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GRETNA 0 : 3 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 3rd March 2007
Rating: 6.87
Rating: 7.27
Rating: 7.31
Rating: 7.55
Rating: 7.26
Rating: 6.90
Rating: 8.19
Rating: 7.64
Rating: 6.97
2 S3
Rating: 8.86
Rating: 8.21
S1 - 67
Rating: 5.75
S2 - 79
Rating: 5.67
S3 - 87
Members of the Internet Fan Club can award players marks out of ten for their performance today. The player with the most points awarded in the two days following a match will be the IFC Man of the Match. All of the points will then be added to a running total for each player and the results published in the mom League Table.

Name or IFC No.
Oh how long have we waited for this! Not only did we finally end the hoodoo our neighbours held over us but we completely dominated the game and utterly merited the three goal win we ended up with. There was a pre-match boost when Steve Tosh was declared fit enough to take a place on the bench instead of Scott Robertson whilst Stevie Murray replaced the now departed Willie Gibson on the left side. There was plenty of one-time Queens influence on the Gretna bench with Alexander, Irons, Crichton, Stuart and McGuffie there but none in the actual team for once (unless you count McMenamin who trained with us as a youngster).

Queens were quick to seize the initiative in the game and Stephen Dobbie struck the first shot on target in four minutes, though he failed to unduly trouble Main low to his left side. On 10 minutes, after Murray was tripped on the edge of the box by Barr, Dobbie's free kick flicked off the top of the wall and out for a corner. O'Connor got his head to Murray's corner but the danger was cleared. Six minutes later Davie Nicholls picked up the first booking for a studs up challenge on Scally. From the resulting free kick O'Neill headed back and Lauchlan's shot was flicked at by O'Connor and deflected wide by a defender. Murray's second ball in from the corner left Lauchlan with a great back post chance but he headed wide.

Big Sean took a sore one and needed stitches
It was 19 minutes before Gretna really disturbed us at the back with Jenkins getting away down the right and crossing low but JT was there as ever to clear the ball away. A few minutes later Sean O'Connor was injured in an accidental clash and had to leave the field for stitches in a facial knock. He returned to great cheers soon enough though and it was a welcome sight as the big man had been dominating Gretna's back pair. Just before the half hour mark Jim Thomson joined Nicholls in the book for a high challenge on Graham and soon after Grady escaped down the right side and crossed to leave McMenamin with a fine chance at the back post but he headed wide. Two minutes later and Murray was also booked for pulling back Craig Barr and from the resulting kick Paartalu headed wide from 12 yards or so. On 35 minutes though it was the opposite way round as Barr was booked for hauling back Murray on the edge of his own box. This time the ball shifted to the side was hammered a couple of yards wide by Dobbie.

The match all changed in the 38th minute. Gretna were incensed not to be awarded a penalty when John O'Neill slid in to block a cross in his own box and the ball appeared to bobble against his arm. However, Jamie MacDonald didn't hang around to debate our good fortune and quickly punted the ball forward where that man Stephen Dobbie gained possession and ran at the Gretna defence. O'Connor made a fine decoy run and took away a defender leaving Dobbie to jink outside his man and fire a low shot beneath Main and into the net. Gretna almost struck back immediately when David Graham's shot from the edge of the box flew narrowly wide of target but Queens saw things through to the interval with no further scares.

Dobbie scores the opener - from David Gow on the terracing

Dobbie strikes it past Main in the Gretna goal
The second half began with Jamie Adams diving to head across the face of his own goal from Nicholls' corner and then heading clear again from the next one. Queens almost doubled their advantage on 54 minutes though when Dobbie ran onto Murray's backheel, beat two opponents and curled a shot narrowly wide with Main rooted to the spot. John O'Neill got very close to turning it in at the back post too but failed to make contact. Three minutes later we survived penalty shout number two when Skelton's long ball into the box reared up and struck McQuilken on the hand but for me it was clearly ball to hand and Mr McDonald was right to refuse that one too.

Rowan Alexander decided to shuffle his hand and replaced Grady with Berkeley before, on 64 minutes, Jamie MacDonald made his first save of the game when he caught a David Graham drive from 20 yards. Two minutes later though MacDonald almost had his head in his hands as a long punt forward was left to him by Lauchlan but he lifted his foot and the ball ran under it and must have grazed the post on it's way narrowly past. Time for a change for Queens and Stevie Tosh made his return to Raydale as a Queens player, replacing Stevie Murray. Immediately Queens did finally double their lead. An attack fizzled out when a defensive challenge got the ball back to Alan Main but the veteran keeper had trouble with his kicking all day and this was no exception. His scuffed clearance went straight to O'Connor who controlled the ball before passing perfectly for that man Stephen Dobbie again to beat the offside, round the keeper and net his tenth goal in nine appearances for Queens. What a signing he's turned out to be!

Dobbie strikes his and Queens' second goal - from David Gow on the terracing

Dobbie looks for another opening
Queens continued to push and O'Connor was not far over the top from 18 yards out before he forced a fine block out of Canning moments later with another run and shot. The big man had run himself into the ground for the cause though and was replaced on 76 minutes by Andy Barrowman. Gretna made a double change of their own four minutes later with McGuffie and Grainger replacing Paartalu and Skelton. Craig Barr was thrown forward as they played time out with a 3-3-4 formation. In the 84th minute Queens nearly added a third as Barrowman broke up the right off a flick by Dobbie. His first cross towards Tosh was cut out but a second ball in found Adams who swung and mis-hit towards goal. The ball broke back to Barrowman who hammered goalwards himself, forcing a fine save out of Main. From the resulting corner Paton dribbled the ball along the goal-line and pulled it back for Neil Scally who left Main rooted to the spot with his 20 yard drive but it went narrowly wide. In the 86th minute Dobbie departed to a hero's accolade as Graham Weir came on and a minute later the cherry was stuck on top of the win with a third goal. Steve Tosh was tripped on the edge of the box and Eric Paton struck a direct free kick past Main at his near post via a deflection. Ironically had Dobbie still been on the park Paton probably wouldn't even have got to take the kick.

Cherio, cherio, cherio - Eric seals the win! - from David Gow on the terracing

Big Sean looks to sneak in pass the Gretna defence
There was still time for a third penalty claim for Gretna, this one the one with most merit, as a cross ball appeared to strike a raised Queens arm in the box before it was cleared. There was also still time for our old friend Allan Jenkins to collect a booking for a foul on the outstanding Adams in midfield. Dougie McDonald's final whistle though was greeted with wild enthusiasm by the Doonhamer hordes, especially once news of the final score from Hamilton confirmed we'd lifted ourselves off the bottom. Next up it's Owen Coyle's St Johnstone side on Tuesday night. Thank goodness he couldn't find a place in it for Stephen Dobbie!

Ewan Lithgow

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