SFL v Queen of the South
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 1 DUNFERMLINE 1 Date 15/03/08
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One
Attendance: 2114, Kick off 15.00
Referee: Crawford Allan
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 1 DUNFERMLINE 1
With the Pars playing in their all black European strip it was somewhat fitting that Greg Shields started his first game since Gothenburg taking the place of the injured Scott Thomson. Robertson and O`Neil dropped out of the Queens team that had lost 2-1 on Tuesday night to St Johnstone.
The cup semi finalists kicked off but within a minute Nick Phinn`s clever ball wide was returned from deep right by Mark Burchill and the Pars were awarded a free kick 30 yards out in a central position. Unfortunately Stephen Glass blasted the early opportunity over the crossbar.
After his┬ bizarre goal from the distance of 84 yards┬ the previous Saturday that saw his side through to the cup Semi Final, Ryan McCann was greeted┬ with cries to shoot as he advanced from midway inside his own half.┬ Instead he fed Stephen Dobbie who returned the ball back into his tracks for a crack at goal but fortunately Paul Gallacher turned the well struck effort around his right hand post.
McCann`s┬ eighth minute corner was weak but only half cleared allowing Neil McFarlane to head the ball back and when the lay off found Steven Tosh he swept a high ball into the right side of the six yard box.┬ ┬ Bob HARRIS chested the ball down to take┬ the chance, drilling it past the helpless Pars keeper. Next minute Sean O`Connor turned his defender but hit his shot from 20 yards over the crossbar.
Dunfermline came to and Phinn`s ball to Calum Woods set the right back up for a dangerous cross into the home box that Tosh headed over his own crossbar. That caused no threat but a surging run minutes later from Woods saw him reach the top of the Queens box to hit a low shot on target but Jamie McDonald held.
At the other end Shields did enough to force Paul Burns to strike his shot over the bar but Dunfermline were beginning to see more possession and Woods pumped another ball into the box but when Alex┬ Burke shot it was blocked.┬
However McCann earned himself a yellow card for bringing down Stephen Simmons on the edge of the box and the Fifers struck directly from the free kick.┬ Stephen Glass walked up to the four man defensive wall and Scott MORRISON placed a dipping shot into the top right corner.
Scott`s first ever goal for the Pars and only his second in senior football came four years after his only other goal at Easter Road for Aberdeen.
Woods was causing all sorts of problems for the left side of the Queens defence and on 33 minutes another ball in from the right gave Phinn a crack at goal but he pulled his shot wide right. Three minutes later Phinn was on the end of a Burchill cut back from the left corner flag but this time the defence blocked him.
A quickly taken free kick in 38 minutes found Dobbie and his ball into the Pars box was directed on goal by O`Connor but again Gallacher touched away the effort to his right.
Dunfermline`s response was a smart movement of the ball from Wilson to Crawford to Simmons to Burchill but unfortuntely the last link was taken by the home defence.┬ When the half time whistle came the 250 travelling Pars fans were content to have seen their side come back from their early setback.┬ It remained to be seen if they could turn that into a victory in the second 45.
Half Time: Queen of the South 1 Dunfermline 1
A 49th minute Glass free kick was floated through the Queens box with it missing everyone. Two minutes later Phinn created a great chance on the right side of the penalty area beating Harris and looking like beating McDonald but Harris made a fantastic recovery tackle to prevent a certain goal.
Territorially Dunfermline were gaining an advantage but were almost caught out when McCann intercepted a Glass pass midway into the Queens half. Fortunately Dobbie`s progress was eventually stopped after receiving the pass and beating two men on his way along the 18 yard line in search of a shooting opportunity.
In 65 minutes Burke`s challenge on Burns gave the Dumfries side a free kick on the corner of the box and although Morrison headed away Harris`s drive the ball was quickly back in the Pars box and there were louds appeals from the home players and fans when O`Connor went down┬ when shoved by┬ Burke.┬ Dobbie and Tosh were both booked for dissent but all Queen of the South were given were a corner.
Dunfermline were coming under the cosh when Jim McIntyre and Kevin Harper came on midway through the second half.┬ Harper won a corner on the right that took the heat off for a moment but Wilson could not get on the end of Glass`s delivery to the far post.
Play continued uncomfortably towards Gallacher`s goal but Dobbie struck his shot high before Dunfermline cooled the home side`s endeavours. Wilson`s perfectly weighted ball towards Burchill on the right won a corner kick and then a sweet ball from McIntyre picked out Burke on the left but neither chance came to anything.
Seven minutes from time there were further penalty appeals when the ball was played on to Morrison`s leg/hand but Referee Crawford Allan just further distanced himself from any possible affections of the Dumfries crowd. Tosh curled in a shot from the left two minutes later that had some in the Main Stand jumping to their feet but Gallacher gathered comfortably.
Queen of the South ended the match with a siege on the Pars goal. In 90th minute O`Connor headed what looked like the match winner but somehow between Gallacher and possibly with the help of a defender on the line the ball was kept out.┬ The subsequent corner kick created a good old fashioned stramash in the six yard box that Wilson got away for another corner.┬ After that Dunfermline held out for the draw and so failed to close the gap on their border opponents.┬ ┬ For Queens, it was their first points off the Pars this season.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Jamie MacDonald; Ryan McCann, Robert Harris, Neil MacFarlane, Andy Aitken, Craig Reid, Jamie McQuilken, Steven Tosh, Sean O`Connor, Stephen Dobbie, Paul Burns.
SUBS: Steve Grindlay, Eric Paton, John O`Neil, John Stewart, Brian Gilmour
SCORER: Harris (8)
YELLOW CARD: McCann (25), Dobbie (66), Tosh (66)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Scott Wilson (c), Greg Shields, Scott Morrison; Nick Phinn (Kevin Harper 68), Stephen Simmons, Stephen Glass, Alex Burke; Mark Burchill, Stevie Crawford (Jim McIntyre 68).
SUBS: Sean Murdoch (GK), Iain Williamson, Sol Bamba
SCORER: Morrison (26)
WEATHER: 10┬║C dull, damp
NEXT MATCH: (home) Friendly v San Juan Jabloteh, Tuesday 18th March 2008, kick off 7.00pm