|Stenhousemuir came to Palmerston today a well organised side as expected. The threat was always expected to come from the set plays and in particular the free kicks and corners provided by Alan Banks. This is exactley how matters transpired with the Ochilview men returning north with three comfortable points and three goals without reply all made from set pieces.
Queens lined up today with Stewart and Kerr in the right and left back positions respectively and Rowe and Aitken providing the heart of the defence. Midfield consisted of Harvey, Cleeland, Findlay and Caldwell as Club Captain Steven Leslie made it onto the bench following his quick recovery from a groin strain. Up front the surprise was that Stevie Mallan was dropped onto the bench and Lee Bailey started the match partnering Charlie Adams.
The game started promisingly for Queens with the bulk of the first half pressure being exerted on the Warriors defence, unfortunately the edge of the box was about as far as the Queens frontmen could penetrate with Bailey looking more comfortable in a holding role rather than a striking one.
Stenhousemuir were more than happy for the game to develop this way and soon demonstrated what they were capable of. After winning a number of corners, each of which Queens looked increasingly vulnerable at, they eventually got the reward of an unchallenged inswinger which was eagerly met by Ross Hamilton to power into the net past the helpless Hillcoat.
Harvey causes chaos in a second half attack
Queens continued to press but there was little or no penetration and any efforts that made it through were more than adequately dealt with by Lindsay Hamilton in the Warriors goal. For all their domination Queens left the field 1-0 down.
The second half was unfortunately even worse for Queens as they struggled to rise to the challenge and ended up bogged down in midfield. Stenny were happy to play for free kicks and corners as every time they won one they seemed to score from it. Andy Aitken in particular was having a tough time dealing with the Stenny number 5 Tommy Graham who twice managed to escape his clutches and power the ball into the net.
The double substitution of Mallan and Leslie for Adams and Kerr witht he switch to a three-four-three formation did little to turn the game but certainly added a bit more bite in midfield and drive up front.
|Quality chances were few and far between for Queens and those that did come along were either easily dealt with by the keeper or like this Marc Cleeland effort wide of target.||
|So co-bosses Rowe and Eadie will have their work cut out to re-jig the team into a winning formation for next week's encounter a Stair Park when we meet up again with former boss Billy McLaren.