Match Report

 We may know our manners, and we may travel by the railway line, but unfortunately for Queens there will be no destination Hampden this season as it was Falkirk who moved into the semi-finals after recording a single goal victory on a cold and blustery night at Palmerston. A goal behind at the break, Queens never really got going in the second period, and although they had the wind at their backs, visiting `keeper, and former Queens favourite, Jamie MacDonald was barely threatened as Queens were simply not able to create a sustained spell of pressure that might have seen them take something from the game, and so the Scottish Cup run ended with a rather subdued performance.

     There were three changes to the Queens team that started against Dumbarton last time out, with the cup-tied Mark Millar being replaced by Paul Burns in central midfield, and with Derek Lyle missing through suspension, fit again Gavin Reilly led the attack, and Iain Russell returned to the starting eleven in place of Danny Carmichael, as Queens opted for a 4-4-2 set up.The news of Reilly`s return was a welcome boost to Queens ahead of kick-off as the club`s leading scorer had scored in his last four starts against Falkirk.  Goalkeeper, Zander Clark, made his first Scottish Cup appearance of the seasonAlthough the teams had met regularly in league business over the years, tonight was only the seventh time the teams had faced each other in the Scottish Cup, with the most recent game being a 4-2 win for Falkirk back in 2009. The first ever meeting of the teams was also in the Scottish Cup, when in February 1929, Falkirk once again took the honours.
    As expected, the fourth meeting of the teams this season started on a cautious note, with both teams showing early signs of nervousness such was the importance of the game, and the opening exchanges were mainly contested in a very crowded midfield area. The first half chance of the game went the way of the visitors after 8 minutes. The swirling, gusty wind threatened to reduce the game to a farce in the early stages, and thoughts went back to last season when the sides met on a similarly windy day when on that occasion referee, Ian Brines was forced to call a halt to the proceedings.
Reilly causes problems with his direct running
  The pace of top scorer Gavin Reilly has always been a major asset for Queens and when he latched on to a through ball from defence it seemed as though he had got beyond the Falkirk back line, but the joy was short lived as he was ruled to have been offside. Minutes later Queens almost got in again, but the assistant`s flag was up in an instant to stop the attack from developing. It was clear that Falkirk were playing a high defensive line, which under the conditions, seemed to be somewhat of a gamble, and Iain Russell was next to get beyond the visitors defence but after driving into the box he found MacDonald diving at his feet to block his effort. The home side had certainly made a decent enough start without really being put under pressure by Falkirk, although there was a slight moment of panic for the Queens fans in the crowd of 2833 when Zander Clark took two attempts to deal with a shot from the edge of the box by Smith.
Reilly is foiled by Macdonald
   With the wind causing all sorts of problems when the ball was in the air, it seemed as though set-pieces would be difficult for both teams to deal with, and when Queens won their first corner midway through the half, it was Falkirk who were the first to try and defend from a tricky situation. Ian McShane`s whipped in cross to the near post was cleared for another corner, and the second one tested `keeper MacDonald who did well to punch clear under strong pressure from both Andy Dowie and Mark Durnan. At the other end neat build up play by the visitors saw them win their first corner of the contest, and following a succession of headers the ball fell to Rory Loy who blasted his shot well over.
   The conditions were dictating the style of football being played, and although Queens did try and keep the ball on the ground it was a struggle, and they were unable to get their passing game going for long spells although on the occasions that they did put a move together the luck they needed deserted them. Michael Paton`s pass across the park picked out the marauding run of Kevin Holt down the left, but with the angle getting tighter all the time, his effort to play the ball back into the area was blocked for a corner which was easily defended. Paul Burns was probably a bit fortunate not to receive the game`s first booking, after his foul in midfield earned him a strong lecture from referee Clancy. 
   Queens were lucky to get that break, but just minutes later their luck ran out as Falkirk took the lead. From a throw-in on the left, Leahy`s cross with the outside of his foot was driven in at pace and Sibbald reacted ahead of anybody else to guide a  header past Clark and into the bottom corner. It was an instinctive finish from the young Falkirk player and it was a real blow to Queens as up until that point they had probably been just the better side. The hosts responded well and the pace of Reilly almost saw them get back into the game when he latched onto a long ball from Durnan and outpaced the Falkirk defence, but MacDonald was once again well placed to make the block and Queens went in at the break a goal behind.
Falkirk open the scoring
Nether side made any changes at the interval and with the wind at their backs and the home support getting behind them, Queens made a promising start to the second half, although once again they didn`t create any real goalscoring opportunities. Having finally got used to playing with the wind in their faces, it was now all change for Queens as they had to adapt to playing with the wind at their backs. For the opening stages of the second period, the midfield area was almost completely by-passed as the ball spent rather too much time in the air, and the football was not particularly good from either side.
    The nearest any team went to scoring at this stage of the game came from a Falkirk corner. An excellent delivery into the near post saw Grant get to the ball ahead of Zander Clark, but thankfully the ball flashed past the near upright. Another set-piece, this time for Queens saw them create a half chance but when the ball fell to the feet of Russell some 10-yards out, he completely missed his kick and the chance had gone. There then followed a good spell for Queens as firstly Lewis Kidd delivered an enticing cross into the box which had no takers, and then from a flowing move starting with Clark and involving Holt and then Paton, Reilly was unable to keep his glancing header below the crossbar.
Durnan takes a tumble in the box
    Queens made their first change after 64 minutes when Danny Carmichael replaced Paul Burns, and the injection of pace that Carmichael carries threatened to open up the Falkirk defence as Queens probed for an equalising goal. The substitute was involved in setting up a good chance for Russell, but when his cross was cleared, Russell`s first time shot bounced straight into the arms of MacDonald. With 15 minutes to go, Chris Mitchell made his first appearance of the season as he came on for Mark Durnan, presumably with the game against Rangers in midweek in the manager`s mind. Lewis Kidd was then shown a yellow card for a foul in midfield, which did seem to be a little harsh.
    Mitchell was involved in Queens next attack as his cross found the head of Reilly, but once more the gusty wind played its part as the striker`s effort flew well wide. That was to be Reilly`s last involvement in the action as he was replaced by young Aiden Smith who was making his first team appearance. With time running out, the hosts had strong appeals for a penalty turned away on a night where Queens unfortunately failed to really impose themselves on the game. The game was then delayed after Falkirk`s Leahy was felled by his own team-mate Grant after they both contested a loose ball inside the penalty area. The unfortunate Leahy was stretchered off with what was clearly a severe case of concussion.
    With the game having an additional seven minutes of injury time, there was renewed hope amongst the Queens support that their team might salvage something from the game, but alas it was not to be as Falkirk continued their fine recent run of form to reach this seasons Scottish Cup Semi-Finals.

  • Clark

  • Durnan


  • Dowie

  • Higgins

  • Kidd

  • Burns


  • McShane

  • Holt

  • Paton

  • Reilly


  • Russell


  • Atkinson

  • Mitchell


  • McKenna

  • Carmichael


  • Hooper

  • Smith


  • Pickard

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19:13 Qos Team : 1.Clark 3.Holt 4.Dowie 5.Durnan 6.Higgins 7.Burns 10.Reilly 11.Russell 12.Kidd 15.Paton 18.McShane
19:13 Qos Subs : 2.Mitchell 14.McKenna 17.Carmichael 20.Atkinson 22.Hooper 24.Smith 28.Pickard
19:14 Good evening from Palmerston, 20 minutes to kick-off for tonight`s Scottish Cup quarter final against Falkirk.
19:15 Falkirk Starting 11: MacDonald, Duffie, McCracken, Vaulks, Taiwo, Alston, Smith, Sibbald, Grant, Leahy, Loy
19:16 Tonight`s Referee is Kevin Clancy, assisted by John McCrossan and Stuart Hodge.
19:34 A great reception for Queens as we get ready for kick-off. If you`re not at the game but near a TV, we are live on BBC One.
15 min Iain Russell drives in to the box but his shot is smothered by Jamie MacDonald.
21 min David Smith forces Clark in to a save - the `keeper collects it at the second chance.
25 min Rory Loy volleys well over the bar from 10 yards out.
33 min Goal Falkirk. Sibbald the scorer - QOS 0:1 Falkirk
33 min Craig Sibbald connects with a wind-assisted cross to put Falkirk in the lead.
41 min Just under 5 minutes to go in the first half, it`s still Queens 0-1 Falkirk.
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 0:1 Falkirk
52 min Corner for Queens after some early pressure in the second half
57 min Peter Grant heads inches past the post for Falkirk.
57 min Peter Grant heads inches past the post for Falkirk.
62 min Michael Paton finds Gavin Reilly with a neat cross but the striker heads just over the bar
64 min Substitution : Carmichael on for Burns
73 min The ball falls to Iain Russell 12 yards out but he blasts his shot right at MacDonald. Queens pushing for an equaliser.
76 min Substitution : Mitchell on for Durnan
79 min Substitution : Smith on for Reilly
81 min Substitution : Dick on for Alston
84 min Substitution : Morgan on for Loy
89 min Substitution : Muirhead on for Leahy
90+1 min 7 minutes of added time at Palmerston, Queens in search for an equaliser.
90+5 min Yellow Card : Kidd
21:29 FULL TIME - QOS 0:1 Falkirk