Match Report

For the second successive game Queens suffered back to back 3-2 defeats as they slipped to a third successive home loss as this time it was Dunfermline who left Palmerston with all three points with the result leaving Queens only just outside the relegation play-off place due to their better goal difference.

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It all started well for Queens as we took the lead, but before the half-time break the away side had turned the game around to lead and although we levelled via a penalty, Dunfermline headed back to Fife with the victory thanks to a winning goal that they found just 8 minutes from full time.


After various comings and goings throughout the week, when it came to naming his team, Allan Johnston made 4 changes to the team that started against Alloa.


Out went Connor Murray, Scott Mercer, Abdul Osman, and the transferred, Darren Brownlie, with their places being taken by Jack Hamilton, Michael Paton, Lewis Kidd, and on-loan Iain Wilson. Without Lee Kilday, and Brownlie the centre back partnership was formed by David Devine, and Iain Wilson as we lined up in a 4-4-2 formation.


Queens made a shaky start to the game and the visitors had a very early opportunity to go ahead through McGill, but his shot was deflected for the game`s first corner which produced another chance for Afolabi whose shot was blocked.


Having avoided suffering an early setback, we began to work our way into the game, and we won our first corner which sadly came to nothing as the delivery failed to beat the first defender.


Good pressure from Gary Oliver forced another corner and this time we did cause a problem for the away team as after the initial ball in was cleared, a deep cross from Michael Paton found Stephen Dobbie at the back post but he could only drive a half-volley into the side netting.


That was better from Queens, and just moments later we went in front. A strong challenge from Dan Pybus saw him win possession just inside the Dunfermline half and he was able to steer the ball into the path of Stephen Dobbie. The Queens talisman jinked his way towards goal and although he was unable to keep the ball under control, it fell nicely into the path of Gary Oliver who drilled a low shot past Fon Williams that went in off the far post. Michael Paton had a quick chance to extend our lead moments later when good close control saw him create a chance for himself, but from 14-yards out he couldn`t find the power to beat Fon Williams who was able to save easily. What could have been two nil Queens, immediately became one apiece as the away side drew level. There seemed to be some debate about the award of another corner for Dunfermline, but there was no debate about how poor Queens marking was at the set-piece. A short corner routine was worked and as we failed to respond Dow`s floated delivery picked out Afolabi and when his unchallenged header came back off the crossbar, McGill reacted quickly to head the ball beyond Ross Stewart.


Oliver shoots and scores

Oliver celebrates his goal


McGill finds lots of space to equalise from a corner


That goal boosted Dunfermline and for the next few minutes they had control of the game, winning a couple of further corners that caused some more hesitancy in our defence, but thankfully they were unable to capitalise on their spell of dominance, and in fact it was Queens who had the next chance after a foul on Pybus presented us with a decent set-piece opportunity some 25-yards from goal,and when the ball was touched into the path of Dobbie he could only drive his effort into a well constructed Dunfermline defensive wall.


Our next attack saw us go close once again. A harmless looking cross was fumbled by `keeper Fon Williams which gave us another corner which was cleared at the expense of another, and from this one Fon Williams punched clearance fell to Pybus,and when his shot was blocked into the path of Iain Wilson,he saw his shot on the turn deflected for yet another corner as the visitors stood firm.


On the half hour mark Dunfermline won their fourth corner of the half and again it was a visiting player who got to the ball first, but Ashcroft was unable to keep his effort on target. Former Queens loanee, Dom Thomas drew the first save of the game from Ross Stewart, whilst at the other end a cross from Darren Lyon was cleared out as far as Dobbie who struck a first time effort only just wide of the target. An inviting cross from Paton had the Dunfermline defence anxiously looking on, but Jack Hamilton at the back post couldn`t adjust his position and ended up inadvertently clearing the ball. In open play the new defensive pairing of Devine and Wilson was just about holding up,and Pybus and Kidd were competing well in midfield, but with limited options Queens were struggling to find any real width to their play with Hamilton on the left drifting in and out of the game as he tried to make the best of playing in an unfamiliar position, and Gary Oliver being well marshalled by a combination of both Comrie and Murray.


With the interval approaching Dunfermline turned the game around to take the lead for the first time in the game, and once again poor defending from Queens was a major contributor. A corner from Thomas on the left was delivered into the front post where Danny Devine found himself in space and was able to power a header into the Queens net. There was just time for Queens to re-start the game before referee Napier brought the half to a close as for the second game running Queens ended the first half trailing.


Devine heads the visitors into the lead with the last action of the half




Queens made a nervy start to the second period and a short back pass from Kevin Holt in the opening moments put Ross Stewart under pressure, but fortunately the `keeper was just able to reach the ball ahead of Dow and clear the danger. The away team began the half as if they were behind and their pressure made Queens hurry their passes, and our play at the start of the second half was very disjointed and unproductive.


However for all the possession Dunfermline had, it was Queens who had the first real chance of the half when Iain Wilson put the ball through the legs of a defender and then saw his low save parried to safety by Fon Williams. At this point we were enjoying a decent spell and when a heavy challenge in the penalty area on Dobbie by Devine was adjudged to have been a foul, Stephen Dobbie picked himself up and sent Fon Williams the wrong way with his kick to level the game. It looked to be a debatable decision to award the penalty and Ashcroft was booked for his protests, but it was given and it was certainly a boost for Queens. Temperatures began to rise and one or two heavy challenges began to creep in, and Dow became the second Dunfermline player to be booked following a foul on Lewis Kidd.


Dobbie downed in the box

Dobbie slots home the penalty

Dobbie celebrates his strike


After levelling the game, much like last weekend, Queens started to sit deeper and this allowed the away team to have more space and possession, and a shot from Thomas didn`t miss by much as Dunfermline chased a winner. Another corner put us under more pressure, but Stewart did well to catch the ball as he was challenged by three visiting players. 


Last weekend we drew level with 30 minutes to play and couldn`t push on, and exactly the same happened today and we also received the same kick in the stomach when just like the Alloa game, we conceded late on and yet again it was a set-piece situation that was our undoing. A shot from Thomas was deflected for a corner, and when Thomas floated the ball in from the right from the resultant corner, Ashcroft met the cross to score his team`s third headed goal of the game. 


Ashcroft heads home the winner from another corner


Against Alloa we rallied and had chances to salvage something from the game, but today we didn`t ever look like finding a way back into it, and although we put in plenty of effort, a lack of depth due to varying factors meant that we had little options to change the game from the bench and subsequently failed to take anything from the game.


There wasn`t really that much between the two teams, but ultimately it was our poor defending - especially at set-plays - that cost us,with the result seeing us lose 3 home league games in a row, and leaves us still looking for our first points of 2020.

  • Stewart

  • Lyon

  • Devine

  • Wilson

  • Holt

  • Paton

  • Kidd

  • Pybus

  • Hamilton

  • Oliver

  • Dobbie


  • Leighfield

  • Semple

  • Luissint

  • Irving

  • Gourlay

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