Match Report

After last weeks big cup tie its back to the bread and butter of the league and without doubt the biggest game of the season to date, a trip to Ayr in what was a bit of a six pointer.

After a sterling defensive display at Pittodrie had produced a few knocks for the Queens players boss Gus McPherson had hinted at changes in the offing and two are made to the starting X1. One enforced by the suspension of Craig Reid saw the inclusion of new loan signing John Potter at the heart of a defence that has improved greatly of late. Up front the pace and youth of Gavin Reilly returned at the expense of the age and experience of Tam Brighton. For the hosts it was debuts for strike pairing Sean Higgins and Keigan Parker and also a first starting place for Liam Tomsett.

For such a big game in both our seasons the game kicks off in a subdued atmosphere and one that was rarely raised despite the game going on to be a pretty entertaining one. Its Queens who create the first opening with Reilly collecting a ball down by the corner flag and turning it back to Carmichael who won the first corner of the game. Cuthbert though easily deals with the early set piece. The next action of note is the enforced substitution of Ayr`s Higgins with whats rumored to be a broken foot - a sad and short debut for the on loan striker as hes replaced by Mark Roberts.

Its still Queens making the early running and after last weeks fine performance at Pittodrie the man at the heart of things so far is Scott McLaughlin who today constantly moved forward from his midfield role to support his forwards and with further displays like this will soon be winning over his terracing critics. His forward run results in another corner that again Cuthbert deals with. Ayr themselves gain a corner and from it Higgins clears off the attacker for a goal kick, well thats what it looks like to the Queens players including McGuffie who with ample time to clear it shepherds it out of play. Referee Clancy though makes the first of a string of decisions that would anger players and fans alike, particularly in the first half, and gives a corner. As with the other early set pieces this one is again easily cleared.

The first attempt on goal comes from Parkin as he gets on the end of a McLaughlin cross that Cuthbert catches at his far post. Its Ayr on the attack next though as Dodd lays it off Roberts and his shot from 20 yards has Robinson beaten but the post as well as it slides past. Dodd himself has the next shot as he sees a deflected effort loop over

Referee Clancy starts flashing cards next as Eddie Malone gets a yellow for taking out Carmichael on half way. His next yellow though is more controversial as Parkin wins the ball and battles to retain possession with two opponents, a foul looked a strange decision but the yellow for Parkin for holding seems very harsh. Ayr attack again and McKenna upends his man but the ref signals play on before deciding that a fairly innocuous Johnston challenge is worthy of stopping play. Geggan fires the free kick well over.

An Ayr corner next sees Robinson punch clear and Queens clear the ball however McKenna gives the ball away in midfield and compounds his mistake by fouling his man to see his name enter the book. Its his last involvement in the game as he is substituted shortly after with Stephen Simmons coming on. McKenna showed no sign of injury but had had, by his standards, a poor game to that point and with a referee flashing cards for not very much its probably best to take off a man whose always likely to see his name in the book. A minute later Johnston is fouled in midfield in what seemed far worse than the yellows handed out recently so for it get none was hard to fathom.

Simmons like a few of his new colleagues has yet to convince many of the Queens fans but his first involvement is to send in a great pass to set McLaughlin away but his low cross is dealt with by the home defence. Moments later the clearest chance of the day comes Queens way. Parkin wins the ball and turns to send a pass inside the full back that sees Riley off and racing in on goal his shot from the edge of the box produces a fine diving save by Cuthbert in the Ayr goal, maybe Gavin should have done better with the opportunity though.

Danny Carmichael then seizes on a loose ball in midfield and passes it the overlapping McGuffie he finds Johnston who in turns picks out Reilly who lays it into the path of McLaughlin who strikes a fierce shot off young Reilly and wide as Queens end the half attacking. However in the last seconds of the half Eddie Malone almost gets on the end of a Roberts flick and Queens are grateful to the alert Robinson who comes out and dives at the feet of the full back.

Half Time Ayr United 0 Queen of the South 0

The first half was probably shaded by Queens in what was a half of not many clear cut chances but the second half starts with the home team almost snatching a first minute lead. From an early corner Ayr hit a cross to the back post and its met on the volley by the Ayr man and cleared off the line by what looked like Alan Reid amidst loud claims from the home fans and players that the ball was over the line - the officials don`t agree though and the game remains scoreless.

Ayr continue to force the game and gain another corner but this time Carmichael gathers it and breaks out of defence to the half way line but Reilly mistimes his run and goes into an offside position to receive Danny`s pass that would have sent him in on goal. At this point Ayr`s Robertson and Cuthbert entertain the Queens support by falling out with each other and conduct a long running discussion between themselves for the rest of the game.

Theres 10 second half minutes on the clock as Queens make a second change with Reilly being replaced by Nicky Clark and Nicky`s first touch sees him find the supporting McLaughlin who is robbed by a covering defender. With nearly an hour gone the one moment of supreme skill arrives and its provided by Allan Johnston. He picks up a ball in midfield and advances before flicking an outside of the foot lob from 30 yards that has Cuthbert beaten but not the bar as its that that saves Ayr and their defence scramble it away before the Queens forwards can reach the rebound.

Queens have gained a bit of a foothold in the second half now and McLaughlin finds Parkin next who lays it off to Clark who is barged off the ball in the box to appeals, mostly from the crowd, for a penalty but the ref`s having none of it. Another good chance comes Queens way shortly after as Carmichael sends McLaughlin clear from an Ayr corner. McLaughlin moves forward and his fine pass to Clark isn`t read by Nicky and the break falters.

It wouldn`t be a Queens v Ayr game without a Campbell on the field and its Martyn Campbell who comes on for Robertson who leaves the field still grumbling at keeper Cuthbert. Queens continue to press though and again Carmichael makes progress and his cross finds Clark who finds Parkin and his lay off to the path of Simmons sees the Ayr defence stop Simmons in his tracks to give away a free kick on the edge of the D.The deflected free kick is won in the air by Carmichael and this time its Parkin going over in the box amidst shouts for a penalty - again mostly from the crowd and it didn`t look like one to this member of the crowd.

Whilst Ayr are gaining plenty of corners these are being dealt with easily enough and often lead to quick Queens counters and from the next one its McLaughlin picking out the run of Carmichael to send Danny off and into the box but under pressure from the covering defender he drags a shot well wide but with the supporting Clark screaming for a pass in the box.With queens looking threatening its not too much of a shock when the opening goal comes with a quarter of an hour left.

McLaughlin again breaks from a corner and again finds Carmichael who beats his man on the wing and gains a corner of our own from his low cross. The corner nearly finds Higgins but falls to Scott McLaughlin and his effort is blocked but it falls back to him and this time he rams the ball home from close range to give Queens a vital 1-0 lead.

Any hopes that the Ayr heads would go down are short lived as they really press the game on the restart ex Queens man McGowan is replaced by Moffat and his introduction proves to be crucial fro the home team. Dodd hits a shot well over the bar following good work by full back Tiffoney. But with five minutes left on the clock Ayr do draw level. A diagonal ball over the back line catches out Queens and substitute Michael Moffat times his run to meet it and slide it past an exposed Robinson.

With both teams desperate for the 3 points both go for it at the end as Queens attack at one end before Ayr counter and only a flying McGuffie header clears another Ayr attack. The header though finds Carmichael and only an Ayr foul stops Danny`s break out. From the free kick McLaughlin`s dummy almost puts Parkin in but he cant react quickly enough and a final glimmer of a chance goes as the game ends in stalemate.

Full Time Ayr United 1 Queen of the South 1

Over the piece a fair result though both sides could be equally disappointed not to have taken full points. The point sees Queens maintain the gap on Ayr though Ayr still have the three games in hand - whether points in place or games in hand is better well we`ll just have to wait and see.Results elsewhere bring the bottom of the league a lot closer and theres a few teams other than the pair of us and Raith who have concerns now at the wrong end.

For Queens following on from the recent good run of form another decent display. Strong enough at the back and keeper Robinson was rarely called into direct action. Debutant John Potter had a fine game in the heart of defence and his partnership with Higgins held firm under some pressure.

The midfield four had arguably one of the best outings with all putting in good performances. Carmichael as is usual offers pace and trickery on the break and Johnston a classy head in the middle.The two other members of the midfield have been brunt of much criticism this season but Scott McLaughlin on the back of last weeks showing had another excellent game always willing to get forward and support the forwards and plenty of endeavor to back it up. Stephen Simmons who replaced an out of sorts and booked McKenna early on had a fine game doing the dirty work that McKenna normally does so well.

Up front the pairing of Parkin and Reilly worked hard with Parkin holding it up and linking play and the pace of Reilly allows him to get into good positions. From one of those with a bit more composure Queens could have benefited but maybe its a lesson learned for the striker.

So 6 games unbeaten now and onto Tuesday night Scottish Cup replay with Aberdeen and a chance for the players to make a real name for themselves and earn a trip to Fir Park and a quarter final tie with Motherwell. 

  • Robinson

  • McGuffie

  • Potter

  • Higgins

  • Reid

  • Carmichael

  • McKenna


  • Johnston

  • McLaughlin

  • Parkin

  • Reilly



  • Atkinson

  • Brighton

  • Clark


  • Simmons


  • Holt

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Stalemate at Somerset
After last weeks big cup tie its back to the bread and butter of the league and without doubt the biggest game of the season to date, a trip to Ayr in what was a bit of a six pointer. After a sterl ...

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14:25 Queens: Robinson Potter A Reid McKenna McGuffie Higgins Johnston McLaughlin Parkin Reilly Carmichael
14:26 Robinson Potter Reid McKenna McGuffie Higgins Johnston McLaughlin Parkin Reilly Carmichael
14:27 Subs Atkinson Brighton Clark Simmons Holt
14:28 Ayr: cuthbert Tiffoney Malone Robertson Smith Geggan Dodd Tomsett Parker Higgins McGowan
14:29 Mcwilliams Roberts Moffat McKernon Campbell
14:29 Referee Kevin Clancy
1 min Parkin heads tamely to Cuthbert
2 min Mcguffie appears to be right back in a back four
6 min Looks like Sean Higgins might be done alreadu. Pulled something.
7 min Substitution : Roberts on for Higgins
8 min Carmichael almost in behind. Corner
12 min Great cross from Danny headed away from Parkin at last second
14 min Roberts shoots just wide
20 min Yellow Card : Malone
21 min Late challenge on Danny gets Eddie Malone booked
24 min Yellow Card : Parkin
25 min Parkin booked for an innoccuous tug at a jersey
32 min Yellow Card : McKenna
35 min Substitution : Simmons on for Mckenna
35 min Substitution : Simmons on for Mckenna
35 min Substitution : Simmons on for Mckenna
35 min Substitution : Simmons on for Mckenna
40 min Parkin slips Reilly in on goal but Cuthbert saves
42 min Simmons just fails to reach Carmichael cross in front of Cuthbert
45 min Robinson saves well at Malone`s feet
45 min
47 min Great goalline clearance from ajohnston saves us
56 min Substitution : Clark on for Reilly
56 min Substitution : Clark on for Reilly
58 min Johnston hits the bar with a spectacular chip
65 min Substitution : Campbell on for Robertson
71 min Carmichael shoots wide
78 min GOAL QUEENS! Mclaughlin the scorer
78 min From a corner Simmons shot is blocked and McLaughlin rams in the rebound
80 min Substitution : Moffat on for McGowan
86 min Goal Ayr. Moffay the scorer
87 min Pressure tells for Ayr as the ball falls for Moffat to rifle in the equaliser