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Rating: 6.20
Rating: 5.60
Rating: 6.13
Rating: 5.87
Rating: 6.07
Rating: 4.00
P Atkinson(C)
Rating: 5.33
Rating: 5.07
Rating: 5.20
Rating: 5.60
Rating: 5.87
39 mins
Rating: 5.07
R Atkinson
76 mins
Rating: 4.33
69 mins
Rating: 4.60
Rating: -
Rating: -
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.

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It was a disappointing day at Hampden today in the battle of the two "Queens". This was our first visit to the National Stadium for six years and, unfortunately, it saw a pretty poor performance from the team, certainly our worst since the opening half against Stenhousemuir. A crowd of only 909 in a stadium which seats over 52,000 makes for a very strange atmosphere and the game was correspondingly flat, in truth, with few real chances at either end.

Manager John Connolly made two changes to the team which performed so well against Airdrie on Tuesday. Steven Pickering replaced the injured Dean Muir and Warren Hawke swapped his seat on the bench with Brian Caldwell. Tuesday's other knock victims, David Mathieson, Phil Nixon and Peter Weatherson all played but Nixon latterly really seemed to be struggling with his rib injury.

It was our Queens who made the better start to the match with two decent efforts in the first five minutes. In the third minute, John Sunderland made a forceful run from his own half and slipped the ball to Sandy Hodge. Hodge struck the ball from 25 yards out but just missed the left post and, a minute later, Paddy Atkinson's left sided free-kick pinballed around the penalty area before dropping to Warren Hawke whose goal-bound volley was deflected wide for a corner. In 22 minutes Hawke was awarded a highly debatable free-kick about ten yards outside the box. John Sunderland knocked the ball sideways for Peter Weatherson to hit a sweet shot which was well saved low to his right by Queens Park's on-loan keeper, Colin Stewart.
[Stewart palms away Weatherson's shot]
Up to this point Queens Park really hadn't threatened at all so it was all the more disappointing that they scored from their first dangerous situation in the game. This came on the half hour mark and really has to go down as a terrible goal to give away. Basically, John Sunderland, deep inside his own half, was far too casual with an attempted pass and played the ball straight to Kevin Finlayson. The winger took his chance to burst into the penalty box and evaded Phil Nixon's despairing tackle before coolly slotting past Mathieson into the bottom left corner via the foot of the post. Three minutes later Sunderland got involved in a "handbags at ten paces" incident with the home side's Graham Connell after he was fouled and both players were booked by referee, Alan Gemmill. Within a minute Queens Park almost doubled their lead when Frankie Carroll raced clear on the left before centring a low cross which was missed by all with the goal gaping.

As the game continued to slide away from us Paddy Atkinson joined Sunderland in the referee's book for a sliding challenge on the dangerous Carroll and John Connolly decided to make an early change. Cane Young came on to make his first appearance in place of Sunderland, who was possibly being brought off before the referee could send him off. The only other chance of note in the first half came with three minutes of it remaining. Mark Weir was fouled out by the left corner flag and Cane Young came across to take the free-kick. It was nodded right over the box but arrived at the feet of Andy Martin. The centre-half crossed the ball back in and Peter Weatherson flicked the ball on for Warren Hawke. Hawke didn't make proper contact with the ball but still forced a good diving block out of young Stewart in goal.

The second half started quietly and it was ten minutes old before a chance of note arrived. Sandy Hodge, who was replaced as captain today by Paddy Atkinson, took a quick free kick and fed Mark Weir. Weir made for the goal-line before crossing for Warren Hawke whose near post header was placed wide of the target. Two minutes later came our best effort of the match. Mark Weir took a right sided corner and floated it all the way beyond the back post where it was met by the head of Andy Martin. The defender's header looped over Colin Stewart but was headed away from the line at the right post. Two minutes after that, Warren Hawke's clever flick seemed to have put Peter Weatherson in the clear but a defender's last man challenge just stopped the young striker from getting his shot in.

In the 62nd minute, a good piece of play led to Peter Weatherson putting Mark Weir through on the left side of the penalty area but the winger's shot flew across the face of the goal and finished well wide. A minute later, Steven Pickering beat a couple of opponents on the right before feeding the ball into the corner of the six yard box. Peter Weatherson, Sandy Hodge, a home defender and the goalkeeper all seemed to go for the ball at once and it bounced out for a corner which came to nothing.

On 70 minutes Connolly tried to freshen things up by sending on Caldwell for Weir and five minutes later he made his final change and brought on Ross Atkinson in place of his namesake Paddy who seemed to have picked up a knock. In between times, former Queens favourite and star of our 1997 Challenge Cup campaign, Craig Flannigan had come on as a substitute for the "Spiders".

In the 78th minute we won a right sided corner but Cane Young's kick failed to pass the man at the front post and the home side broke quickly up the left. The always dangerous Frankie Carroll sped all the way to the edge of our six yard box before unleashing a powerful drive towards the near post but David Mathieson was alert and managed to block the effort with his feet. Two minutes later, a good move involving Ross Atkinson, Peter Weatherson and Andy Martin ended with the defender's cross being headed just past the post by Warren Hawke. However, this was the last action of any note for us and neither keeper was troubled at all in the final ten minutes as it looked like the midweek exertions had caught up with the players. Two minutes from full time, Cane Young became the third Queens player to go into Mr Gemmill's book when he was yellow carded for his second foul in a short spell.

In summary, this was a poor performance from Queens who never seemed to have the zip of Tuesday night. However, we still held the balance of play and created the better chances against a side who are top of the League with a 100% record and haven't lost a goal yet. This was not a match we should have lost. The home side managed only two decent efforts in the whole match, one of which was presented to them by John Sunderland and yet they managed to get the win. We will have to do much better against Falkirk on Tuesday coming if we want to continue our involvement in this season's League Cup.

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