Queen Of The South
0 - 3
Clark Mitchell Durnan Dowie 1 Holt   Burns Sub3 Kerr Sub1 McShane     Paton 1 Sub2 Lyle 1 Russell
Atkinson Sub2-72 Carmichael Sub3-87 McKenna Sub1-69 Young Dzierzawski
Queens made a huge stride towards play-off football with a 3-0 statement win over Dumbarton.
Goals from Iain Russell, Derek Lyle and a wonderstrike from Kevin Holt lifted the Doonhamers three points above their opponents with two games remaining.
Queens destroyed the Sons 3-1 when the two teams faced off back in March but this time around a lot more was on the line as the two sides faced each other on level points and gunning for promotion.
Heading in to the match, McIntyre`s men had lost two games in four days against Falkirk and Raith and they set out to ensure they didn`t get beat three games in a row for the first team this season.
Queens set up in an attack minded 4-3-3 with Michael Paton and Iain Russell supporting Derek Lyle up front, however it was the home side who had most of the early pressure.
Dumbarton had corner after corner and a few efforts on goal in the opening 15 minutes but Queens stubbornly defended and prevented an early disaster at the Bet Butler Stadium.
Then, from a seemingly innocuous Zander Clark punt up the field, a defensive mix-up seen Iain Russell one-on-one with Dumbarton `keeper Jamie Ewings and the Queens forward headed the ball over him and launched Queens in to the lead on 17 minutes. It turned out to be Queens` only effort on goal in a first half which was controlled by the Sons.
Russell heads goalward
First goal delight for Russell
The home side thought they had found an equaliser after 25 minutes through Colin Nish as the tall forward had the ball in the back of the net but the flag was up for offside - much to the delight of the Queens fans in attendance.
The Palmerston side also had a few more let-offs in the first half as chances fell to Linton, Kane and Kirkpatrick but they all failed to really test Zander Clark.
The half time whistle was a good sign for Queens as they could take a vital lead going in at the break and look to add to that in the second period - and cause Dumbarton more problems.
And they did just that on 52 minutes as Derek Lyle rounded the Ewings in the Dumbarton goal and tapped the ball home for Queens second of the afternoon but, in reality, that goal is only half the story. Moments before, Zander Clark was in a one-on-one situation with Sons stiker Chris Kane who looked destined to put the home side level from eight yards out. However, Clark closed down the angle superbly and denied the forward a surefire equaliser before Andy Dowie through himself in front of goal to deny Dumbarton a goal. Then, a quick out ball to Iain Russell was made and he then found Derek Lyle who slotted home.
Zander makes the save that turned the game
The goal may go down as Lyle`s but the assist is well and truly down to Clark, who turned the game from a potential 1-1 scoreline in to a two goal lead and from there Queens never looked back.
Less than 15 minutes after the second Queens added the games third and final goal through a beautifully struck volley from Kevin Holt. The ball dropped to the left back 25 yards out and he caught the ball sweetly on the volley and found the top corner expertly and give Ewings no chance to even get a fingertip on the ball.
Great skill from Holt as he flicked the ball up and volleyed it home
Queens made a couple of changes in the following five minutes, most notably the reintroduction of Derek Young after a long period on the sidelines.
From there, Queens started to slowly close out the game with Russell helping create a few more half-chances and the Queens winger was on top form all day causing problems for the Sons back four.
Dumbarton tried to find a way back in to the game and once again Kane and Prunty had chances which they should have done better with but Queens played out the game in a professional manner and sealed a huge three points with a three goal victory.
Queens have the upper hand in the battle for the fourth place play-off spot and next week they welcome Livingston to Palmerston Park knowing that if they match - or even better - Dumbarton`s result they will be gunning for a spot in the Premiership.
Dumbarton host league leaders Hamilton next Saturday as the play-off battle looks set to go down to the wire.
- Check the Queens website tomorrow to hear Jim McIntyre`s thoughts on a vital win for his side.