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HAMILTON 1 : 1 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 19th March 2005
Rating: 7.66
Rating: 6.31
Rating: 6.83
Rating: 6.83
Rating: 5.63
Rating: 5.85
Rating: 6.43
Rating: 7.09
Rating: 7.00
Rating: 6.00
Rating: 7.17
S1 - 65
Rating: 5.52
S2 - 84
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.
Iain Scott was able to name an unchanged eleven for the first time in a very long time after last week's fine win at Clyde. With Willie Gibson unavailable and Brian McLaughlin back from illness though there were changes on the bench. David Craig also made the 16 at the expense of Jaconelli. The home side named a team including former Queen favourite Sandy Hodge.

Queens made a whirlwind start and were in front inside the first minute. Tommy English hit in a free kick from the left side that bounced about a little before McNiven's effort was charged down and cleared. However, the ball ended up with Jim Thomson of all people on the right touchline and his perfect cross was met on the volley by David McNiven who coolly side footed into the bottom right corner. Accies first effort came in three minutes when Javary had a diving header easily smothered by Barnard. However, it was Queens with all the early pressure. In nine minutes English should have done better after Eric Paton slid a ball to him in the penalty area from a free kick but he lashed it into the side netting from a tight angle. A minute later McNiven tried a lob from distance after latching onto a long punt from Barnard but McEwan got back to his line to save. On 13 minutes Steve Bowey thought he'd doubled the advantage after fine work from English slipped him behind the defence but the assistant referee adjudged he'd moved just to soon. A minute later Bowey dispossessed Javary and fed a ball into McNiven who played it to Lyle. Lyle then moved it on to Lovell who shot well wide from 18 yards. It was still all Queens and English and Bowey combined on 26 minutes to leave Bowser with a shooting chance which McEwan easily covered.

McColligan and English stand over the free-kick
Clearly Accies had to do something about the Doonhamer dominance and Javary decided to take matters into his own hands in 27 minutes with a frankly shocking challenge on Steve Bowey. He launched himself through the air to connect his studs with Bowser's ankle. Sadly the ineffectual Mr Murray "rewarded" the challenge with only a yellow card rather than the red it undoubtedly deserved. Had he taken proper action early on then perhaps the game would not have descended into the bad tempered affair it did in the second half.

Two minutes before the interval came an awful miss from Keogh who should have equalised from 6 yards out but contrived to strike the base of the post with only Barnard to beat. There was still time before the interval for more ill-feeling as Derek Ferguson squared up to McColligan in midfield and swung a fist. This time Mr Murray decided to try to calm things down with a booking for both players. It would not be Ferguson's last lucky escape of the game. From the resulting free kick Barnard came and claimed the cross and landed heavily on Steven Thomson who was clearly hurt as a result.

Before the second half started Lee Hardy came on for the injured Thomson. On 49 minutes a fine ball in from Payne nearly freed Bowey but the ball hit him on the back and was cleared. English though won possession back and crossed for Lyle to head goalward. McEwan saved easily though. Two minutes later came Ferguson's second let off when a sliding challenge was way late on McColligan again. Accies decided to gamble and changed Javary for McPhee on 55 minutes, meaning a virtual 4-2-4 formation. They made little of it initially though and Iain Scott opted to shore up a little more by bringing on Gary Wood for Stephen Payne on 65 minutes with Paton moving into midfield as a result. Three minutes later Allan Maitland brought on David Hamilton for Ferguson to save him from being sent off.

Solid at the back
79 minutes saw yet another flare up on the park. This time Brian Reid was adjudged to have fouled Mark McLaughlin as he challenged for a free kick in the Accies box. McLaughlin landed heavily on Reid and then swung an elbow at him on the ground. Derek Lyle and Colin Cramb then ran to get involved also and all four players were booked as a result. A minute later though the home side equalised somewhat controversially. A cross from the right somehow found Pat Keogh all on his own with a diving header from 8 yards out that seemed destined for goal until Barnard produced a stunning one handed save to keep it out. Next thing I knew Mr Murray was pointing to the spot. It was difficult to tell from where I was what it was for but the assistant seemed to indicate a tug on a shirt somewhere. Gary Wood in particular was irate about the decision. In any event the award was made and Colin Cramb hammered the ball into the top left corner from 12 yards despite Barnard guessing right.

Derek Lyle was continuing to get involved with defenders and seemed also destined for an early bath so his manager took the decision out of the referee's hands by sending on Alex Williams for him in 84 minutes. A minute later McPhee could have snatched an undeserved winner for the Accies when he headed over Corcoran's cross from close in. However, the final whistle did eventually go not far short of 5 o'clock with honours shared.

Barnard sends the ball forward
With Thistle failing to beat St Mirren at home though it was a point nearer safety and a point we'd surely have settled for this morning. However, it was a game that could and should have been won on the back of the first half performance. Now there's a two week break before the big game with Thistle at Palmerston which could virtually finish off the season.

Ewan Lithgow
Photographs by David Gow

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