It’s a first visit in over 5 years to East End Park on Saturday to face, Championship newcomers, Dunfermline. While the two clubs havent met in some time there will be some very familiar faces waiting to greet us.
Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston needs no introduction to Queens fans, having led the club to a league and cup double with assistant Sandy Clark, now his assistant at the Pars, just 3 years ago. The duo repeated their league win with Dunfermline last season and now find themselves facing their old club.
The Pars have had a tough start on their return, facing both Hibs and, local rivals, Raith away, while recording their only points so far in a home win over Dumbarton, 4-3, on the opening game of the season.
Its been a busy summer for AJ and Clark with 11 players leaving and 8 new faces coming in. The most noticeable loss is the goals of last seasons top scorer Faissal El Bakhtaoui, who went to Dundee. So far, Joe Cardle, is this seasons top scorer after bagging a hat-trick on the opening day victory, but the Pars will be looking to, summer signing, Kallum Higginbotham to provide quality in attack. The Pars other addition up front is someone else who needs no introduction to Queens fans. Dumfries born, Gavin Reilly has joined on a season long loan from Hearts. Gavin, of course, was a big part of Johnstons double winning side at Palmerston and is more than capable of scoring goals at this level.
The Queens connections don’t stop there. Another key member of the double winning side, Michael Paton, has recovered from injury and is back in the Pars squad, along with David Hopkirk and David Hutton. The keeper, signed as back up, has started every game so far this season after injury ruled out number one choice Sean Murdoch.
This Ladbrokes Championship match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 27th August at East End Park, Dunfermline.
Live updates will be available on the website and on twitter and Facebook. We will also publish pictures through the day on our new Instagram Channel
Away fans at East End Park are housed in the East Stand.
Prices for the match are :
Adults - £17
Concessions - £11
U12s - £5
Directions to East End Park can be found on Dunfermlines website – Directions – which also provides some information on parking, "Away support may find parking on the north side of the cemetery and then walking through the cemetery the simplest solution with the fastest get away."
The Dressing Room
Gavin Skelton gave his thoughts on the game "I was over the moon with the players last week during the win over Falkirk. Although Stephen Dobbie grabbed the headlines and quiet rightly with his quality, I felt it was a real team effort, right through the whole team from Lee in goals to the back four, the midfield and the strikers, they all worked hard and caused problems.
We are a work in progress, we are pleased how we are developing but we all understand we have to keep improving.
It's going to be crucial to win our home games this season and we've got a 100% record on that so far, so we've got to be happy.
This weekend we head to Dunfermline, a side that the club haven't played for a wee while, so a bit of freshness about it. They are a strong side with a big squad and experienced players, we've had them watched and I'm aware of the threats they carry. It's a challenge that we are excited about and looking forward to, Allan is an ex team mate of mine at Kilmarnock and an ex Queens boss so that also gives the game a bit of added spice.
They've just been promoted but this game is like all the others, we know it'll be tough and we can't under estimate them."
In terms of the squad, captain Chris Higgins who picked up a hamstring injury at Tannadice is improving but Dean Brotherston will miss out. The youngster who has been doing well, is likely to miss the next couple of weeks after going over on his ankle in training.
Referee : Craig Charleston
Assistant 1 : Anthony Cooper
Assistant 2 : David Burns
The league head to heads at Dunfermline don’t make pretty reading for Queens fans with only 5 wins and 5 draws for the away side, compared to 23 wins for the home team.
However, none of these games have been in the last 5 years and only 8 of them in the last 10 – there will be at least 4 games between the sides this season alone.
If the head to heads arent pretty, the last league visit to East End Park, in April 2011, is decidedly ugly! Kenny Brannigans side (with a certain A. Johnston in the team and D. Hutton and A. Burke on the bench) capitulated to a Mr McIntyres, league leaders, 6-1, despite the home team going down to 10 men just on half time. One of Dunfermlines scorers that day was a, half time substitute, C. Higgins.
Dunfermline would go on to win the league, in impressive fashion, under McIntyre that season.
You have to go back almost 7 years to find the last Queens league win at East End Park, a 4-1 victory in September 2009, when Gordon Chisholm had Queens at the top of the league, albeit after 7 games. Queens also recorded a couple of away cup wins around the same time, so Dunfermline havent had it all their own way!
In terms of individuals, Derek Lyle is still just one goal away from 100 for the club.