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St MIRREN 2 : 0 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 29th October 2005
Rating: 4.58
Rating: 5.58
Rating: 5.88
Rating: 5.29
Rating: 5.65
Rating: 3.91
Rating: 6.00
Rating: 5.08
Rating: 3.38
Rating: 3.75
Rating: 4.17
S1 - 59
Rating: 5.00
S2 - 64
Rating: 4.57
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.
Manager Iain Scott made to changes to the side that drew with Brechin in midweek for the trip to face League leaders St Mirren, a fixture which always looked on paper the hardest of the upcoming games. Back from suspension and into a perhaps surprising midfield role came Gary Wood and in after a long absence in an even more surprising left back role was Chris Carr. The men missing out were Brian McLaughlin and Tommy English, both dropped to the bench, with Scott Robertson the unlucky one to drop out of the squad to accommodate Wood's return. That meant O'Neill moving up front again to partner McNiven against his old side.

The action was slow to develop and it was ten minutes in before Charlie Adam struck the first meaningful shot of the afternoon from fully 25 yards after picking up a loose ball in midfield. Colin Scott obviously thought it was close enough to warrant diving at but he didn't get to it and it passed harmlessly by the post in the end. Five minutes later the same player had another pot from distance, picking up the loose ball after John O'Neill won a challenge with Millen but this time firing over the bar. A minute later Derek Lyle picked up another loose ball in midfield and went past Maxwell very easily before passing to McNiven whose lay-off found John O'Neill on the edge of the box. He jinked inside a defender but placed his shot very easily into the arms of Smith in the home goal. Three minutes later though John Sutton easily won a back post header over Eric Paton to send a looping header onto the roof of the net with Colin Scott scrambling back.

The ball heads for the net to open the scoring for the 'buddies'
On 22 minutes St Mirren were forced into the game's first change when Ian Maxwell pulled up injured and Alan Reid came on in relief of him. The deadlock was finally broken on 28 minutes. Gary Wood did very well to intercept a pass into the box that looked set to lead to an excellent chance but did so at the expense of a corner. When Simon Lappin swung it in there was John Potter steaming in to volley left footed into the top left corner from six yards. There was little action in the rest of the half though Stuart Hill stretched to head a ball back to Colin Scott in the final minute of the half that would have seen Stewart Kean clear of the back four had he not reached the ball.

St Mirren started the second period in the mood to close out the game early and in 47 minutes a Stewart Kean right sided cross along the face of the six yard box should really have been turned in by any of a couple of players at the back post. The second goal was delayed only two minutes though and arrived after John Sutton was fouled about five yards outside the box. The resulting free kick struck the wall and deflected out for a corner kick. Simon Lappin again was the man with the delivery, this time from the right, and his cross was glanced home in the six yard box by Stewart Kean. Just before the hour mark Sutton looped a header over the bar again and Iain Scott decided to shuffle his pack. Off went Eric Paton and on came Brian McLaughlin with the formation switching to 3-5-2. Chris Carr moved over to the right of the back three with Bowey moving inside and wee Brian on the left side of the midfield. A minute later Gary wood went in the book for a late challenge on Hugh Murray. On 64 minutes came Queens second change with Willie Gibson on for Steve Bowey. This time Gibson went on the left side with McLaughlin moving inside to central midfield.

Paton and Burns combine to clear
Queens best chance of the game probably arrived on 66 minutes when Gibson moved up the left and cut inside to John O'Neill who worked space for himself on the edge of the box before sliding a low shot narrowly past the bottom left corner. Four minutes later David McNiven picked up the ball in the middle of the park and turned his marker. He ran forward ten yards before hammering narrowly over the crossbar from 25 yards. Two minutes after that, as Queens enjoyed their best spell of the game, McLaughlin's dinked cross into the box was headed across the face of goal and narrowly past by Derek Lyle. Gus McPherson opted to make his second change at this point with John Sutton withdrawn to be replaced by Billy Mehmet. On 74 minutes came the closest effort for Queens in the game when Willie Gibson took a quick free kick in midfield and played in Paul Burns who controlled the ball, strode forward a few yards and hit a superb strike which young Smith in the home goal made a fine save from. Two minutes later it was Burns again, controlling a ball into the box by Gibson and almost getting his shot away but Potter had tracked his run and made the block. From the resulting corner Jim Thomson floated a header goalward but easily saved by Smith.

On 77 minutes Willie Gibson became the second Queens player booked for dissent after a foul was given against him for a challenge on Kean and Gus McPherson made his final change sending on Corcoran for Murray. From the resulting free kick Gary Wood climbed highest to win the ball but very nearly sent it into the corner of his own net. With 10 minutes remaining Stewart Kean beat Colin Scott onto a punt into the box but took it wide and, facing away from goal he turned and sliced wildly high and wide of target although Stuart Hill had got himself back onto the goal-line. A minute later Simon Lappin controlled a ball on his chest before firing narrowly over the top left corner on the half-volley. With six minutes to go Jim Thomson picked up a scandalous booking for dissent after a foul was given against him on Kean when he went nowhere near the striker! Kean in fact slipped and made no claim for a foul but somehow Mr Conroy managed to see a non-existent foul and then booked the skipper for his complaints.

Scott makes a great save
So to no great surprise we returned from Love Street pointless, though at least away defeats also for Brechin and Stranraer meant we lost no ground on the teams around us. The two home games against Clyde and Stranraer now are absolutely vital with surely at least one win necessary and not losing to Stranraer crucial.

Ewan Lithgow

Photographs by Haydn Gleed (Goalscoring photo) and David Gow

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