Match Report

It ended all square in this afternoon`s Scottish Championship clash at a blustery Palmerston Park, as Queens and Alloa shared the points in a scoreless encounter that offered little in the way of excitement as both sets of players were clearly affected by their midweek exertions. In a game that was pretty much devoid of any creativity, both teams struggled to fashion a really clear cut opportunity during the 90 minutes, as a scrappy, disjointed game ended without either team being able to find a breakthrough, and for the Queens fans in the crowd of  1607, it was the first time that they had seen their team fail to score since Alloa were last at Palmerston back in February. 

Following on from Tuesdays thrilling extra time League Cup win over St.Mirren, Queens boss Jim McIntyre, was forced into making one change to the team that began against the `Buddies`, as the injured Paul Burns was replaced by Ryan McGuffie, he also chose to recall club captain, Chris Higgins, after a 3 game absence, as he replaced Kevin Holt at full back. It was a special day for defender Chris Mitchell as he made his 50th start for Queens, coincidentally against the same team that he made his debut against. Visitors Alloa who performed heroically in their League Cup game at Pittodrie, eventually losing on penalty kicks, made just one change to their starting line-up as Jason Marr was replaced by Declan McManus, as they looked to build on a decent start to their league campaign of two wins and a defeat.
Queens got the game under way playing in their usual 4-1-2-3 formation, and an early error by former Queens man, Stephen Simmons allowed Michael Paton to collect the ball and have the game`s first attempt at goal, but his effort was blocked away for Queens` first corner which ended with visiting `keeper Bain making a simple catch under no pressure. At the other end a swift break from the visitors created a shooting chance for McCord, although his attempt from just outside the area was comfortably held by Calum Antell. With Alloa taking the game to Queens in the opening stages, they were having the majority of possession, and striker Kirk might well have caused a problem for Antell had he been able to put more power into a header following a neat turn and cross from Holmes, but as it was, the Queens `keeper saved easily. Andy Dowie looked to have pulled a muscle as he cleared up after the next Alloa attack, and for a few minutes it appeared that he was struggling, although he seemed to have got over the problem as the game continued.
The midfield contest in the opening spell was being easily won by the visitors as Queens struggled to find any momentum in that area, and as a consequence, Alloa grew in confidence. The lively pair of Cawley, and Holmes were posing the Queens defence many problems, although the final ball to them on several occasions, frustrated not only them, but manager Paul Hartley as well. It took almost 20 minutes for Queens to put together a promising attack that almost led to them going ahead. Danny Carmichael provided a neat touch in midfield and played a well weighted pass into the path of Paton whose first time cross was blocked away for a corner on the right. Mitchell`s delivery to the far post was met by Mark Durnan`s downward header, but the pace on the ball was not enough to trouble `keeper Bain. Moments later a quick break from the visitors involving Cawley and Kirk, created a shooting chance for McCord, but his drive from the angle of the penalty area was always clearing the bar.
After 38 minutes, Queens put together their best move of the half and they really should have opened the scoring. A break down the right flank by Paton was supported by the run of Mitchell, and after exchanging passes, Paton`s dinked cross into the 6-yard area found an unmarked Ryan McGuffie, but his glancing header from close range went the wrong side of the upright as far as Queens were concerned. The visitors were next to threaten when sloppy play in the middle of the park allowed Kirk the chance to take possession and drive forward, and his low shot from 16-yards forced a save from Antell who pushed the ball away for a corner. The resulting set-piece was cleared as far as Simmons on the edge of the box, and although he made a good connection with the ball, his shot flew wide of the target. With the half nearing completion, the visitors were awarded a free-kick after McGuffie was penalised for a push, but a Gordon header from McCord`s cross looped over the bar. As the visitors continued to have a slight upper hand, McManus found space inside the area, but surrounded by Queens defenders, he was unable to keep his shot down and the chance had gone.
Not a great half of football, and it was the visitors who probably edged the half, but it was the chance for Ryan McGuffie that was probably the best of the opening 45 minutes.
Queens were forced into making a change at the break, with Andy Dowie,who did seem to take an early knock, being replaced  by Kevin Holt, as for the first time this season, the back four of last term lined up together. An early attack by Queens saw Carmichael attempt to find Derek Lyle with a cross, but once more the final ball lacked accuracy and was easily defended by the visitors. It had been a very quiet half for Lyle, as starved of any service he was unable to get into the game, and for long periods of the contest he was very often isolated up front. The striker then became the first player to be cautioned, as frustration grew within the Queens camp.The Queens boss wasted no time in making his 2nd change as within 5 minutes of the re-start, Iain Russell replaced Michael Paton, as they looked to improve their forward play.
The introduction of Russell did at last inject a sense of urgency into the game, and following a decent cross from the left, Lyle flashed a header well wide of the far post, and he followed that minutes later with a speculative drive that was comfortably gathered by `keeper Bain. The final throw of the Queens` dice came just after the hour when Gavin Reilly replaced McGuffie, with the manager also changing to a 4-4-2 formation. After 69 minutes returning skipper, Chris Higgins, was booked as his clumsy challenge on Cawley on half-way was rightly penalised. From the re-start, Alloa gained another corner, and Antell saved Gordon`s header almost on the line. As the game moved towards it`s final period, Queens had a couple of half chances within the same move to take the lead. As the ball `pin-balled` around the area, a shot from Russell was blocked into the path of Durnan, but his shot was also blocked as the well organised visiting defence stood firm. The next period of play ended with something that is never nice to see as the game was stopped due to a nasty injury. As Alloa substitute Edward Ferns chased a long ball into the area, he was met by the onrushing Antell, and as the two collided, the unfortunate Fearns took the worst of the clash, and following several minutes of treatment, he left the field on a stretcher with what was thought to have been a broken jaw. All at Queen of the South, wish him well, and hope his injury is not too serious.
With full-time approaching, both teams had half chances to win the game. A corner for Alloa was headed on by Meggatt and as confusion reigned in the Queens defence, there were fortunately enough players to block efforts from Gordon, and Cawley as Queens escaped. Then at the other end the final chance almost saw Reilly set up Russell, but his cushioned lay-off inside the 6-yard box was slightly too hard and the ball ran out of play for a goal kick. It was not hard to see why Alloa have made such a good start to the campaign, they were well organised, hard to breakdown, and quite effective on the break, and as disappointing as the performance was from a Queens point of view, the unbeaten home run in the league continues, and it`s a first clean sheet in the league this season.

  • Antell

  • Mitchell

  • Durnan

  • Dowie


  • Higgins

  • Young

  • McKenna

  • McGuffie


  • Paton


  • Lyle

  • Carmichael


  • Atkinson

  • Reilly


  • Russell


  • Holt


  • McShane

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For Real Time Updates Go To Our Updates Page
14:20 Good afternoon folks and welcome to a sunny Palmerston as Queens host Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Championship.
14:21 Today`s teams:
14:22 Queens: 1 Antell 2 Mitchell 3 Higgins 4 McGuffie 5 Durnan 6 Dowie 7 McKenna 8 Young 9 Lyle 10 Paton 11 Carmichael
14:23 Subs: 12 Atkinson (gk) 14 Reilly 15 Russell 16 Holt 17 McShane 18 Slattery 19 Orsi
14:24 Alloa: 1 Bain 2 Doyle 3 Creaney 4 Gordon 5 Meggatt 6 Simmons 7 Cawley 8 McCord 9 Kirk 10 Holmes 11 McManus
14:26 Subs: 12 Young 13 McDowall (gk) 14 Marr 15 Tiffoney 16 Ferns 17 Salmon
14:27 And today`s whistler is Euan Anderson assisted by flagwavers Brian McGarry and Graeme Stewart.
14:39 Alloa currently sit two points ahead of Queens in the table with two wins from 3 played after a 3-1 win over Cowdenbeath last week.
14:45 And midweek they took Aberdeen to pens in the League Cup so neither team can use the excuse of tiredness after both went to extra time.
14:56 Last season Queens had a good record over Alloa with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat with an aggregate of 8-4.
14:58 Two changes to the Queens line-up after the win over St Mirren with McGuffie and Higgins coming in for Paul Burns and Kevin Holt.
15:00 The teams are out and ready to get going...
2 min Queens begin 4-3-3 with Chris Higgins at left-back and McGuffie in the centre of midfield. The rest are as you were on Tuesday.
6 min Alloa look like 4-4-2 when in possession dropping to 4-5-1 when Queens have it. Might take some breaking down today.
6 min The first shot of the day comes from Alloa as Ryan McCord curls the ball straight into the waiting arms of Calum Antell.
9 min The first real chance comes to Alloa as Holmes turns Higgins on the right and finds Kirk free inside the area. The header is weak though.
14 min Alloa have certainly settled quicker than Queens and are bossing the midfield. Queens are yet to make any inroads in the away defence.
18 min Queens have an effort on target as Mark Durnan rises above his marker at the back post but his header is into the ground and saved easily.
28 min Queens have had the better of the past ten minutes with some decent possession around the Alloa box but yet to create anything of note.
32 min Encouraging play from Queens as McGuffie almost finds Carmichael free in the area and Paton has an effort from 25 yards but drags it wide.
37 min Best chance of the game for Queens as Michael Paton works space for a cross from the right. McGuffie is free but heads wide.
40 min Good save Antell. Queens lose the ball in midfield and Andy Kirk drives at the centre backs before his low shot is pushed wide by Antell.
41 min And from the corner the ball comes to Simmons on the edge of the area who smashes the ball just wide. Close.
44 min Another half-chance for Alloa as McManus finds some space inside the Queens box but can`t control the volley and Queens survive.
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 0:0 Alloa
Half Time Nothing to shout about in the first half really. Alloa have just about edged it but no real chances for either side.
Half Time Queens need to up the tempo in the second half. There`s been some nearly moments but the final ball hasn`t been there.
Half Time The attendance today at Palmerston is 1607.
45 min Substitution : Holt on for Dowie
46 min Andy Dowie picked up a bit of a knock in the first half and comes off for Holt. Higgins steps into centre-back with Holt on the left.
51 min Substitution : Russell on for Paton
56 min We have an effort on goal! Carmichael swings the ball in and Lyle meets it well but heads well over. Pretty quiet second half so far.
60 min Derek Lyle tries to inject some interest into this game but his shot lacks the required power and Scott Bain saves with ease.
63 min Substitution : Reilly on for McGuffie
64 min Jim McIntyre throws on his last sub and changes to 4-4-2 with Gavin Reilly partnering Derek Lyle up front.
70 min Yellow Card : Higgins takes one for the team as he cynically brings down Cawley on the centre spot.
72 min Good save Antell as he rises to catch Graeme Holmes` goalward header from an Alloa corner.
73 min Bit of pinball in the Alloa area as the ball drops for Russell. His shot is blocked, Durnan has a pop, blocked, and Alloa get it clear.
79 min We have a stoppage as Alloa`s Ferns takes a sore one from Queens `keeper Calum Antell. That`s pretty much all that is happening.
86 min The Queens faithful are getting disgruntled as the final ball from the home side has been pretty dreadful.
89 min Queens have a corner and they have what looked a decent penalty shout as Lyle`s shot seemed to hit an Alloa arm but the ref plays on.
90+2 min Massive scramble in the Queens box from an Alloa corner as Cawley`s shot is blocked and Antell is on the ground. The Queens defenders clear.
90+4 min Queens win a free-kick in a decent position to get the ball into the box but Mitchell`s delivery is terrible and the ball drifts out.
16:52 FULL TIME - QOS 0:0 Alloa
16:53 Well, that was a struggle. Alloa shut Queens down well today but the home side`s attacking play was woeful at times.