Click on link for report.Queens 1 Stenhousemuir 0 9/5/98Queens 3 Stranaer 2 25/4/98Queens 0 Livingston 1 11/4/98Queens 1 East Fife 4 5/4/98Queens 1 Livingston 1 25/3/98Queens 2 Inverness 0 21/3/98Queens 1 Brechin 1 14/3/98Queens 5 Forfar 1 7/3/98Queens P Livingston P 28/2/98Queens 0 Clydebank 0 24/2/98Queens 5 East Fife 1 15/2/98Queens 0 Clyde 0 7/2/98Queens 1 Brechin 1 3/2/98Queens 1 Inverness 0 31/1/98Queens 1 Stirling 3 24/1/98Queens 0 Stenhousemuir 1 20/1/98Queens 4 Arbroath 0 12/1/98Queens 1 Arbroath 1 6/1/98Queens P Arbroath P 3/1/98Queens 4 Stranaer 3 27/12/97Queens 2 East Fife 1 20/12/97Queens 0 Brechin 0 22/11/97Queens 1 Livingston 0 8/11/97Queens 0 Clydebank 4 5/11/97Queens 0 Falkirk 1 2/11/97
Saturday, 9th May, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,260 Queens 1 Stenhousemuir 0 Bryce (7)
So the final match of the season has come and gone as out we went with a whimper. Apparently, so I was told, Tam Bryce needed six goals to make it 100 for Queens and he nearly got the first of these early on when he cracked a shot from the edge of the box against the underside of the bar. Steny had already had a couple of chances before this but a combination of good keeping and poor finishing kept them out. Then in seven minutes, Tam went charging through the middle before cutting by a couple of defenders and tucking the ball into the corner. From then on it became a laugh for the fans as Steny desperately tried to stay up but their poor finishing and bad luck continued as they hit the bar at least twice (who was counting?). Queens received a standing ovation from the fans at the end who were happy that we had at least managed to relegate somebody else!
In the program Rowan reckoned finishing 4th was an improvement because we were fifth last year. I say that this was the weakest Second Division for years and we, along with Clydebank early on, were by far the best team in the league and should have gone up. Rowan also says 'If anyone out there can honestly say that the past season has been unsuccessful they should go away and support something else as their views on success and progression are grossly outweighed by the vast majority'. I say why doesn't Rowan go and manage someone who he supports, like Morton.
By the way, did you notice the two relegated teams are the ones without WEB pages? An Omen!
Man of The Match
Andy Aitken - Superb in a more central role.
Saturday, 25th April, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,615 Queens 3 Stranaer 2 Bryce (2, 1 pen) Payne
Second last home game of the season. Promotion chances gone. Nothing to play for. So why did we get our biggest league crowd of the season? Because we had a chance to stop the Clay Holer's from get promotion. They may be over seventy miles away but they are still our biggest rivals and we still like to show them who's boss. Also, the Clay Holer's had the cheek to bring more fans with them to Palmerston than they get at home games. Still, I suppose Dumfries is easier for them to get to from their farms, with there being roads and everything over here!
The first half was another disaster for Queens. They started of with what looked like a 5-5-0 formation with two of Bryce, Leslie or Irving playing up front in the absence of Mallan ( in dispute with the management) and Eadie (Don't Know). By the way, Queens had the advantage of having Wiggy's father, John Rowbottom, as referee (sorry to anyone who doesn't get this in joke). However, we didn't get time to work out the formation as within the first couple of minutes Payne and Thomson banged heads and both had to go of for treatment. Payne came back a few minutes later but Thomson had to be replaced by McAllister. McAllister himself was then substituted by Cleeland after about half an hour. The only goal of the first half came again after Queens failed to deal with a corner and Stranaer managed to force the ball home. The Stranaer fans showed their hands too early though as they revealed themselves in our stand and got the Queens support behind the team. Stranaer were the better team by a long way in the first half but they could best be described as efficient, they were not the best team I have seen this season.
The second half was a different story. Queens, who had not looked like they were capable of scoring in the first half, equalised after a nice move which ended with Wiggy being brought down in the box while in a fairly harmless position and Tam Bryce tucked the penalty away to send the Queens fans wild. However, minutes later it was the Irish who were celebrating again after they converted a very soft penalty. At this point, Rowan finally made a good move and brought on the Donegal Diamond, Dennis Boyle. Young Dennis totally turned the game on its head as Queens got right on top. He beat two players brilliantly down the left wing before sending in a perfect cross for Dean Payne to score his first goal for the Queens. Dennis and Steven Leslie both came close after this but it was Tam who won the game for us with three minutes to go when he lobbed a free kick from the edge of the box over the wall, the keeper and the defender on the line to give us the win. At the end, you would have thought we had just won the league as we celebrated put the Clay Holer's back in their place.
Man of the Match - The Donegal Diamond, Dennis Boyle.
Saturday, 11th April, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,210 Queens 0 Livingston 1
After a performance like this there can be only one question to be asked. Who the hell are Russell Athletic! This is the name everyone in the Livingston dug out had on the back of their tracksuits. I know this cause I was in the dug out and seen more of the back of their heads as I did of the game as they refused to sit down. This led to a fair bit of banter between Leishman and the crowd and Leishman ended up loosing it and swearing at the crowd. Still, at the end of the day I would swap a manager who shows some enthusiasm for his team than someone who hides in the dugout and laughs at his own fans. Rowan has made it clear he loves Morton, so why doesn't he go there. West Sound report that he has signed a new long term contract. Lets hope not. The word on the terraces is that the directors are split 2-2 as to whether they want to keep him.
You want to know about the game? I don't want to talk about it. Livingston were terrible and beat us comfortably thanks to a deflected shot after Queens had yet again failed to clear a cross properly. Can't remember Queens troubling their keeper. I have readers of this page in Australia. It was a windy, cold day today and I envy you all cause you won't be tempted to go back next week!
Sunday, 5th April, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,276 Queens 1 East Fife 4 McKeown 63 Johnston 7 Dyer 12 Prytz 14 Munro 51
Queens big Sunday football experiment. Could we go up against two English Cup Semi-Finals and a Celtic Rangers match and still get a crowd? The answer seemed surprisingly to be it made no difference. We added about 70 to the gate.
As for the game, what a disaster. By far the worst performance I've seen this season and surely our chances of promotion are now gone. All the damage was done in the first 14 minutes. First goal in seven minutes when the had three players lining up to put away a cross from the right as the Queens defence disappeared. The second goal was a disaster. Their wee number 7, who looked to have the legs of the Queens defence early on, got to the bye line. unfortunately for him, he also had the legs of his own team, and had no one to cross to and was going nowhere. However, when it looked like he could simply have shepherded him into touch, Jim Thomson decided to give them a corner. From Prytz's corner the ball was allowed to go across the six yard box at head high unchallenged and the aforementioned WEE number 7 was all on his own at the back post to head home. With less than fifteen minutes gone it was three. This time Mathieson came to punch a left wing cross clear and actually didn't do too badly. However, the ball broke to one of their players at the edge of the box and he hit a shot which was going to hit the corner flag until Robert Prytz, who by this stage was a red as a beetroot (I thought he was a Swede?) brilliantly back heeled the ball on the volley high past Mathieson. Even the Queens fans had to applaud one of the best goals seen at Palmerston for a long time. After this there was a lot of huffing and puffing by Queens to try to get back into the game but East Fife where well in control.
In the second half, the ref. took some of the pressure of Queens by displaying a total lack of knowledge for the rules and turning the fans anger from the team to himself. Mathieson went to kick the ball clear in the 6 seconds he is now allowed. This new six second rule was also accompanied by a rule that the keeper could not be challenged. However, as he went to kick it, one of their forwards came in from behind (also illegal), knocked the ball away and put it in the net. To everyone's amazement, the ref. allowed the goal. Of course, after this, every time the East Fife keeper got the ball, Queens tried to kick it out of his hands and of course, every time the ref. gave a free kick. Queens did eventually manage to pull one back when Des score with a RIGHT foot drive into the top corner but it was all too little too late. The only thing the game lacked was a sending off so we started to encourage Cleeland but he failed to deliver.
And so Queens, who every manager in the league seem to think are the best team, drop out of the promotion chase. Why? Unfortunately, I can see only one reason and that is Rowan Alexander. Yet again he was hiding the dugout when the going got tough. I think Queens biggest problem is that they change managers every year but if Rowan doesn't do something to make himself more popular with the fans, like talk to them, then he is on his way out.
Man of the Match
Robert Prytz - By the way, is he the first player who has played both in the Italian first division and at Palmerston?
Queens Man of the Match - You must be joking, not one of them deserves this award although Des and Stevie did seem to be trying harder than the rest, and Leslie when he came on.
Wednesday, 25th March, 1998 Armondale Stadium, Livingston Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,093 Queens 1 Livingston 1 Watson o.g. 63 Callaghan 53
Having travelled almost to Livingston a few Saturdays ago and been all set to leave a couple of Tuesdays ago, only for Livingston to chicken out both times, I didn't bother tonight.
This is the Ceefax report:
A superb strike by Willie Callaghan - his fourth in as many games - put Livingston ahead after 53 minutes.
But Graham Watson diverted Tommy Bryce's free kick into his own net for Queens' equaliser 10 minutes later.
Livingston were on top and David Mathieson pulled of a great save from Derek Fleming.
The home side pressed for the winner but they lacked the killer touch.
Teletext report is almost exactly the same but adds:
In injury time Queens almost got the winner when a corner caused a scramble with several shots being blocked and Fleming clearing off the line.
So Queens go third, five behind Livingston and six behind Clydebank but one in front of Stranaer, everybody in the league having played the same number of games. There is now a six point gap from Queens to the fifth place team so it looks like it is between these four.
Saturday, 21st March, 1998 Inverness Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,989 Queens
32 Inverness 0 Bryce 13,77 Mallan 85
Was I there? Was I hell! Tried to follow the action on Ceefax but just got very confused. As far as I know this was the final outcome. Ceefax showed this at first then Mallan's goal disappeared and it went back to two nil. The news reported it as 3-0 but ITV teletex said 2-0. Finally the Border Teletex report made it 3-0 and Sky News made it 3-0 so I'll take this as correct.
Right, hopefully this is my last word on this subject. The Sunday papers say the score was 2-0, Mallan's goal having been disallowed. Let's hope that's an end to it!
This is the report from the Inverness Web Page.
Mathieson, McLeod, Aitken, Love, Thomson, Connor, Payne (Irving 72), Bryce,
Mallan (Pettit 85), Townsley, McKeown Sub - Weir
REFEREE - W Young (Clarkston)
ATTENDANCE - 1989
MAN OF THE MATCH - James Thomson (QOS)
REPORT - A poor performance by the home side and a well deserved win for Queens. The Caley Thistle defence stuttered throughout the match under severe pressure from Queens' Tommy Bryce, Steve Mallan and the towering Derek Townsley. Up front the Caley Thistle attack force made little headway against a Queens' back four well marshalled by Jim Thomson. The home side started well and in 30 seconds Scott McLean sent over a good cross from the right which led to a Brian Thomson shot being diverted for a corner. Queens had a real chance in 7 minutes when Bryce pounced on a Richard Hastings header but with only Jim Calder to beat he hit it weakly into the keeper's hands. Two minutes later at the other end McLean was unlucky when he ran in to head a Barry Robson deep corner but it went just the wrong side of the post. In 13 minutes Caley Thistle lost a bad goal. Mark McCulloch went for a high ball and headed it over Calder as he came out - it landed at the feet of Bryce and he tapped home. In 23 minutes Scott McLean took a pass from Robson in the box but a defender blocked just as he shot. Three minutes later Queens had a chance for a second when Townsley passed to Mallan in the area but Hastings blocked well. In 32 minutes McCulloch stormed forward and met a Vetle Andersen blocked effort but he hit it past the post. Three minutes later Queens had another chance but Calder did well to save at the feet of Deane Payne. Calder did the same as the half drew to a close when Townsley was well placed in the area. Five minutes into the second half Thomson headed in for Queens but a foul was given. Two minutes later there was a bizarre incident when Sandy Robertson was brought down in the Queens area and he caught the ball expecting a penalty to be given - the referee waved play on! Immediately after that McLean was brought down by David Mathieson but the referee awarded a corner. Another rare home effort was a goal mouth scramble in 57 minutes when only the combined efforts of Mathieson and Graeme Love kept the ball out. Bryce made it 2-0 in 77 minutes when Townsley headed it into his path and he hit it home from the edge of the box. With 5 minutes left Steve Mallan netted for Queens but offside was given - this "goal" was reported on TV and in some newspapers as real and the score as 3-0. This confusion summed up the afternoon for Caley Thistle and things can only improve.
Saturday, 14th March, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,216 Queens 1 Brechin 1 Mallan 1
Queens took the lead in the first minute, dominated the whole game, and got a 1-1 draw. A very frustrating day as Queens, particularly in the first half, played some of their best football of the season but for various reasons, including bad luck, a poor second half and a poor referee and linesman, who between them chalked of FIVE Queens goals, only took one point.
It looked like it would be so different as Queens took a first minute lead. Mallan challenged old Queens "favourite" Jim Butterfingers in the Brechin goal for a cross from the right to the back post. Old Butters was exactly as we remembered him as he dropped the ball at his feet and the ball trickled in of what seemed to be a combination of Mallan's boot and a defender's head as he fell on the ball. At the time we did not realise the significance of this incident but from then on the ref. gave Butters a free kick every time he dropped the ball (and there were a few). The first chalked of goal came when Queens were awarded a corner. Bryce went to take it from the right but the ref. decided it should be from the left. As Bryce tried to send the ball over to the left wing it ended up in the net! OK, so this was probably the least controversial decision of the day. Soon after Butters once more dropped the ball which was despatched into the net only for the ref. to award a free kick. Then Queens got clear on the left and Townsley turned the cross in only to have it chalked of for a very dodgy offside. The third disallowed goal of the half was possibly the most contentious as Butters got nowhere near a left wing cross and Mallan headed into the open net, only for the ref. to chalk it of, presumably for a foul by Payne who had got himself well forward although it was difficult to understand why.
So Queens went in 1-0 up having played some of their best football of the season to hear "Super Ro's" inspirational team talk and it had the usual effect as Queens went to pieces in the second half. Queens still had their chances, notably when Mallan went it alone only to see his shot from the edge of the box hit the post and also when he set Bryce up with a sitter about six yards out which Tam skied over the bar left footed. We also had another goal chalked of as we broke beautifully down the right to get three players in behind their defence. However, as the ball was centred to Bryce to turn the ball in he was given off side. If he was offside it was extremely poor play as he had no need to be anywhere near off side. Alexander confounded his half time team talk by bringing on Andy Aitken for a midfielder and going to five at the back. Why! We also had the spectacle of Alexander standing miming instructions to Mallan, obviously Mallan hadn't a clue what he was on about as he stood looking bewildered in the centre circle. Queens never really looked under pressure but it was one of those games when everybody in the ground just new that Brechin were going to equalise and it came as no surprise when their sub, who I am glad wasn't on from the start, rounded Mathieson and squeezed the ball home from an impossible angle to equalise
And so a day when we expected to move into second ended with us in fourth as the Clay Hollers managed somehow to scramble above us and Livingston beat Clydebank. As I write this Livingston have also won their game in hand, 2-0 away to Brechin, to start sneaking away again, although Clydebank have lost again, 3-0 at home to East Fife.
Man of the Match
The sponsors gave it to Jim Thomson, but I would go for Mallan for his pure effort and on a luckier day he would have scored five and set up another five. I also thought Dean Payne had his best game yet. And their number 7 was one of the best players I have seen this season.
Saturday, 7th March, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,209 Queens 5 Forfar 1 Eadie 23, 56 McLauchlan 32 Townsley pen, 36 Cleeland 62 Mallan 84
Queens stormed back into control in the second division title race with what I can best describe as an efficient performance against Forfar. The 5-1 score line flatters the South but they did deserve to win.
The highlight early on was a Bryce miss after he had found some space on the right of the box but hit a woeful shot. Our Tam doesn't look like he is enjoying life up front but he still produced some good touches. The first goal came when Bryce tried a pass to Townsley on the right side of the box which was deflected. As I shouted for the big man to let it run for a corner he produced his first decent touch of the game and sent over an inch perfect cross for Eadie who had acres of space and time to pick his spot with a nice sidefooted shot. Forfar equalised when they sprang the Queens offside trap and Rowe seemed to stand back to allow their forward through to chip over Mathieson. Queens regained the lead when Forfar needlessly handled the ball in the box. As the Queens fans celebrated they suddenly remembered how crap we are at penalties. Our confidence levels didn't improve any as the ball was handed to the pony tailed one, Derek Townsley. However, big Digsey silenced his critics as he coolly slotted the ball low to the keepers right hand side. So Queens went in in front at half time after a fairly dour and uninspiring first half.
The second half saw Queens take the game to Forfar and squander a number of chances before a nice Bryce run led to McKeown crossing for the excellent Eadie to head home his second. Minutes later Cleeland, who I had not been impressed with, seemed to be running into a dead end until a gap opened on the edge of the box and he curled a beauty with his left foot into the corner. Eadie was replaced by Mallan soon after as he started to tire after his good work and received a standing ovation for his efforts. He was rightly voted the sponsors Man of the Match. Mallan ended his dry spell soon after following a cunning move from Townsley. He twice gave the ball away to pull the Forfar players out of position before winning it back and sending Bryce away on the left. He centred to Mallan who had an eternity to pick his spot. Queens controlled the second half brilliantly, led yet again by Conner, as they passed the ball about on the heavy pitch and didn't really give Forfar a look in. There was a strange incident when it appeared a packet of cigarettes was passed on for Rowe. Anybody know what it actually was?
Man of the Match
Who else but Ken Eadie, Eadie, Eadie.
Saturday, 28th February, 1998 Armondale Stadium, Livingston Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: Queens P Livingston P
I'm P****d off! Have just driven to a farm 15 miles from Livingston in lovely spring like weather only to find out the game was off.
I was 15 miles from Livingston, the weather was fine, listing to Sportsound at half past one and they told me the game was off. Couldn't bloody believe it!
Drove home through the snow storm which must have been following me and was back by three o'clock. It's snowing here now but we could have played a game.
Tuesday, 24th February, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,148 Queens 0 Clydebank 0
The Irish are coming! The league leaders came to Palmerston and I considered this good enough reason to cancel my usual Tuesday night appointment to go along.
The Dubliners were the best second division team I have seen this season, particularly in the first half when their nippy forwards and midfield controlled much of the game. Mind you they were helped by Queens who couldn't put a pass together. In an amazing coincidence Queens had two new players, both called Trialist and they also had a new player called Trialist! Mind you, their guy bore a striking resemblance to Chick Charnley!
For the first half hour their forwards gave Queens the run-around and their number eight should really have scored a couple. First Mathieson made a great save and then he missed a sitter from about six yards. Only Andy Aitken looked capable of stopping them. Queens did come back into it in the last fifteen minutes possession wise but still couldn't create a real chance.
The second half was a different story with Queens dominating but Clydebank still looking dangerous on the break. The referee, Mr Shamus O'Flatery, did seem to favour his Irish cousins, giving them everything. Queens had three good chances in the second half, Cleeland headed down after a good move and sub Mallan nearly managed to collect a rebound as the keeper tried to gather, Townsley and Mallan tried to walk the ball in but for some reason walked it wide and Conner, who final got a mention in the program, hit a beauty from the edge of the box against the inside of the post.
The last fifteen minutes was some of the best end to end stuff seen at Palmerston for a long time as Queens through on all three forwards on the bench and went for it. McCall, who named himself as a sub, resisted the temptation to come on and be the hero in front of all his friends. Oh, I forgot, he hasn't got any.
Overall, I think a draw was a good result but it leaves Saturday's game against Livingston as a Do or Die as far as promotion is concerned.
As for the two trialists, I'm afraid I wasn't over impressed with either of them although the forward hardly got a touch after coming on as sub.
Man of the Match
Andy Aitken for his first half performance.
Sunday, 15th February, 1998 Bay View, Methil Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 769 Queens 5 East Fife 1 Eadie 35 Moffat 21 McKeown 46 Townsley 63 Petit 79 Aitken 86
Queens Team: Mathieson, Trialist, Aitken, Rowe, Love, Conner, Townsley, Bryce, Mallan, Eadie, McKeown.
Saturday, 7th February, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,230 Queens 0 Clyde 0
The slide continues. With Queens now four points behind Livingston and played two more games it looks like promotion is now beyond us. And this had to be one of the worst games, football wise, for a long time. For excitement, however, all it lacked where goals.
It looked on the cards quite early that this wasn't going Queens day as chance after chance was missed and their keeper was having a stormer. I remember thinking at half time Queens should have had three at least but for the life of me I can only remember one. The reason for my memory loss will become clear. The one chance I do remember came from a Queens corner when the Clyde defence, with little help from any Queens forwards, almost managed to contrive an own goal, but their keeper made one of his many great saves. Clyde also hit the bar in the first half but for some reason, even at that moment, I never thought they were going to score. The game however exploded into life just before half time when their number 10, I think, having been booked a few minutes earlier, tried to stamp on Cleeland, playing at right back, right in front of the dug out and to the disgust of their management was sent off. I have to say that this sending off was, in my opinion, deserved.
The second half had just started when Cleeland lost it after not being given a decision and dived in with a wild challenge. It was worth a booking but a sending off was a bit harsh. A couple of minutes latter Queens were a man up again when their number 5, who had already been booked, tried to intercept a through ball. The ball deflected up onto his hand and he too was sent off. This time the Clyde bench were right to be upset. The ref. continued after this to give Queens their fair share of decisions but they could not take advantage of it. I was down in the enclosure beside the Clyde bench and to their credit they did maintain their sense of humour and we had a fair bit of good natured banter with them.
Queens continued to huff and puff but the forwards were right of form and missed a hatful of chances without ever coming close to scoring. The best chance of the second half again came with no Queens forwards in sight as one of their players hit his own post. And I do mean that this was the best chance of the half as even when Queens were awarded a penalty no one wanted to take it and it came as no surprise that the keeper easily saved Bryce's effort.
Queens almost got the result their performance deserved when late on a Clyde corner came of Townsley to their number four to head home but the ref. gave it as off side. I didn't think it was.
In the end it was the impressively large Clyde support who went home the happier. They had in the stand a guy with the loudest voice in the world who gave his side plenty of stick. Worryingly for their manager, it sounded like he was in the directors box! Incidentally, Rowan started of in the directors box but lasted about 10 mins. before coming down to the dug out.
The funniest moment of the match came when Weir tried to hammer the ball against the advertising boards but missed and hit a spectator about 5 yards away with a cracker of a shot.
Man of the Match
Their keeper by miles. For Queens? There wasn't one! Conner probably got the highest fail mark, again, and to the guy in the crowd who criticised him for missing tackles, at least he was putting tackles in.
Tuesday, 3rd February, 1998 Brechin Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 306 Queens 1 Brechin 1 Townsley 87 Black 45
Saturday, 31st January, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance:1,322 Queens 1 Inverness Caley 0 Weir 11
Did I fall asleep last week and forget to go home? This was an exact carbon copy of last week, Queens domination of the first half and then hammered in the second half. The difference this week was that Inverness weren't as good as I was expecting and couldn't take advantage.
Queens should have been one up early on when Eadie put Mallan through with all day to pick his spot. For some reason he picked the back of the terrace. Queens did however score soon after, after good work down the left between Mark Weir and Tommy Bryce left young Mark clear to fire in a cross. To be honest, it wasn't a very good cross, hit low and hard to the near post with not a Queens striker in sight, but none where needed as their keeper decided to grab the glory and turn it in to his own net. Queens got a free kick on the edge of the box when Mallan was shamelessly thumped from behind by their number six and we received an indication of what the ref. was going to be like for the rest of the game when he didn't get booked. Bryce's free kick flicked of the top of the wall onto the crossbar, and Thomson's header from the rebound was cleared of the line. Inverness then started to come back into the game and they too had a shot of the bar with the follow being brilliantly cleared of the line by Rowe (I think).
Yet again the second half was a totally different story. Its lucky teams don't send spies to Palmerston as opposition managers seem to have us sussed by half time and can stop us playing. Again it seemed that the simply packed the midfield to stop us playing to great success. On the negative side for them it also negated the threat of their most dangerous player, Sandy 'Scared to Bend Over in the Shower' Robertson. They only had two real chances in the half one from a great run by their number seven, only to be stopped well by Mathieson, who still looked a bit shaky today, and the other when their number 8 got into almost exactly the same position as Mallan in the first half but managed to finish even worse. At least on this occasion Alexander had the sense to get Townsley off when the going got tough, putting Kennedy on at right back and Leslie into midfield. He then sent on Cleeland for Eadie and moved Bryce, who had been playing further forward all day, up front. This gave Queens more dig in midfield and enabled them to hang on.
The referee's performance was perfectly summarised in a five minute spell near the end. First Inverness brought on Duncan Shearer and Alexi Mikilichenco (I think? (JOKE)) and Shearer entered the field of play without permission. He was brought back to the touch line to have his studs checked but did not receive a booking which I'm sure the rules say he should have, despite my prompts to the ref. Then their number 14 tried to swap shirts with David Kennedy with 15 mins. still to go, which the ref. decided wasn't a free kick and finally he decided it was OK for their player to control the ball with his entire right arm.
So Queens held out this week for the win and with Livingston losing moved closer to the promotion zone. And there were no signs of any Inverness players entertaining their fans with his keepy upy skills!
MAN OF THE MATCH
This is the report from the Inverness Web Page
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -
Mathieson, Leslie, Aitken, Rowe, Thomson, Townsley (Kennedy 59), Connor, Bryce, Mallan, Eadie (Cleeland 71), Weir.
Sub not used - McAllister
REFEREE - B McGarry (Cumbernauld)
ATTENDANCE - 1322
BOOKED - Andersen (ICT); Leslie and Thomson (QOS).
REPORT - Caley Thistle worked hard against a strong, competent Queens side but lacked the flair and finishing power of recent weeks. There were few clear cut chances throughout the game and, while Queens had the edge in the first half, it was the visitors who dominated the second. Queens created the first real chance in the 3rd minute when Steve Mallan was clear 15 yards out but hit it well over the bar. In 6 minutes Mike Teasdale fed Sandy Robertson 20 yards out but his strong shot went just past. A minute later an ambitious Brian Thomson overhead kick in the box cleared the bar. The only goal of the game came in the 11th minute when Bryce set up Mark Weir down the left. He reached the edge of the box and sent in a low angled drive which Jim Calder could only help on its way into the net. Queens had a good chance in the 23rd minute when Bryce lobbed a free kick over the 5 man wall only to see it deflected onto the bar. Three minutes later Caley Jags came close twice. A Robertson header came off the bar and Sheerin's follow up volley was stopped on the line by George Rowe - both times 'keeper David Mathieson was well beaten. In 31 minutes Robertson twisted in the box but shot over under pressure. On the 38 minute mark Calder did well to take the ball off Mallan as he charged in on goal. The pace did not let up after the break and, despite Caley Thistle pressure, the first chance of the half fell to Queens in the 48th minute. Jim Calder saved Weir's 25 yard low shot but Eadie was offside. Two minutes later a good cross-field pass from Iain Stewart found Barry Wilson down the right - he ran in on goal but shot past the post. Shortly after Paul Cherry had two attempts on goal. An 18 yard shot was deflected over then a strong header was well saved by Mathieson. The visitors' pressure continued and a Cherry/Stewart move set up Brian Thomson but his 15 yard blast went well wide. On 65 minutes the Inverness side had a great chance but, as in the first half, Rowe was the saviour for Queens. A Wilson ball into the box was hit first time by Stewart - it looked goalbound but Rowe popped up to hit it off the line. With 15 minutes remaining a Wilson 1-2 with Stewart left the winger with only the 'keeper to beat but Mathieson came out decisively and blocked well. Queens only real second half effort came in the 81st minute when Calder had to react well to catch a 25 yard Steven Leslie snap shot. With 5 minutes left substitute Barry Robson looked as if he was going to save the day for the visitors when he bore down on goal but he was cynically fouled just outside the area by James Thomson. As the last defender Thomson was very lucky to escape with a yellow card. Robertson took the free kick but he curled it round the wall and just past the post. Time ran out for the Inverness side and the far-travelled support went away disappointed that they had not at least taken a point.
Saturday, 24th January, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish Cup, Round 3 Attendance: 2,551 Queens 1 Stirling Albion 3 Weir
Our biggest crowd of the season and we got absolutely gubbed! Yet in the first half Queens were the slightly better team and should really have gone in a couple up.
Queens scored first when Townsley broke free down the left and his cut back was turned in by Mark Weir after a brief scramble.
Three minutes later Townsley hit a good shot from the edge of the area which the keeper did well to hold. However, as Degsy and his fellow midfielders stood around feeling sorry for themselves, Stirling broke quickly up the field. The Queens defence wasted at least three chances to clear the ball before setting up nicely for their number 7 to put the ball into an empty net.
The second half was a totally different story. We were totally hammered. Townsley and Bryce disappeared again when the going got tough and left Connor to do all the midfield work and Stirling took full advantage.
Queens did look dangerous with Mallan's pace up front but Eadie was having one of his worst games yet and missed a couple of good chances. The best chance was probably when Queens went through 3 on 1 but Mallan failed to take advantage.
Stirling scored with a long range goal which I would normally have expected Mathieson, who didn't look comfortable all afternoon, to save and then when Queens gifted them another goal when a backpass was too short and their number 7 nipped in for his second goal. About two minutes latter Mathieson came out of his goal to intercept the backpass!!!!!!!
Queens need to improve, particularly in midfield, if they hope to do anything once we get promoted to the first division:). Steven Leslie did well defensively at right back but doesn't provide the width of Kennedy in attacking situations while Mark Weir, like Jamie McAllister before him, did his best but needs time to improve. Much as I hate to admit it, we miss Des McKeown out there.
Tuesday, 20th January, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,460 Queens 0 Stenhousemuir 1
Can't make it on Tuesdays, fortunately. Bubble burst. My sources tell me we deserved to loose and that Mathieson had a bad game. Don't know anything else.
Monday, 12th January, 1998 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish Cup, Round 2 Attendance: 2,187 Queens 4 Arbroath 0 Eadie 8 Bryce 25 Mallan 40 Townsley 75 pen
Had to queue to get into Palmerston! Game delayed to allow the crowd in! Why? Cause we expected to see a slaughtering! And we weren't disappointed. Queens where in a different class from the third division leaders and won easily.
First goal, nice little midfield move, Townsley pass, Eadie goal.
Second goal, Arbroath give away, Bryce through unchallenged, shot from edge of area.
Third goal, Bryce through on keeper, square to Mallan for open goal.
Many more chances in first half, brilliant save by their keeper from Townsley.
Second half went down to talk to G. in the enclosure where he stands every week. Don't know why. Crap view. Didn't miss much though as Queens eased of to stroll through to the next round. Light relief after Townsley scored penalty, ran back to half way line celebrating, turned to prepare for kick off only to realise that the bench had been trying to get his attention to bring him of.
Bring on the Stirling!!!!
Tuesday, 6th January, 1998 Somewhere in darkest Arbroath Scottish Cup, Round 2 Attendance: 767 Queens 1 Arbroath 1 McAllister
If I didn't go on Saturday, do you really think I would go on a Tuesday night. Norman Blount kindly laid on a free bus for the fans to make up for Saturday.
The reports in the papers say that Queens should have won by a barrow load and their boss was quoted as saying Queens where a much better team but he was proud of his sides efforts. Funny how many managers think we're the best team in the world!
Saturday, 3rd January, 1998 Somewhere in darkest Arbroath Scottish Cup, Round 2 Queens v Arbroath POSTPONED
According to the papers about 300 Queens fans travelled to Arbroath and staged a protest when the game was postponed 25 mins................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. before kick-off.
I wasn't one of them!
Saturday, 27th December, 1997 Stairs Park, Stranaer Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 878 Queens 4 Stranaer 3 Bryce 40 pen Black 19 Eadie 45 McCaffrey 53 Mallan 73,81 Knox 87
If you think I'm going to the clay hole on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year you are so wrong. Judging by the size of the crowd quite a few Queens fans must have though.
Saturday, 20th December, 1997 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,013 Queens 2 East Fife 1 Eadie 25 Moffat 68 (pen) Mallan 85
10 man Queens beat 12 man East Fife 2-1. At least, if the stand is to be believed, the referee should have been wearing an East Fife top. Personally, I thought Thomson's first booking was a bit soft but having been booked he had to go for the second one. I couldn't really see the penalty from where I was but if the ball did strike Aitken's arm 9 refs. out of 10 would have given it.
I take back what I said about Robert Conner after his first game. I had him down as man of the match as in the first half he passed the ball beautifully, while in the second half he led the ten man effort valiantly.
I also though for the first time that Ken Eadie played well although judging by the voice of the stand I don't think many people would agree with me. I know he missed a couple of sitters but he was constantly making runs of the defenders shoulders, only to find Tommy Bryce, who I had thought had the worst game I have seen of him, failing to deliver the pass.
I was also very disappointed with Derek Townsley who hardly played a good pass all day and tired badly before being substituted.
I have only recently started going back to watch the Queens and I cannot understand how they have such a poor defensive record. They seem well organised at the back, dropping into a flat back 5 whenever the opposition get possession and look very solid.
Football wise it was quite a boring first half, the only highlight being Queen's goal. Conner played a great pass to overlapping Kennedy. His first cross was blocked but the ball came back to him. This seemed to catch the East Fife defence out and he was left with plenty of time to pick out Eadie who had taken up a great position at the back post to head home.
10 man Queens had lots more chances in the second half. Mallan sent in a great cross from the left to leave Eadie a free header from 8 yards which he sent wide when he should have scored.
Eadie finally got the pass his runs deserved to take him clear of the defence. As he tried to round the keeper he lost control and ended up skying the ball over the bar.
Mallan then struggled free on the right and sent a cross over to the unmarked Bryce at the back post. As Tommy moved in for the glory he fell flat on his face and the ball sailed over him.
Finally, Mallan took matters into his own hands to cut inside from the left wing and fire a beautiful low drive into the bottom corner.
I was a bit disappointed with this weeks pre match pie bought in the main stand.
It was just as well East Fife brought their 14 fans or the attendance would have dropped below the thousand mark for the first time this season.
Saturday,22nd November, 1997 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,356 Queens 0 Brechin 0
The coldest day of the year so far, if not the coldest day ever. I was suffering with the worst cold in history. My car wouldn't start. I didn't go.
By all accounts one of the worst games ever.
Read in the paper that Craig Brown, the Scotland Manager, was there. Stevie Mallan for Scotland? Watch this space.
Talking of Craig Brown, a funny story. I once worked with a girl who told me her boyfriend's father was a football manager. When I asked her who he managed she replied 'He used to manage Clyde.'. I knew her boyfriend's name was Brown so I asked if she meant Craig Brown, who was then Scotland's assistant manager (or whatever he was calling himself at the time, Director of Coaching or something). Anyway, this girl obviously believed being manager of Clyde was more important than being manager of Scotland. Was she right?
Saturday,8th November, 1997 Palmerston Park, Dumfries Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 1,210 Queens 1 Livingston 0 Bryce
Queens whole team was suspended after Wednesday night (nearly!) so there where a few changes for the visit of the league leaders, managed by our old foe from his Dunfermline days, Jim 'The Hairy Poet' Leishman.
Former Aberdeen and Scotland Superstar Robert Conner played on the left side of midfield having been signed from Goldilee Geriactics. Most players, as they get older, develop a more cultured style, but Bob seems to have done the opposite. I remember him slowing the game down and spreading the ball about the park but on Saturday it was run around like a headless chicken and punt the ball the way you're facing stuff.
There was also a new number 9, don't know his name, who ran his heart out for the team, only to be criticised from the stand for getting out of position.
Queens were also forced to hand the number 7 jersey to the young leukaemia victim who was supposed to be the mascot and play him in the centre of midfield. Still, at least he didn't look as ridiculous as their peroxide blonde number 10.
The highlights for Queens:
Tom Bryce scored with a back post header just before half time from a long punt across the pitch from the left back.
Looked like we should have had a penalty in the second half when Craig Flannigan was pulled back.
Jim Leishman was having a bit of banter with the fans in the stand and received a talking to from the referee midway through the second half.
Davie Mathieson had a great save when the peroxide blonde was clean through and was incredibly lucky when a header hit his post and he grabbed it as it ran along the line.
The Livingston fans trying to fit Livingston into a song. They usually ended up calling themselves Livy and so saved the Queens fans from having to make up any insults.
The return of the feet stamping stand.
The biggest disappointment for me came when Livingston brought on Steve Maskrey, the former Queens traitor, and the Queens fans failed to give him the welcome he deserved (booooooooo!!).
Wednesday, 5th November, 1997 Boghead Park, Dumbarton Scottish League, Division 2 Attendance: 500 Clydebank 4 Queens 0 Brown (4) Mallan (Sent Off 20) Murdoch (pen 49) Townsley (Sent Off 34) Miller Kaldjob (85) Nichols (Sent Off 34)
Don't know, wasn't there.
Saturday, 2nd November, 1997 Fir Park, Motherwell 1997 League Challenge Cup Final Attendance: 9,735 Queens 0 Falkirk 1 Hagen 65
Queens big day out and did we enjoy ourselves!!
Nearly every pub in the town had a bus at the game as over 5,000 Doonhamers crammed into two stands at Motherwell, determined to have a good time.
Not only did we help Motherwell to sell a record number of programs, there were also many complaints to be heard when the pie shops simply couldn't cope with the demand and ran out by half time!
Queens did themselves proud on the pitch, putting up a great display, although I did not think that Falkirk's defence where ever really too troubled. Having said that though, Derek Townsley did miss a sitter near the end that would have taken us into a deserved period of extra time. Wouldn't it have been great to have had a penalty shoot out at the Davie Cooper Stand end of the ground, which was packed with Queen's fans!
Falkirk won the game with a goal after 65 minutes when Kevin McAllister, who looked dangerous all afternoon, got free down the right and sent in a low cross with David Hagen turned back across the flying Mathieson into the other corner.
Falkirk did have more clear cut chances than Queens, although we had more of the game, but David Mathieson was brilliant for Queens in keeping them out, one save from a corner in the second half was pure class.
Jim Thomson at centre half had a great game, as did Derek Townsley in midfield, despite his late miss, but the man of the match award deservedly went to 38 year old Tommy Bryce, who took up brilliant positions through out the game. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite have the pace any more to punish the opposition but had some of his forward mates been a bit quicker he could have pulled the Falkirk defence to pieces.
The reaction of the Queens fans after the match was brilliant, staying on to cheer BOTH TEAMS on their laps of honour and despite being the loosing team, Queens players were last of the pitch and their fans were last to leave.
Here's to many more days like this.