Match Report

Queens extended their unbeaten start to the season to 6 games in today`s clash at Palmerston although they made hard work of beating visitors Albion Rovers,and it took a Derek Lyle goal, and another penalty save from Lee Robinson to ensure that Queens collected all three points against the division`s bottom side.

After the draw with East Fife last weekend, boss Allan Johnston made 2 changes to his starting line-up with Derek Young and Dan Carmichael replacing Dan Orsi and the manager himself, as Queens started in a 4-1-3-2 formation with Stephen McKenna offering extra protection to the back four. 

After a fairly subdued opening to the game, it was Queens who had the first real scoring chance after 6 minutes when a neat exchange of passes between Chris Mitchell and Derek Young, led to a corner ,and from Mitchell`s set-piece the ball fell to Dan Carmichael some 8-yards out but under pressure the Queens player blazed his effort high over the bar. The visitors had hardly managed to get into the Queens half in the opening period, but they managed to win a corner courtesy of a sloppy backpass from Stephen McKenna, but the corner was easily dealt with by Lee Robinson who made an assured catch under little pressure.
Queens were having a lot of the ball down the left hand side of the pitch, and Kevin Holt and Dan Carmichael were combining to good effect, and it was those two players who created a half chance for Derek Lyle to try his luck from distance, but `keeper McCluskey was well positioned and held on comfortably. Albion then created what was probably their only chance of the first half, but Gilmartin`s header from a right wing cross sailed harmlessly over the bar from about 12-yards out.
Just short of the 20 minute mark Queens won a succession of corners as they searched for the opening goal, and Nicky Clark produced a powerful header from the last of those quickfire corners,but the ball went the wrong side of the near post as far as Queens were concerned. However,it wasn`t long after that attack that the goal that Queens had threatened to score duly arrived. Excellent work down the right involving Mitchell, Clark and Lyle, allowed Clark to race away down the wing and on reaching the bye-line he played the ball into the path of Derek Lyle who swept the ball home from just inside the 6-yard box, a really well worked, and well executed move by Queens. At that point in the game it looked as though the visitors were on the back foot and Queens would be able to add goals at will, and moments after going in front Ryan McGuffie was inches away from connecting with a deep Mitchell cross at the far post as Queens increased the tempo.
Lyle sweeps it into the net - photo from Sandy Robertson
The returning Carmichael created a chance for himself, cutting in from the left and shooting straight at the `keeper, and with Queens well on top a second goal looked as though it would arrive sooner rather than later. Just 3 minutes before the break it appeared as though Queens task had become a lot easier when Albion were reduced to 10 men after Jamie Gilmartin was shown a straight red card for a cynical challenge on Ryan McGuffie that left the Queens defender requiring treatment off the park before being able to continue.That was the final action of the first half, a half in which Queens eventually gained control without ever outplaying the visitors, and although some decent scoring opportunities were created, the end product was unfortunately missing.
The tackle on McGuffie that saw Gilmartin see a straight red card
There were no changes made by either side at the interval, although 3 minutes into the half Willie Gibson made his first appearance at Palmerston since re-joining Queens as he replaced Ryan McGuffie who was still clearly suffering from the effects of a couple of hefty challenges he took in the opening half. With a man advantage, Queens began the half brightly and should have added a second goal on 53 minutes when from Holt`s cross Mitchell laid the ball into the path of Clark but the striker`s goal bound shot was blocked away by a defender. Moments later at the other end after latching on to a loose ball in midfield, the 10 men of Albion got themselves an excellent chance to get back on level terms when they were awarded a penalty after what appeared to be a rather harsh decision by referee Charleston who had decided that Jason Crooks had been pushed to the ground in the area. After consultation with his assistant, the referee stood by his decision and the spot-kick was given. Crooks himself took the kick, and although it was a decent enough strike, Robinson guessed right and diving full-length to his left pushed the ball to safety to preserve his clean sheet. 
Robinson foils Crooks with another penalty save
Although the penalty decision was on the soft side, with only one goal between the teams Queens needed to be wary of any Albion breaks, but to be honest that save was the only one that really tested Robinson, and thankfully he was up to the task.
Most of Queens best attacks were being created down the left hand side of the park, and from another forward run from Holt the home side won yet another corner, and a training ground routine involving Mitchell and Gibson saw an attempted volley from Gibson fly miles over the bar. Kevin Holt was next to try his luck after being put through by Clark, but from a tight angle the youngster`s drive was straight at the `keeper.
Derek Young was replaced by Steven Black, and 4 minutes later Gavin Reilly came on for scorer Derek Lyle as Queens looked to use the pace of youngster Reilly, and within minutes of coming on he got ahead of his marker to fire a shot across goal that was blocked away by the `keeper`s outstretched leg. Queens did eventually get past the 10 men of Albion as Carmichael slipped the ball past McCluskey, but not for the first time in the game, the flag had already been raised for offside. There was one final chance for Queens and that came 2 minutes from full time when Carmichael`s cut back from the left fell nicely for Clark, but the striker`s shot flew inches past the far upright. After more than 5 minutes of stoppage time the final whistle was greeted with a sense of relief for most in the crowd of 1426, as Queens claimed the three points and kept their unbeaten run intact.In a game that will not live long in the memory, a well worked goal, and a splendid penalty save was enough to get the win. Kevin Holt was named as sponsors man-of-the-match, and Queens are now one of only two clubs who have yet to concede a league goal this season. It`s cup football next for Queens, as SPL side Hibs visit Palmerston in the league cup on Tuesday night, and cup football is all about shocks, hopefully I will be writing about one on Tuesday!!!
This week the keeper came out on top as Riley stole in from the left

  • Robinson

  • McGuffie


  • Durnan

  • Higgins

  • Holt

  • McKenna

  • Mitchell

  • Young


  • Carmichael

  • Clark

  • Lyle


  • Atkinson

  • Reilly


  • Orsi

  • Black


  • Gibson


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14:28 Hello all and welcome to the third league match of the season as Queens host Albion Rovers at Palmerston.
14:28 Team lines to follow:
14:29 Queens: 1 Robinson 2 McGuffie 3 Holt 4 Durnan 5 Higgins 6 Young 7 Mitchell 8 McKenna 9 Lyle 10 Clark 11 Carmichael
14:30 Subs: 14 Reilly 15 Orsi 16 Black 17 Gibson 12 Atkinson (gk)
14:31 Albion: 1 McCluskey 2 Reid 3 Russell 4 Marriott 5 O`Byrne 6 Donnelly 7 Crawford 8 Innes 9 Crooks 10 Gilmartin 11 Brannan
14:31 Subs: 12 Boyle 14 Phillips 15 Stevenson 16 Dick 17 McGinley (gk)
14:32 And, not that you care, today`s referee is Craig Charleston, assisted by Stuart MaCauley and Scott Millar.
14:36 Allan Johnston will look to continue his team`s unbeaten start to the season against an Albion side who have lost all 4 games this season.
14:39 On the other hand Albion are yet to find the net this season losing last week 3-0 to Alloa and 1-0 at Brechin the week before.
14:46 Today`s teams last met in the 1st Round of the 10/11 Challenge Cup where Queens ran out 2-1 winners with goals from McGuffie and Burns.
14:49 The Queens lineup has 2 changes from the stalemate at East Fife last week with Derek Young replacing the suspended Allan Johnston and...
14:50 ... Dan Carmichael replacing Daniel Orsi after recovering from injury. The back 5 remain unchanged throughout the whole season.
15:00 Looks like the rain has stayed off and the teams are out and ready to go...
5 min First effort on goal from Queens. The ball falls to Carmichael after a corner but he can`t keep the shot down and it flies over.
10 min Kevin Holt slides in inside the Queens area but wins the ball cleanly. Very nice tackle. Then Lyle lets fly from 25 but it`s an easy save.
15 min Albion get their first effort on goal but its a weak header and floats harmlessly wide.
18 min Good effort from Clark as he peels off his man at a corner and bullets a header just wide.
20 min Not a lot happening so far with possession changing hands constantly. Albion haven`t shown much so Queens should be looking to take control
20 min GOAL QUEENS! Lyle the scorer
21 min Nicely timed! Nicky Clark gets in down the right side of the box and his low cutback finds his strike partner Lyle to guide it into the net.
27 min Queens are looking much more confident now and are keeping possession a lot better.
30 min Yellow Card : Albion`s Marriott
33 min Queens are testing the Albion defence at every opportunity now and are firmly in control.
42 min Red Card : Albion`s Gilmartin
43 min Albion are up against it now as their big striker Gilmartin scythes through the back of McGuffie and earns an early bath. Shocking tackle.
44 min McGuffie is back on now after receiving treatment.
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 1:0 Albion
Half Time The first half was all Queens but they struggled to create many chances as Albion defended in numbers.
Half Time The Doonhamers are now massive favourites for the 3 points against 10 men but can`t let complacency creep in. Set up for a good 2nd half.
47 min No changes from either side as Queens look to consolidate their lead . Albion have set up to keep it tight in a 4-4-1 formation.
48 min Substitution : Gibson on for McGuffie
52 min Real chance for Clark! Albion`s keeper flaps at a Holt cross and the ball falls to Mitchell who finds Clark on the penalty spot...
52 min .. he strikes well but it is blocked by a defender on the line.
52 min Penalty to Albion.
54 min SAVED!
55 min Jamie Crooks steps up for Albion and sends it to the right of the goal but Robinson is there already and beats it clear. Wonderful save.
56 min It was a soft penalty but that should be a clear warning for Queens that the game isn`t over. That`s Robinson`s 2nd penalty save this season
60 min Nice corner from Queens as Willie Gibson tries to be Paul Scholes but his volley from the edge of the area is way off target.
62 min Yellow Card : Albion`s O`Byrne
63 min Queens have started to create some openings but their final ball has been woeful.
64 min Save by the Albion `keeper. Clark plays in Holt down the left and his drive is smashed straight down McCluskey`s throat.
65 min Substitution : Black on for Young
69 min Substitution : Reilly on for Lyle
75 min Neither team are really threatening at the moment as Queens struggle to break Albion down.
76 min Carmichael puts the ball into the net but it`s disallowed for offside. It looked like Clark was the one who went early not Carmichael.
78 min The game is stopped as Albion`s Boyle gets treatment after he banged heads with Mark Durnan.
80 min Chance for Reilly! The youngster gets in on the `keeper who closes him down quickly and blocks well.
83 min Kevin Holt overlaps again but his cutback goes behind everybody. At the other end Albion fire a volley on target but Robinson deals with it
87 min I think the Queens forwards have been called offside about ten times this half.
88 min Clark has the chance to seal it! Carmichael is fed down the left and his cutback finds Clark who smashes the ball inches wide.
88 min Yellow Card : Albion`s Innes
89 min Man of the Match: Kevin Holt
16:50 FULL TIME - QOS 1:0 Albion
16:50 Queens win but Allan Johnston will be frustrated that his side couldn`t score more.