SFL v Queen of the South


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 1651, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Craig Thomson


Queen of the South may be the only football club in the bible but with the climate they endure they should possibly employ their own Noah.  The rain was teeming down as the teams tried to warm up on a cold and wet December night.  Andy Kirk was on the bench after missing the previous match to play for Northern Ireland against Serbia.  Goalkeeper Greg Fleming broke a finger in training on Monday meaning that Chris Smith came in on loan from St Mirren and 20 year-old Greg Paterson has yet to start his first league game.

Out of the Queen of the South side that were humiliated at Airdrie on Saturday went Gerry McLaughlan, Stewart Kean and Jamie McQuilken.  Emergency loan player Jordan McMillan from Rangers, Bob Harris and David Weatherston started for the home side.

By kick off at 7.45 the rain had momentarily become quite white but the snow was not lying at all. The home side kicked off, Greg Ross ushered the ball out and Chris Smith got his first touch from the resultant goalkick.

Apart from a Graham Bayne flick on a long Smith clearance that McDougall couldn`t control on the edge of the QOS box play was in the Pars half for the first four minutes. The ball was holding up fast on the wet surface but there was nothing that the defence couldn`t deal with.

David Graham exchanged passes to take the Pars forward but Neil McGregor was penalised for sliding in a bit late. Then Bob Harris took down Willie Gibson but his 10th minute free kick from 25 yards was charged down.

The first real save of the match was Smith from a 30 yard effort by Rocco Quinn two minutes later. The on loan keeper held well despite the slippy ball diving to his right. Then Willie McLaren forced the first corner of the game but Steven Bell`s header cleared the danger.

In 17 minutes disaster struck as the home side went one up. Derek Holmes knocked the ball through for Paul Burns who controlled the ball on the right and crossed for McLaren at the far side of the six yard box.  His knock down was then stuck away by WEATHERSTON from close in.

The Fifers came back strongly at Queens with McDougall and Bayne troubling their markers.  Graham had a pop from 25 yards but was blocked and then a cross found Bayne at the far post but his header was directed wide right.  The 100+ brave travelling supporters had something to celebrate on 25 minutes.

A Gibson corner from the right was glanced to the left off a QOS defender and Graham returned the ball into the six yard box.  The ball was headed down in front of goal and in the scramble for a connection Graham BAYNE slid the ball in as he fell to the ground. Neil McGregor was initially given credit for what would have been his first goal in 14 league games but he owned up afterwards; with a grin cracking his face from ear to ear he confessed that it was not his. Ross then cleared a McKenna effort off his goal line from a corner on the right before things greatly improved from a black and white perspectrive.

It was a soft penalty decision in 29 minutes that let the Pars in to take the lead.  Steven McDougall got deep behind the Queens defence on the left and Mark McAusland brushed the Pars striker aside.  Referee Craig Thomson pointed to the spot and GIBSON made no mistake from the penalty kick sending the ball in at the right post.

Dunfermline looked much more composed with a lead and Graham in particular was getting in crosses with regularity.  Play was kept in the Queen of the South half until 42 minutes when Harris was yellow carded for a crude tackle on McGregor that left him limping.

Just before half time Holmes came close with shot from distance and the ball went behind off Smith`s right hand post.

Half Time: Queen of the South 1 Dunfermline 2

The home side forced a good fisted save by Smith and a corner all within 45 seconds of the restart. Dunfermline then went up the park, Ross playing the ball off Bayne to set up a low drive that zoomed narrowly wide of the right post.

There was controversy from a home viewpoint in 48 minutes when Weatherston stuck the ball in the net but the assistant had his flag up for offside.  There were strong appeals made by the QOS players as they considered the ball reached the striker off a Dunfermline man.

Gordon Chisholm`s men were not for lying down but they were out of luck when Referee Thomson didn`t give them a free kick on the edge of the box for McCann`s rustic challenge on Weatherston.  Then in 56 minutes McKenna was yellow carded for a retaliatory tackle on Graham.  Really unlucky since it was McMillan and not McKenna who did the damage.

Andy Kirk replaced Steven McDougall in 61 minutes and two minutes later it was Bayne who was unlucky heading just past from a Gibson delivery.  Pars won a corner in 65 when Graham`s soaring run set up McCann for a great ball into the box that McAusland dispatched for a corner. Queens dealt with that but thankfully were not really getting too near the Pars goal.

Chris Higgins replaced McGregor as the match entered its final quarter, his first half knock catching up on him. Queen of the South pushed up a bit but the Pars defence was doing well. In 75 minutes Macca was screaming for his defence to move up and take the heat off them but there was time for some head tennis in the Pars box as the home fans grew increasingly impatient.

Stewart Kean came on for Weatherston and from a Harris free kick the sub hit the top of the crossbar!  Next Holmes swept the ball wide for McLaren and Ross came up with a great blocking tackle to prevent the shot on goal.

It was nervy stuff as the clock ran down.  The Doonhamers continued to enjoy all the pressure and with nine minutes to go, they threw on Dennis Wyness as well in the hunt for a second goal.  Burns melted the ball from the top of the D but was well wide right.

On 86 Phinn got a chance from a Kirk layoff but Hutton was out fast to smother. The Queens push appeared to have been quashed and their long balls were too close to the keeper. Barry Wilson was thrown on in a 90th minute attempt to salvage a point.

Holmes challenged for the ball with Smith 15 yards out and a quick whistle stifled the chance that broke to Queens. The home side continued to press but nothing was to change.  Wilson`s free kick went woefully wide and in the end it was a fine Pars win on a ground where they remain unbeaten since 1986.

The three points hoist Dunfermline to fifth in the league, six points behind the new league leaders, Dundee who won away to Ross County.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: David Hutton; Jordan McMillan, Mark McAusland, David Lilley, Bob Harris; Paul Burns, Stephen McKenna (Barry Wilson 90), Rocco Quinn, Willie McLaren (Dennis Wyness 81); Derek Holmes, David Weatherston (Stewart Kean 77),
SUBS: Neil Scally,  Mark McGeown (GK).
SCORER: Weatherston (17)
YELLOW CARD: Harris (43), McKenna (56)

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Greg Ross, Neil McGregor (Chris Higgins 67), Andy Dowie, Austin McCann; Willie Gibson, Steven Bell, Alex Burke (c), David Graham (Nick Phinn 81); Steven McDougall (Andy Kirk 61), Graham Bayne.
SUBS:  Graeme Holmes, Greg Paterson (GK).
SCORER: Bayne (25), Gibson (29 pen,)
YELLOW CARD: McDougall (35), Bell (58)

WEATHER: Pouring Rain / Sleet 4C

NEXT MATCH: First Division (away) v Ayr United
Saturday 5th December 2009, kick off 3.00pm

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