Queens impressive away form got back on track at Forfar today after last week's disappointing derby defeat. In truth, this was a much poorer game than last week but, at the end of the day, it's the result that matters most and the three points gained may prove very important in the long run.
John Connolly made just the one change to last week's line up, with new signing Paul Kinnaird playing as a "Trialist" in place of the injured Danny Paterson. Paddy Atkinson dropped back to left back to accommodate him.
Forfar went straight on the attack from the kick-off and were awarded a free-kick on the left. The ball played in caused some panic in the Queens defence but was scrambled clear. In the fifth minute, Queens had their first half chance when a move down the right left Peter Weatherson clear. He cut the ball back to Stuart Davidson but the on loan Killie player shot over the top. On 14 minutes, a Weatherson back heel left Suddick with a shooting chance but his effort was weak and easily dealt with by Stuart Garden in the Forfar goal. Straight away the "Loons" broke up the right and Mark McGraw got in a header from the cross but, again, it was easily dealt with by the goalkeeper, this time our own David Mathieson.
In the 27th minute, Queens broke away following a Forfar corner and Davidson and Kinnaird set up Peter Weatherson but once again Garden coped easily with the effort. About this time, Paddy Atkinson was involved in a midfield collision and left the field for lengthy treatment. When he returned he had been forced to change his shirt due to the blood on his own one and he played out the rest of the match wearing Dennis Boyle's No.15 shirt. In the 38th minute, Queens earned their first corner when a Kinnaird cross was turned behind. PK took the resulting corner himself and crossed beautifully for Andy Aitken to head just over the crossbar.
The second half started slowly but burst into life after about ten minutes. First Peter Weatherson collected a punt from the back, broke clear down the right side and turned inside before shooting across the face of the goal, just missing the far post. Within a minute, Forfar's McCheyne broke down the right and found himself clear at the bye-line. However, with two men awaiting the ball at the back post, he failed to beat the defender at the near post with the cut back. Again, within a further minute, back came Queens and this time we really should have broken the deadlock. Weatherson sent Jon Sunderland clear on the right and his driven near post cross was just missed by Jarrod Suddick. Warren Hawke came in at the back post and struck the ball cleanly back across the face of the goal, shaving the right post.
Forfar's best effort of the match came in the 68th minute, after Stuart Davidson gave away a free-kick in a central position, five yards outside the penalty box. Paul Kinnaird was booked for failing to retreat the correct distance before the kick was bent over the wall. Mathieson dived spectacularly to his right to palm the ball up and just over the bar.
In the 72nd minute John Connolly made an inspired substitution when Bryan Caldwell came on in place of Jarrod Suddick and he immediately looked lively and harried the Forfar back line. Four minutes later Jon Sunderland picked up the second booking of the game for his second or third foul.
Just when it seemed that the deadlock would never be broken and both teams would have to settle for a goalless draw, Queens scored out of virtually nothing. An attack broke down and the ball was cleared once more but only as far as Jon Sunderland. His accurate pass picked out Bryan Caldwell in space in the penalty box and the young substitute, despite heavy pressure from behind, kept his head to slot the ball past and under Garden for the vital goal.
With the seconds ticking away Queens almost scored again. As the referee checked his watch a Kinnaird cross was met by Peter Weatherson with a glancing header which struck the base of the right post with Garden unable to do anything about it. Before anybody could latch onto the rebound, the referee, Mr Frickleton, blew for full time and Queens could celebrate a hard fought win.