Match Report

A solitary first half header from striker Derek Lyle was enough to give Queens a first win in 8 games as they stood firm against a second half onslaught from Morton in today`s Championship clash at Palmerston. After going ahead, the home side had to withstand wave after wave of attacks from the visitors - especially during the second half - and through a combination of strong defending, poor finishing, and a certain amount of good fortune, they held on to record only their second home league win of the season.

The Fixture Card said 26th December so some fans got in the spirit

Queens made just one change to the team that started against Hibs last time out, with Aidan Smith coming in for Mark Millar, as James Fowler switched to a 4-4-2 formation. Hibs loanee, Alex Harris, returned to the squad after missing out against his parent club as Queens looked to make it third time lucky against Morton.
Queens began well and a curling effort from Derek Lyle from the edge of the area wasn`t too far away from giving them the perfect start. The visitors responded by winning the games first corner which was headed away by Andy Dowie but only into the path of Tidser who saw his on target shot charged down by the Queens defence. Dowie was at the heart of the action moments later, but unfortunately this time it was to be to his own discomfort. After stretching to make a clearance, it appeared as though he had pulled a muscle and despite trying to play on , it was clear that his game was over after just 10 minutes. Alex Harris was Dowie`s replacement and his introduction saw a re-shuffle in defence as Darren Brownlie moved from right back to centre-back, with Lewis Kidd taking on Brownlie`s starting role.
The first real chance of the game fell to the visitors when McCluskey showed a nice turn of pace to get to the bye-line and pick out a pass for Johnstone, but his shot from close range was blocked away. At the other end, Aidan Smith`s shot from the edge of the box was blocked for Queens` first corner of the contest, although Ryan Conroy`s delivery was easily cleared by the Morton defence. However, moments later, and following their next attack, Queens went ahead. The ball was worked across to substitute Harris down the right , and he produced an excellent cross that was met by a glancing header from Derek Lyle who had got ahead of his marker to put the hosts in front. The goal was just the tenth that Queens had scored in the league, but the confidence boost that it gave to the team was hugely significant as for the next phase of the game, the home side were well on top. Good link up play involving Lyle and Smith set up a shooting opportunity for Conroy midway through the half, but although his shot was well hit, it was always rising and caused no problems for Gaston in the Morton goal.
Lyle heads through Gaston
Gaston is beaten as Lyle celebrates
The visiting `keeper was involved again soon after, this time he was called upon to make a fine save, pushing the ball away for a corner following a good effort from Harris. The resulting set-piece was met by a Kyle Jacobs header that landed only a few feet wide of the far upright as Queens chased a second goal. The home side were quite fortunate not to concede a penalty around the half an hour mark as it did appear that Lewis Kidd pulled McCluskey to the ground inside the penalty area, but to the amazement of the Morton players, and boss, Jim Duffy, McCluskey was booked for simulation. Kyle Jacobs - who was having an excellent game in the centre of midfield - was the next man to fall foul of referee McKendrick, and if the Morton players were bemused by McCluskey`s booking, the Queens players and fans suffered the same disbelief when Jacobs, who clearly won possession of the ball in a strong, but fair challenge, was also booked. The resulting free-kick was driven across goal by Forbes, but thankfully for Queens there was just too much pace on the ball and the danger passed.
The third booking of the half arrived after Lewis Kidd was late with a challenge on Barr, and Forbes` delivery from the free-kick was well defended by Brownlie. Just before the interval a decent move involving Harris and Jacobs almost created an opening for Lyle, but Jacobs could not quite find the accuracy in his final pass.
An entertaining first forty-five minutes with Queens probably just about having the better of the play, but most importantly having the goal that gave them the lead at the break for the first time since the away game at Dumbarton in August.
The second period got off to a pretty low key start, but as the game developed, it was the visitors who slowly began to dominate proceedings, and they went pretty close to drawing level when Johnstone got the better of Brownlie before setting up a chance for Barr who saw his effort from 15-yards out only just clear the bar. That was an indication of what was to follow as for the majority of the half, Queens struggled to get out of their own half as they were penned back by Morton`s attacking play. They went close again during their next attack when Samuel did well to work an opening for himself, but his good initial play was let down by a very poor finish.
After 56 minutes they had an even better chance to gain parity. Barr`s deep cross to the far post found Kilday unmarked 6-yards out, but his shot lacked power and Thomson saved comfortably. That was a huge let off for Queens as a more powerful connection from the Morton captain would almost certainly have seen the game levelled up.
Thomson denies Kilday
Queens had hardly featured as an attacking force in the half, and in what was possibly their best effort of the second period, Aidan Smith fired well wide when well placed with a little over 20 minutes left on the clock. Queens won corner number 4 following their next attack, but Chris Higgins was penalised for pushing almost as soon as Conroy`s kick had been taken. With the game moving towards it`s final stages, and with Queens hanging on for a vital win, the home support in the crowd of 1583 were growing increasingly more anxious as their team sat back and defended very deeply. For almost the entire game, both Samuel and Johnstone were causing Queens serious problems, and there was a heart in mouth moment as confusion in the Queens defence almost let Samuel in, but Jordan Marshall reacted quickly to clear the ball to safety.
Earlier in the game, McCluskey was harshly booked for what was deemed to be simulation, but in the closing stages Kilday clearly threw himself to the ground in an attempt to gain a penalty in full view of the officials, but his actions went unpunished. The second change for Queens saw Mark Millar replace goalscorer, Derek Lyle on 85 minutes, and Millar`s first major involvement in the game saw him become the third Queens player to be booked following a poor challenge on Morton substitute,Sabajo. A final change for Queens saw Jake Pickard replace the impressive Kyle Jacobs for the last few minutes, and despite one final scare - when a header from Kilday might have crept in - Queens were able to hang on and claim what was a vital victory.
Millar was a wee bit late in the challenge on Sabajo and earned a booking and a sore thigh

  • Thomson

  • Brownlie

  • Dowie


  • Higgins

  • Marshall

  • Kidd

  • Hutton

  • Jacobs


  • Conroy

  • Smith

  • Lyle


  • Atkinson

  • Harris


  • Millar


  • Pickard


  • Heffernan

  • Oliver

  • Coogans

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14:23 Qos Team : 1.Thomson 2.Kidd 4.Dowie 5.Brownlie 6.Higgins 9.Lyle 10.Conroy 14.Jacobs 16.Hutton 23.Marshall 24.Smith
14:23 Qos Subs : 7.Harris 8.Millar 17.Pickard 18.Heffernan 20.Atkinson 28.Oliver 33.Coogans
14:26 Morton XI: Gaston, Kilday, Lamie, O`Ware, Forbes, Johnstone, McCluskey,Tidser, Barr, Russell, Samuel.
14:30 Queens make one change today. Aidan Smith replaces Mark Millar.
2 min First chance of the afternoon falls to Derek Lyle but his shot can`t trouble Gaston. Encouraging start for Queens.
10 min Substitution : Harris on for Dowie
11 min Alex Harris replaces the injured Andy Dowie.
12 min It looks like Dowie has pulled a hamstring.
13 min Good work from Smith and Lyle force a corner for Queens.
14 min GOAL QUEENS. Lyle the scorer - QOS 1:0 Morton
16 min Harris` cross in to the box finds Derek Lyle and he heads home his 7th goal of the season.
19 min Conroy has a shot from 22-yards out but goes narrowly over Gaston`s goal.
22 min Harris`s great long range effort is tipped over by Gaston and from the resulting corner Jacobs header goes wide. Still 1-0 Queens
22 min Queens miss another chance to go 2-0 up here as Conroy shot just trickles wide of Gaston`s net.
23 min Yellow Card : McCluskey
24 min McCluskey booked for diving in the box.
31 min Yellow Card : Jacobs
31 min Jacobs booked for a foul on Tidser.
39 min Yellow Card : Kidd
40 min Kidd is booked for a foul on Barr.
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 1:0 Morton
54 min Morton should be level here. Barr can`t finish off a good move from Morton. Still 1-0
58 min Queens can count themselves lucky they are still leading here. Samuel has a shot from eight yards out but he can`t keep his strike on target
71 min Substitution : Scullion on for McCluskey
77 min Substitution : McKee on for Forbes
84 min Substitution : Millar on for Lyle
86 min Substitution : Pickard on for Jacobs
87 min Substitution : Sabajo on for Tidser
90+1 min Yellow Card : Millar
16:52 FULL TIME - QOS 1:0 Morton
16:53 Queens manage to win for the first time in eight games. Derek Lyle`s seventh goal of the season sealed the points for The Doonhamers.