3 - 4
Clark Kidd Durnan 1 Dowie Holt   Sub2 McShane Fowler   Carmichael   1 Paton   Sub1 Reilly
Atkinson Sub1-73 Lyle Sub2-73 Dzierzawski Hooper Slattery Smith Smith
Queens surrendered a two-goal advantage in today`s Petrofac Training Cup clash with Livingston at Palmerston, and as a result they were sent crashing out of the competition at the first hurdle as their Championship rivals won through to the next round after a 4-3 extra-time victory. Things looked bright for Queens as they moved into a two-goal advantage, but thanks to some really poor defending, they allowed their visitors the chance to level the game, and eventually after an extra 30 minutes of play, go on to claim the win.
For the first competitive game of the new season, boss, Jim McIntyre had a few selection issues with as many as 6 players being unavailable due to both injury and suspension, and so the home side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with new player-coach, James Fowler making his full debut, and one of last season`s loan signings, Lewis Kidd, starting for the first time as a signed Queens player, slotting in at right full-back.
The early exchanges of the game were pretty even, but Queens almost gifted an opening for the visitors when Fowler`s back pass to Zander Clark was too short, but fortunately although the `keeper`s clearance was charged down, the ball fell kindly for Kidd to clear. The away team had the first good effort on goal following a quick break, but former Hearts striker Glen lifted his shot over the bar from the edge of the area. Queens first half chance of the game came on 12 minutes. Following a free-kick by Michael Paton, the ball fell into the path of Kidd just outside the penalty box, but the youngster lacked any composure and fired his shot high and wide. The hosts created another chance moments later as this time Danny Carmichael and Kidd linked up well on the right, and after reaching the bye-line, Kidd`s cross into the box was well defended at the near post.
There were further signs of nervousness amongst the home defenders when a routine long ball caused problems for both Clark and Andy Dowie, but their blushes were spared as Ogleby could not keep his attempt on target. The visitors were claiming strongly for a penalty after a quick counter attack saw them win the game`s first corner, but as the ball bounced between several players in the area it was unclear whether or not there had been any intentional handling of the ball.
From the next piece of action came the first goal of the new season. Kevin Holt`s persistence in chasing a long ball down the left saw him win his sides first corner, and from Ian McShane`s delivery ANDY DOWIE rose unchallenged to place a header into the far corner to give Queens a 24th minute lead. Having opened the scoring, Queens once again presented their visitors with the chance to get back into the game. The early errors that had caused problems at the back surfaced again as Kidd played the ball straight into the path of Ogleby, thankfully Clark was able to make a routine save. The first booking of the game was handed out to Iain Russell for a foul just inside the Livingston half, and he was soon followed into the referee`s notebook by Gallagher who pulled back Gavin Reilly as the striker looked set to have a run in on goal.
Dowie celebrates his goal with Kevin Holt
For just about the first time in the game, Queens were dominating proceedings. A Michael Paton free-kick was hit straight at `keeper Jamieson, and then a cross from Paton fell to Russell who saw his initial shot blocked back into his path, but his second attempt was easily saved. As Queens continued on the front foot, a strong driving run from midfield by McShane released Carmichael, and his cross into a crowded 6-yard box almost found the on rushing Reilly. In the next attack, again from the right, Kidd and McShane linked up well again, and when Kidd`s cross fell to Russell, the striker was only prevented from scoring against his former club by the outstretched right leg of `keeper Jamieson who made a good reaction stop. Just before the break, Paton`s run and shot ended with the `Livvy` shot stopper making a comfortable save, as the hosts ended the half on top, after being boosted by Dowie`s headed opener.
HALF-TIME QUEENS 1-0 LIVINGSTON
The second period began with Queens having to survive another potential scare as with the defence struggling to get organised, a cross into the box was missed firstly by Glen, and then at the far post by Mullen, who in fact had the better opportunity. Ian McShane, who had been the most impressive Queens player during the first half, began the second forty-five well, and his forward run and perfectly weighted pass into the path of Reilly almost reaped rewards, but Reilly`s shot was blocked for a corner. However, the resulting set-piece almost produced a goal at the other end. Livingston cleared the corner and launched a quick counter-attack and Ogleby`s shot was parried by Clark, with Kidd doing well under heavy pressure to complete the clearance. McShane was at the heart of most of Queens attacking play, and he combined well with Reilly and Kidd to win another corner for the home side which resulted in Dowie having his header pushed clear.
After 56 minutes, Queens doubled their advantage. Excellent work from Paton saw him ghost past two defenders down the right before playing the ball across the 6-yard box to the back post where IAIN RUSSELL was on hand to sweep the ball into the net. At that stage with Queens well in control, it was hard to see any other outcome but a home win, yet just 9 minutes later, Livingston were right back in the game as they levelled the contest. Minutes after Russell`s goal, the visitors reduced the deficit when Sives was on hand to prod the ball past Clark ahead of three Queens defenders, and then following yet another series of mistakes,`Livvy` equalised. Possession was lost in midfield after a poor touch from Russell, and O`Brien`s delivery caused hesitancy between Kidd and Clark, and whilst neither of them dealt with the situation, Mullen struck to slip the ball beyond both.
Russell slams the ball into the net
and celebrates with his first `Alfie` of the season
From being two goals ahead and looking comfortable, Queens were on the back foot and it was the visitors who were looking the more likely winners. The home side tried to respond, and Sives was next to be cautioned after he prevented Reilly from breaking clear. From the resulting set-piece, Michael Paton`s effort unfortunately caused more panic in the tea-bar on the Portland terracing than it did to the Livingston defence. A promising attack again involving Paton came to an end when Russell was flagged for offside, and moments later, Queens made a double change. Off went Reilly and McShane to be replaced by Derek Lyle, and Kevin Dzierzawski, the American`s first appearance in a competitive game at Palmerston since December of last year, surprisingly enough also against Livingston.
The next big chance came the way of the visitors and they really should have gone ahead. Good play involving substitutes White and Hippolyte led to Hippolyte being unmarked right in front of goal, but he was unable to keep his close range header under the bar and once again, Queens escaped. The final change for the home side saw young Dean Smith being given his competitive debut as he replaced Iain Russell for the final 12 minutes. Queens went close to going back in front after Lewis Kidd`s corner landed at the feet of Dowie, but the defender`s shot smashed against the bar and this time it was Livingston`s turn to enjoy some good fortune. Player-coach, Fowler became the final player to be booked, and just 3 minutes from the final whistle more confusion in the Queens defence almost allowed Hippolyte in again, this time however his lob from a tight angle was only inches too high.
With time running out, there was one final chance for Queens to win the game, but Fowler`s low shot trickled agonisingly wide of the near post, and the game moved into extra time.
EXTRA TIME It was the visitors who made the better start to the extra 30 minutes, and it took a brilliant one-handed save by Clark to keep out McKenna`s effort, the Queens `keeper diving to his left to make the stop. With more tempo to their game, Livingston forced a couple of corners in quick succession, both of which were well dealt with by Clark under severe pressure from substitute White. After re-starting so well, it came as no real surprise to most of the crowd of 1196 to see the visitors go ahead for the first time in the game. Once again the Queens defence did themselves no favours as a simple long ball split them apart, and substitute Hippolyte, who had looked very impressive since joining the game, finished well. It stayed that way until the 2nd minute of the second period of extra time, when out of nothing Queens drew level. A superb diagonal pass from Dzierzawski was collected by Carmichael on the right, and although he lost control of the ball, it ran kindly for Queens as MICHAEL PATON was on hand to drive the ball home from the edge of the box. Moments later during the next Queens attack, Paton`s joy at drawing the teams level turned swiftly to pain as he pulled up clutching his leg, and after receiving treatment, he had to leave the game. With Queens down to 10- men, and a penalty shoot- out looming large, yet more careless defending allowed Livingston to grab the winner when their final substitute,David Robertson slammed the ball past Clark at his near post from a tight angle.
Michael Paton sends in an equaliser following a great ball from Dzierzawski laid in by Carmichael
Paton celebrates his goal
There was little time for Queens to react, and as the final whistle sounded they were left having to face up to the disappointment of letting a two-goal lead slip away as they bowed out of the Challenge Cup at the first hurdle. A cracking game for any neutral watching, but hard going for the home support.