The scoreline does not reflect accurately the dominance enjoyed by a fit, fast and always committed Queen's side tonight. From the off the tempo was high and the large crowd were enjoying some of the best football seen at Palmerston for quite some while.
The formation was adjusted tonight to suit the attacking style that boss John Connolly had said pre-match was required, a 3-5-2 arrangement with Muir dropping back into the right back slot now and then and on the other side of the pitch Weir and Hodge alternating cover at the back. In truth though the game was almost all about Queens pressing and Forfar defending, almost apart from the last ten minutes when Forfar scored a scrambled goal and things looked a bit shaky for the final few minutes.
The first incident of note was a Bryan Caldwell, who replaced Warren Hawke in the starting line up tonight, turn and volley from the edge of the box that the visitors 'keeper Garden was pleased to see clear his crossbar. Then a Jon Sunderland drive could only be palmed out by the 'keeper and Bryan Caldwell was just a fraction too slow at reacting to get onto the ball.
Captain Sandy Hodge, playing in a more central/left midfield role tonight seemed to relish his chance to be more involved further up the park, remember when Sandy joined the club he had been at Motherwell as a centre forward so old habits die hard. For the next twenty minutes Sandy terrorised the Loons defence with a number of his trademark surges, all ending up over the bar but doing enough to frighten the defence in the process.
It was the Captain who put his name on the scoresheet first, ironically though it was one of the most controlled efforts that he had made as he placed the ball into the top left corner with the side of his foot in the thirty fifth minute. Half time came 1-0 Queens.
The second half started at the pace the first had. Sandy Hodge again providing a great run and cross, this time down the right only to see the ball whistle clean through Bryan Caldwell's legs as he ran in on goal.
Four minutes later though the score was 2-0. Again Sandy Hodge ran through a couple of defenders and delivered a lovely ball across the goalmouth, Peter Weatherson, who does enormous amounts of work off the ball, slid in to fire the ball past the 'keeper and provide a scoring home debut. Already he has become a firm favourite with the fans as his predatory instincts combined with his clever running mark him out as a class player.
Queens kept on pushing and won a series of corners which provided good chances but nothing finished. Sunderland was replaced by Boyle and then shortly afterwards Caldwell by Hawke. This lifted the tempo again and led to Denis Boyle being teed up on the edge of the box but only able to watch in vain as the Forfar 'keeper made a good save down low to his left to deny the young Irishman.
Then an amazing series of chances, firstly Peter Weatherson was released down the left, he homed in on the goal and unleashed what looked like a shot that had goal written all over it only to see the 'keeper palm it away from a tight angle at the bar and post junction. Corner to Queen's. From the corner Mark Weir ended up with the ball in exactly the same position as Weatherson and he too unleashed a similarly goal bound shot again only to see the 'keeper palm it away. It looked like that was it 2-0 and no more.
That was until the last few minutes when a goalmouth scramble at the Terregles Street end resulted in the visitors Taylor being able to apply a finish to a loose ball as it rattled around the penalty box for what seemed like an age.
The Doonhamers held on well for the last remaining seconds and more than deservedly took a standing ovation from a crowd of home fans who had clearly been impressed with the new style, players and attitude on show. Oh and not a booking in sight.