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.
St.JOHNSTONE 1 : 3 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 14th August 2004
Rating: 7.51
Rating: 7.78
Rating: 8.11
Rating: 7.67
Rating: 8.37
Rating: 7.70
Rating: 7.65
Rating: 7.63
Rating: 7.93
Rating: 8.53
1 S1
Rating: 7.83
S1 - 70
Rating: 5.80
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.
The scene was set for this one, an eagerly anticipated clash if ever there was one. The master against his apprentice, Connolly against Scott. It didn't need much build up. When John Connolly defected to St Johnstone at the tail end of last season citing a wish for full-time football and an SPL compliant club, it was always going to be that the first meeting between the two sides would be built up as some sort of grudge match. Iain Scott has been on holiday over the past three weeks but he made sure he was back for this one alright. There were a lot of people who felt they had something to prove.

Queens received a pre-match boost when both Eric Paton and Garry Wood were declared fit after recent injury absences to take their places in the starting line up. Those were the only two changes from the side that lost to Ross County last Saturday though, with Chris Scott and Chris Armstrong the men to drop out. For the home side Paul Bernard was missing with a knock and Peter McDonald is out long term but otherwise they were close to full strength and included six starters signed by Connolly since his investiture at McDiarmid.

Incredibly, the first significant action saw Queens grab the opening goal. Fittingly it was set up by Brian McLaughlin, a close season capture from St Johnstone. His perfect pass left Garry Wood with the freedom of Perth and all the time in the world to mark his return to action with an easy goal, tucked into the bottom left corner from about 10 yards.

Gary Wood slots the ball past McGregor
With the goal under their belts, Queens went from strength to strength and dominated the next half hour with only occasional forays forward from the home side. The next good effort though came in 24 minutes when Tommy English took possession just over the halfway line and strode forward, leaving two opponents in his wake before striking from 25 yards over Alan McGregor but against the crossbar. David McNiven just failed to turn the rebound home. The second goal richly deserved duly arrived in 33 minutes when a loose pass in midfield gave possession away to Bowey and he played the ball forward to McLaughlin. Again, "Wee Eddie" drew the defence to him before playing the perfect pass into David McNiven who struck his first official goal for the club low across the keeper and into the bottom right corner from 15 yards or so.

Out of shot McNiven sends the ball into the net as the back-tracking Perth defence can do nothing but watch
That seemed to temporarily wake the hosts from their lethargy though and a minute later Jim Thomson went in the book for a bad challenge on the edge of his own box. From the resulting free kick Ian Maxwell hammered the ball just over the crossbar. A minute after that Colin Marshall was narrowly wide with a long range drive. However, normal service was soon resumed and before half time Queens almost added a third when an excellent move involving Wood, McNiven and finally McLaughlin saw the latter just clip the ball over the bar from 15 yards out.

Early in the second period a clash between Garry Wood and Eddie Malone saw the St Johnstone midfielder only booked though he did appear to raise his hands at one stage. On 55 minutes, Tommy English struck a direct free kick just over from 25 yards with McGregor scrambling to get near it. In the 61st minute, the best piece of football in the match saw, Bagan, McLaughlin and McNiven combine with one touch passing to free McLaughlin for a run at goal. This time again though the finish was lacking and spun over the bar. John Connolly's response was to make his first change with Ryan Stevenson replacing Stephen Fraser. It perhaps says all about the home side's performance that Stevenson would be named "Man of the Match" half an hour later!

Bowser and Armstrong clean through but didn't score
The Saints were not quite dead yet though an on 65 minutes Colin Scott made an excellent save, tipping over Mark Baxter's long range effort. Two minutes later and another excellent reaction save denied Paul Sheerin as the former Aberdeen player burst into the box. In between times, Garry Wood had left the park to a standing ovation, replaced by Chris Armstrong.

On 74 minutes the match was finally killed off when Queens made it 3-0. This came from a free kick in midfield that was played to Eric Paton in a load of space on the right. He strode forward and played a clever ball in to Brian McColligan of all people popping up in the penalty area and his deft touch left David McNiven with only McGregor to beat from 12 yards, a task he accomplished with ease.

McNiven fires the ball under McGregor to make it three

And celebrates in some style
In the aftermath of the goal Martyn Fotheringham replaced David Hannah and five minutes later it was the substitute who pulled a spectacular goal back for the home side. He seized on a loose ball 40 yards from goal and stepped forward before lashing a shot over Colin Scott. The three goal lead though should have been restored a minute later when McNiven seized on a short pass back to round McGregor but somehow contrived to slide the ball past the open goal having done the hard part.

On 83 minutes the home side made their final change with 17 year old Andy Jackson replacing Chris Hay and a minute later Fotheringham again was narrowly wide with a drive from distance. With three minutes remaining Stevenson's curling effort seemed to be heading for the top left corner until Colin Scott appeared to make an excellent save. There was no further goalmouth action though and Queens celebrated an excellent win.

Make no mistake, this was a consummate performance and a comfortable victory. The margin very much flattered St Johnstone, something their fans sitting around me seemed fairly unanimous about. We now go into a run of home games with a chance to move well clear of the bottom of the table and make some progress in the CIS Cup before we return to Perth for the Bells Cup 2nd round match in just over two weeks. John Connolly has a lot to think about before then.

Ewan Lithgow

[Back to Queens front page]