Match Report

Two second half goals saw Queens pull off a major Scottish Cup upset as they sent current holders, St. Johnstone crashing out of this seasons competition. After going ahead early in the second period, Queens stood firm and defended solidly as they repelled attack after attack as the cup holders tried to find their way through, and almost on the full time whistle, the home side made progress through to the quarter-finals a certainty when they sealed the win with a well executed counter attacking goal.   Before their quest for Cup glory began,Queens were forced to make two changes to the team that started the convincing win at Cowdenbeath last time out,and with Mark Millar being cup-tied, and Zander Clark unable to play against his parent club, there was a recall for Jim Atkinson in goal, and Paul Burns, who was making his first start of the season slotted into midfield.Visitors St.Johnstone included Coventry loanee, Danny Swanson in their line-up as the Scottish Cup holders made their first visit to Dumfries since 2009.

   It was Queens who got the contest under way as once again they adopted a 3-5-2 formation with Michael Paton playing just behind the two strikers, and after the initial early exchanges, it was the hosts who created the first opening of the game. Jim Atkinson rolled the ball out to Mark Durnan and as the centre back moved forward unchallenged and with the space opening up in front of him he elected to move forward before driving a shot towards goal that was deflected away for the first corner of the game. Queens certainly pose a threat from set-plays, and although Ian McShane`s delivery was good, the height in the visitors defence enabled them to clear the ball with ease. 
   The game`s first booking of the game arrived as early as the 7th minute when Queens captain, Chris Higgins, was the wrong doer, being late in his attempt to win back possession just outside the box. The resulting free-kick, although in a dangerous position was driven in by Mackay but deflected off of the Queens wall and away for a corner. The visitors were to get themselves a surprise corner following their next attack. James McFadden showed neat footwork just outside the area but then appeared to slip when challenged, but referee McLean thought he had been fouled, a decision that enraged the home support in the Main Stand, and gave the Saints a free-kick. Wotherspoon`s shot from the set-piece curled wide of the target but much to everyone`s surprise, the referee indicated a corner saying that Atkinson had touched the ball on it`s way past him. Fortunately for Queens the resulting corner came to nothing.
Higgins picks up an early yellow
   The referee was involved in the action minutes later this time showing a yellow card to Davidson, after he was late with a challenge on Derek Lyle, and as the half reached it`s mid way point, it was the home side who were just about shading the possession. Paul Burns, starting his first game of the season was showing up well in midfield, and his tireless running and constant pressurising of his opponents was a feature of Queens first half display, and by using the width of the pitch via both wing backs, the home side were certainly causing problems for their higher league visitors. Queens next attack was more direct and following Durnan`s cross field ball that picked out Kevin Holt, the full back`s ball into the box almost found the head of the onrushing Derek Lyle. In form striker Lyle, now placed 14th in the Queens all time goalscoring list, had half a chance to continue his excellent form of late, but his shot from the edge of the area sailed high over the bar.
   The visitors were seldom seen as an attacking force in the first half, and on the few occasions that they did find themselves in advanced positions, they failed to test the Queens defence, and `keeper Atkinson was only called upon to collect a few routine crosses as the Premiership side looked devoid of ideas. A Queens break down the left saw Holt`s cross cleared out as far as McShane some 25-yards from goal, but he rather snatched at the opportunity and blasted his shot well over the bar. The best move of the half from a Queens point of view almost saw them take the lead 5 minutes before the interval. The move started on the right and involved some neat passing between McShane, Lyle and Kidd, and when Kidd delivered a cross into the six-yard box, Kevin Holt was not quite able to keep his volley low enough to test Mannus in the visitors goal.
  Queens certainly ended the half on the front foot as firstly McShane skipped past two defenders on the right before having his low cross blocked away, and then Kidd`s pass into Gavin Reilly allowed the striker to set up a shooting chance for McShane just inside the penalty area, but his side-footed effort went straight at Mannus who saved easily as the hosts continued to look the most likely team to open the scoring. As a blanket of swirling mist began to circle over Palmerston, there must have been a few doubts as to whether or not the game would run it`s course, but thankfully, although it did worsen for a period during the middle of the second half, it didn`t get bad enough for the game to be stopped.
  The half-time whistle was greeted with appreciative applause from the home support in the crowd of 3043, as the hosts had more than matched the Scottish Cup holders, and there was nothing in the contest that suggested that Queens were a team from a lower league than their opponents.
If the home fans were concerned that the visitors would start the second half on the front foot, they would have been right because no sooner had the game re-started, the Perth side passed up a glorious chance to take the lead when almost direct from the kick-off the ball was worked into the Queens penalty area by Mackay,but somehow from just 3-yards out Davidson knocked the ball over the bar. It was a huge let off for Queens and almost immediately they responded with an excellent opportunity themselves. Kevin Holt linked well with Burns to put the returning midfielder through on goal, but as the angle narrowed Burns was only able to hit his shot straight at Mannus and the ball rebounded to safety. Disappointing as that outcome was, just 60 seconds later Queens found the breakthrough. A break by Reilly on the left saw the striker drive a ball across goal that was deflected high into the air 15-yards from goal, and as the ball dropped nicely into the path of Lewis Kidd he kept his eyes on it and drove the ball back towards goal and Derek Lyle was on hand to divert the ball into the net from close range. It was the striker`s 7th goal from his last 7 games, and the goal clearly rocked the Cup holders as they struggled to get back into the game. For the next 10 minutes or so it was all Queens,and a shot from Reilly went inches past the far post, and following a corner on the left McShane`s inviting cross into the six-yard area only just failed to pick out the unmarked Reilly, and the hosts went close again when Mannus` clearance fell to Burns who played in Lyle only for the striker to shoot straight at the Saints `keeper. 
Lyle turns the ball home
Goal maker and goal taker - Kidd and Lyle
        The huge away support were soon chanting the name of Michael O`Halloran, and just short of the hour mark they got their wishes as the striker replaced debutant Swanson. The substitution certainly injected some pace into the visitors attack, and when they introduced another striker in Brian Graham, it was a clear that the visitors were going to make a big effort to cling on to the trophy that they won last May. For the first time in the game, the Queens defence were coming under sustained periods of pressure, although in fairness to the home back line they handled everything with relative ease, and young `keeper Jim Atkinson, had a pretty comfortable afternoon. Higgins, Dowie and Durnan were immense at the back, and Durnan made a tremendous challenge to block Graham`s shot when he looked certain to score on 66 minutes. The aforementioned O`Halloran had a gilt edged chance to draw his side level, but somehow from almost on the goal-line, he contrived to knock the ball past the post. Derek Lyle was then booked for not retreating at a free-kick and that was to be his last contribution to the game as he was replaced by Iain Russell for the final 15 minutes.
       With St.Johnstone mounting attack after attack, on a few occasions Queens threatened to hit on the break, but they were not able to find the right pass at the right moment. However on one such occasion a neat flick from Kidd set Reilly free but his shot was comfortably gathered by the Saints `keeper. As the clock ticked down towards the final ten minutes, the impressive Burns was replaced by Danny Carmichael as Queens switched to a back four as they continued to keep the Cup holders at bay. Former Scotland international, James McFadden went close with a shot from distance, and followed that up by being booked minutes later as the frustration from the Perth side continued to increase.
       Queens made their final change after 86 minutes when Stephen McKenna replaced Michael Paton, and just four minutes later the substitute played a big part in helping Queens land the killer blow that saw them send the current Cup holders crashing out of the competition. After breaking up another Saints attack, Queens broke with pace down the right hand side and as the ball was worked on to McKenna his excellent low cross into the box was swept home by Gavin Reilly to seal what was a memorable victory for Queens.
Reilly takes in the cheers for his clincher
Celebrations in the snow
      A fantastic result for Queens as they moved into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals for the first time in seven years, and who knows what may happen if the draw is kind to us on Monday.
Happy home fans

  • Atkinson

  • Durnan

  • Dowie

  • Higgins

  • Kidd

  • Burns


  • McShane

  • Holt

  • Paton


  • Reilly

  • Lyle


  • Arthur

  • Mitchell

  • Russell


  • McKenna


  • Carmichael


  • Slattery

  • Hooper

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14:29 Qos Team : 3.Holt 4.Dowie 5.Durnan 6.Higgins 7.Burns 10.Reilly 12.Kidd 15.Paton 18.McShane 19.Lyle 20.Atkinson
14:29 Qos Subs : 2.Mitchell 11.Russell 14.McKenna 17.Carmichael 21.Slattery 22.Hooper 31.Arthur
14:35 Qos Team : 3.Holt 4.Dowie 5.Durnan 6.Higgins 7.Burns 10.Reilly 12.Kidd 15.Paton 18.McShane 19.Lyle 20.Atkinson
14:35 Qos Subs : 2.Mitchell 11.Russell 14.McKenna 17.Carmichael 21.Slattery 22.Hooper 31.Arthur
14:37 St Johnstone Starting 11: Mannus, MacKay, Scobbie, Lappin, Anderson, Wotherspoon, Swanson, McFadden, Davidson, Easton, Kane
14:39 Today`s Referee is Steven McLean, assisted by Graham Chambers and Kylie McMullan.
14:44 15 minutes until kick-off at Palmerston as Queens face the Scottish Cup holders St Johnstone.
5 min Durnan`s lung-busting run wins Queens a corner as his shot is deflected behind
7 min Yellow Card : Higgins
11 min Wotherspoon`s free kick goes inches by the post for the visitors.
14 min Yellow Card : Davidson
14 min Murray Davidson is booked for a late challenge on Derek Lyle.
31 min Derek Lyle fails to connect properly and blasts his effort over the bar.
40 min Kevin Holt latches on to the end of a Lewis Kidd cross but the left back fires the ball agonisingly over. 0-0 with 5 minutes to go.
45 min McShane forces Mannus in to a save with his effort from outside the box.
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 0:0 St Johnstone
46 min Glorious chance for Paul Burns as he goes one on one with Mannus but the Saints stopper denies him
46 min GOAL QUEENS. Lyle the scorer - QOS 1:0 St Johnstone
47 min Derek Lyle knocks home a Lewis Kidd shot to put Queens 1-0 up against the holders.
49 min Reilly`s effort from 20 yards out crawls past the post as Queens almost double their lead.
52 min McShane`s cross finds Reilly who heads wide - Queens looking good at Palmerston.
57 min Substitution : O`Halloran on for Swanson
61 min Substitution : Graham on for Kane
68 min Great challenge by Durnan to deny Graham a shot on goal from 10 yards out.
70 min O`Halloran somehow misses from 2 yards out - huge let-off for Queens as the Saints forward fails to tap home an equaliser
71 min Yellow Card : Lyle
73 min Substitution : Russell on for Lyle
73 min Goalscorer Derek Lyle makes way for Iain Russell as Queens lead ST Johnstone with just over 15 minutes to go.
78 min McFadden fails to hit the target from the edge of the box as St Johnstone try to edge their way back in to the game.
78 min Substitution : Carmichael on for Burns
83 min Yellow Card : McFadden
84 min Substitution : McKenna on for Paton
86 min GOAL QUEENS. Reilly the scorer - QOS 2:0 St Johnstone
87 min There will be a new name on the Cup this year - it`s 2-0 to Queens as Gavin Reilly calmly slots home to double Queens` lead.
88 min Four minutes added time at Palmerston
16:50 FULL TIME - QOS 2:0 St Johnstone
16:51 What a performance, what a result - Queens are in the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup for the first time in 7 years.
16:52 Queens will be in Monday`s draw after beating the holders 2-0 thanks to goals from Derek Lyle and St Johnstone.