Reports from matches this season go to the fixtures section and click on the report linked to the match you want to read about. Alternatively for earlier seasons go to the fixtures section of the archive for the relevant year.
BRECHIN CITY 0 : 1 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 4th October 2003
Rating: 6.71
Rating: 7.16
Rating: 6.68
Rating: 7.10
Rating: 6.80
Rating: 6.84
Rating: 6.60
Rating: 7.39
Rating: 4.96
Rating: 7.42
Rating: 6.84
S1 - 39
Rating: 6.21
S2 - 74
Rating: 5.72
S3 - 77
Rating: 5.44
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.
This season just keeps getting better and better doesn't it? This week the "relegation certainties" racked up a 4th successive victory in a hard fought encounter at Glebe Park, Brechin and, in so doing moved up to the lofty heights of second in the division. Heady stuff indeed! The performance never touched the high levels of the previous few weeks against a Brechin side desperate for points already who frustrated with a well-worked offside trap time after time but it was good enough for three points and that's all that matters at the end of the day.

To nobody's surprise at all John Connolly kept faith with the same eleven which won the previous two games with Ross County and Clyde. There was one change on the bench though where Derek Allan replaced Willie Gibson. Queens had the first chance after just two minutes when Eric Paton elected to shoot for goal direct from a free kick fully 30 yards out. His effort went low to the bottom left corner but narrowly missed the target with the Queens players appealing in vain that Derek Souter had helped the ball on it's way past. Brechin's first showing came after 12 minutes when a right sided corner pinballed about a little before Neil Jablonski struck a volley just wide of the top left corner of goal.

From an early stage it was clear that Brechin were intent on frustrating Queens with an offside trap. Over the course of the afternoon we must have been caught offside more than a dozen times when the striker thought he was in the clear, most astonishingly on one particular occasion the linesman flagged Bowey offside when he clearly ran from his own half. Alex Burke was offside at the time but running away from the ball, not toward it. However, the problem with offside traps is that one mistake leaves the opposition with a gilt edged opportunity to score. That chance arrived for Queens in 20 minutes when Burke's clever flick freed Sean O'Connor to run through on goal as the whole defence ran past him appealing for the offside which it never was. O'Connor though found Scotland u-21 goalkeeper Derek Souter in fine form and he blocked with his legs to keep his team level.

Colin Scott sends the ball forward

On 24 minutes, Greg Millar flashed a dangerous cross across the penalty area which both Thomson and Reid threw themselves at without making any contact. Fortunately neither did any home player! Ten minutes later Paul Burns had a half-volley from a Talbot corner blocked by David White and Brechin broke forward quickly. Charlie King drew a defender before slipping Neil Jablonski clear on goal 40 yards out. He ran to the edge of the penalty area, closed down by Jim Thomson, before shooting. His effort took a wicked deflection off Thomson's leg, leaving Colin Scott completely wrong-footed, but missing the foot of the right post by a matter of inches.

Queens made their first substitution five minutes before the break with Brian McColligan coming on to replace Paul Talbot. That meant Steve Bowey shuffling out one to act as the left sided midfielder. There didn't seem to be any obvious injury to Talbot so I presume this was an early tactical change.Before the interval, Brian Reid came close to his first Queens goal when he rose to power a header from a Paton corner narrowly wide of the left post.

The second period started with a bang, Queens coming close after only 30 seconds. Paton and Burns worked an opening down the right side before the cross was fired in low. O'Connor and Souter went in for the ball together and it was the big keeper that got the break, deflecting the ball away from the line before his defence completed the clearance. Two minutes later the home side survived a huge penalty appeal. Joe McAlpine crossed from the left, Alex Burke headed on and O'Connor put in a cross from the left side. The ball was deep but retrieved and put back across goal by Paul Burns, beyond the goalkeeper, and headed towards the goal by Alex Burke. Scott McCulloch however was on hand to block the ball on the line before hooking clear. Whether he blocked the ball with an arm or his chest was the matter of debate but, to be fair, referee Ian Brines was very well placed and decided it was the chest that was used.

After 52 minutes Grant Johnston became the first player booked for a late sliding challenge on Joe McAlpine. McAlpine though was able to continue after a spot of treatment from the new "Business Development Manager" and was able to set up the winning goal just two minutes later. It was a goal of great simplicity. Joe got the ball halfway inside the Brechin half near the left touchline and swung in a smashing centre. Sean O'Connor got in front of his marker and rose to loop a header from about 8 yards out over the stranded Souter and into the corner of the goal.

Sean turns away after putting the ball into the net
On the hour mark a huge clearance from Reid landed at the feet of O'Connor again but his shot from 20 yards this time narrowly missed the top right corner. The clearance had come after a big penalty appeal from the home side when Jim Thomson clattered over a Brechin player in winning a penalty box header, For me though the referee got it right. Jim's eyes never left the ball and he was simply more powerful in the jump than his opponent. Five minutes later Sean O'Connor picked up a yellow card on the authority of the far side assistant, presumably for a bit of dissent as the home side continued to frustrate with their offside trap. Brechin though were still very much in the game and on 69 minutes Colin Scott had to move smartly to tip over a 25 yard effort from Jablonski. Two minutes later Chris Templeman replaced Millar as they pushed an extra man forward in a bid to save the game. Ten minutes later both sides made a further change when Gary Wood replaced Alex Burke and Fotheringham replaced Johnston.

On 77 minutes, Chris Templeman turned his man on the left side of the penalty area before unleashing a low drive which flashed across the face of goal untouched, narrowly missing the right post. The immediate response from Queens was to replace young Paul Burns with Derek Allan, Eric Paton moving into the midfield. A minute later McCulloch was booked for an over the top challenge on McColligan which incensed some of the visiting players. Three minutes after that Steven Hampshire made it to the byeline before firing in another dangerous cross which Jim Thomson might have touched before Brian Reid cut it out when it looked destined to land at the feet of a striker six yards out.

With time running out O'Connor at last sprung the offside trap again but attempted to chip Souter from 25 yards as he advanced and could only succeed in knocking the ball a good two yards over the bar too. A minute later Brian McColligan picked up a booking for a pretty cynical trip on McCulloch, possibly partly in retribution for the earlier challenge involving the same two players. With fully four minutes of injury time played Queens had a final scare when Templeman ran into the right side of the penalty box before throwing himself over a prone Joe McAlpine who had nicked the ball away in front of him. Templeman was irate at not getting a penalty and made his feelings known to Mr Brines whose response was to stop play in order to run up and book the big striker. Whether that was for the initial dive or his dissent afterward was not so clear. However, Queens held out to record yet another win.

It's been a long time since I was so cold sitting at a football match but it was well worth the conditions to see Queens climb to the giddy heights of second. This was not quite the level of performance we've seen of late but it's a great sign that we can win at this level without even playing all that well. We have a week off for the Scotland game next week, a shame when we're clearly flying at the moment, but what a prospect awaits in a fortnight. Inverness come to Palmerston for a clash of the top two, surely destined to be Scotsport's match of the day. Victory then and we would top the table. Dare we dream?

Ewan Lithgow

Photographs from David Gow

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