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.
Rating: 6.73
Rating: 4.83
Rating: 5.57
Rating: 4.36
Rating: 4.91
Rating: 6.32
Rating: 4.27
Rating: 5.48
Rating: 4.91
Rating: 4.55
Rating: 5.45
S1 - 50
Rating: 5.30
S2 - 88
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.
Twelve months on from an embarrassing home exit to Albion Rovers in the CIS Cup when seeding meant the path was open to the last 16, Queens contrived to repeat the feat at Stirling Albion tonight. Granted Stirling are a far better side than that Rovers side but this is still an extremely disappointing result and one that will sadly cost the club an awful lot of money in all probability.

After Saturday's poor showing at Perth Iain Scott made three changes to his starting eleven bodies with Willie Gibson, Steve Bowey and Derek Lyle replacing McColligan, McLaughlin and the injured Brian Reid. That necessitated a couple of positional changes also though with Gary Wood surprisingly preferred to Jim Thomson as Chris Carr's partner at centre back and Eric Paton reverting to his usual right back slot as a result. Stirling manager Allan Moore fielded a decent blend of young players and experienced pros.

Queens made a bright enough start and could have had a penalty kick in the first 30 seconds. Derek Lyle was the man who went down in the box under a challenge from Paul Nugent which got nothing of the ball. However, so early on and with Lyle actually moving away from goal at the time referee Kevin Toner dismissed the appeals. On 9 minutes Stephen Payne tried a touch of the Eric Paton's when the ball bounced up nicely for him in space just inside the Stirling half and he hit a spectacular 45 yard effort. However, it lacked the flat trajectory of Eric's effort last season and keeper Myles Hogarth had time to get back to his goal and field the ball comfortably. In seconds though, and from their first attack, the home side had grabbed a surprise lead. David O'Brien was the man who did the damage, turning Eric Paton inside out down the left side, making the bye-line and then pulling the ball back across goal for Paddy Connolly to neatly sidefoot home. The veteran striker was never going to miss a chance as simple as that.

Connolly slips the ball under Barnard with the defence all at sea
On 11 minutes things went from bad to worse. First O'Brien again teased an error out of Paton and struck a fine shot that Barnard tipped over the crossbar. From the resulting corner on the right, Robert Dunn got to the bye-line this time and again pulled back for that man Paddy Connolly to repeat his feat from six yards. This time he didn't connect so neatly with the ball but it managed to find its way between Barnard's legs and into the net anyway.

Number two from Connolly sees Barnard 'nutmegged'
Queens were pole-axed and took some time to regather. Indeed Connolly could even have had a hat-trick when his curling 20 yard effort went a foot over the top instead of under Barnard's bar. However, on 25 minutes David McNiven spurned a golden opportunity to pull a goal back. He latched onto a loose back-pass and had all the time in the world to beat Myles Hogarth who didn't even advance far to narrow the angle. However, 'Shrek' seemed to mis-hit the ball looking for the bottom left corner and dragged his effort wide. A minute later McNiven again found space in the penalty area but from an acute angle opted for a cut back towards Derek Lyle rather than shooting himself and Lyle was crowded out before he could force the ball home.

Queens were in the ascendancy now and on 28 minutes Bowey did well to release Lyle down the right side of the penalty box. He did choose the shot from the tight angle and it seemed like the ball was destined either for the bottom corner or the foot of McNiven who was hovering back post, however, keeper Hogarth appeared to tip the ball away for an excellent save. Not according to referee Toner though as a goal kick was awarded. Two minutes later English's fine cross found Payne in space in the box but rather than shoot he looked for Lyle but the striker seemed to have stopped his run for fear of going offside and the chance was gone. A minute later though Queens did pull a goal back though not without some controversy. Bowey gained the ball in midfield and seemed to hit a ball down the left towards the clearly offside Derek Lyle who, for me, only stopped running when he saw a flag go up from the far away assistant. As everyone else stopped though 'Bowser' seized the opportunity to run onto the ball himself with Mr Toner waving play on. In acres of space Bowey picked out Payne at the back post and he knocked the ball into the path of David McNiven to calmly place a low shot into the bottom right corner from around the penalty spot.

McNiven restores some hope as the ball nestles in the back of the net
Queens had their tails up now and were looking to level before the break. On 40 minutes a right sided corner was met by Chris Carr in space but his header flew across the face of goal and not in. A minute before the interval Payne rescued a ball that seemed over-hit and turned it back for Lyle to send in a dangerous cross that was headed across the face of his own goal by one of the home centre-halves.

Stirling were first to show in the second half when a free kick flighted into the box cannoned off one of our own defenders forcing Barnard to quickly adjust to the flight of the ball to save. In the 50th minute Eric Paton went on a mazy run past about half a dozen opponents, so nearly wriggling free in the penalty box, before the last defender made a successful challenge. The ball ran clear to Tommy English who hit just over from about 25 yards. A minute later Jim Thomson replaced Chris Carr as Scotty shuffled the pack. On 55 minutes an inventive right sided free kick was slid down the side of the wall by Paton for Payne to make the bye-line and stand a cross up for Gary Wood in the middle of the six yard box. Wood had an unchallenged header but the ball was just too high for him and he couldn't keep his header down. Two minutes later though Stirling showed they remained a threat on the break as Bowey lost possession in the midfield area and David O'Brien sent in a curling effort that forced a fine save by Richie Barnard low to his left.

Just after the hour mark and Paton again sent Payne away down the right and his near post cross was met by McNiven. He couldn't get enough power on the ball though and Hogarth was relieved to find it in his arms. Strangely though, after almost completely dominating the previous half hour or so Queens seemed to lose impetus after this and the next close thing didn't arrive until 83 minutes, and after Chris Hay had replaced Robert Dunn for the home side. Jim Thomson was short with a back pas and Stirling really should have finished the contest, especially as Barnard strangely opted to throw himself feet first at the incoming striker. However, the ball ended up trapped between his legs and Queens remained in the match. It was time to gamble though and Gary Wood was sent up to join the attack leaving the defence obviously short of manpower.

Ancilliary striker Wood just fails to get good contact in the closing minutes
With two minutes of the ninety remaining the homesters again broke forward and O'Brien left Paton tackling thin air again before hitting a fine shot that Barnard did very well to parry. The ball sprung loose straight to Stewart Devine who should have scored but, with Barnard quickly to his feet, pulled his shot across the face of goal and wide. A minute later Paul Burns replaced Eric Paton. There was still time for one more golden chance to level the tie though. As the game moved into injury time Lovell flicked a header through the Stirling back line and left Gary Wood with a clean run on goal. Sadly though, when precision might just have saved us and made him the hero of the hour, he went for power and Hogarth pulled off a good block to turn the ball wide. We were treated to the sight of Richie Barnard's presence in the opposition box for the corner but when the initial cross was half cleared Mr Toner somewhat surprisingly decided it was time to call a halt having played only a single minute of injury time. Given that three subs had come on in the half and he had also pointedly stopped his watch for time wasting once that did seem wholly inadequate but to be honest we'd had more than enough time and chances to get back into the match before then.

This week is turning into a disaster frankly and it's now imperative to look for a home win over Brechin this coming weekend.

Ewan Lithgow

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