for the 20 minute walk down to Palmerston, stopping at the shop for the papers on the way. It was dark and wet as we boarded the two buses but we were soon on our way. A quick stop at the Moffat pickup point for Mary then we were onto the M74. We were making good time and when daylight broke the sky had cleared and the weather looked much more promising. We were soon past Glasgow and we called in at Dunblane to pick up LesM. It was then onto Perth for a quick stop at the service station and then the Scottish quiz was handed out by Frank the quizmaster. A few easy questions but a lot of tricky ones as well. The young team at the back of the bus were pretty quiet…were they using the internet on their mobiles to get the answers ? Anyway I managed to get a respectable 12/20 correct but with 13 the winners were Mr and Mrs middleagedirtbag .

It was just turned 11.30am when we arrived at the compact little Balmoor stadium on the outskirts of the town and we were soon off the bus and into the excellent social club beneath the main stand. The second bus arrived a few minutes later and we all settled down for a well deserved refreshment. My mate Q from Inverurie arrived in after his dad had dropped him off. I was pleased that I had convinced him to come along to a QOS match. He knew quite a bit about the Peterhead side and started to tell me the players that could be a danger to us and who to watch out for.

We then had an excellent steak pie lunch and Jamie MacDonalds parents popped in for a quick chat and gave me a copy of the teamsheet. It made good reading and my first thoughts were that we had just about our strongest lineup plus, and it was a big plus he had Andy Aitken back and a few others playing in their best/preferred positions. My optimism grew as I gave Gogs a call to let him know the starting eleven. He had been working this morning and along with Parkgateqos and Sturie67 had gone to Castle Douglas to take in the match of the two Rovers’..Threave and Raith. (more about this later!!).

We left the warmth of the social club and payed our 10 to get in. Jimmydowt was lucky enough to win a pair of tickets in the Peterhead raffle prior to the game so it made it a cheap day for him after the 5 for the bus. We moved round to take a seat in the other stand. You get a good view of the pitch from here and I was surprised to find it was not quite as cold as I had expected.

The match started with Peterhead pressing forward in the first 20 minutes but not really threatening Jamie MacDonalds goal before Sean O’Connor should have put us ahead when he had a shot blocked then missed a sitter when the ball came back to him. We did take the lead in 27 minutes when Bobby Mann tried to head the ball back to his keeper but it was well well short and Stephen Dobbie ran on to pick the ball up and shoot past the keeper. Peterhead failed to rally and it only looked like a matter of time before Queens would increase their lead and they did so almost on the stroke of halftime when a fine move saw Scally and then Gilmour involved before Bob Harris slipped the ball across for O’Connor to knock it home from close range. 2-0 at the interval and it was a bonus to be told we would be allowed out of the stadium and back into the social club for a half-time refreshment.

The darkness had come down as we returned to our seats for the second half and it was Queens who were now on the ascendance and pushing for the third goal which would kill the game as a contest. It soon came when big Sean got his second after 57 minutes when he was played through by the impressive Paul Burns . The Polish keeper blocked his first effort but he knocked the rebound into the net. Game over but Peterhead then had a chance of a consolation when awarded a pen with just over 10 minutes remaining after Jim Thomson had upended Sharpe just inside the box.

Kozminski took it but his effort came back off the bar and was cleared.

O’Connor had the ball in the net again but it was ruled out for offside and we then left the stand to walk round behind the goals to the exit just as Queens made it 4-0 Dobbie fairly hammered the ball home after neat work from sponsors man of the match Stevie Tosh. Q and I decided to have a quick couple of Whiskys for the road and in the process missed a neat finish from Paul Burns to see Queens go nap and record their largest away victory for some time. I had a panic for a few seconds on leaving the social club as I thought the bus had gone but just when I thought I was about to spend the night in the Highlands it came round the corner and we were on our way home.

We dropped Q in Aberdeen and I was pleased to hear later on that he was back home . Maybe I should get him to come to a few more games if we are going to get results like that !

The journey home was a happy one and we had a fine stop at Auchterarder where we had a few drinks with some St.Mirren fans returning from their defeat at Inverness. Wee Roy (or not so wee Roy) was being worshipped by the Buddies as they sang “theres only one Maradona”, it was class. We were soon on the bus and before I knew it we were back in Dumfries.

It had been a great day out and had flown in. Many thanks to the travel club for taking us on a 480 mile round trip for a 5. If you are not a member I would urge you to join as it’s the best value around. Also a big thanks to the people of Peterhead for the friendly welcome and it would be nice to see them get up into the first division so we could repay them the hospitality. The social club at Balmoor is a great wee place and I hope to return again but only in the cup or first division.

I was up early on Sunday and feeling remarkably fresh. I had a read through the mad message board and could not stop laughing after reading Parkgateqos’ post about the wind-up him and Gogs played on Sturie67.

I hope you don’t mind lads but I have copied it and you can all read it here…….

I couldn't make Peterhead yesterday so I decided to take in the Threave v Raith game at Castle Douglas with Gogs and Sturie67. After a few dodgy texts from Sturie67 on late Friday night I came to the conclusion he must have been out on the town, so when he arrived at Meadow Park at 2.57pm Gogs and myself had decided to wind him up about the team selection at Peterhead telling him that Andy Aitken was playing up front with Dobbie as big Sean hadn't made the line up. Sturie wasn't too sure that we were telling the truth and at this stage we didn't know that the best wind up would come later!!
Gogs was being kept informed of events at Peterhead by Musky(although I heard today that Musky had an extended visit to the Balmoor Social club at half time!!) and as Raith Rovers began to run away with things midway through the 2nd half Gogs and myself decided to wind up Sturie67 big time (as he had appeared not to be his usual alert self). We all knew that Queens were 3-0 up, so I started the "ball rolling" with a glance at my phone and informed Sturie67 that Peterhead had pulled a goal back to make it 1-3. It was then that I signalled to Gogs to carry on the "good work" with texts on his phone. So after a few minutes Gogs pipes up that Queens had lost a 2nd goal and to make matters worse had Andy Aitken sent off as well. Sturie67 was getting very agitated by this stage while we were struggling to keep a straight face!! Just at that time, in came an actual text from Musky that Peterhead had just missed a penalty and this added nicely to the "wind up".
Another few minutes went by and another "manufactured" text from the fishing capital had JT putting through his own net to make the score now 3-3. Poor old Sturie67 was now testing the Meadow Park terracing for cracks as well as a few choice words!!
Around 4.42 Gogs manufactured his final "nail in the coffin" text to "inform" us that Bavage had completed the comeback to make it 4-3 to the home side and at that point Sturie67 let fly with a few expletives!
Gogs and myself had to appear just as angry to stop ourselves from bursting out laughing. Just as the full time whistle was about to go a man in front of us asked Sturie67 how Queens were getting on and he proceeded to "fill" him in on the "disasterous" events in Peterhead and we were now struggling to contain the "wind up". So then went the final whistle at Meadow Park and other fans must have wondered why Sturie67 was in so much of a rage. As we were walking out of the ground Gogs and myself couldn't contain ourselves any longer and owned up to one of the best wind ups that I've been fortunate to be part of!!
As we were having a good laugh about it going down the street Alan "Rocky" Roxburgh informed us that Queens had won 4-0.
We left Sturie67 with a smile on his face and by the time we got back to the car Queens had made it 5-0.

A GREAT DAY ALLROUND AND A "WIND UP" OF THE HIGHEST ORDER

Musky

Queens 2 Hamilton Accies 1
When we went 1-0 down so early on I really could not see us coming back. But within the space of a couple of minutes in the second half we were in front.So thanks to Bryn Halliwell for that.
I found it difficult to understand Gordon Chisholms team selection and line-up again today but we got 3 points so I wont argue about that.
Jamie MacDonald had a fine game in goals with two or three fine stops and he looked confident and assured throughout. Big Jim Thomson won just about every ball that came his way both on the ground and in the air. It was surprising to see Neil Scally in the back four again when Andy Aitken who had a decent game last week was stuck on the bench but he done ok. Tosh and MacFarlane seem at long last to be starting to contribute something to the side and both were a lot better today. Jamie Mole started off well and saw a fair bit of the ball before fading out of it and I did not think Harris was very confident today. Up front O’Connor and Dobbie were linking up well and it was unfortunate to see Dobbs go off injured just before the interval. Sean worked his socks off again today and you could not ask for any more.
I did not expect much when Bingham came on but he proved me and a few others wrong this afternoon with an excellent performance. I was also impressed with Gilmour who was full of running and looked confident taking on defenders and he was rewarded when his fine shot hit the post before coming of Halliwell and into the net for the winner.
Hamilton played some nice football at times but once we levelled our confidence grew and I felt confident we would take something from the match. Another big game next week against the “great unwashed from Greenock” and I feel that we will take another 3 points.

Queens 1 Livingston 0
It was a fine afternoon for football as I arrived at Palmerston today just after 2.15pm. A good pitch, little wind,two teams looking for a first league win of the season and a cool late Summer afternoon were the perfect ingredients for a decent game of first division football. After four defeats on the road Queens were under a bit of pressure to give the home faithfull something to cheer about now that they were back at Palmerston.
During the week Manager Gordon Chisholm had announced that he had told loyal Queens servant Andy Aitken that he was surplus to requirements and that he would be released to seek another club before the transfer window closed at the end of the Month. This was not  popular  amongst the Queens support and Andy who was on the bench today had the Portland road end chanting " Theres only one Andy Aitken......." on a few occasions during the game. For all the doubters  and I was one of them I was not convinced that J.T and J.L  were the best answer for our central defensive pairing  but today they both put in solid displays and were more than capable of halting the Livi attack. In the air they were both excellent and never lost a header all day and on the ground (except for a couple of wayward clearances) never put a foot wrong. I was impressed.
I was pleased when I was handed a team sheet and saw todays lineup ( should that be line-up) ?
Jamie MacDonald in goals after a fine performance for the Scotland U21 side the other night with a  back four of Jamie McQuilken on the right with Jim Thomson and Jim Lauchlan the central defensive pairing and young Bob Harris on the left. In the middle we had Neil MacFarlane and Neil Scally with Paul Burns on the right and Stevie Tosh on the left and up front our top pairing of Sean and Dobbs.
As I took my seat at the back of the main stand I thought that Chis had got his lineup pretty much as I would have put it and I was confident that we could get a result against Mark Proctors side.
It was a very slow start and both teams seemed to take ages to settle. It was scrappy with very little good passing football on display .
Livi had a few moments early on and good play by Hamill saw Jim Thomson concede for a corner before Dobbie at the other end had a shot just wide but the flag was up anyway.
The first 10 minutes saw Livi play some decent football but Queens began to grow in confidence and Dobbie had a chance when he was through on the Livi keeper  but the big Polish stopper made a fine save. A nice flick from Stephen Dobbie put Sean O'Connor through but the flag was up and another chance went past.
Paul Burns was looking lively and after 14 mins good work by him on the right saw him feed the ball to Dobbie who put a ball across the danger area which was a bit deep for Tosh but he twisted and turned before seeing his effort deflected for a goal kick.
Dobbie then had a shot just wide before at the other end Dorrans shot over after creating a bit of space for himself..
On the 20 minute mark it looked like Queens would take the lead but the Livi keeper made two fine saves from Dobbie following good work between him and Sean. Marius Liberda the Livi keeper was certainly impressive and if it was not for him his side would have been dead and buried. The 6ft7in keeper certainly seems to be a good signing for Livi. Probably the third best keeper in the league after Jamie and Stephen at Queens !
I was very impressed by Paul Burns today and his general play ,vision and passing was excellent. Keep it up Burnsy and during the middle periods of the first 45 he was outstanding.
After 25 minutes Queens won a corner following good work by Harris and  the ball came back out to Thomson and his ball back into the danger area saw a header by Scally held by Liberda in the Livi goal. As the half hour mark approached good work on the right by Sean  saw the ball through to Dobbs but his shot was well saved by Liberda for a corner.
Livi then began to play a bit of football and take the ball towards Queens but never really threatened. Liam Fox who looked the most lively Livy player had a low shot from distance go past Jamies  right hand post but Queens never looked under any real pressure.
Stevie Tosh was starting show a few signs of what he can really do and on 42 mins he played a great ball through to Dobbie and as the striker closed in on the Livi goal being chased by two defenders he shot wide.
As half time approached Queens nearly broke the deadlock when firstly Paul Burns squandered a half chance then Sean O'Connor unmarked in the 6yd box  blasted well over the top when the goal looked at his mercy ! The last action of the period saw a McQuilken free kick floated into the box and Sean heading over.
It was  a decent first period from Queens when we certainly created the best chances and should really have been ahead.
The second 45 started with Queens attacking the Portland road end with the same eleven players on the park. Livi brought on Stevie Craig for the ineffective Lee Matthews and they made quite a bright start but with no cutting edge.
Dave Mackay was booked after 49 mins for a foul on Sean O'Connor on the half way line and from the free kick Dobbs found space on the edge of the box but he and Sean got in each others way and a chance went a begging !
There was then a few minutes delay as injuries to MacFarlane and Hamill needed attention.
Palmerston then errupted as Queens took the lead following excellent play  from Paul Burns as he found Tosh  who played the ball to Neil Scally  whose shot took a slight deflection and trundled past the Livi keeper. On chances created it was no more than we deserved. It then followed an unfortunate injury to a Livi player who was stretchered off so lets hope its not serious. They then brought on Thomas Pesir and Stevie Weir but it was Queens who next threatened when Sean made space in the area but tried to beat the keeper when a square ball to Dobbie might have been a better option. Livi came forward  and a good ball across goal from Craig  was cleared at the back post by Jamie McQuilken for a corner which was well held by Jamie.Mac D in the Queens goal.
My man of the match Paul Burns then had a chance when he shot high and wide  before the ball went to the other end after 65 mins and Livi had their best chance of the day but their striker poked the ball wide when it looked easier to score.
Queens were playing some nice football  and Burns ,Scally,MacFarlane and Tosh were dominating the midde of the park. The game then entered the final ten minutes and Livingston began to put a little pressure on the Queens goal but Chis replaced Tosh and Dobbie with Bigham and Mole to try and freshen the tiring legs up a little bit.  A couple of minutes later John O'Neill came on for the hard working Neil MacFarlane and shortly after Jamie Mole seen a fine shot parried by Marius Liberda. Stevie Craig then got  a well earned Yellow card for persistant fouling as the game edged into injury time. All i can say to Mike Tumilty is get a proper mountaineering watch as NO WAY WAS THERE 5  MINS STOPPAGE TIME IN THAT GAME !!!!
I was pleased with what I saw today....no failures..good performance........cant argue with JT & JL
Well done Queens and I felt happy as I got into the car to drive up to Perthshire for a few days. I wont be home to get to Morton next week  but I do feel confident that we are more than capable of finishing in the top half of this league.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hamilton Accies 1 Queens 0.
 
It was a wet and miserable day as we boarded the travel club buses at Palmerston this morning but there was optimism that we could get a result today against Accies on their artifical pitch.
After refreshments at the Acadmical Vaults we made our way to the ground and the travelling support of 452 looked forward to what on paper should have been a decent game.
Queens started with a 4-5-1 formation as Jamie MacDonald returned in goals with a back four of Paton,Harris and Aitken accompanied by Scally in the middle. Why we did not sign Liam Atkin is a mystery to almost all Queens fans and to play one of our best midfield players in the centre of defence is the mystery of the season so far !
In midfield we had Burns,MacFarlane,O'Neill,Tosh and McQuilken with Bingham on his own up front. This was not the starting line up that many of us expected. The game as a whole was very poor with the home side not showing much more quality than ourselves. The first 15 minutes provided very little in the way of entertainment until Andy Aitken lost the ball and the quick Richard Offiong ran through towards Jamie MacDonald and hit the ball low past the Queens keeper.
A nightmare to lose the first goal and the way we were playing gave the travelling support no confidence or hope that we could get back into the game.
Tosh , who never got involved at all in the opening stages was replaced by Jamie Mole. Whether it was an injury or not is anyones guess but Queens could hardly string two passes together and an average looking Hamilton side were in control of the game.
Queens hardly ever threatened the Accies defence but after 28 minutes John O'Neill had a good run and as he moved into the box his effort was blocked by Bryn Halliwell. It was then obvious that Jamie McQuilken was struggling with an injury but it seemed to take ages before he was replaced by Stephen Dobbie. Bingham dropped back into midfield and Dobbie then partnered Mole up front but with little success except after 38 minutes when Mole found space on the right and cut inside his marker but as he squared the ball for Dobbie it was cut out by the Accies defence.
Offiong then had a turn and shot which was well stopped by Jamie MacDonald before Neil MacFarlane had a rare shot for Queens which flew well over the top.
The second period started with no changes in the Queens side but this was hardly surprising as we had already used two of our subs. There was then a five minute delay as Accies keeper Halliwell got injured after crashing into one of his own defenders. He could not continue and was replaced by Czech keeper Cerny.
Stephen Dobbie then proved he could defend as he cleared the ball of the line from an Accies corner.
Queens looked all over the place and never looked like getting back on level terms and in the closing stages Hamilton began to assert a bit of authority on the game. Gilmour came on for the ineffective Bingham after 77 minutes but did not make any difference. Dobbie did come quite close near the end but his header went wide and then Jamie MacDonald made another decent save to keep the score at 1-0.
The game ended and the travelling support left the ground disappointed at a very poor display from Queens. There are players who just did not perform again today and a hge improvement is needed before next weeks home game with Livingston.
My Queens man of the match was Jamie MacDonald who dealt with all that was thrown at him.
It was also nice talking to young Accies defender Tom Parratts parents in the pub before the game. And Tom probably wont have an easier game all season.
Musky.

CIS Cup Round 1
East Fife 1 Queens 0
 
After our fine performance on Saturday against St.Johnstone I set out for Methil confident that Queens would progress to the second round of the CIS Cup at the expense of 3rd Division East Fife.
The travel club buses left Palmerston just before 4pm but heavy traffic near Cumbernauld and then delays at Kincardine Bridge meant we arrived at New Bayview nearly at kick-off time. The start was delayed for a few minutes to let the travelling support take their seats in the stand. This was my first visit and the quality of the playing surface caught my eye right away, its just a pity that the Queens team could not live up to it.
Queens, as expected made a few changes from Saturday. Stephen Grindley started in goal and at the back Lauchlan and Harris came in for McQuilken and trialist Liam Atkin. In the middle Stevie Tosh returned in place of Burns and Bingo was played up front in place of big Sean.
It was a lovely evening as the game kicked off in front of a crowd of 693 with around 200 of those supporting the visitors.
Queens started well enough and created the first effort on goal after 5 minutes when Andy Aitken picked up the ball on the left and when he swung it across it nearly went over the East Fife keeper and into the net but he somehow managed to knock it over the bar for a corner.
Queens did not put the home side under any real pressure and a lot of our players were inept this evening. There was a lack of urgency about our play and it looked as if they just wanted to do enough to get through the tie. The Fifers had a big back four who were always going to win any high balls played into the danger area so it was always going to be a game where we needed to play some neat stuff on the deck. We did show a few glimpses of good passing football  but did not sustain it long enough to give the home side the runaround.
After 23 minutes a neat pass from David Bingham saw Stephen Dobbie released but his low shot was well wide then a few minutes later Brian Gilmour lost the ball and Kevin Gordon hit a shot which Grindley knocked away.
Then Dobbie was released by Tosh and just as a few minutes earlier he dragged his shot wide left.
Stephen Grindley was called into action again on the half hour mark when he had to be alert to make a good save from a decent East Fife header. Queens then fell victim to a couple of very close off-side calls when Dobbie then Bingham might well have been clean through on goal. Then in the couple of minutes before the interval we should have taken the lead when Dobbie found space on the left and sent over a decent ball which found Bingham with acres of space but his header went straight at the keeper and on the stroke of half-time a superb cross field pass from Eric Paton found Dobbie moving into the box but yet again the far side official had his flag raised.
The second half started with no changes made by either side as Queens attacked the end towards the Firth of Forth. Queens applied some early pressure to the Fife defence but were unable to create a clear opening as far too many players were under par this evening. Our first real chance of the half arrived after 54 minutes when Dobbie had a shot well saved by the keeper and as the ball was knocked back over Stevie Tosh should have headed home but instead it went wide. That was as good as it got for Queens and as thehour mark approached play was stopped on the far side after a challenge from Bob Harris who was given a straight red card. Nobody around me could see if it had really been that bad. This gave the home side the boost they were looking for as Gordon Chisholm brought on Jamie McQuilken for the ineffective Gilmour. East Fife then put on a couple of fresh strikers in O'Reilly and McManus before Stephen Dobbie was replaced by Sean O'Connor for Queens.
East Fife then pressed forward and won a couple of corners and from the second of these they grabbed the only goal of the game when a powerful header was blocked on the line by Stephen Grindley but Greig McDonald followed up to hammer the ball high into the net.
It was now going to be a real struggle for Queens being both a goal and a man down but a minute later Bingham should have done better when he was released by Tosh and his effort went over the top. In 73 minutes Chis sent on Jamie Mole for Bingo and the on loan Hearts youngster looked lively and eager to get involved.
Tosh then had another half chance but shot wide after 83 minutes and Jamie Mole had a couple of efforts but it was not going to be our night. After a few minutes stoppage time the Ref blew the final whistle and we made our way back to the buses for the long journey back to Dumfries.
This was a poor performance from Queens and everyone knows they are capable of much better. Far too many players did not perform and they know who they are.Pass marks tonight went to Grindley,Paton and Aitken and Mole for his 17 minutes on the pitch.
Gordon Chisholm has only a couple of days to get things sorted out for what will be a very tough trip to Dundee on Saturday.

Queens 3 St.Johnstone 3
As I walked down to Palmerston today it was difficult to predict what team Gordon Chisholm would manage to put out on the pitch against a Perth side who many,myself included think will be Champions come the end of the season. Chis has assembled a very strong squad for this campaign but a combination of suspensions and pre season injuries seem to have put us on the back foot even before a ball has been kicked.
 
Yesterday it was revealed that that we had managed to sign young Hearts striker Jamie Mole on loan until the end of the year. This was a big boost as we really need back up cover for O'Connor and Dobbie. So although we appeared to be down to the bare minimum in players available for selection we still started the match with a strong looking line-up.
Jamie MacDonald was in front of a back four of Paton,Atkin,Aitken and McQuilken. In the middle we had Burns,Scally.MacFarlane and Gilmour and O'Connor and Dobbie up front.
The midwweek injury scares to the front pair and midfielder MacFarlane proved unfounded.
Saints lined up with a side very similar to their top line-up from last season with big striker Dyron Daal on the bench.
The home crowd looked a bit sparse in the Portland Road end but we did not have long to wait for Queens and Stephen Dobbie to open their accounts for the season when the former Saints striker found space and lobbed the ball over Alan Main after good work from Sean O'Connor on the right. This was just the start we were looking for and the confidence grew in the Queens ranks. Dobbie had the ball in the net again after 13 minutes but was flagged offside following more good work from big Sean. A minute later a good cross ball from Gilmour was nearly knocked in by Burns.
Saints came close on 16 minutes but Jamie MacDonald made a good block to keep Queens in front.
Queens continued to take the game to the Perth sides and we were rewarded after 27 minutes when Neil MacFarlane picked up the ball from about 25 yards out and and hit a magnificent shot goalwards which struck the underside of the bar and landed in the net giving Alan Main no chance. 2-0 Queens.
Then things went a bit wrong for Queens when Jamie McQuilken was adjudged to have brought down a Saints player as he moved into the box and Brines pointed to the spot. Sheerin took it and made no mistake to bring the score back to 2-1. The game then reached halftime with the Queens holding the lead.
Saints had not really posed the threat I had imagined in the first 45 and Queens with a depleted squad had more than held their own.
There were no changes by either side at the interval as the teams took the pitch on a warm sunny afternoon.
Queens should have increased the lead on 46 mins when Sean O'Connor found himself in space and  through on goal but Alan Main blocked his effort when a square ball to the unmarked Gilmour may have payed a better dividend. There then followed a couple of tugs and pulls on Dobbie. The first resulted in a free kick but the second saw Ref Brines pointing to the spot. I thought it was a soft one again but Dobbie stepped up and Main saved to his right keeping the score at 2-1. But we did not have long to wait for Queens to increase the lead when a minute later Stephen Dobbie found space  and drove a low shot past Alan Mains left hand side. 3-1 to Queens and we seemed to be cruising to an opening day league victory. Owen Coyle made a cahnge afte 57 minutes when he replaced Stewart up front with big Dutch striker Dyron Daal whom we had seen here last season while playing with Dundee. The big lad did not make much of an impresion during the time he had on the pitch.
On the hour mark I thought it was a hand ball by Daal but a corner was given as Saints tried to get back into the game before Jamie MacDonald pulled off a fine save when he put the ball past his right post for another corner to the visitors. On the hour mark Gordon Chisholm took Brian Gilmour off and replaced him with David Bingham. I did not think the former Clyde favourite had seen enough of the ball to have had a bigger say on the game. The match at this stage was quite open and flowing from end to end but Queens looked comfortable and a well organised back 4 and a confident keeper did not look like letting Saints leave Palmerston with anything. On 64 minutes a foul on Bingo saw an Eric Paton freekick from the left cleared as Queens tried to increase the lead before a long range shot from Saints best player Paul Sheerin was spilled by Jamie MacDonald before he safely held it at the second go. Saints then brought on Andy Jackson for Peter MacDonald who I thought had a pretty quiet game and a few minutes later Queens brought on our latest on-loan signing Jamie Mole from Hearts in place of Big Sean who had again worked his socks off for the side. With just over 10 minutes to go and Queens holding a 3-1 lead Kevin James heads wide from a Saints corner before Scott Robertson picks up a yellow card for kicking the ball away. It was looking good for Queens as the seconds counted down and we felt we had the 3 points in the bag when a Saints player headed just wide with only 6 minutes to go. Jamie MacDonald then held a long range shot from Sheerin before a tiring Liam Atkin missed  a long ball and a Saints player fired over the top. Then disaster struck in 88 minutes when Saints got awarded a second soft penalty for what I dont  know and Sheerin scored again. We still had a goal lead but a minute later the teams were level when the ball flew in from the St.Johnstone left and crossed the line from Martin Hardie.
It was a hard one to take for the home fans but at the start of the day we would have taken a point against one of the promotion favourites especially with our depleted squad.
All in all a good start to the campaign and a performance which can give us all heart for the tough games coming up over the next few weeks.
 
 

Carlisle Friendly
 
On a warm and sunny afternoon Queens again played some nice football against our neighbours from across the border. Gordon Chisholm started with Stephen Grindley in goal and a back four of Paton,Atkins,Aitken and McQuilken. In the midfield we had Scally,Robertson,Gilmour and Burns with O'Connor and Bingham up front.
Queens started well and for the first half hour were on top and having the bulk of the possession with Sean O'Connor working his socks off and giving the Carlisle defence all sorts of problems. Against the run of play Carlisle had a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. I did not have a clear view as to what it was given for but was told it may have been for a tug on a jersey from Andy Aitken. The striker hit the ball low to the right but Grindley got down well to save it.
The players came out for the second half with Lord Palmerston raising a laugh over the tannoy when he announced that Queens had replaced Sean O'Connor with John O'Neill and that Carlisle had changed the lot.
Queens continued to play some decent passing football but the visitors came more into the match in the second half but Queens should have taken the lead after 50 minutes when Bingo was brought down at the edge of the box and Queens were awarded a spot kick. With no Stephen Dobbie on the park it was always going to be John O'Neills kick but he skyed it well over the bar and almost into Dumfries prison !
Carlisles best chance came after 68 minutes when they had a free kick in a central position 25 yards out but it was curled wide of Stephen Grindleys post.
In 73 minutes Atkins was replaced by Lauchlan. The lad from Newcastle had played well again and may well have done enough to earn a contract at Palmerston this season.
With 5 minutes to go Mark Whorlaw came on for Brian Gilmour and could well have won it for Queens when he knocked a shot just wide in the final minute.
So it ended goalless but it was another solid and decent performance from Queens and the main thing between now and next Saturday will be to have a head count and see how many fit players we have for the opening game against one of the favourites for the leaguie in St.Johnstone.
For me today big Sean was immense before being replaced and Bingham again showed his quality.

Gretna Friendly.
 
Queens 2 Gretna 1

Watching tonights game it looked like Queens were the team heading to the SPL and not our near neighbours. This was a well deserved victory and the late consolation goal for Gretna makes the game seem closer than it was. Jamie MacDonald in goals had very little to do and only had to make one save in the 90 minutes when he parried a shot clear. He had no chance with their goal. On another night Stephen Dobbie might have had a hat-trick but the gretna keeper made a number of fine saves. The whole team played very very well and there were no failures.Sean O'Connor scored after 70 minutes then a fine effort from ex Gretna striker David Bingham 5 minutes later gave us a 2 goal lead.
Things did not start too well for Queens when Neil McGowan had to come off injured after 3 minutes to be replaced by Andy Aitken who himself was later forced to leave the field with a head injury. Queens had a trialist centre back from Newcastle playing at Number 5 and he did his chances of a contract no harm whatsoever with a solid display. Jamie McQuilken had an excellent game as did Neil MacFarlane. It was good to see Paul Burns back to something like his old self as well. There were no failures in the Queens side tonight and if we dont get any more injuries and avoid any more suspensions in the early part of the new season I can see us doing quite well. Gretna were very poor tonight and we will certainly have a much harder game on Saturday when Carlisle Utd are the visitors.

Annan Tournament.

Sat 15th July 2007

An excellent showing from Queens this afternoon at Galabank. Jamie MacDonald was a spectator for virtually all of the first have as Queens totally dominated. We had a back four of McQuilken,Laughlan,McGowan and Paton. In midfield Tosh,Robertson and MacFarlane with Bingham playing just behind O'Connor and Dobbie.
The whole team played well and have a solid well balanced look about them. Ayr just had no answer to some of our good football and I was very impressed by how well Neil MacFarlane played.Bingham looks like a useful addition to the squad as well and it was great to see Dobbie fire in six goals. Big Jim Laughlan scored the other with a fine effort and we really could quite easily have hit double figures against an Ayr Utd team who were woefull.

Sun 16th July 2007

What a difference 24 hours can make ! Although the Queens team was slightly different from yesterday the performance was miles away from the excellent performance against Ayr. Stranraer provided a much stiffer challenge and were well worthy of being a goal up at the interval. We did improve after the break and got level thanks to a Sean O'Connor strike which took us to a penalty shootout. Stephen Grindlay saved the first Stranraer spot kick and then successful scores from O'Neill, Tosh, Bingham,Paton and O'Connor gave us victory. It was probably too much to expect a performance of yesterdays levels but it was still good to lift the trophy for the second season in a row

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