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St MIRREN 3 : 0 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 9th April 2005
Rating: 4.76
Rating: 6.72
Rating: 7.04
Rating: 6.28
Rating: 5.60
Rating: 6.24
Rating: 5.76
Rating: 6.00
Rating: 6.16
Rating: 5.38
Rating: 6.20
S2 - 41
Rating: 6.83
S1 - 29 S2
Rating: 4.05
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.
Well, who could have predicted a game like this? Although Colin Scott, Steve Bowey and Derek Lyle are all due to face surgery soon, all three were available today as Iain Scott was able to name an unchanged side. The only change to the sixteen that was named against Partick last week was the reappearance of Steven Bell on the bench in place of Paul Burns. There was no place for John O'Neill among the home sixteen.

Queens made a fine start and really should have grabbed the lead in the 5th minute when McNiven nodded on a left sided cross to Steven Payne inside the six yard box. Payne's connection was poor but the ball went back to McNiven who had time to set himself before half volleying goalward. Incredibly though the ball cannoned off the crossbar, down and the rebound was sliced wide. On 13 minutes Eric Paton was booked somewhat strangely for a challenge on Lappin when he clearly appeared to take ball cleanly as St Mirren began to show face for the first time.

Keeper number 1 - Richie Barnard
On 17 minutes St Mirren had their first serious attack and duly scored from it. Simon Lappin put in a wonderful cross from the left which was missed by everyone in the middle but helped back into the danger area by Murray. John Baird was the man on the spot to loop a header over the back-peddling Barnard from 12 yards. Three minutes later incredibly and it was 2-0. The architect again was Lappin, turning Eric Paton inside out before reaching the bye-line and firing a low cross to the back corner of the penalty box for Hugh Murray to fairly hammer into the top left corner.

As if things weren't already bad enough, on 24 minutes Richie Barnard came a long way to collect a free kick and was clattered into by Kirk Broadfoot near the edge of the penalty area. The ball ran free and just eluded Stewart Kean in the box who would have had an open goal. Of more concern though was the fact that the 'keeper stayed down with blood obviously coming from his mouth. It appeared the keeper wanted to continue but with the current blood rules that would have meant a period off the pitch and Kenny Crichton was having none of it. After Dr Downie had a look at the situation and a good few minutes of treatment on the park Colin Scott was called into action as substitute.

On 34 minutes the home side almost scored again, capitalising on a misplaced Lovell pass. Baird advanced on goal and beat English but rather than shoot, opted to chip a cross to Stewart Kean whose header struck the bar with Scott beaten. The offside flag had already been raised against the striker though. Five minutes later things just got worse has Alan Russell's boot connected with Colin Scott's knee as he stooped to collect a bouncing ball. For me the challenge was late and Russell was lucky not to see yellow. The keeper though was obviously hurt and though he struggled to his feet initially clearly couldn't carry on (despite the bizarre booing of the home fans!). He left the park on a stretcher with the knee area already swelling. Gary Wood was the substitute but surprisingly the utility man who has played everywhere else for the club this season was not the man for the No. 1 jersey. Instead David Craig took over between the posts.

Keeper number 3 - David Craig
In the 44th minute Brian Reid had a lucky escape perhaps when he was adjudged not to have fouled Murray in the penalty area as virtually the whole home support were on their feet claiming for a penalty. Two minutes later Payne did very well to make the bye-line and pull the ball back for Derek Lyle to hit a first time shot at goal which Hinchcliffe did remarkably well to turn onto the post before the ball was cleared for a corner. Eventually though, after a full seven minutes of first half injury time, which was probably still too short, the interval arrived.

Queens had obviously decided that the best way of protecting David Craig in the goal was to play virtually the whole second period in the St Mirren half and duly set about doing so. The half was only two minutes old when fine work by Paton on the right gave Bowey the chance to play Payne in on goal but though the wide man's shot did for once beat Hinchcliffe it also eluded the bottom left corner. Two minutes after that Reid knocked down a Payne free kick in the box for Lyle to slice over the bar from eight yards out. It was all Queens at this point and English's looping ball into the box was missed by both McNiven and Hinchcliffe as they challenged for it in the six yard box and Lyle almost reached it at the back post. On 2 minutes Bowey's cross-field pass was fairly thundered goalward by Paton and crashed off the crossbar with Hinchcliffe clawing at thin air. The ball rebounded all the way to the edge of the penalty are where Bowey mistimed the rebound and sliced horribly wide. It was constant Queens pressure now and moments later, from another Payne corner, Reid's knock down was almost forced home by McNiven but Hinchcliffe smothered the ball on the goal-line.

Paton's effort heads for the bar
On the hour mark Gus McPherson made his first switch, bringing on Gillies for Baird and a few moments later Simon Lappin joined Paton in the referee's notebook for a foul from behind on McNiven. He was joined there by Hugh Murray soon after. On 69 minutes Paton curled a free kick from the edge of the box just over the top after a foul on Bowey. There was time for McColligan to pick up his customary booking for persistent fouling before Lappin curled a free kick straight into the arms of David Craig, called into action for the first time all half. With ten minutes remaining Brian McGinty replaced Simon Lappin and later the home changes were completed when McKenna replaced Kean. In between times Russell finally picked up his deserved booking for persistent fouling following a challenge on Bowey.

In the third minute of stoppage time David Craig was called into serious action for the first time in the half when he dived to tip a shot round the post for a corner. Sadly though, the good save was wasted as he flapped at the resulting cross and the ball broke for Mark Reilly to lash home from the edge of the box.

A disappointing scoreline then and one which probably lays to rest any thought of finishing 3rd. It wasn't a bad performance though and for long spells of the game we dominated. It's easy to hide behind the double goalkeeper injury but at the end of the day we were two behind before either injury occurred. Hopefully Barnard can be patched up and sent out to face Raith next week or David Craig could be playing in goal again!

Ewan Lithgow
Photographs - David Gow

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