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QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 2 : 2 AYR UNITED (Ayr won 5-4 on penalties) 30th August 2006
Rating: 6.39
Rating: 6.49
Rating: 6.15
Rating: 6.13
Rating: 7.72
Rating: 6.36
Rating: 5.43
Rating: 6.18
Rating: 5.18
Rating: 4.76
A Thomson
Rating: 5.38
S1 - 59
Rating: 5.47
S2 - 59 1
Rating: 6.45
S3 - 75
Rating: 5.31
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.
Ian McCall rang the changes tonight in terms of position and personnel and from back to front. The No.1 shirt was handed back to Barry John Corr, Eric Paton was given the left side in the three man defence, Barry Callaghan made his Palmerston debut on the right side of midfield and John Henry was given the playmaker role in the centre of the park, meanwhile the substitute strike force of Thomson and Mullen were the No.1 choices tonight. On the bench were new signing Warren Moon, youngsters, Lewis Sloan and Scott Robertson with John O'Neill and Colin Scott completing the substitutes.

The crowd tonight was as expected significantly lower than Saturday with just 1239 coming through the turnstiles. With the BBC in attendance providing live match commentary to the country from Palmerston a decent match was hoped for, and undoubtedly for the neutral the game did have most of the elements that you would want to see.

It started off with Ayr passing up a great chance to shock their hosts as Gavin Friels broke through the home defence onto a long ball and only needed the slightest of touches to nod the ball past Corr, the striker though couldn't quite reach it and the Queens defence escaped. Ayr were quite bright early on and their best player by some distance was the tall number 5 Chris Robertson, the centre back, converted from a striker by Robert Connor showed that he still had an eye for goal as he shot towards Corr on ten minutes, but the 'keeper had a comfortable save.

Corr gets down well under pressure
The strike force of Mullen and Thomson, although having had limited time on the pitch seemed to be gelling a little more in this match and Mullen had a good effort well saved after being setup by his more experienced partner on the quarter hour, just before Willie Gibson jinked into the box and through the defence, the wing man's shot was poor though and McGeown made an easy save.

On the half hour Eric Paton gave everyone a scare with a chested back pass that Barry John Corr had to reach high to collect, another inch or two and it would have been a freak own goal from the defender. At the other end McGeown made two superb saves as he first had to react quickly to a Barry Callaghan corner that was dropping into the net, then the follow up shot from John Henry required some quick reactions to keep the visitors goal intact.

Following the break it was Queens who came out the more determined and immediately looked like taking the lead when a superb cross from the very impressive Callaghan that Michael Mullen headed just over. Disaster struck a couple of minutes later as 'keeper Corr did his chances of keeping the No.1 jersey no good at all as he rushed out to the corner of the penalty box to dive at the feet of Paul Hyslop as the midfielder was running across the box and away from goal. Corr pulled him down and there was no doubt that it was a penalty. Up stepped Chris Robertson to send Corr the wrong way and the ball into the back of the net to give Ayr a surprise lead against the run of play.

Callaghan causes more trouble for the Ayr defence
The goal certainly seemed to wake Queens up and almost made an immediate impact as Paul Burns fired a shot just past the post. Ian McCall freshened things up on the hour with the introduction of John O'Neill for Michael Mullen and for new boy Warren Moon for John Henry.

O'Neill had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes before he received a superb cross field ball from Barry Callaghan which he deftly flicked over the diving body of McGeown to equalise the scores, it wasn't all going Queens way though as just before and just after the goal Barry John Corr had to pull off a couple of great saves high to his right to keep the visitors score sheet at just one.

Queens were well on top and John O'Neill had had the desired effect by adding a bit more football to the side, however the primary supplier of the quality balls into and around the box, Barry Callaghan, was then substituted by Ian McCall and Scott Robertson brought into the game. Within two minutes of the substitution Queens were 2-1 up as a corner from the right was blocked away but returned to the left flank where Jim Lauchlan was stationed, his composed effort looked to be on target but also took a rather large deflection to give the Ayr 'keeper no chance as the ball looped over him and into the net.

Jim Lauchlan watches as his effort spins past McGeowan and Lowing
Queens wing man Willie Gibson had to leave the field of play with just a few minutes left following a heavy challenge. With time ticking away and Queens looking comfortable to progress to the next round many fans had left or were in the process of leaving when up popped Paul Weaver with a shot that also took a large deflection and this time looped up and over Corr to take the tie to extra time with only ten men.

Predictably nothing much of note happened in the two periods of extra-time, ten man Queens were able to hold out despite Ayr controlling the entire second half of the added time. It was all down to penalties.

Queens went first with John O'Neill scoring as usual. Andy Thomson was second up and was to be the only man of the shoot-out to have an effort saved, every other penalty was scored with Scott Mackenzie, Eric Paton and Neill Scally for Queens and Vareille, Strain, Dunn, Forrest and Robertson converting for the visitors.

It was an entertaining match and one that Queens should never have lost, they controlled much of the game but again were found wanting when it came to making and finishing chances, the extra time saw some players exhausted but then again Ayr have played as much football as Queens in August. Maybe the two week break is needed for the batteries to be recharged.

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