3 - 0
Clark Kidd Sub3 Durnan Higgins Carmichael 1 Sub2 Kerr McShane Russell   1 Sub1 Reilly Baird
Atkinson Sub2-86 McKenna Dzierzawski Sub1-74 Lyle Sub3-90 Hooper Fowler Kiltie
Queens recorded back to back league wins for the second time this season after a dominant performance saw them ease to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Falkirk at a wet, and windy Palmerston this afternoon. Two first half goals had Queens well in control at the break, and although the visitors began the second period quite strongly, a fightback never materialised, ,and it was the hosts who increased their lead as manager, James Fowler, notched up his first home win as Queens boss.
Following last weekends win at Raith, the Queens line -up showed just the one enforced change, as Kevin Holt missed the first of 2 games due to suspension, with his place being taken by the returning Mark Durnan. There was a slight re-shuffle amongst the back line as captain, Chris Higgins, moved to left back, and Andy Dowie, moved from the right to the left side of the centre back pairing. Striker, John Baird,made his first competitive start at Palmerston, and there was a welcome return for Stephen McKenna who made the match day squad for the first time this season.
Queens players show their continuing support to Show Racism the Red Card
It was clear from the early stages of the contest that the blustery wind that was blowing around the ground would have an effect on the game, and it took both sides some time to get used to the conditions as much of the early play was dictated by the gusty conditions. The visitors won the first corner of the game, and an indication of just how strong the wind was, saw the set-piece go right across the area and out for a goal-kick. Queens were attempting to keep the ball on the ground, and a neat combination of passes between Mark Kerr, Ian McShane, and John Baird, almost freed Danny Carmichael, but Leahy just managed to intercept Baird`s pass and avert the danger. Queens next attack saw them gain a free-kick on the left, and Ian McShane`s near post delivery towards Chris Higgins, was very well defended by McCracken as he headed clear under strong pressure from the Queens skipper.
The visitors replied with a quick break down the middle, and when the ball fell kindly for Vaulks just outside the box, his shot along the ground skimmed the edge of the near upright. The home defence were under pressure again moments later, but this time a shot from Cooper had neither the power or the direction to cause Clark any problems. The opening exchanges had been pretty even with both teams starting to find passing a bit easier, but as the weather worsened, so unfortunately did the football, and for the next 15 minutes or so the ball spent more time off the pitch and up in the air than it did on the ground. Queens won their first corner of the game midway through the half, and from McShane`s excellent delivery, the unmarked Baird could not get enough power in his header to find the net. However, a few minutes later, and from another McShane corner, Baird almost opened the scoring, as this time his header which was destined for the top corner was pushed away by Falkirk `keeper, Jamie MacDonald.
Queens were certainly looking strong at set pieces, and it appeared as though that might be their best way of unlocking the Falkirk defence, and sure enough after 38 minutes it was from a corner that the hosts took the lead. A shot from Gavin Reilly looked to be a simple enough save for the `keeper to make, but the ball squirmed from his hands and narrowly slipped past the post much to the relief of the Falkirk `keeper. However, his relief was very shortly followed by frustration as Ian McShane`s delivery from the resulting corner was powerfully headed home by the unmarked Andy Dowie as the defender scored for the first time since he found the net against Livingston in the season opener back in July.
Dowie heads his goal in the torrential rain
Having found the break through, the confidence surged through the Queens side, and just four minutes later, one nil, became two nil. Danny Carmichael broke clear in midfield and moved across the box before slipping the ball inside to Baird, the striker did well to retain the ball under pressure before lofting a pass into the box where Gavin Reilly found the time and space to side foot a volley past MacDonald to claim his 6th league goal of the season. Queens probably just shaded the first period on chances, and up until the opening goal the game was pretty tight, but they would have been delighted to have reached the interval with a two goal cushion
Reilly strikes and scores
MacDonald isn`t happy at conceding to Reilly
HALF-TIME QUEENS 2-0 FALKIRK
Playing with the strong wind at their backs in the second period, it took Queens some time to adjust to the conditions, and several early passes and clearances, in particular, from Zander Clark, were just too strong and simply sailed out of play, and it was at this point that the visitors had what was to be their best spell of the game. Yet although they did not have what could be classed as a real goal threatening opportunity, for the early part of the half, they did have much more possession of the ball which saw them force Queens on to the back foot.
Bairns boss, Peter Houston introduced both Alston and Shepherd minutes after the re-start, and although the substitutes did inject a little more urgency into the side, they still struggled to create any openings, and slowly but surely with Mark Kerr becoming more and more influential, Queens began to take control. The hosts were continuing to pose problems for the Falkirk defence and following a free-kick for a foul on Iain Russell, McShane`s cross was headed back across goal by Dowie, and Baird climbed well to send a header goalwards, but MacDonald saved well. With Queens looking dangerous every time they went forward, it seemed as though a third goal was inevitable, and Mark Durnan went very close to making a scoring return, but his effort was cleared off the line. However, the home fans in the crowd of 2038 did not have to wait much longer to see the next goal as on 72 minutes a cracking strike sealed the victory. With the pace of Reilly, and Carmichael, and the clever positional knowledge of Baird, Queens were just to good for Falkirk on the day, and when Baird`s delightful slide rule pass was picked up by Mark Kerr just outside the area, the former Falkirk player swept the ball past the well beaten MacDonald to score his first Queens goal. It was fitting that the best goal of the game was scored by the best player on show.
Kerr shoots and scores
Kerr celebrates his goal
Having gone for over 70 minutes without the need to show a card, referee, Beaton made two quick bookings in succession one for each side, as firstly Shaughnessy, and then Dowie were cautioned. Queens made their first change after 74 minutes with Derek Lyle replacing Gavin Reilly, and the change almost brought an instant result when Durnan`s long ball was audaciously flicked into Carmichael`s path by Kerr, and although Carmichael did well to pick out the unmarked Lyle, the substitute could not apply the finish as he dragged his shot well wide of the target.
With 4 minutes remaining, Stephen McKenna returned to first team action, replacing man-of-the-match, Mark Kerr, and almost right on the stroke of full-time, Ian McShane nearly had a contender for `goal of the season` but his tremendous 35- yard thunderbolt was just tipped over by MacDonald. Mark Durnan made way for young Scott Hooper as Queens played out the rest of the game at their own pace.
A very good performance in what were less than favourable conditions, three well taken goals,and three well deserved points as Queens consolidated their third place in the Championship table.