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HAMILTON 5 : 2 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 19th November 2005
S1 - 46
S2 - 46
S3 - 70
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.
The Ian McCall era began with a comprehensive defeat at Hamilton in a stadium we've still never won at. At least a 1-1 draw at Stranraer was the best possible outcome from that game and keeps us in touch with the boys from the West of the region, albeit four points behind and with a significant goal difference disadvantage. McCall made two changes in his starting line in personnel terms from that which Lovell sent out against Stranraer last week. In came Stephen Payne and Derek Lyle, now free from suspension, instead of McNiven and Carr who had to make do with a place on the bench. The formation was different too though, a 4-1-4-1 line up with Paton playing at left back and Burns at right back, McColligan sitting in front of his centre halves and Lyle playing the lone striker role. The home side included two ex-Queens players in Sandy Hodge and Paul McMullan, who had an unsuccessful loan spell from Hearts a couple of seasons ago.

It was Accies who took the ascendancy right from the start with Colin Scott failing to get to a cross in three minutes and John Robertson's header looped wide of target. The opening goal was not long delayed though and on six minute it arrived courtesy of an unmarked six yard box header by Paul McLeod from Derek Fleming's corner kick.Queens first effort at goal took 23 minutes to arrive when O'Neill's inswinging cross forced a save from McEwan. Hamilton were immediately forced into a change with Brian Carrigan unable to continue and Mark Gilhaney taking over up front. Two minutes later and O'Neill had the first deliberate effort at goal but he was well wide of target having been fed by Paton. On 27 minutes Queens thought they'd grabbed a leveller when Derek Lyle did well to keep the ball in play and Gibson set up Payne for a strike at goal from distance. McEwan made the block but couldn't hold it and Derek Lyle ran in to knock the ball home. Mr Toner even awarded the goal before noticing the far side linesman had his flag up against Lyle for offside.

Accies score despite Scotts' best efforts
Needless to say, having had their let-off, Accies doubled their lead on 32 minutes. Paul Burns did well to win the ball in a challenge with McMullan on the edge of his own box but as the ball bounced into the penalty area he seemed to catch McMullan before the ball and Mr Toner had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Derek Fleming made no mistake from the spot, sending Colin Scott the wrong way. A minute later as Gilhaney broke up the right side his cut back into the box was only just deflected away by Burns as McLeod closed in. On 35 minutes Brian McColligan picked up the first booking of the day for a fairly cynical foul on Gilhaney and from the resulting free kick Accies scored again. This time when Fleming lifted the ball into the box Paul McLeod again was the man on the end of it. His first shot was parried out by Scott but it came back to him and this time his effort bobbled over the keeper into the net.

It should have been 4-0 on 40 minutes as the home side cut us apart down the left side. Alex Neil mis-kicked a gilt edged chance in the middle but even then the loose ball fell to Brown Ferguson who forced a wonder save out of Scott to keep the score down. From the resulting corner McLeod headed narrowly over the bar again. Out of the blue though Queens pulled a goal back right on half-time. Eric Paton's mazy run into the box was halted rather unceremoniously by Brown Ferguson and Mr Toner evened up the penalty awards. As per usual, John O'Neill made no mistake with his penalty kick, albeit he should probably have been made to take it again given that Gary Wood was practically side by side with him by the time he took it!

O'Neill slots home the penalty
Ian McCall though was not fooled by the goal and knew change was necessary after a shocking first half performance, off went Willie Gibson and Stephen Payne and on came Chris Carr and David McNiven. That meant another formation change to a 3-5-2 with Carr in the middle of the back three and Paton and Burns assuming the wing back roles. There was no great change to the balance of play though and it was only sixty seconds until Gilhaney swept the first shot of the half wide of target. A minute later Thomson's terrible pass-back saw Colin Scott make a hash of the clearance and Chris Carr had to make a block. On 53 minutes McNiven was sent down the right side by Lyle and did well to sweep a cross into the six yard box but a combination of Bowey and a defender deflected the ball safely into the arms of David McEwan. Needless to say though Accies went straight up the other end and made it 4-1. This time it was a little controversial and more than a little fortunate as Paul McMullan was adjudged to have a kept the ball in play at the left touchline before cutting inside and looping what was clearly an attempted back post cross over Colin Scott and into the top right corner of the net. Kenny Crichton in particular was furious that a throw had not been given and had "words" with the officials which resulted in a stern warning from Mr Toner.

However, just before the hour mark Queens doubled their own tally. Paton's free kick from the left side was flicked on by Lyle on the edge of the box and read only by John O'Neill who had the freedom of the penalty area to double his own tally too. Any hopes that this might lead to an unlikely comeback though were extinguished on 64 minutes when Brian McColligan got himself booked for the second time, this time for hauling back Alex Neil from behind. John O'Neill also got himself booked for disputing the red card. Derek Fleming curled the resulting free kick on target again and forced a good tip over by Scott. With twenty minutes remaining McCall made his final change, giving young Scott Robertson a run in place of Lyle. Two minutes later and Jamie McArthur replaced Paul McLeod for the home side.

O'Neill gives the Accies 'keeper no chance
The controversy wasn't over though as on 77 minutes Mr Toner adjudged Gary Wood to have made a deliberate pass-back when Colin Scott picked the ball up and a free kick was awarded about eight yards from goal. Credit to Accies for their resourcefulness though as instead of the usual blast at goal Fleming knocked the ball sideways past the ten out-rushing Queens players to Brown Ferguson standing at the left post who flicked the ball in for a fifth goal. With eight minutes left Queens had one final chance when a fine passing move saw McNiven shoot onto the roof of the net from 20 yards when a ball slid into either Paton or O'Neill in the box might have been the better option. In the final minute Scott Robertson joined the names in the book for a foul but the game was long gone by then.

Gary Woods' wonderous control in his 'pass back' to Scott resulted in the fifth Hailton goal as No.7 Ferguson waits to turn it home
Ross County had a good win today so next week certainly won't be easy. Never the less Queens will HAVE to do a lot better than this if we're to stand a chance of staying at this level. Ian McCall will know that better than anyone and I expect the players will be well aware of it by now!

Ewan Lithgow

From David Gow on the terraces.

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