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St JOHNSTONE 5 : 0 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 21st October 2006
Rating: 1.48
Rating: 4.63
J Thomson
Rating: 5.04
Rating: 4.00
Rating: 3.81
Rating: 4.44
Rating: 4.52
Rating: 3.93
Rating: 4.56
Rating: 4.74
Rating: 4.92
S1 - 46
Rating: 3.78
S2 - 46
Rating: 4.23
S3 - 58
Rating: 3.67
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.
Ian McCall made two changes to the side that somehow contrived to lose to Partick last week, though one of them was enforced. Barry John Corr started in place of the injured Colin Scott, which meant a first ever appearance on the bench for young Darren Martin, the third choice keeper. The other change saw Jim Lauchlan, suspended last weekend, back for Graham Weir and a change to a 4-5-1 formation as used at Hamilton. Weir dropped onto the bench where he was joined by Scott Robertson also which meant John Henry and Warren Moon dropped out of the squad. St Johnstone were without Kevin James but otherwise close to full strength.

In ten minutes Queens were perhaps fortunate to escape with their goal intact from the game's first corner. Sheerin swung it in and Mensing headed goalward where an almighty scramble in the six yard box ensued. Scotland looked like he should have scored before Scally managed to clear. Up the other end St Johnstone survived a penalty appeal when John O'Neill's flick struck Martin Hardie's arm but to be fair it was probably ball to hand. It was in fact 26 minutes before Sheerin forced the game's first save from Corr, though it was a comfortable one.

Queens defend from the start
Just past the half hour mark though the home side grabbed the lead. Barry John Corr came out for a right sided cross and tried to punch clear but failed to get enough distance in the ball. Paul Sheerin seized upon the loose ball and chipped a perfect shot into the top right corner despite the attentions of McCaffrey on the goal-line. Six minutes later it was 2-0. Another cross from the right was headed down by Hardie to Scotland and he laid the ball back to Paul Lawson. The on-loan Celtic starlet hammered a low shot into the bottom left corner from 20 yards past the unsighted Corr.

Queens should have been back in the game three minutes later though but Willie Gibson missed a gilt edged chance. Steven Anderson played a loose ball across his own back line and sold McManus short leaving Gibson clean through on goal. Unfortunately the wide-man's shot was fired past the keeper and past the bottom right corner too.

McCall had seen enough and made two half-time changes. On came Graham Weir and Scott Robertson for John O'Neill and Des McCaffrey. Eric Paton switched wings, Neil Scally went to right back and Queens moved to 4-4-2. Queens could even have pulled a goal back in the 2nd minute of the half when a left sided corner was knocked wide by Graham Weir, six yards out. but any thought that the formation change would improve things was soon dispelled as the home side added a third. Steven Milne's cross again from the right saw Corr come out for the ball and fail to get near it. The keeper clearly felt he was impeded but Mr Mackay allowed play to go on and Paul Sheerin had the easiest of tasks to collect the loose ball and knock it into the net from the left side of the box.

Midfield action with Eric Paton
On 56 minutes Queens completed their changes when Barry Callaghan replaced Willie Gibson but four minutes later Hardie went close again, heading a Sheerin cross wide of target from close in. On 64 minutes Jim Thomson and Jason Scotland both saw yellow over a 'handbags' incident in the middle of the park and within a minute Corr had to move smartly to save from Mensing. Five minutes later Scott Robertson joined the sinners list for a late challenge. Steven Milne was next to go close to a goal though, heading Stanic's cross narrowly wide.

Things went from bad to worse on 72 minutes when Jim Thomson slid into a daft challenge on Martin Hardie and, though he made no contact and to be fair Martin Hardie was quick to tell the referee so, Thomson received his second yellow card of the game. St Johnstone immediately replaced Jason Scotland with Peter McDonald. Stanic then fired narrowly wide from a corner as St Johnstone continued to dominate and McKenzie dropped into the back line of four.

Midfield Action
As news arrived that Clyde had taken the lead at Gretna St Johnstone added a 4th. This time Steven Milne found himself in space on the edge of the box but rather than shoot himself he played in Peter McDonald who could hardly miss from eight yards. A minute or so later Paul Sheerin's deflected shot struck the post and Lauchlan put the ball out for a corner. The fifth was delayed only a few seconds though as from the corner Corr could only parry Mensing's header and Steven Milne tucked away the rebound. St Johnstone immediately replaced Martin Hardie with his former Airdrie team-mate Willie McLaren and a few seconds later Darren Sheridan replaced Paul Lawson.

St Johnstone looked much better than anyone else we've seen this season. This has the look of a side determined to succeed with this year's championship challenge but good as they are this wasn't good enough from Queens sadly. Now we have to pick ourselves up for the visit of another challenger next week in John Robertson's Livingston.

Ewan Lithgow
Photo's David Gow

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