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ROSS COUNTY 1 : 0 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 23rd October 2004
Rating: 7.82
Rating: 5.83
Rating: 6.58
Rating: 5.75
Rating: 4.90
Rating: 4.27
Rating: 4.83
Rating: 5.27
Rating: 5.08
Rating: 5.09
Rating: 5.58
S1 - 49
Rating: 6.82
S2 - 55
Rating: 5.55
S3 - 69
Rating: 5.67
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.
So the 100% away league record is gone and to be honest deservedly so. A poor showing from Queens, especially first half, and the home side thoroughly worth their three points. Queens were still without the services of David Craig and Paul Burns through injury but contrary to information earlier in the week Eric Paton was declared fit to play so it was an unchanged side with Jim Thomson and David McNiven also declared fit despite carrying knocks. For the home side Colin Stewart and John Rankin were back from injury but left on the bench whilst former Doonhamer Alex Burke was however unavailable even for substitute duty on the day his son was mascot.

County started like a train and Charlie Adam struck just wide of the top right corner inside 30 seconds. Two minutes later the same player eluded a couple of challenges down the left side before cutting into the box and shooting for the near post. Colin Scott parried the ball away though and a defender hammered the ball clear. On ten minutes it was Don Cowie's turn to move forward with the ball from midfield before sending Colin Scott scrambling across his goal after a powerful low shot which just missed the bottom left corner. Two minutes after that and County came even closer with Sean Higgins turning and shooting goalward from 10 yards or so only to see Colin Scott again plunge to his right to block with his shoulder.

After the whirlwind start though the pace calmed down a little with the two sides beginning to cance leachotherout.Infact it took 29 minutes for Brian McLaughlin to have Queens first shot at goal from 25 yards though it was comfortably wide of the bottom right corner. On 35 minutes though it was back up the other end and McSwegan poking the ball goalward from Kilgannon's left sided cross. The effort carried no power though and Scott saved easily. Three minutes later it was Jamie McCunnie who came forward to hit a shot from the edge of the box and again Colin Scott diving to turn it wide for a corner. Just before the interval though Queens should maybe have taken the lead completely against the run of play. Brian McLaughlin intercepted a shocking pass by McCunnie and moved towards goal with McNiven in support. He chose to shoot himself though and beat Garden from 20 yards but unfortunately just missed the bottom right corner.

The second half was just 31 seconds old when County grabbed the lead their play to that point had deserved. The ball was cut in from the left side and sat perfectly for Don Cowie to curl a wonderful shot beyond Colin Scott's dive and into the top left corner from about 25 yards out. For the second week running Colin Scott beaten by an excellent strike.

The immediate result of the goal was a change in tactics for both sides. Alex Smith changed the emphasis of his side and dropped into a "hold what we have" formation whilst Iain Scott reacted by sending Willie Gibson on for Eric Paton on 50 minutes. Five minutes later County replaced the injured John Robertson with Stuart Malcolm whilst Emilio Jaconelli replaced David Bagan which meant Bowey moving back inside and McLaughlin dropping into the left midfield role he started the season in. With little goalmouth action of the next 15 minutes it was another wave of changes with County putting on David Winters and John Rankin for Higgins and the injured Kilgannon whilst Stephen Payne replaced McLaughlin with Gibson switching over to the left side. On 71 minutes Gibson broke down the left side and crossed dangerously across goal but Jaconelli couldn't get to the ball. The next close effort on goal though came when a right sided County corner on 75 minutes flashed across the face of goal untouched.

On 84 minutes McNiven, having a very quiet game, managed a turn and shot from English's cross but got no power in the effort which was easily saved by Garden. However, a minute later County beat the offside trap through Winters and he ran clear towards goal from 40 yards out. Jim Thomson did well to match the run and cut out the cross but Winters seized on the ball again and played a ball into the middle that was hit goalward only for Scott to parry it out. Again the loose ball found Winters and this time his shot was headed off the line by Thomson. It was end to end stuff now though and Queens so nearly equalised a minute later. The ball dropped to Jaconelli in midfield and he controlled brilliantly before turning and shooting first time from fully thirty yards out. The ball seemed destined for the top right corner until Stuart Garden dived to tip it over the bar. A minute after that the same player seemed to be pulled back in the box and appealed for a penalty but few of his team-mates or fans joined the shout.

In truth the home side deserved their win though and we will need to play better than this to get anything from Clyde next week. Fortunately, with every other game in the division ending in a draw, we haven't lost a great deal of ground on anyone though.

Ewan Lithgow

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