There were a number of enforced changes to today's starting line-up with only the back five remaining unchanged. The midfield was to consist of Alan Gray, John O'Neill, Steve Bowey and Joe McAlpine, however during the warm up Bowser strained a calf muscle and had to be replaced in the starting eleven by Barry Donald. Up front there was an enforced change too as Derek Lyle had not recovered sufficiently from the knocks picked up at Stair Park to even make the squad, his place being taken by new signing Sean O'Connor. The late withdrawal of Bowey meant a late call-up for Lennie Walker to the bench. The crowd was once again the largest in the division with over 2000 viewing for the second week in succession.
It was a quiet opening period with Cowdenbeath content to sit back and play on the break, Queens dominated the midfield battles without really finding a way through the solid visiting defence, chances were few and far between although John O'Neill would have wanted to have done better than blast well over when coming in on a loose ball at a corner. On fifteen minutes Peter Weatherson almost made contact with a low cross ball but just failed, the follow up shot from Alan Gray struck his teammate, Sean O'Connor, as it headed goalward and eventually the danger was cleared.
Andy Aitken opted to take a free kick from a good position slightly right of the centre line of the goal, his shot made it through the wall and if it had been on target would certainly have troubled O'Connor in the Cowden goal. The twenty first minute saw a dry run for the incident that would later gift Cowden's consolation as both Jim Thomson and Colin Scott managed to misread each others intentions and both had to watch helplessly as JT's headed back-pass cleared Scott by some way but fortunately also fell wide of the goals - more later....
Whilst Queens were dominating the proceedings the guile of Hamish French in the Fifers midfield combined with the free roaming role that their star man, striker Graeme Brown enjoys were a persistent threat to Queens dominance. It was a moment of class however that was the highlight of the first half and that moment came in the forty second minute as John O'Neill picked the ball up wide right and flighted a perfect ball over the heads of the Cowden defence and onto the chest of Peter Weatherson as the striker pulled away from his man, with confidence high Nellie finished cooly although the ball did as Nellie agreed, "squeeze in off the post".
Within a minute though John O'Neill was being carried off the park with a hamstring injury and would take no further part in the action as the half time whistle was blown.
The second half saw Graham Connell on for Jonjo as Queens injury list continued to grow.
First to show in the second half were Queens and Sean O'Connor, after a quiet opening forty five came on to good match as he set up Barry Donald on the edge of the box but with a free sight of goal the midfielder sent a low trundling effort disappointingly past the uprights. Cowdenbeath seemed to take heart from this and proceeded to have their best spell of the match as first French crossed across the face of the Dumfries goal with everyone missing it until Alan Gray headed behind for a corner, then a moment or tow later Jim Thomson had almost to dig the ball off the line in the middle of the goal as the visiting strikers closed in, there were lots of mistakes being made by both sets of players at this time, the biggest mistake though was made by Cowden Captain Craig Winter on seventy one minutes as he aimed a kick at Barry Donald after the two tangled in midfield, the referee had no hesitation in sending Winter in for an early bath.
Two minutes later and Queens had doubled their lead and Peter Weatherson doubled his tally, this time the provider was Sean O'Connor as the giant front man collected neatly before feeding Peter Weatherson through, Nellie again made no mistake as he despatched the ball between the keeper and post to make it 2-0.
On the injury front Queens were still suffering and Joe McAlpine looked to have picked up a serious injury as he chased down a loose ball with O'Connor in the Fifers goal and a defender, Joe came off worse and looked to have hurt his ankle quite badly, after a few minutes with physio Kenny Creighton however Joe was up and about again.
Next up for some magic sponge treatment from KC was Andy Aitken as he suffered a nasty head knock whilst going for the ball at a corner, fortunately another quick recovery was achieved.
The final injury of the day was to Peter Weatherson and it meant Nellie being substituted as a combination of cramp and a knock meant it made sense for him to be replaced by Lennie Walker.
The action was not complete however as the Scott/Thomson misunderstanding part two was still to be played out, this time the two managed to confuse each other to such an extent that Graeme Brown was able to lob the ball into the unguarded net from the edge of the box, fortunately though it was in the last minute and there was not really any time for them to come back again. Indeed it was Queens who nearly made it three as Lennie Walker provided some magic inside the box to beat three men wide on the bye-line, his cut-back to Sean O'Connor was perfect and the big striker must have almost been celebrating a debut goal as he crashed what looked like an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner, however his namesake in the Cowdenbeath goal was having none of it and made the save of the match as he dived across and pushed the ball away to safety.
A superb result for Queens made all the better by nearest challengers Alloa and Clydebank drawing again, thus allowing Queens to extend their lead at the top of the table to five points.
Concern in the Dumfries defence
Queens press as O'Connor flaps at the ball