Queens excellent away form was continued today with an impressive performance which, combined with other results, sends us back up to second in the table and into a top of the table clash for the South West derby next weekend! Despite the poor performance last weekend, John Connolly made just one enforced change to the starting eleven; Warren Hawke returned from his long injury lay-off to replace the recalled Craig Feroz as Peter Weatherson's partner.
A quick start was called for on a dark and wet day and we certainly got it! Less than a minute had passed when John O'Neill managed to slide a ball to Graham Connell wide on the left. "Car-wash" fed a low ball into the penalty box and the lurking Peter Weatherson showed all his natural striker's instincts to turn the ball in at the near post. A striker's goal and exactly what he needed to boost his confidence.
After this, Queens settled into a period of quiet domination, that is to say having almost complete possession but without creating too much. However, on 17 minutes, Forfar broke forward down the right. Moffat's first cross shot was intercepted by Jon Crawford but the clearance went straight back to Moffat who this time cut inside and forced a good block out of Colin Scott. Queens soon regained control though and, from a 29th minute corner, the ball was volleyed from 25 yards out by Alan Gray narrowly over the top. In the 37th minute, from a Gordon Connelly right sided free kick, Jim Thomson produced a brilliant diving header which saw the ball bullet towards the top right corner only to be tipped over the top by an equally brilliant save from Forfar's Michael Brown. Three minutes later, a good move beginning on the left saw O'Neill lay a ball into the path of Gordon Connelly on the edge of the box. Connelly's first time strike was well blocked by Brown and, though Weatherson was first to the rebound, a defender just managed to get a block in to prevent the striker doubling his tally. The final action of the first half, as Weatherson was off the field receiving treatment for a knock, saw Jim Thomson produce another diving header, this time towards his own goal. Fortunately the header, as he tried to cut out a dangerous cross, hit the side-netting, though most of the Forfar support on the far side were celebrating the goal.
The good news at the beginning of the second half was that Kenny Crichton's magic hands had done their job and Peter Weatherson reappeared for the second half. Peter was straight into the action and we almost saw the same start to this half as the first. Weatherson's left sided cross found O'Neill just outside the six yard box but the ball got stuck between his feet and the chance was blocked. Two minutes later, Alan Gray charged down the right and put in a great deep cross which Weatherson headed back across the face of the goal. Warren Hawke arrived and really should have scored but struck over the top from six yards out. However, in the 50th minute, Forfar missed their best chance of a goal when the whole defence was sucked over to the left and a looping cross found Barry Sellars in acres of space. Fortunately he mis-hit his shot back across the face of goal and Jim Thomson turned it out for a corner. Three minutes later, Joe McAlpine was booked for his third foul challenge of the day.
Just before the hour mark, Queens did, at last, double their lead. Some good work down the right led to Graham Connell crossing into the box. With the strikers pulling the defence all over the place we suddenly found ourselves with a two on one inside the box and John O'Neill made the goal with a sublime dummy, leaving the ball to run on to Peter Weatherson with no marker on him. One touch to control it and the second saw him rifle the ball into the net.
Five minutes later and two goals became three. It all started with a poor pass at the back which looked to put us in trouble but Jon Crawford appeared to rescue the situation and bring the ball clear. He set Alan Gray galloping away down the right again. Gray again produced an excellent cross towards Warren Hawke at the near post. The striker appeared to be pushed in the back as he went for the header but it was immaterial as the ball broke to the in-rushing John O'Neill on the edge of the box. He lashed his shot into the roof of the net without pausing for his tenth goal of the season.
Two minutes later and Weatherson almost completed his hat trick. He cut inside from the left and struck a shot beyond the 'keeper which hit the inside of the post, bounced back, hit the goalkeeper on the back and deflected back towards goal. Fortunately for Michael Brown he managed to scramble up and clutch the ball on the line.
As the game drifted towards its now inevitable conclusion, Queens put on their three subs. On came Davidson, Sunderland and Aitken for Hawke, Weatherson and McAlpine. Just before the end, a defender just managed to clear at the near post under pressure from Stuart Davidson as he tried to get on the end of a Sunderland cross.