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DUNDEE 2 : 3 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 11th February 2006
Rating: 6.94
Rating: 7.09
Rating: 7.17
Rating: 6.63
Rating: 6.57
Rating: 7.43
Rating: 6.17
Rating: 6.29
Rating: 6.57
Rating: 6.11
Rating: 7.74
S1 - 46
Rating: 6.12
S2 - 60 1
Rating: 7.66
S3 - 76 1
Rating: 7.46
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.
The Great Escape is ON! The two week break appeared to do Queens the world of good today as they at long last produced their first away win of the season and stole the points from a Dundee side who surely thought they had them in the bag. A superb battling performance from a side with genuine belief instilled in them now and with Stranraer going down heavily at home to Clyde the battle for avoiding the play-offs is very much back on.

Ian McCall made two changes to the side which beat Airdrie in our last game, both enforced. Shaun Dillon's hamstring failed to respond to treatment in time to make the game so in came Andy Aitken for his full debut in his second spell at the club whilst John O'Neill's suspension meant a surprise return to the fold for Brian McLaughlin, just two weeks after he seemed set to leave the club in the window. With Steve Bowey suspended too that meant Gary Wood and Scott Robertson also.

We didn't have to wait long for this game to get us off our seats. Just 33 seconds had passed in fact when Queens stormed into the lead! Straight from kick off the ball was worked down the right side and the aforementioned McLaughlin picked out the unmarked Paul Burns bursting into the right side of the penalty box. He shot instantly and although young Scott Murray was able to block he failed to hold the ball and in came Andy Thomson, no less sharp than in his first golden spell with the club to chalk up goal number 111 in Queens colours from about 6 yards.

The home side were stunned but soon recovered composure and went on to completely dominate the opening half. Their first near thing came in eleven minutes when from a long throw on the left the ball was flicked on by Mann and Simon Lynch arrived at the back post under close attention from Willie Gibson to head goalward. Colin Scott though clutched the ball on the goal-line. A minute later Dundee's Scott Robertson found himself in space in the box but tried to curl a shot round Scott and succeeded only in playing straight at the grateful keeper. In the 21st minute Dundee should really have equalised. It came originally from a right sided free kick which was initially headed away by Jim Thomson but when played back in Simon Lynch rose highest to knock the ball down and Bobby Mann, six yards out, could only poke the ball narrowly wide of goal as Colin Scott tried to block. A couple of minutes later Kevin McDonald was just denied by a good block as he tried to turn a cross in at the back post. On 33 minutes Lovell missed a tackle and Lynch broke forward again. His shot from the edge of the box failed to trouble Scott though who watched it go just wide. Queens were living on borrowed time and it ran out a minute later.

Match action
It was all fairly controversial as Paul Burns was on the receiving end of a hard challenge from Kevin McDonald on the edge of his own box and crumpled down clearly hurt. It may well have been a fair tackle though and referee Mike Ritchie was happy to wave play on. Certainly Dundee had no thoughts of playing the ball out to allow treatment and I couldn't blame them for that as they were in a good position and there was no question of a head knock. When the ball did come into the box it should probably just have been claimed by Colin Scott but Jim Thomson got there first and under little pressure hammered the ball into the stand to allow treatment for Burns. Willie Gibson then got himself booked for complaining about the initial challenge on Burns and the referee's failure to stop play. When play did re-start needless to say the long throw into the box was flicked on by Bobby Mann and there was Simon Lynch arriving at the back post to hammer home. Ian McCall was furious and let the officials know it!

Before the interval arrived the home side went close again through Garry Brady's 25 yarder and it was probably McCall the happier to hear the half-time whistle, especially as news spread of Stranraer trailing by four at home. McCall decided on a half time change too with Derek Lyle replacing Graham Weir who had been nowhere near as effective as the previous week and Queen almost going 3-4-3 with McLaughlin left and Lyle right of Andy Thomson.

Dundee continued to hold the advantage though and on 49 minutes Lynch missed their next decent chance, shooting over the top from 18 yards. The home side did take the lead just before the hour mark though and you couldn't say they hadn't deserved it. The ball was worked into the box from a left sided throw in again and Dundee somehow found themselves with a man over. The ball squirmed across the face of the six yard box and that man Lynch was there to tuck the ball under the diving Colin Scott and into the net. A minute later young Bryan Deasley forced another decent save out of Scott as Dundee looked to kill the game off. To be honest the way the game had gone the previous hour it was hard to see any way back for Queens. Young Murray had barely touched the ball in the home goal since his opening minute error but that was soon all to change.

Match action
The catalyst for the change appeared on the hour with Michael Mullen replacing Brian McLaughlin as McCall prepared to gamble on attack to rescue something from the game. Two minutes later Queens created their first chance since the opening seconds when Derek Lyle did very well to steal the ball away from Paul Dixon on the right side and sent in a dangerous cross which Bobby Mann appeared to take off Andy Thomson's boot six yards out as he looked to score. Incredibly though. with both teams lining up for the corner Mr Ritchie and his assistant combined to decide it was a goal kick. The equaliser was delayed only until the 66th minute though. Andy Thomson was involved knocking a pass into Paul Burns who played the ball forward to Michael Mullen before being absolutely poleaxed by a late Mann challenge. To his credit though as the fans howled for a foul Mr Ritchie looked to play advantage and there was no stopping Mullen as he carved his way into the penalty area before placing a perfect finish behind Murray and into the bottom right corner to open his account in senior football. The first of many one hopes! The goal was celebrated to widespread delirium in the stand and on the bench as the Queens team ran to their own dug out to celebrate.

Mullen scores his first - from David Gow on the terraces.
On 72 minutes Dundee made their first change when Craig O'Reilly replaced Colin Marshall and four minutes later came the change that won the game. Gary Wood was standing waiting to come on as a sub when Eric Paton went down with an injury. I've no idea who Wood was about to come on for but it clearly wasn't Paton as when the right back went down Wood was told to put his tracksuit top back on until the damage was assessed. Kenny Crichton soon established that Paton wasn't able to continue and so Wood did come on but at right wing back instead of wherever he was going to go. It was divine inspiration! In the 81st minute Andy Thomson found himself in possession in midfield and laid the ball wide right to Gary Wood who strode forward a few yards before absolutely leathering an unstoppable drive into the top left corner of goal from about 30 yards out. It was a strike that evoked memories of Stephen Payne's late winner at Partick Thistle last season and just as crucial in the context of the game.

The winning goal from David Gow on the terraces.
A few minutes earlier, on 78 minutes Barry Smith picked up Dundee's first booking for a pull back on Andy Thomson. Two minutes after the goal Alan Kernaghan made his second change bringing on Stuart McCluskey in place of Garry Brady but to little avail. The closest they got to an equaliser arrived just as the clock ticked into injury time and Barry Smith hit a half volley from the edge of the box which Colin Scott moved very smartly to not only save, but just as importantly, hold it.

A crucial, crucial win though and with Stranraer's 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Clyde, a gap which looked almost unassailable at 12 points and a lot of goals a couple of weeks ago doesn't look so safe now. It's down to 6 points and about half as many goals (though still a lot) and Queens have seven of their last eleven at home whilst Stranraer have seven of theirs away. On top of that it's bottom club Brechin next up at the start of a run of home games. Bring it on.............

Ewan Lithgow
Photographs and videos - David Gow

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