Following the great victory in the Bell's Cup last weekend there were fears amongst the crowd that the exertions and celebrations may have a negative impact on the performance today, as it turned out it seemed that the Queens side were buoyed up or the match even more so than usual as they set about controlling the match from start to finish and putting on one of their best footballing displays of the season.
It took the unchanged starting eleven less than a minute to make an impression on the visitors goal as a Peter Weatherson cross was flicked on by Derek Lyle but just sailed past the far post, a fraction more contact and a very early goal would have been scored.
Queens had control of the match and it took only a further ten minutes before the deadlock was broken, the move started with Andy Goram feeding Robbie Neilson on the right side, he in turn found Steve Bowey who battled by his man and raced to the bye-line, the Geordies cross was pin point perfect to the feet of Derek Lyle just inside the six-yard box and the on-form striker netted with his customary coolness.
Ten more minutes passed and the lead should have been doubled as Lyle again made some space for himself in the right hand corner of the park, his cross was missed by the County defence and the ball fell to Joe McAlpine all alone at the back of the six-yard box with the goal gaping, the winger though seemed to hit the ball too cleanly and it cleared the bar.
It was all of twenty-five minutes before County made a chance and it was through Steve McGarry as he skinned Derek Anderson before shooting across Andy Goram but well wide of the Goalies post. Queens though replied immediately and another Lyle cross was almost perfect for Peter Weatherson but the striker could not get above the ball and sent his header well over the bar.
Some rare action for 'The Goalie'
At the other end Ross County won a corner and gave Andy Goram something to do as he punched the in swinging effort from Robertson over the cross bar with the second corner cleared comfortably.
An unusual patient for Kenny Crichton
With a minute or so of the half to play a cross swung from the left by an attacking County forward struck the referee in the back at speed, Mr Somers immediately fell to the ground and the ball was played out of the park as Kenny Crichton attended to the official. The result after some attention and a check by the club doctor was that the referee was unable to continue. The call to the crowd for a referee to come forward brought a superb response with three SFA qualified volunteers being found along with the fourth official Mr McCluskey. In the end local man Bob Park ran the line for the second half.
After a delay of ten minutes the game restarted for two minutes then half time was blown for.
HALF TIME 1-0
The second half started with Queens defence getting themselves into all sorts of trouble before allowing County a shot at goal, however the effort didn't even trouble Goram as the ball flew well past the post
Somewhere under there is Derek Lyle
A moment of pure genius followed a few minutes later as Peter Weatherson controlled, turned and had a snap shot at goal from thirty-yards that had Bullock well beaten but that crashed off the crossbar, an effort that had it gone in would have been a real contender for goal of the season, the ball, however, fell to Derek Lyle and with Bullock attempting to close Lyle down the front man again showed fantastic composure to slip the ball past the 'keeper and score his and Queens second of the afternoon.
The County players were obviously annoyed by this but all that a horrendous two-footed tackle by Canning on McColligan did was earn the County defender a yellow card and ensure that his every touch was then greeted with booing from the crowd, fortunately McColligan made a decent recovery after a fair spell of treatment.
With thirteen minutes of the match remaining Sean O'Connor continued his recovery as he replaced Derek Lyle with a standing ovation for both men from the crowd.
The last ten minutes saw County desperately attempting to get forward but Goram only having to make a couple of routine saves whilst at the other end a low hard cross from O'Connor was palmed away by Bullock and Queens still looking most likely to score.
In summary this was a superb display from Queens, they never looked like losing against a side that are undoubtedly a strong first division outfit. The quality of the football today and the commitment to the cause was outstanding, lets hope that next Saturday will see something similar as the league leaders come to town.