2004/05 Season Review
A serialised account of our season by our man who has been at every match home and away - Ewan Lithgow
Part Seven - January 2005
New Year's Day brought a home game with Hamilton and the biggest surprise was that the game went ahead at all. In monsoon conditions with high winds it seemed inevitable that the game would be postponed but it got the go ahead. Hamilton adapted to the conditions much better than we did though and Marc Corcoran scored a fabulous bending opener in the first half. When young substitute Paul McLeod added a second early in the second half the points were pretty safe despite Eric Paton's consolation free kick.

Corcoran beats Scott
A week later brought the trip to Montrose to play the Scottish Cup tie which proved to be much more tricky than might have been hoped. Both sides had missed some good chances before Derek Lyle opened the scoring. However, a controversial penalty given for handball by Paul Burns brought the home side back into the match straight away. Although Colin Scott saved Craig Smart's kick the striker followed up to net the rebound. The winner though arrived in spectacular fashion early in the second half when Willie Gibson scored his first ever senior goal with a volley from outside the penalty area that was nominated goal of the round on the BBC's Sportscene programme and would surely have been our own "Goal of the Season" in any other year. The draw for the next round brought a home tie against either Gretna or Dundee United. When that match was eventually played United just clung on to 4-3 win to earn Ian McCall a return trip to his home town.

The poor league run became four defeats in a row when Dick Campbell's Partick Thistle won 3-1 at Firhill. The result was more than a little unfortunate as, after Derek Lyle gave Queens a very early lead, a Colin Scott error let Armand One level before two own goals from David Craig and Eric Paton presented the home side with the points which dragged us to the fringes of a relegation battle. The pressure on Iain Scott was probably never greater than it was in the aftermath of this match with some short-sighted calls for his head emerging.

Before the next match a new signing appeared at the club. This time it was Alex Williams arriving on loan from Morton. The highly rated forward had lost his way a little after early promise and was looking for a fresh start. He made his debut as a half time substitute at Raith Rovers and created a crucial last minute winning goal for Derek Lyle with a sublime backheel. Sadly this first contribution was also his only significant touch in a spell which clearly didn't work out.

The next week was filled with signing talks as the deadline approached. In a surprise move it was announced that both Derek Lyle and Eric Paton had signed two and a half year full-time deals in the face of interest from bigger sides. Steve Bowey and Brian McLaughlin had also agreed new one year part-time extensions. Meantime relations with St Johnstone reached a new low as Ross Forsyth was brought down for Iain Scott to have a look at in training but returned with no deal and John Connolly condemning Scott and Queens for wasting Forsyth and St Johnstone's time. For good measure David Bagan, who had an offer of an extended deal at Queens on the table instead opted to sign a pre-contract with Connolly at St Johnstone. Not content to leave it at that, club and player effectively manipulated an early move by releasing a picture of the player holding a St Johnstone scarf and turning the fans against him in an instant. However, before the month was out revenge was complete when Scott completed the surprise signing of Australian international Stuart Lovell from Livingston in the face of interest from Connolly and for good measure also signed up Brian Reid to a one year extension.

Didn't work out
The final fixture of the month passed largely without interest with a 0-0 draw against St Mirren arresting the run of defeats. Not surprisingly David Bagan didn't feature in the match and he completed his move to St Johnstone on the closing day.
Ewan Lithgow
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