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St MIRREN 1 : 0 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 11th March 2006
Rating: 7.87
Rating: 7.61
Rating: 7.65
Rating: 7.20
Rating: 4.97
Rating: 5.55
Rating: 5.94
Rating: 6.00
Rating: 5.87
Rating: 6.55
Rating: 6.00
S1 - 46
Rating: 5.39
S2 - 53
Rating: 5.35
S3 - 58
Rating: 4.86
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.
Absolute heartbreak at Love Street for Ian McCall and his troops. If we're going to be honest over the piece the better side won the game but Queens worked tirelessly at the back all game to earn a point that the defensive stand deserved only to be denied by a goal two minutes into injury time.

Ian McCall made two changes to the side which beat Clyde last weekend with Steve Bowey replacing Paul Burns and Gary Wood back in up front for Derek Lyle. Both Lyle and Burns took their spots on the bench but despite suggestions of it there was no place there for Sean O'Connor and more surprisingly none for Andy Thomson either, presumably injured. Instead Shaun Dillon returned to the match squad.

The game was prefaced by an immaculately observed minute's silence in memory of Brian Hetherston, the former St Mirren player who died at the tragically young age of 29 last week. When it did get going it was no surprise that the home side soon seized the ascendancy. Four minutes in and Mark Corcoran cut in from the right and tried a shot back across Scott from 20 yards but failed to seriously trouble the keeper. Ten minutes later John Sutton chased a good ball down the channel but Colin Scott was quickly out from his line to save at the striker's feet. In 18 minutes St Mirren were forced to make an early change when Kevin McGowne hobbled off and was replaced by the highly rated Kirk Broadfoot who has been out for a while with a broken bone in his foot. Two minutes later Corcoran knocked the ball through Lovell's legs and made for goal again only to again be denied by Scott making a decent block and, as the home side continued to dominate, shortly after that a somewhat soft free kick was given against Bowey on the edge of the box and Adam swept it over the bar by inches.

An immaculately observed minutes silence
In 29 minutes St Mirren missed a sitter which would have given them the lead. Simon Lappin got away from Paton down the left and dropped a perfect ball on the head of Charlie Adam who was completely unmarked for a six yard box header yet could only place it three yards wide. Three minutes after that the same player latched onto a half clearance to fire at Scott again without greatly worrying the keeper. In 34 minutes Queens actually got the ball in the net courtesy of Jim Thomson from a right sided corner but it followed a stramash in the six yard box during which referee Charlie Richmond adjudged that Tony Bullock had been fouled.

Apparently a foul somewhere prevented this from being a 'Live Goal' - from David Gow on the terraces.
During half time McCall was forced to make a change when Eric Paton, who had had extensive treatment just before the interval, could not continue. That saw Willie Gibson switch to the right side and Shaun Dillon take his spot on the left. If Adam had missed a sitter in the first half then five minutes into the second half Sutton missed an even more gilt edged chance. Broadfoot lifted a cross into the box which somehow found Jim Thomson with both Sutton and Lappin in the back post area. JT managed to flick the ball away from Sutton but Lappin was left with a superb headed chance which Scott parried out straight at Sutton who could only poke the ball wide of the empty net.

In 53 minutes Paul Burns replaced Ryan McStay and five minutes later Mullen replaced Weir and moved into a solo front role with John O'Neill trying to support him as Wood was withdrawn into midfield to assist Gibson on the right side. On the hour mark Adam hit a 25 yard free kick from out wide straight at goal when everyone expected a cross and almost caught Scott out. The keeper managed to block the shot but couldn't hold it, sparking a stramash which again saw referee Richmond award a free kick eventually though unlike Bullock in the first half Scott had at least managed to re-gather the ball. Four minutes later John O'Neill picked up the game's first booking following the usual theatrical fall to the ground by Charlie Adam who has clearly attended the McCoist school of "falling down". Again Adam went for goal from the kick and again Scott made the save but fumbled and Gary Wood had to look sharp to make a clearance.

Queens looking to make a chance
Gus McPherson decided his best chance of winning was to change his strike force so Billy Mehmet replaced Sutton and then Stewart Kean replaced Simon Lappin with Corcoran moving wide. On 75 minutes Gary Wood picked up the second booking of the match, though I know not whether it was for the studs up challenge on Mark Reilly or for his reaction to the free kick award (or indeed a combination of the two). The next chance fell to Ian Maxwell, heading past the post from Adam's right sided corner on 79 minutes. Three minutes after that Mark Reilly became the first home player booked when he disputed the award of a throw against him. The dissent continued though as Shaun Dillon kicked the ball away after a foul was awarded against Michael Mullen and duly saw yellow as Reilly and Wood before him had. Willie Gibson was next in Charlie Richmond's book though at least he actually committed a foul to earn it, tripping up Corcoran.

The game in all honesty seemed set to drift to a drawn conclusion with St Mirren having run out of ideas when a long ball was knocked over the top two minutes into injury time. Stewart Kean latched onto it but seemed to have knocked it too far wide with his first touch. However, when he fired the ball back into the penalty area behind the strikers and defenders it was Charlie Adam who appeared on cue to sweep the ball into the bottom right corner from 15 yards past the helpless Colin Scott sparking scenes of wild celebration. Adam was duly booked for over-celebrating but it meant little.

This was never a match we expected to pick up major points in but it was so nearly a vital single pointer. Hopefully Stranraer will do no better at Hamilton tomorrow though and leave the opportunity to go above them and move out of the bottom two for the first time all season next weekend.

Ewan Lithgow
Photo's and Video clip - David Gow

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