Match Report

A resolute, and battling performance from Queens saw them earn a well deserved point against league leaders Ross County at Palmerston this afternoon, and although neither side were able to find a winning goal, it will be the home side who will be more happy with the point as for large parts of the game they were well in control against title favourites, Ross County. The better of the chances fell to Queens, and it was visiting `keeper Scott Fox who was the busier of the two `keepers, but despite their overall dominance of the game, for only the second time this season Queens failed to find the net.

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For the fourth game running, Queens named an unchanged starting line-up, and continued in a 4-4-2 formation. League leaders County - making their first appearance in Dumfries since the 2011/12 season included several experienced campaigners in their side as they looked to keep hold of their top spot.
The game was a bit of a slow burner in the opening few minutes as both sides settled, and the only major talking point of the first 10 minutes came when the first `real` foul of the game saw referee, McLean flash a yellow card at Kyle Jacobs for what he deemed to be an over aggressive challenge after just 7 minutes. It did seem to be a bit of a harsh decision, and in view of some of the fouls that followed later in the game that  went unpunished, Jacobs was a bit unfortunate to be cautioned, and the early booking meant that the battling midfielder needed to be very cautious for the remaining 83 minutes of the contest. A rare foray into the Queens half from the visitors saw Mullin hit a shot well wide as the league leaders tried to find a way into the contest. The match pitted the Championship`s top scoring team against the team with the best defence, and once the game had settled,it was Queens who began to take the game to the visitors and they created the first goal scoring opportunity when neat play involving Gary Harkins, and Stephen Dobbie, created an opening for Lyndon Dykes, but 6-yards out from a tight angle, his shot was beaten away at his near post by `keeper Fox. Queens continued to press, and from a throw-in a flick on from Dykes found Dobbie just outside the area, but off balance he was unable to control his shot hand drove a half-volley well wide of the target.
Dykes denied by Fox
The away side were good in possession up until the final third, but they lacked a cutting edge, and on the few occasions that they did get into dangerous areas, Callum Semple, and Michael Doyle, were well organised, and defended everything that came their way very confidently.
Another neat passing move between, Dobbie, Harkins, and Dykes created a further chance that ended with a shot from Dykes being blocked away for a corner, but the resulting set-piece was disappointing as the ball was over-hit and County were able to clear the danger. An enterprising run down the right from Scott Mercer looked promising, but no Queens player was able to make up enough ground to reach his inviting cross and the move ended disappointingly as the `keeper made a simple catch.
Five minutes before the break Queens came agonisingly close to making the breakthrough when a Harkins header bounced into the path of Dobbie some 8-yards out in front of goal, and with the ball just moving away from him Dobbie was still able to make a good contact, but unfortunately his shot crashed against the crossbar.
Dobbie watches as his effort smashes off the bar
The final attack of the opening half saw the visitors put the ball in the net, but the flag was raised for offside and so the half ended with Queens on top, and thanks to the actions of a sharp eyed assistant referee, not trailing in a game in which they probably should have been leading.
At this stage of their respective games last weekend, County were leading 5-0, and Queens were 4-0 in front, so it was somewhat surprising that the first half had not seen any goals, although to be fair on another day, Queens could have been well ahead.
The second half started with a flurry of fouls  - mostly from the away side, and mostly much worse than the one committed earlier by Kyle Jacobs, and eventually referee McLean did decide to even up the card count when Vigurs was booked for an over enthusiastic challenge on Andy Stirling 10 minutes into the half.
A robust approach from the Highlanders
Another robust challenge on Todd
The game by now was starting to become stretched, but Queens were still looking the more likely to open the scoring and they almost found the breakthrough when a Gary Harkins corner from the right was met by the head of Doyle, but he failed to make a decent enough contact and could only glance a header off target. The visitors responded with a header of their own, but Gardyne was way off target with his effort when well placed at the back post. There was a period mid-way through the second half when the away side began to have a more concerted spell of possession, which saw Queens start to defend more deeply, and they created their best opening of that period when a free kick wide on the left from Mullin went all the way through a packed penalty area and eventually out for a goal-kick. From another free-kick, Queens had every player defending back inside their own penalty box as the league leaders pressed for the opening goal. However, the pressure on the Queens defence was short lived, and although they had efforts from both Mullin, and Gardyne, neither forced Alan Martin into action.
Morris marked Stirling quite closely
The final period of the game belonged to Queens as they pressed for a winner, with Dobbie shooting wide, and then from a free-kick the same player saw a low drive deflected towards goal but with the pace being taken off the strike, a covering defender was able to clear. Adam Frizzell was given the last few minutes when he replaced Gary Harkins, and Queens might have captured all three points very late on when Kyle Jacobs met a clearance on the half volley on the edge of the box, sadly though his attempt was straight at the `keeper.
Possession stats will show the teams were pretty much equal, but it was Queens who certainly created the better of the chances, and with a bit more fortune the well earned point, could so easily have been three. Man -of-the-match was given to Michael Doyle, who alongside, Callum Semple, organised the Queens defence very effectively with the result being a third successive league clean sheet - the first time that this has happened during Gary Naysmith`s spell in charge.

  • Martin

  • Mercer

  • Doyle

  • Semple

  • Marshall

  • Stirling

  • Jacobs

  • Todd

  • Harkins


  • Dykes

  • Dobbie


  • Leighfield

  • Murray

  • Exley

  • Norman Jr

  • Frizzell


  • Bell

  • Harvey

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