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St MIRREN 2 : 2 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 27th November 2004
Rating: 6.45
Rating: 6.34
Rating: 7.07
Rating: 6.48
Rating: 6.11
Rating: 5.97
Rating: 6.10
Rating: 7.00
Rating: 6.00
1 S1
Rating: 6.61
Rating: 7.07
S1 - 74
Rating: 5.70
S2 - 86
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.
Queens continued their decent record at Love Street with a battling 2-2 draw against the odds and against a high flying St Mirren side. Ian Scott made only one change to the side that started against Thistle with David Bagan replacing the injured Paul Burns. With Gary Wood suspended Emilio Jaconelli and Stuart Hill took places on the bench. The home side surprisingly started with fit again Mixu Paatelainen and former Queens favourite John O'Neill on the bench.

From the word go St Mirren pushed forward and in 4 minutes Jim Thomson dived acrobatically to head a net bound shot from the edge of the box away from goal. From the resulting corner Andy Millen's free header went wide of goal. In nine minutes another corner was met by the firm forehead of Andy Millen again and headed against the crossbar. The rebound was prodded away by Derek Lyle. Queens showed for the first time in 13 minutes when Willie Gibson's right sided low cross was turned goalward first time by Brian McLaughlin and tipped over by Hinchcliffe.

The home side held most of the possession through the first half but failed to create much in the way of clear cut chances. On 33 minutes David Craig intercepted a pass but pushed the ball to far in front of himself and picked up a yellow card as he stretched for the ball. The resulting free kick was guided out for a corner and from that corner the ball was half cleared but hit back from 20 yards by Mark Reilly and again onto the crossbar and away. Just before the interval though, on a rare foray forward, Gibson's excellent cross found Derek Lyle with a free header on the penalty spot but he placed it straight at Hinchcliffe. A minute later, following a fine run by Paton, McLaughlin's chip shot on the turn floated just over the top.

The second half was only three minutes old when Hugh Murray strode forward and hit a looping shot that landed on the roof of the net with Scott beaten. Two minutes later Colin Scott picked up the game's second booking for time-wasting as Mr Toner decided he'd held the ball too long in his own box. For me the booking at least was harsh and more a case of referee reacting to the crowd than any genuine intent to waste time. However, the indirect free kick was wasted as it was hammered into the wall and cleared. The opening goal arrived just two minutes later though and in a most unlikely manner. Kevin McGowne and Andy Millen got themselves in a mess just inside their own half as they attempted to exchange short passes. The ball was played directly to the feet of Derek Lyle and even 40 yards from goal, that's a good chance for a man with his pace. The defence was never going to catch him and he hared into the penalty box before hammering into the top left corner from about 15 yards past the helpless Hinchcliffe. The ecstatic Lyle picked up the game's third booking for running to the corner flag waving his shirt above his head in celebration. St Mirren's immediate response was to replace Allan Russell with Paatelainen.

As if that wasn't good enough, three minutes later it was 2-0 for Queens. McLaughlin's sublime backheel flick wrong-footed the whole St Mirren defence and left Steve Bowey running clear on goal. He made no mistake either and buried the ball into the bottom right corner beyond the keeper.

The defence clears
Surely if Queens had managed to hold their lead for any length of time they might have won this game but instead the home side were back into it two minutes later and from their next attack. A hopeful ball into the box was left by Jim Thomson who presumably thought it was running straight through to Colin Scott. Instead centre half Kirk Broadfoot appeared from nowhere to collect the ball on the first bounce, round Scott and knock the ball home. On the hour mark Laurie Ellis replaced Simon Lappin for the home side.

On 73 minutes, Bowey headed the ball off the line after a left sided corner was headed goalward and a minute later John O'Neill replaced Mark Crilly. The equaliser was delayed only one further minute. Again it was actually a fairly aimless cross not dealt with properly. This time David Craig headed the ball directly in front of Kirk Broadfoot again. This time, from about 10 yards out, the big centre half easily guided the ball into the bottom right corner. Ian Scott's immediate response was to replace Lyle with David McNiven.

Queens line up a free kick
Oddly this seemed to satisfy St Mirren to an extent and, having dominated the game to that point, they settled back a little and allowed Queens back into the game slightly. On 76 minutes McLaughlin's shot from 25 yards fizzed just over the crossbar. Up the other end Reilly was over the top with a 20 yard free kick. With ten minutes remaining Kevin McGowne picked up the first booking for the home side for a trip on McNiven from behind. Again though, quickly up the other end McGinty's long range shot was fumbled a little by Scott but kept out. With five minutes left Stephen Payne replaced Willie Gibson and a minute later it was Jaconelli on for McLaughlin. With two minutes remaining indeed Jaconelli headed the ball into the net from Paton's cross but he was clearly a couple of yards offside when it was played in and it was rightly ruled out. As injury time was played out Paatelainen could have won it for the home side when Colin Scott lost the ball at the edge of his six yard box and the loose ball ended up with the big Finn 20 yards out. It was an empty net but with several defenders between him and goal he lifted the ball over the bar and allowed the game to end in a draw.

If you'd offered a draw before kick off I'm sure most Queens fans would have settled for it but having led 2-0 there's always a degree of disappointment over the failure to win. However, the fact is we were outplayed for long spells of this game and St Mirren well deserved their draw at the very least. We have to be reasonably happy with the point which keeps us in a comfortable 4th. Bottom of the league Raith come calling next but they have a much better record of late and it won't be easy.

Ewan Lithgow
Photographs - David Gow

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