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PENRITH 0 : 4 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 29th July 2006
J Thomson
1 S2
1 S4
S1 - 46
S2 - 60 1
A Thomson
S3 - 65
S4 - 68 1
It's always a bonus to enter a new season with your strikers firing on all cylinders and that's what Ian McCall has at the moment. Queens won fairly comfortably in the end with all four main strikers on the mark which bodes well for next weekend. It was a strong Queens side that took the field for the visit to Penrith. Other than the injured Andy Aitken it may well have constituted a first eleven in fact though the guys on the bench will maybe have something to say about that. The one surprising selection maybe being Derek Lyle at right wing back with Eric Paton on the bench.

Queens dominated from the off and took the lead with a route one goal in 7 minutes. Big Jim Thomson hit a long ball forward that fooled the Penrith defence and Graham Weir was in behind them. He had time to steady himself and let the ball drop before lashing it behind James Holland to open the scoring from 18 yards. On 16 minutes John O'Neill looped a header from a Gibson cross just over the crossbar and just beyond the half hour a superb run from Weir led to a shot from 20 yards just past the bottom left post. On the stroke of half time O'Neill again capitalised on a smart turn and control from O'Connor to knock a shot against the crossbar this time but the interval arrived with Queens still 1-0 in front though fairly comfortably.

O'Neill turns his man and makes his escape
Eric Paton replaced Derek Lyle at half time but it was Penrith who took the game to Queens when the second period began. They actually had us pinned back for ten minutes or so without ever really looking too much like scoring, Murray Henderson blocking the best effort by Michael Reed before it could trouble Corr. It was against the run of play a little then when Queens doubled their advantage on 56 minutes. Graham Weir hassled Tom Brough into a back pass which keeper Hollland then dallied on. When he was closed down by O'Connor his attempted pass back to Brough put the big defender in trouble and Weir was on him like a flash to steal possession back. He drew Holland before squaring for his partner, Sean O'Connor to knock into the empty net from the edge of the penalty area.

O'Neill forces the Penrith 'keeper into a great save
Penrith's response was to send on Ryan Errington for Kevin Frampton in the 63rd minute whilst at the same time McCall replaced O'Connor with Andy Thomson. A minute later Burns great pass picked out O'Neill in the penalty area but he got his attempt to lift the ball over Holland all wrong and merely chipped it up into the keeper's arms. John Henry then replaced O'Neill on 67 minutes and three minutes mater Mullen replaced Weir whilst Penrith brought on sub keeper Chris Walker for James Holland. On 74 minutes Will Paul curled an effort just over the bar after Murray Henderson had made an initial clearing header of Reed's cross. That was Reed's last action as he was replaced by Darren West. Two minutes later though Queens ought to have put the result beyond doubt when Paul Burns made the by-line and cut back from Mullen who tried to place a shot to the bottom right when one to the bottom left would surely have scored. Instead his effort was cleared away from the line. Penrith send on Martin Kirkby for Phil Thomson before on 78 minutes Queens did finally make it 3-0 and what a scramble it was! Willie Gibson's cross from the left was headed goalward by Henderson but blocked out to the edge of the box where Jim Thomson played it back in towards Burns. His ball across goal presented Mullen with an open goal which he somehow contrived to miss only for the loose ball to pinball about a little before Andy Thomson just about forced it over the line, though it wasn't at all clear which part of his body he used to get it there!

No way through for big Sean
Penrith were determined to get something out of the game and with ten minutes to go Mark Jones had a decent effort from distance well held by Corr. Two minutes later though Thomson made a great run onto Burns' pass and lifted the ball over the keeper but also over the crossbar from 10 yards. Penrith then replaced Will Paul with Leigh Andrews. In the 85th minute Michael Mullen completed the rout with a 4th goal. He was sent in behind the defence onto the end of a long ball from the back and though he beat the keeper to it, he appeared to leave the ball behind. However, Walker only then succeeded in mis-kicking the ball against Mullen and leaving him to knock the ball into the empty goal from 20 yards. There still could have been more as Mullen, Henry and Thomson all had efforts blocked in the one move on 86 minutes before a minute later Thomson struck the base of the post on the end of a Paton pass. With a minute to go Martin Strong's effort worried Corr a little before just shaving over the crossbar and the home side replaced him with Jack Mounsey. The last action of the game saw Corr make his first proper save of the day, making a fine block to deny Darren West a consolation.

We are still unbeaten through pre-season then and have one remaining fixture at Lesser Hampden v Queens Park on Tuesday night.

Ewan Lithgow

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