Queens tremendous run of wins was extended to five in a row tonight at Cappielow with a second win in four days over troubled Clydebank. Unlike Saturday, this was a much more deserving result and, despite leaving it late, Connolly's side rightfully brought back all three points.
The manager made two changes to Saturday's line-up. Des McKeown had returned from the frozen Arctic and replaced Mark Angel in the starting eleven with Dennis Boyle moving forward to left midfield and, surprisingly, top scorer Peter Weatherson was relegated to the bench, replaced by Martin Hughes for his first start. Jon O'Neill provided the link between Warren Hawke and the midfield.
The Bankies started the brighter and took the lead after only three minutes. Eric Paton broke into the box, beating a couple of challenges before being tripped from behind by Paddy Atkinson. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and the striker picked himself up to send Mathieson the wrong way. However, after this, Queens began to take control of the game though without any significant penetration. A Hughes 20 yarder and a Connell effort from five yards further out, both comfortably dealt with by Campbell in the home goal, were all we had to show for the next half hour or so's effort. In the 33rd minute, Des McKeown free kick into the box was headed down by Jon Sunderland and hit over the top by Jon O'Neill and, seven minutes later, the same player was on the end of a Paddy Atkinson cross with a diving header which was also easily stopped by Campbell.
The second half was little better in terms of creativity but, more importantly, when the chances came, they were taken. Queens, and in particular Jon Sunderland, were very fortunate five minutes into the half. Sunderland was fouled by Clydebank's Martin Glancy who hurt himself in the process. Jon was obviously annoyed at the challenge and, as Glancy lay on the ground awaiting treatment, he seemed to flick out at his head with a boot as he walked past. However, this action went unseen by the referee and it was Glancy who ended up in his notebook when he returned to his feet.
The first chance of the half fell to the goalscorer, Paton, when he shot from the left corner of the box towards the bottom left corner but Mathieson was able to get across and smother his effort. Just after the hour mark, Connolly made his first change, sending on Pickering in place of Sunderland and a minute later came a controversial moment when goalkeeper Jamie Campbell seemed to come out of his penalty area to meet and punch clear a long ball forward. The referee looked to his assistant for help but received none and gave nothing.
Dennis Boyle became the only Queens player to be booked in the 65th minute when he encroached too far on a Bankies free kick. The home side though would go on to have SIX players booked - Paton, Glancy, Brannigan, Farrell, Murdoch and McKinstry.
The atmosphere amongst the sizeable travelling support picked up a notch or two when Connolly used his second change in the 70th minute to send on Weatherson in place of Hughes and Jon O'Neill dropped back into his more customary midfield role. Four minutes later, Queens possession finally paid dividends with an equaliser. It came from a free kick near the left corner of the penalty box. Jon O'Neill shaped to send a cross into the box as he had done earlier on a couple of occasions but fooled everybody by knocking it ten yards left to Graham Connell who hit it first time low from twenty yards out into the bottom left corner of the net.
Any thought that Queens would settle for a draw were dispelled within a minute. Peter Weatherson picked up a loose ball in midfield and slid a pass between defenders towards Stephen Pickering. The midfielder, who came in for some very unfair criticism from certain parties earlier in the season, proved his worth by sprinting on to the pass and turning inside his opponent before being bundled over as he prepared to shoot from ten yards out. Again the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. On Saturday, Warren Hawke had a penalty saved against the same opponents so it was no great surprise to see Jon O'Neill pick up the ball to take this one. There was a delay of a minute or two whilst the referee booked Farrell for protesting too much and then insisted on re-spotting the ball. However, when given the go-ahead to take the kick, O'Neill made no mistake, driving the ball low into the bottom right corner of the net.
Clydebank tried to hit back but only had one chance in the remaining time. That came in the 81st minute when Glancy run on to a through ball and turned Ronnie McQuirter before shooting from eight yards. However, Mathieson spread himself well and saved the strike with his legs. There were no further serious threats to the Queen's goal in the game and, to their obvious delight, the players had achieved a fifth successive victory. The bandwagon rolls on to Forfar on Saturday.
Thanks to Ewan Lithgow for this report.