SFL v Queen of the South


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 2312, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Craig Thomson

Dunfermline were on the road again for another away day this time in the deepest south. Dumfries was the venue and at least the pitch was playable this week. Scott Wilson served the second of his two match ban and Jim McIntyre made two changes from the side that lost to Morton last time out. In came Nick Phinn and Kevin Harper to take the places of Greg Ross and Alex Burke. New on loan signing Rory Loy was on the bench.

Queen of the South brought in Michael McGowan in place of Steven Tosh to line up 3-5-2. When the teams were read out the 200 travelling fans had a friendly boo for Stephen Simmons.

Despite torrential overnight rain the covers over the Palmerston Park surface did their job and the playing surface looked in good condition for mid December. The match officials outfits dazzled in luminous yellow and it was the hosts who kicked off with Dunfermline attacking the goal in front of the covered terracing.

The first attempt at goal came from Steven Bell in the third minute when he cracked a shot in from a Nick Phinn pass only to be blocked. Next minute however when Harper laid the ball back for Calum Woods to cross PHINN rose on six yards to head the ball in at the right post. A great start for the Pars.

A fine delivery from captain Stephen Glass from the right channel was met by the head of Graham Bayne 14 yards out. He gave the home side a fright with the eighth minute attempt that slipped narrowly beyond the right post.

In 13th minute there was an injury scare for the Pars when Paul Gallacher was clattered as Simmons challenged to intercept a Woods chest down to his keeper. He was fit to continue but given sub keeper Callum Reidford`s injury in Tuesday`s reserve fixture this was a worry especially since Gall limped around his area trying to work off the agony.

Calum Woods tried another of his Airdrie specials with a run, cut inside and left footed shot from 30 yards that the diving Cammy Bell was happy to turn around his left hand post.

Dunfermline had more of the play and look likelier to score but a McGowan cross from the right was not cleanly defended and Jamie McQUILKEN was unmarked on the left to drive the ball into Gallacher`s net� and put the match level in 21 minutes.

The Fifers were unlucky not to immediately restore their advantage. Firstly Andy Kirk was through on the keeper but the green shirted stopper was able to turn the ball behind for a corner and then Bayne and Phinn exchanged passes on the edge of the box but the striker was inches wide of the left goalpost with his effort.

Dunfermline continued to pose a threat. Glass` corner from the right was headed out only to be returned back through the six yard box but with no takers. Then in 29 minutes Kirk fed a ball for Bayne to run on to but his low drive was held by the QOS keeper.

The Dumfries men`s best efforts were coming from free kicks and in 39 minutes a Glass trip on O`Conner gave McQuilken the opportunity to smack the ball through the Pars wall from 25 yards. Fortunately Gallacher was not fooled by the deflection and dropped to his knees to hold.

Had Andy Kirk taken his 42nd minute chance there would have been much controversy. Bayne and MacFarlane went up for the ball and the QOS midfielder went down holding his head. Referee Craig Thomson played on and Kirk was given the chance to shoot from 25 yards.� His first attempt was blocked and he blasted the rebound over the bar.� The physio came on for MacFarlane who the home fans clearly felt had received an elbow on his cheek.

All square at the break but on the number of chances the Pars should have been ahead.

Half Time: Queen of the South 1 Dunfermline 1

Queens were forced to bring on David Weatherston for Jim Thomson at half time since the big QOS defender took a first half knock. Gordon Chisholm changed to 4-4-2 and it was Craig Barr in the centre of their defence that kept out Steven Bell in 48 minutes.� The pre season signing from Stirling Albion was clean through on the right side of the box but thought too long about his execution allowing his effort to be blotted out.

The Doonhamers lost Paul Burns, stretchered off in 52 minutes after a tackle that earned Greg Shields a yellow card. A McQuilken free kick from the left touchline almost gave the home side the breakthrough as Stewart Kean connected but his header to the far post was just retreived by Gallacher.

At the other end a Glass rocket from 35 yards was turned behind for a corner and a Harper blast from that led to another but Bell� couldn`t get on the end of Glass` second corner. Rory Loy replaced Andy Kirk in 62 minutes to make his Pars debut but it was QOS who were now looking the more dangerous.

Weatherston`s drive went for a corner on the left and Simmons came close to scoring against his old club but the Pars defence cleared that from under the crossbar. Loy then showed what must have attracted Macca to him making a chance for himself on the right side of the QOS box to cut back and then drill a low ball that Bell did well to hold at his near post.

In 72nd minute McCann conceded a free kick in challenging Simmons on the edge of the box and Gallacher had to be at his best to deny Queens. Loy had brought some added pace into Athletic`s play and his brave tackle sent Bayne up the right but the cut back for Harper was hit over the top.� That was Harper`s last involvement, Alex Burke coming on for him.

Scott Thomson tested Bell with a 30 yard free kick before the Dumfries crowd celebrated the introduction of Stephen Dobbie with just eleven minutes to go. Pars Bell and Bayne carved a route down the right side but McGowan closed out the Pars midfielder before he could pull the trigger on a shot. Glass popped another over the crossbar as the time began to run out.

Loy latched on to a Bayne prod and ran from halway before powering his shot over the bar from 20 yards. The Manager came on for Steven Bell with just four minutes to go and the winning goal was duly delivered.� Andy Aitken and Cammy Bell went up for a crossed ball� from Thomson on the left. They both dropped to the deck leaving Graham BAYNE the task of slipping the ball home from 12 yards.

With all their subs already committed McQuilken had to take over in goal after Bell was stretchered off. The home side felt cheated but there`s not a lot that can be done when their own player takes out their keeper. At the end Jimmy Mac`s Barmy army were in full song to celebrate another away win and a joyous trip back up the M74.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Cameron Bell; Craig Barr, Andy Aitken, Jim Thomson (David Weatherston HT); Michael McGowan, Paul Burns (Scott Robertson 54), Stephen Simmons, Neil MacFarlane, Jamie McQuilken; Sean O`Connor (Stephen Dobbie 79), Stewart Kean.
SUBS:� Gary Arbuckle, Bryn Halliwell
SCORER: McQuilken (21)
YELLOW CARD: Simmons (69), Barr (90+1)

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Scott Thomson, Greg Shields, Austin McCann; Kevin Harper (Alex Burke 75), Steven Bell (Jim McIntyre 86), Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass (c); Graham Bayne, Andy Kirk (Rory Loy 62)
SUBS: Callum Reidford, Greg Ross.
SCORER: Phinn (4), Bayne (88)
YELLOW CARD: Shields (52)

WEATHER: Rain, gloomy 8ºC

NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Clyde
Saturday 20th December 2008, kick off 3.00pm

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