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QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 2 : 1 INVERNESS CT 21st February 2004
Rating: 7.34
Rating: 7.29
Rating: 7.51
Rating: 8.33
Rating: 7.10
Rating: 6.97
Rating: 7.19
Rating: 7.97
Rating: 6.56
S1 1
Rating: 7.30
Rating: 8.01
S1 - 46
Rating: 6.67
S2 - 72
Rating: 5.45
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.
A gritty performance from a determined Queens side kept the three points at Palmerston today. Despite the squad picking itself due to injuries and suspensions the starting eleven looked strong as did the bench. The back four featured Derek Allan for the first time in a couple of months and he went on to have a superb game in what must be regarded as his best position, right side of central defence. Andy Aitken moved across to left-back and certainly looked much more comfortable on the left hand side of the defence with Joe McAlpine stepping up to his favoured left wing slot. Other than that the biggest change was the introduction of new on loan 'keeper Craig Samson from Kilmarnock who went straight in between he sticks and didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon. The bench saw youngsters Payne, Gibson, McMullan and Dodds with Alex Burke making up the five.

The first half was a strange affair, not a lot of action to write about other than the two splendid goals that Queens notched. The first came when Eric Paton took a throw in on the right and got the ball back from Sean O'Connor, the defence foolishly gave Paton enough room to set himself up for the cross ball that he wanted and his effort was met by Joe McAlpine at the back post area, Joe turned inside his man and fired a shot toward goal that was either palmed out by the 'keeper or deflected off a defender into the path of Sean O'Connor, nowadays Sean doesn't need an invite and he rapidly despatched the ball into the back of the net with just about nine minutes on the clock.
Sean challenges Brown in the Caley goal
Queens had another chance a few minutes later but Joe McAlpines header although saved would not have counted in any case as the linesmans flag was already up for offside. Caley were giving as good as they got and could have equalised but for Samson who was quickly out to collect a cross ball.

On the half-hour mark the referee managed to get in the way of a Caley clearance and the loose ball was snapped up by Bowser who fed Eric Paton on the right. Paton fed O'Connor who did remarkably well to keep the ball under pressure from Golabek and then square for the inrushing Bowser to slam home the second into the far left corner of the goal giving Brown no chance.

Eric Paton then had a shot that had goal written all over it but struck a Caley defender on its way to goal as Brown was in mid-flight to attempt to save the ball. Moments after and Caley had their best chance of the half as both Ritchie and Wilson were through and either side of sole defender Eric Paton and with Ritchie meeting the ball first the Caley front man nodded the ball over the bar.
Samson deals with a corner comfortably
The half finished with a Caley free-kick from thirty yards that was floated onto the head of Wilson but who could only loop his header well over the bar without troubling Samson at all.

The second half saw a change for the home side as Alex Burke replaced Sean O'Connor who had left the field at half time with a pronounced limp, Burke took his place alongside Jaconelli to spearhead the home sides attack in the second period.

Queens looked to up against i tin the second half as within the first couple of minutes Inverness and signalled their intent with a couple of attacks that had the home defence at full stretch. Most notably a ball was played from the right hand side across the face of the goal but fortunately there were no takers as it by-passed everyone.

Queens though weathered the early storm and created their own chance with a superb move from Alex Burke that saw him beat Stuart Golabek and send in a superb cross that also by-passed everyone although the diving Emilio Jaconelli must have missed making contact and a sure goal by the smallest fraction of a second.

On the hour mark Inverness decided to go all-out to get something from the game with Ross Tokely moving to the right wing position rather than right back, this suited Queens as the quick breaking Alex Burke and Emilio Jaconelli lapped up the extra freedom the depleted Inverness defence gave them. However it was the visitors that almost capitalised on their more enterprising formation first as Paul Ritchie flicked the ball towards the top left corner only to see Samson make a spectacular one-handed save to push the ball back out and then see Wilson skew his hot over and past the post under pressure from Derek Allan.

Queens were soon back on the attack and Emilio Jaconelli almost notched his first goal for the first team as he somehow managed to get his head onto a deep cross to the right hand side only to see Mark Brown make an equally acrobatic one-handed save as his counterpart had at the other end only minutes earlier. Then Joe McAlpine, moments before being substituted by Paul McMullan had a glorious chance as he found a sliced clearance falling to his feet in the box, his first swing took fresh air but without a defender anywhere close he had the luxury of a second strike only to see his effort blocked away by Brown.

Just after thirty minutes of play in the half Inverness were awarded a free-kick from about thirty yards out and pretty much central, the Queens defence lined up and awaited the expected Bobby Mann effort which duly came, it was however deflected by the defensive wall and unluckily for Queens fell into the path of Paul Ritchie who struck the ball past Samson to give the visitors some hope. The goal was quickly followed by a half volley from Russell Duncan that was mis-hit and flew wide.
Ritchie fires past the helpless Samson
After that though it was mainly Queens for the remainder of the half as Emilio Jaconelli burst through the Inverness defence and shot against the post, then against a defender from the rebound and then Paul Burns latching onto the second rebound shot against a defender before the ball was eventually cleared away. Jaconelli then managed to hit the post again as his acrobatic twist on the end of an Eric Paton free kick from the left gave the 'keeper no chance but just couldn't get inside the post for a goal that the youngster's play richly deserved today.

The final minutes of the match saw a good claim for a penalty to Queens waved away as Paul Burns was bundled over in the box as he raced through but really Inverness never looked liked equalising and Queens held on comfortably to the final whistle.

In summary this was a superb team performance from which Queens fully deserved the three points and that saw some superb individual performances that will surely ensure that we will be a major player in the mix for the top places in this division.

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