Reports from matches this season go to the fixtures section and click on the report linked to the match you want to read about. Alternatively for earlier seasons go to the fixtures section of the archive for the relevant year.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 2 : 3 RANGERS 24th May 2008
Rating: 7.22
Rating: 6.91
Rating: 8.40
Rating: 7.34
Rating: 7.73
Rating: 6.96
Rating: 7.94
Rating: 7.46
Rating: 6.94
Rating: 8.30
Rating: 7.03
S1 - 76
Rating: 6.46
S2 - 82
S3 - 86
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.
I never thought I would see the day when I'd be writing a match report about the Scottish Cup Final because we were playing in it! It's the stuff of dreams. Decades spent trailing around Scotland on a wet Tuesday night in the lowest division make you seriously appreciate this kind of thing. For this club to go from playing in front of a couple of hundred and finishing in the bottom two or three places of the SFL 20 years or so ago to playing in front of almost 50,000 at Hampden is absolutely surreal. Not only that but to go out against a team that were playing in the UEFA Cup Final a week ago, give them a two goal start and still make them battle to the very last second for their win showed the Aberdeen game was no fluke. I'm proud of this club, proud of that team, the manager, all who help at the club and proud of the way Dumfries has reacted around the whole build up.

There were no surprises when Gordon Chisholm named his starting eleven as it was "same again" to the eleven who started the semi final win and indeed most of our games since the turn of the year when they've all been available. A minor surprise on the bench where Scott Robertson got the nod ahead of Brian Gilmour. Rangers made three changes to their best eleven (if the UEFA Cup Final side can be regarded as that?) with McCulloch, Beasley and, perhaps most ominously, Kris Boyd all starting. I had been saying all week that Boyd was the man I most feared. I hoped they wouldn't play him but they did and sadly I was right.

Queens made a decent start if a little unambitious. Ryan McCann had to go off inside two minutes for stitches in a facial wound inflicted by an accidental Beasley elbow and was off the park for five or six minutes before returning. Whilst he was off Lee McCulloch picked up an early booking for a bad late challenge on Bob Harris that very briefly meant we had nine men on the park but we saw it out comfortably enough. Indeed in 10 minutes it was Queens who earned the game's first corner, though it came to nothing. It took Rangers 25 minutes to have a serious shot on goal, though they should have scored with it. Boyd looked touch and go offside as he raced clear on the left side and cut the ball back for Beasley but the American winger hit his shot into the side netting from 18 yards. Two minutes later Boyd's diving header from Beasley's cross left MacDonald absolutely stranded but it scraped the wrong side of the post from the striker's point of view. Rangers were starting to flex their muscles and though Queens made it to the half hour with the clean sheet intact you had the feeling a goal was around the corner. It duly arrived on 35 minutes. Stevie Tosh was adjudged to have fouled Beasley just outside his own box. At the time I thought it looked a free kick but tv replays later suggested it was pretty soft. Once awarded though the shot that Kris Boyd unleashed after being teed up by Ferguson was absolutely unstoppable. Bob Harris nearly got out of the wall to block it but once past him Jamie MacDonald had no chance of getting near it.

Queens hadn't really threatened Neil Alexander's goal to that point but were now forced to open up a bit. Five minutes before the break Tosh burst into the box but Alexander saved at his feet. The ball was lifted back into the back post area and Steven Whittaker clearly shoved O'Connor as he went for the header. I don't think big Sean was actually going to get to the ball but that didn't make it any less a foul. Stuart Dougal though waved play on. It was a big call, though perhaps not as big as we thought it maybe was at the time. Instead it was Rangers who doubled their advantage two minutes before the break. Ryan McCann conceded a fairly needless corner kick, heading a harmless looking cross behind when it would probably have got there all by itself if left alone. The corner was initially cleared but when the ball came back in O'Connor skied a clearance instead of getting right through the ball. Cuellar headed back into the danger area but either McCann or JT would probably have cleared the ball easily enough had they not got in one another's way and the ball ran through to DaMarcus Beasley who tucked the ball under Jamie MacDonald from six yards out. The finish was a little scuffed and had he caught it properly Jamie might well have stopped it.

It was hard to see any way back into the game for Queens as they trooped off at half time really, two down to one of Europe's best teams. Gordon Chisholm though delivered the team talk of his life. I have heard some of what he said but it's not for repeating here. Suffice it to say by the time the second half was due we had eleven warriors on the park scared of nothing on that pitch in front of them. So fired up were they that they appeared on the pitch two minutes early and waited for Rangers to catch them up. When the play started though there was only one team doing the catching up!

Five minutes in and Queens were back in the game. Stephen Dobbie slipped the ball down the right channel to O'Connor who skipped past Scotland's Player of the Year, Carlos Cuellar, like he wasn't there (and could have gone down for a penalty given the trailing leg that was out!), made the by-line and cut the ball back to the talismanic Stevie Tosh who forced the ball in with some part of his anatomy or other. Game on!

Tosh strikes the opener.....
If that was amazing enough, 120 seconds later came scenes of unbridled mayhem as Queens had the temerity to equalise. Bob Harris delivered a fantastic cross from a right sided free kick and Captain Incredible Jim Thomson soared at 37 years old above everybody to power a header behind Alexander from eight yards out. Astonishing stuff and JT had no idea what to do. Des McKeown later described his celebrations as being like one of those giant balloon men that used to fly behind Hampden's goals at big games. He was right. Arms and legs were flying everywhere but in the midst of it all we were right back in this thing. UEFA Cup finalists? Pah. This was now eleven against eleven and we were the ones with tails up. For ten minutes Rangers rocked and rolled and it genuinely looked like we could win the whole thing. Burns and McCann combined to set up Dobbie but he couldn't get a shot away on the edge of the box. Next it was Burns and Dobbie combining to slide one across the six yard box where O'Connor almost turned the ball goalward but was denied by a last ditch block.

JT heads home

JT and the legenday goal - from David Gow on the teracing
Rangers regrouped though and on 59 minutes Barry Ferguson should have recaptured the lead only to scuff a shot at MacDonald that the keeper easily smothered. It was Queens though who began to look like the legs were going a little as Rangers got on top again. On 70 minutes they forced a succession of corners and from the last of them came the vital and ultimately winning goal. It was simplicity itself really. Beasley fired in a perfect cross, Boyd lost his marker and powered a header over MacDonald and into the net. In the end a pretty cheap goal to concede.

Stevie Tosh picked up the only Queens booking of the day in 73 minutes for dissent when the referee, who had originally awarded Queens a goal kick, allowed himself to be over-ruled by his far side assistant in giving a corner. Changes were needed as 'Chis' decided to gamble and, as Steven Davis replaced Beasley for Rangers, John Stewart was sent on for McQuilken in an attempt to provide more pace and a third striker. It was Boyd who nearly completed his hat-trick soon afterward though as MacDonald flew to his left to clutch a header on the line. There was a poignant moment in 81 minutes when John O'Neill, in what was surely his last game with the club, came on for Dobbie. O'Neill was a tremendous part of what's been achieved here over the last half decade or so and was the best player in the entire division when we won the second division title in 2002. If this was to be his final hurrah then what a way to go, in the Scottish Cup Final. This was no time for sentiment though, there was still a game to be chased. Rangers still looked the more likely to score again. With six minutes to go Weir nodded down a corner and Darcheville scooped the ball over the bar in the six yard box. The same player shot miles over the bar after cutting inside McCann a minute later but that was his final action as Walter Smith gave young John Fleck a taste of the action in his stead. In his final throw of the dice Gordon Chisholm gave Scott Robertson a few minutes in place of McCann with Burns dropping a little deeper to try to cover the full back area.

There were three minutes of injury time and two minutes into it Rangers really should have finished the match as they appeared to have more players in our box than we had defenders. Fleck rounded the keeper but tried to set up Ferguson rather than score himself and Aitken got back to block the Scotland captain's shot. There was to be one last chance at glory for Queens though. As the final seconds ticked down Tosh won a free kick 22 yards out and bang in the middle of the pitch. It was clearly a shooting opportunity but was it to be Tosh himself or Harris who hit it? It was Harris and though his shot beat the wall, it struck another defender and cannoned clear. That was it. No more fairy tales, no more reprieves. Beaten. But what a way to go. And what a joyride this team has given us. It was a disappointed squad who went up to collect their runners up medals but we couldn't have been any prouder of their efforts. To Gordon Chisholm and his staff, thank you. As for the players, said it after the semi final too but legends all. Thank you so much.

Ewan Lithgow
With over 700 photo's taken today it will take some time to sort them all out - so if you'd like to look through them click on this link and see if you can spot yourself. Please bear in mind that it's every shot that we took and none have been deleted, tidied up or altered from the camera.

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