First of all lets pick out some positives from today, ....well it was a lovely sunny day.
The increasing level of injured players did nothing to help the cause and when you looked at the team line before the match you could do little but worry about the forthcoming encounter, three left sided defenders making up the back three, two of them left backs; a central defender on the left side of midfield, two playmakers in O'Neill and Paton and a right back on the right side of midfield, if ever Queens had put out a makeshift side this was it, even looking at the bench you could tell that resources were stretched as two left wingers were listed.
The game itself only ever looked a contest for the first seven minutes, just long enough for the Highlanders to open the scoring, from then on it was more or less one way traffic as the established first division side demonstrated that you need to be fast, strong, accurate and well organised to survive in this league, a lesson hopefully taken on board.
The fact that all three goals came from headers also spoke volumes as the three man defence never looked like being able to contain the lively Inverness attack, only Andy Aitken looked anywhere near the task and basically had to perform just about every defensive action himself as his two colleagues were left chasing shadows.
Queens did have some chances and actually almost opened the scoring in the tenth minute as Peter Weatherson played in Paul Shields and as the young striker pulled the trigger the ball was forced away by a Caley defender. It was from this move that Caley moved forward and opened the scoring following a terrific Andy Goram save to push the ball over the bar. The resultant corner was easily flicked into the net by an unmarked Bobby Mann to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The next Queens move of any note was produced by Jon Crawford in the twenty fourth minute as he beat his man and headed for the bye-line, his cross though was taken well by the Caley 'keeper. Again though from the end of this move Caley broke upfield and from another simple text book move scored their second from a headed Dennis Wyness effort as the Dumfries defence looked on motionless.
Five minutes later and indecision in the Dumfries defence lead to a clash between Goram and Henderson that would see the goalie replaced by Colin Scott at half-time as Goram struggled with a 'dead-leg'.
Goram appeared to recover quickly though and had to look lively just a few moments later as the defence stood off and allowed a Caley forward to walk through them and in on goal, another decent save was made and the score maintained at just 2-0 as the half time whistle blew.
HALF TIME 0-2
Colin Scott was the only half-time change and the keeper had only five minutes to wait until he too had the dubious task of picking the ball out of the back of the net, again from a header and again from an unmarked player.
The free-kick beat the wall but Scott collected comfortably
Nothing much happened for a few minutes and on sixty John Connolly made his first change as he put on Joe McAlpine, Jon Crawford making way for the winger. Five minutes later and Eric Paton was hurt in a fifty-fifty challenge, the result was an injured ankle and replacement by Brian McLaughlin who took up a right sided role.
Andy Aitken then decided to venture forward, after beating a couple of men he played a ball forward that took a kindly deflection off a Caley defender and fell for Peter Weatherson to control and then despatch to the far corner of the net to at least provide a consolation.
Queens then had a bit of a flurry for a few minutes but were never really in it and it was still Caley that looked the more likely as the game drew to a close.
All in all probably one of the poorest performances from a Queens side seen for quite a few months, and John Connolly did not mince his words at the end of the match, see News.