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QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 2 : 0 FALKIRK 27th December 2003
Rating: 7.87
Rating: 7.80
Rating: 7.47
Rating: 7.73
Rating: 6.94
Rating: 7.63
Rating: 6.96
Rating: 8.10
Rating: 7.30
Rating: 8.42
Rating: 7.91
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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 today turned in what must rank as one of their best performances of this season as they outplayed the highly rated Falkirk side that had come expecting a win in their 'lucky white strips'.

The Queens squad saw one enforced change with ever-present David Bagan missing his first game of the season due to severe ear ache that had developed during the night, the player to benefit was Paul Burns who made the starting eleven. The bench saw two changes, out went Paul Talbot and in came Willie Gibson with Paul Burns' place on the bench taken by Emilio Jaconelli.

The early play saw both sides show that they intended to play attacking football, Falkirk looked dangerous with Dumfries lad Colin McMennamin showing some pace and Jason Lee always looking threatening with his height. Queens for their part had the best of the early chances with Gary Wood firing in an effort that ended up at the feet of Brian McColligan, the midfielder though couldn't compose himself and didn't get a shot away.

Moments later Bowser had an effort that flew just wide with Alan Ferguson stretching, then it was the turn of Paton and Burns to combine to set up Brian McColligan whose looping header was collected by the 'keeper.
Land of the giants
Ferguson then demonstrated that he had his non-stick gloves with him today as he fumbled a cross from the right from Alex Burke, unfortunately no one was on hand to capitalise. It wasn't all Queens though and a loose ball from Sean O'Connor was pounced upon by Keiran McAnespie, the midfielder striking an effort just past the upright. Falkirk then had another excellent effort but McMennamin blazed wildly past the post and over the upright as he was faced up by the impressive John Dodds in the home goal.

Alex Burke again tested the gloves of Ferguson, this time a direct shot from the edge of the box had the 'keeper fumbling. At the other end Craig McPherson cracked a thirty yard effort off the cross bar with John Dodds looking to have got a critical touch to put the ball onto the bar.

With five minutes of the half left the East Stand patrons were on their feet as an angular drive from Sean O'Connor after good work by Bowser and Eric Paton had set him up, crashed into the side netting on the right. The final chance of the half fell to Alex Burke but his effort was deflected past and the home side were unable to make anything from the resultant corner.

The second half actually started with Falkirk pressing strongly, certainly for the first three minutes as it was Queens who opened the scoring within four minutes of the restart. Paul Burns collected a ball from Sean O'Connor and with superb skill released Sean by flicking the ball round his marker, with the defender beaten Sean was through on the goalkeeper and unlike Dodds at the other end Ferguson made his intentions clear and Sean stroked the ball home with some style to earn Queens a well deserved lead.
Big Sean is congratulated for opening the scoring
Queens were now pretty comfortable in as much as the Falkirk front line were pretty toothless and the Queens defence had any threat the Bairns carried well in control, this was allowing Queens to make some superb chances. Eric Paton and Paul Burns were having a superb game and combined well in the sixty-first minute to cross almost onto the head of Sean O'Connor. A minute later and the miss of the match came when Alex Burke put Bowser clean through on goal, Bowser did the hard bit by rounding Ferguson and with the goal at his mercy hit his shot towards the net for a certain goal, however it just didn't have enough pace on it for the muddy goal mouth and this allowed McAnespie to get back and clear the ball to the disbelief of the 3000+ Queens fans in the ground.

It was still a close game though and at the other end McMennamin broke through the defence but was faced with John Dodds who by staying up forced him to turn away from goal and the chance was lost. That was crucial defending as only three minutes later Queens extended their lead and killed off the game. Sean O'Connor collected the ball wide right and dribbled into the box, he fed the ball back to Eric Paton who fired in a low hard cross that Gary Wood fearlessly attacked at the near post and sent into the back of the net.

For the rest of the half Falkirk provided only a few moments of threat to the Queens goal, John O'Neill had the best effort with a strong shot blocked well by John Dodds. But the final word went to Queens as a Sean O'Connor turn and shot was well saved by Ferguson's left leg, however it sent the ball spinning into the air and heading toward the other side of the goal, the 'keeper did well to get himself across the goal and punch the ball away under pressure.

Queens then made their first and final substitution with Alex Burke being swapped for Derek Lyle with five minutes to go.

The final action of the game was not a memorable moment for John Hughes as the player manager of the visitors collected his second yellow card of the game as he felled Gary Wood after the impressive Queens front man had nicked the ball off the tiring centre-half.

In summary this was an important win for Queens, it keeps us well in contention in third spot in the league and lifts us well away from the two relegation spots. More importantly the performance of the side today was one of the best seen at Palmerston for some time and puts to rest the doubts that some less than convincing performances in November had put in some peoples minds.

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