Reports from matches this season go to the fixtures section and click on the report linked to the match you want to read about. Alternatively for earlier seasons go to the fixtures section of the archive for the relevant year.
FALKIRK 0 : 2 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 13th March 2004
Rating: 7.62
Rating: 7.25
Rating: 7.38
Rating: 8.10
Rating: 7.50
Rating: 6.60
Rating: 7.15
Rating: 7.85
Rating: 6.75
Rating: 7.38
Rating: 8.55
S1 - 63
Rating: 6.00
S2 - 67
Rating: 5.68
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.
Who are the only team not to score a goal against Queen of the South this season? Answer:- Reigning champions Falkirk, and they still are after this magnificent showing at Ochilview this afternoon. Just four days after effectively losing any realistic championship hopes there were for the club Queens went out and comfortably disposed of a Falkirk side who felt they still had an outside shout at the title.

John Connolly rang the changes again after Wednesday's disappointing result against Clyde with Gary Wood out through injury and Jim Thomson, Joe McAlpine and Emilio Jaconelli all left out. The latter two didn't even make the bench so perhaps undisclosed injuries there also? In their stead came Stephen Payne, David Bagan and a restoration of the number one strike pairing of O'Connor and Burke. Sean O'Connor's inclusion was particularly surprising as he had been all but ruled out 24 hours earlier.

Falkirk started in the ascendancy and dominated possession for the opening stages. The first notable chance took just four minutes to arrive with Hughes cross to the six yard box met by Colquhoun in space but he missed his kick and the home side probably never had as good an opportunity again all day. Queens had come to compete though and, after a settling period, began to foray forward themselves. On nine minutes Eric Paton collected a Payne throw on the right side and skipped a couple of challenges before troubling Darren Hill with a left footed drive from 20 yards. A minute later though the deadlock was broken. Sean O'Connor broke the Falkirk offside trap as Scott McKenzie was slow to come out and played him on leaving the big striker with the freedom of Larbert to stride forward. He got as far as the edge of the box before trying to pick out Alex Burke with a cross which was blocked by John Hughes. However, the ball only broke back to Stephen Payne and he did manage to pick out Burke with a cross. With time to control "Burkey" took a touch and deftly lobbed Hill from just inside the box in off the far post.
Payne looks to send O'Connor in.
Four minutes later O'Connor and Burke interchanged passes again before O'Connor's surge was halted on the edge of the box. The loose ball broke for Bowey to rattle a shot just over the crossbar from 20 yards. The second goal was delayed only a few minutes though as Bowey's determination saw him ride two or three challenges on his way through the Falkirk penalty area to the bye-line. He cut in before picking out Alex Burke again standing on the six yard line and he simply knocked the ball into the empty net to double the lead. Indeed Burke nearly hit a quickfire hat-trick as a break up the right saw him strike the crossbar with an attempted cross as Hill could only watch the ball.

On the half hour mark, the home side finally showed again as David Nicholls managed a shot at goal which deflected off a defender wrong-footing Craig Samson. Fortunately though, the deflection also took some pace off the effort and the young keeper was able to adjust and save comfortably enough. Six minutes later and player-boss Hughes thought he had given his side a lifeline when he climbed above Derek Allan to power a header goalward from a left sided corner. However, Samson acrobatically twisted in mid-air to dive back towards his own goal and tip the ball over the crossbar. from the second corner Jason Lee's headed effort went narrowly wide, closely watched by Paul Burns on the post.
Solid as a rock - the back four.
Before half-time however Queens created another two excellent chances. Firstly O'Connor and Burke combined to set Bowey clear into the box but he shot high over the bar on the turn and then, on 42 minutes, Bowey's flicked header from Payne's right sided cross almost eluded Darren Hill but the young goalkeeper managed to clutch the ball above his head.

Falkirk started the second period with a good chance after only 30 seconds when McPherson's cross picked out Lee in the six yard box but Derek Allan blocked his effort wide for a corner. Hughes replaced Nicholls and Colquhoun with McAnespie and McSween in quick succession but it failed to change the course of the match much and between the changes O'Connor volleyed another half-chance over the bar from the edge of the box. Just before the hour mark McAnespie beat Payne down the left and crossed dangerously to the near post where Latapy seemed to have the goal at his mercy but his effort went wide of target. A minute later the home side made a big appeal for a penalty when David Bagan slid into a challenge on McAnespie as he ran into the box. However, Dougie McDonald was right on the spot and had no hesitation in awarding a corner not a penalty and, for my money, he was right.
Big Sean feeds Burkey.
In the 63rd minute we had end to end action as first Hill narrowly beat O'Connor to a probing ball forward and then, McPherson picked up the keeper's clearance and played Latapy into a dangerous position before the little Trinidadian shot straight at Samson. A minute later Queens made their first change with Paul McMullan replacing Paul Burns who was clearly struggling after an earlier heavy challenge. On 72 minutes the game should have been finished as any sort of a contest when McMullan broke the offside trap to run clear in on goal. However, faced with Hill advancing he opted to try to play in O'Connor for an open goal rather than take on the keeper himself. Unfortunately though James Sharp had made good ground to get back and managed to put a toe on the ball to deflect it away for a corner before it reached big Sean.

On 76 minutes at the other end though Craig Samson produced an outstanding save to deny Jason Lee a goal. Lee's downward header off a left sided cross seemed to be destined for the bottom right corner of goal until the youngster inspired memories of Gordon Banks great save against Pele with a leap to turn the ball away when it seemed already past him. On the break from this save Paul McMullan was given offside (rightly) and stupidly carried on to put the ball in the net and was duly booked for his troubles. With ten minutes remaining Scally rattled the outside of the stanchion with a half-volley from McPherson's deep cross. However, that was the last chance of note and the game ended with the sponsors announcing second half substitute Keiron McAnespie as their Man of the Match which maybe says as much about our performance as anything else does.

So that's us at the 3/4 point of an excellent season with us still in the top group and well placed to finish higher than last season hopefully. Though the title is probably gone barring a collapse from Clyde the squad have again shown that they are up for the challenge of playing any of the so called "big boys" in this league and beating them. Next on the list is a trip to Starks Park Kirkcaldy to face Raith Rovers. Alex Burke was on the mark in a solitary goal win there earlier this season so let's hope today's goals for him (his first from open play since November) are a good omen.

Ewan Lithgow
Photo's by David Gow

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