Match Report

After a run of four games without a victory, Queens returned to winning ways as they recorded a 2-1 win over Raith Rovers in front of a crowd of 1656, in today`s Championship clash at Palmerston. All three goals came in an entertaining first half, and although the second half did not quite match the quality of the opening period, both teams had chances to score, and with there being just one goal between the teams as the game entered it`s final stages, the outcome was  never certain until the final whistle. The victory was Queens` third against the Kirkcaldy side this season, and ended the visitors fine away form.

There was just one change to the team that started and performed so well at Ibrox in midweek. With Mark Durnan, and Chris Higgins suspended, there was a first start of the season for Stephen McKenna who stepped in to replace Higgins, whilst Derek Lyle was recalled to the squad after completing his two game ban. The hosts lined-up in a 4-2-1-3 formation with the new centre-back pairing of McKenna, and captain for the day, Andy Dowie at the heart of the defence.

After a somewhat tentative start to the proceedings during which neither goalkeeper barely touched the ball, on seven minutes a neat attacking move by Queens involving Gavin Reilly, Iain Russell, and Michael Paton ended with Mark Millar testing visiting `keeper McGurn with a fierce drive from the edge of the area, with the `keeper reacting well to push the ball away for a corner. However the danger did not end there for the visitors as thirty-seconds later they fell behind. From the game`s opening set-piece Millar drilled a corner deep to the back post where the unmarked  Iain Russell was on hand to tap the ball home from 3-yards out. The goal was only Russell`s second of the current calendar year, but it gave Queens the important early breakthrough that they would have wanted from the game, and for the next twenty or so minutes, they were well in control.
McGurn has no chance as Russell knocks the ball into the net
Russell is congratulated
Minutes later Lewis Kidd`s cross was deflected for Queens second corner of the game, and when the ball was cleared to the edge of the area, Stephen McKenna went close to doubling the lead with a low shot with which curled only just wide of the far post, and as Queens continued to push forward, Millar again shot from distance but his attempt was always going wide of the target. The visitors were barely able to get out of their own half, and another attack from Queens that began with McKenna`s well driven pass being flicked on into the path of Paton, ended in disappointment when Paton shot high over the bar.
On eighteen minutes, Palmerston almost played host to what would have been the goal of the season. Iain Russell collected the ball just a few yards inside the Raith half, and after looking up and spotting `keeper McGurn a few yards from his line his audacious effort from all of 50-yards landed on the roof of the net as the `keeper struggled to get back into position. The visitors best chance of the half came minutes later when a slip by McKenna allowed a cross to come in from the right and Vaughan`s shot drew a fine save from Zander Clark.
As usual Queens were dangerous from set-pieces, and they went close to scoring again following their third corner of the game. Millar`s variety at corner kicks were clearly causing problems for the Raith defence, and when his delivery into the six-yard box was met by a powerful header from Kevin Holt, it seemed as though the ball was certain to find it`s way into the net, but the ball flashed inches wide of the far post. It was another really good chance for Queens to further increase their lead, and as so often happens in football when you fail to capitalise on the chances created, those missed opportunities come back to hurt you, and after exactly 20 minutes, that is what happened. A cross in from Conroy towards Nade appeared to hit the hand of the big French striker, but as the Queens defence began in vain to appeal for a free-kick, the ball fell nicely to Vaughan just inside the box and he crashed an unstoppable half-volley past Zander Clark to draw his side level.
Vaughan finishes well as he finds an empty spot in the net
Raith certainly took confidence from their equaliser, and prompted by Callachan in midfield, they started to gain the lions share of possession as Queens seemed to be a bit stunned by the fact that after dominating for large spells of the half, they found themselves pegged back. Although the visitors were controlling possession, they never really put the Queens defence under too much pressure as Dowie and McKenna looked quite solid. In fact McKenna`s ability to find a simple but effective pass when in possession proved to be a valuable asset on several occasions.
In central midfield, Mark Millar was having a decent game and after exchanging passes with Danny Carmichael, the former Falkirk man saw another shot from distance deflected for another Queens corner, although on this occasion the combined efforts of both Barr and McGurn cleared the danger for the visitors. When the sides met at Palmerston earlier in the season it was Gavin Reilly who made the breakthrough on that day,and on 35 minutes the striker had a really good chance to add to his season`s tally. After Ian McShane won the ball from a Raith throw-in he was able to slip the ball forward to find Paton in space on the right, and he in turn found Reilly inside the box and eight yards from goal. However after taking one touch to control the ball, he dragged his shot on the turn wide of the far upright. Moments later though it turned out to be right place, right time for the Queens striker as the hosts regained the lead. Kevin Holt and Michael Paton linked up well down the left and with the ball almost going out of play, Paton did very well to hook the ball back into the danger area and as players from both sides challenged for the ball, it broke loose to Gavin Reilly at the back post and he had the easiest of finishes to score his 14th goal of the season. 
Reilly is in the right place to tap the ball in 
Reilly thanks Paton for the assist
The whistle for the interval sounded five minutes later as Queens found themselves in the driving seat, and ahead at half-time for the first time in six games.
The home side began the second period on the front foot and just six minutes into the half, they passed up an excellent chance to go further ahead. Mark Millar`s precise and perfectly weighted pass sent Reilly racing clear and with only McGurn to beat, the striker hesitated slightly before attempting to place the ball past the advancing `keeper, and McGurn reacted well enough to parry the ball to safety. If you were a Queens fan watching on you might think `missed opportunity`, but if you were favouring Raith, then you would be thinking `really good save`. Either way the score remained unchanged. 
Although the game was moving from end to end, there wasn`t much in the way of goalmouth action at either end as quite often decent approach play was let down by either a poor decision or by a poor pass, and as a consequence the game rather stumbled along.
In a game of few, if any bad challenges, Raith`s Martin Scott was the first player to be cautioned for a `through the back` challenge on Russell, and as the pair continued to `discuss` the situation, it was clear that Scott thought that Russell was making something more of the challenge. Just past the hour mark, Queens made their first change when the tiring Reilly was replaced by the returning Derek Lyle, and moments later following another corner Holt - under strong pressure- could only guide a header wide of the near post. The aforementioned Martin Scott was extremely lucky not to have been given a second yellow card for a lunging challenge near the touchline with 20 minutes remaining, and in order to make sure his side were not further punished, Raith boss, Grant Murray, replaced the midfielder almost straight away.
Holt sees his header come off a defender and out for a corner
Visiting captain, Jason Thomson became the second player to be cautioned after his foul almost on the bye-line left Kevin Holt requiring attention before being able to play on. Although from the free-kick in a rather dangerous position, Queens wasted the opportunity to apply more pressure on the Raith defence as the ball in from Millar was easily defended. For a few moments the game threatened to turn ugly as Russell was knocked to the ground by the challenge of Nade and both players tangled, but officials and players were quickly involved to stop any problems arising.
Queens had a decent chance to increase their lead with 9 minutes left. A swift counter attack led by Carmichael saw them win another corner, and Millar`s delivery to the near post picked out the run of McKenna but he didn`t get as much on the ball as he would have liked, although McGurn spilled the ball away for a corner, which was eventually cleared by Barr for the visitors. There was a heart in mouth moment for the Queens supporters as Zander Clark came within inches of passing the ball directly to Nade in the final few minutes, but thankfully the ball just found it`s way to Dowie and what might have been a costly error was avoided. As the play switched to the other end, Russell did well to dig out a cross on the left, but Lyle was off target with his header from close to the penalty spot.
Tuesday night`s Ibrox hero, Aidan Smith came on to a rousing reception on 86 minutes when he replaced Iain Russell, but he wasn`t able to repeat his goal scoring feat from midweek. Queens final change came almost on the final whistle as Mark Millar was replaced by Jake Pickard, who was celebrating his 18th birthday,but unfortunately, there was to be no `Roy of the Rovers` moment for the youngster today, although I am pretty sure he will have enjoyed his birthday celebrations.
Sponsors gave their man-of-the-match award to Kevin Holt as Queens claimed three more valuable points.

  • Clark

  • Kidd

  • Dowie

  • McKenna

  • Holt

  • Carmichael

  • Millar

  • McShane

  • Russell

  • Reilly

  • Paton


  • Atkinson

  • Mitchell

  • Smith

  • Lyle


  • Smith


  • Pickard

  • Hooper

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For Real Time Updates Go To Our Updates Page
15:36 Good afternoon and welcome to Palmerston where Raith are the visitors in today`s Championship clash. Teams to follow
15:37 Qos Team : 1.Clark 3.Holt 4.Dowie 8.Millar 10.Reilly 11.Russell 12.Kidd 14.McKenna 15.Paton 17.Carmichael 18.McShane
15:37 Qos Subs : 2.Mitchell 19.Lyle 20.Atkinson 22.Hooper 23.Smith 24.Smith 28.Pickard
15:39 Raith : 20. Mcgurn 2. Thomson 4. Watson 6. Fox 11. Scott 12. Callachan 14. Conroy 16. Vaughan 23. Mckeown 27. Nade 55. Barr
15:40 Raith subs : 1. Cuthbert 5. Hill 7. Anderson 8. Moon 9. Stewart 29. Mccroary 31. Matthews
15:41 Just one change with McKenna replacing the suspended Higgins, presumably a straight swap. On the bench, lyle returns from his suspension
15:42 Today`s officials are referee Kevin Graham and assistants Ralph Gordon and Jim Burns. Just over 15 minutes to go till kick off
16:00 Teams are out, almost ready to fo
1 min Queens line up 4-4-2 with McKenna at centre half
8 min First corner to Queens after mcgurn parries a Millar shot wide
8 min GOAL QUEENS. Russell the scorer - QOS 1:0 Raith
9 min Perfect back post corner from Millar and Russell has a tap in
11 min Another chance for Queens. McKenna shoots just wide after another corner
15 min Another chance from long range. This time paton fires over. Raith started the better side but it`s been all Queens since the goal
17 min Another long range shot as Russell has mcgurn scrambling with a shot from just inside the raith half. The ball drops onto the roof of net
17 min Up the other end raith should be level. First shot is saved them conroys effort is blocked
19 min Moments later Holt should have doubled Queens lead but puts a free header wide from another corner
20 min Goal Raith. Vaughan the scorer - QOS 1:1 Raith
20 min Great strike from Vaughan as the ball drops to him in the box. Big shouts of handball by nade in the build up though
33 min Games settled down a little. Both sides having periods of possession without any real chances
38 min GOAL QUEENS. Reilly the scorer - QOS 2:1 Raith
39 min Scrappy goal but Reilly taps in from close range. Raith players appealing for high feet but the goal stands
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 2:1 Raith
Half Time Pretty even first half but Queens ahead thanks to better finishing. Controversy around two goals. Neither major but both "seen given"
Half Time Todays attendance is 1656
Half Time Teams are out, second half coming up
52 min Should be 3-1. Reilly is clean through but mcgurn makes a good save to deny him
63 min Yellow Card : Scott
63 min Scott booked for a cynical barge in the back on Russell. Both had been warned earlier
65 min Substitution : Lyle on for Reilly
66 min Another chance from a corner but holts header goes wide. He`s appealing for another corner
69 min Substitution : Anderson on for Scott
71 min Scott was living dangerously after being booked. Lucky to get away with a challenge moments ago
72 min Yellow Card : Thomson
72 min Thomson booked for a push on Holt that sends him crashing into the advertising hoarding. Looks OK but getting his wrist strapped
75 min Russell involved again. This time it`s nade that puts his down. There`s a bit of afters but no punishment for the raith striker
78 min Great chance McKenna. Misplaced hits the shot from a corner. Raith dominating possession bit Queens looking dangerous on the break
79 min Substitution : Stewart on for Fox
82 min Hearts in the mouth stuff there. Clark almost gifts the ball to nade on the edge of the box. Luckily it just went past him
82 min First chance for lyle as Russell does well in the left and crosses but del can only head over
85 min Substitution : Smith on for Russell
86 min That`s Smith of the aiden variety. Let`s hope he can repeat his super sub appearance from Tuesday
90 min Substitution : Pickard on for Millar
90+2 min Into added time and carmichael wins a corner
90+3 min Raith almost break free but the ball is too long and goes out of play
17:49 FULL TIME - QOS 2:1 Raith
17:53 A more comfortable second half and a win just about deserved. Raith had plenty of the ball without really threatening too much
17:53 The win moves Queens 4 points clear of Falkirk but for how long?