Queens fielded today what is possibly their strongest starting eleven, new signing Steve Bowey lining up alongside John O'Neill in the heart of midfield and Striker Derek Lyle partnering George O'Boyle up front. Back into the side came Paddy Atkinson as a direct replacement for Derek Anderson and also starting this week was Joe McAlpine wide left.
The 4-4-2 formation looked comfortable from the off and it was Queens who dominated play with Bowey looking a class midfielder from the earliest minutes of the match. The first pieces of action saw Joe McAlpine head into the 'keepers arms form a corner and John O'Neill shoot well over after a neat turn made some space for him on the edge of the box.
Derek Lyle came with a reputation as a speedy forward and he proved that to be the case after only eight minutes as he broke through on goal with Joe McAlpine, however the visiting 'keeper, Brown has reacted quickly and was there first to knock the ball to safety.
John O'Neill in his favoured midfield role demonstrated again why he is so effective there as he burst through onto a George O'Boyle knockdown and after initially controlling the ball could only lift it over the bar.
Whilst it was primarily Queens on the offensive Forfar did have a chance on twelve minutes as Paul Tosh broke through the back four as the line looked across for an offside decision, none was forthcoming and the front man could, thankfully, only send his effort across the face of the goal without giving Colin Scott too much to worry about.
In fifteen minutes the deadlock was finally broken as a corner was cleared by the Loons defence but only as far as the edge of the box to where Bowser was prowling, his shot on goal was flicked on by fellow debutant Derek Lyle and his touch sent the 'keeper the wrong way and the ball nestled in the back of the net.
Forfar then had another chance as Aitken failed to stop the lively Willie Stewart in a tussle on the edge of the box, the Forfar forward broke off and homed in on goal, however Colin Scott was quick to react and got his body well in the way of the effort which was eventually cleared by the home defence.
Queens were maintaining the territorial advantage for long periods and it was right back Alan Gray who was the source of a number of decent openings made for the forwards, two of his runs ended with not particularly good final balls, however his third run took him from just inside his own half and past almost the entire Forfar defence before he managed to unleash a shot at goal, it would have been a tremendous solo effort, unfortunately though it flew just past the far post.
Chances were coming thick and fast upon the visitors goals as George O'Boyle had two far post headers in the space of five minutes both just past the post.
On the half hour Forfar right back Brian McCloy made a rash challenge on Joe McAlpine that saw the right winger requiring lengthy treatment, it was also right in front of the referee and the Loon received his marching orders as the red card was brandished for violent conduct.
The action didn't let up and a few minutes later Bowser almost had a debut goal as he rose to meet a Gordon Connolly cross in front of goal only to be sufficiently well challenged for him to head over the bar.
A second goal was not far away though as the Doonhamers laid siege to the visitors goal, this time it was to be from a penalty as an outstretched Forfar hand made contact with the ball in the area and the award of a penalty was made. John O'Neill had no doubt who was taking it and the cool finisher despatched the ball into the net giving the 'keeper no chance (See photo below). The last real chance of the half came a few minutes later as a George O'Boyle flick on saw Derek Lyle send his effort high over the bar.
Half Time 2-0
With Forfar appearing to adopt a much more defensive formation Queens continued where they had left off and the first ten minutes of the half belonged to Alan Gray as he used the extra space to good effect on a number of occasions breaking down the right hand side and swapping passes with Gordon Connolly, the game then settled for a while as Queens looked to be happy to play out the game at a reduced pace and, as often happens they received a rude awakening. a high ball was played up to the only Forfar man anywhere near the Queens half, Andy Aitken attempted to head back to Scott but was over stretching and was unable to give the ball much of a helping hand back, his partner in the centre of defence JT was alongside and would surely sweep the ball away to safety, unfortunately however JT also slipped up and gifted the ball to the Forfar forward, support arrived in the shape of Paul Tosh and the striker received the ball before calmly placing it well past Scott and into the net to give the Loons fresh hope and the home support another nervous ending.
This certainly woke up the home side and within a minute John O'Neill had curled a shot just past the post, fresh pace was required and John Connolly reacted with the introduction of Peter Weatherson for George O'Boyle, within two minutes Nellie had a headed effort cleared off the line with the 'keeper beaten.
Forfar though weren't beaten yet and they came close to equalising as another defensive slip up allowed them sight of goal, fortunately this time the final effort was wide of goal.
Derek Lyle almost scored a second goal as he turned and shot only to see the Forfar 'keeper make a terrific one handed save as the ball was headed for the top right hand corner of the goal.
Almost the final action of the match saw Peter Weatherson having his shirt tugged in the box and another penalty being awarded. Again the ball was confidently despatched into the back of the net by John O'Neill and a 3-1 victory was assured.
With most of the other matches drawn today Queens retain a share of second spot with Alloa who were the days only other winners, only two points separate the leaders from ourselves and Alloa.
John O'Neill scores form the spot
O'Boyle heads just wide
The ball is headed out before being knocked back in for the first goal