In truth, this was another poor performance from the Queens side, little better than last week's one against Forfar, in spite of wholesale changes in personnel. At least partly through injury, John Connolly made six changes to the side which lost to Forfar. Out went Paddy Atkinson, Dean Muir, Phil Nixon, Steve Preen, Andy Martin and Tony Nelson, although the latter two took places on the bench. In came Ross Atkinson, Cane Young, Peter Weatherson, Brian Caldwell, Mark Weir and, returning from suspension, captain Andy Aitken. A familiar sight met Andy as he went forward to shake hands before the match started. Captaining Arbroath was none other than our former player-manager, George Rowe. With Jim Thomson and Stevie Mallan also in the Arbroath side and Ian Cardle, our former physio, sitting on their bench, there were plenty of familiar faces around in spite of Tommy Bryce's recent move to Stranraer.
The match began very quietly and it was fully 27 minutes before either side managed an effort on goal worthy of note. An Arbroath foray down the left side ended with a cross which left Stevie Mallan with a free header from about ten yards out. Fortunately for us, he met it powerfully but directed it wide of the post. However, we failed to heed the warning and four minutes later the "Red Lichties" took the lead. It came from the first corner of the game. The cross ball was only half cleared and fell to Jim Thomson on the edge of the penalty box. He took a swing at the ball but his shot was heading well wide until Stevie Mallan appeared to divert it past Mathieson and into the net.
Almost immediately Queens responded with their first decent effort. A Sandy Hodge throw on the left hand side found it's way to Caldwell on the edge of the box. His short pass found Peter Weatherson and the young striker spun quickly and produced a powerful shot which Hinchcliffe in the Arbroath goal could only watch as it narrowly missed the right hand post.
That was pretty much it for first half action. The referee booked both Cane Young and Arbroath's John McGlashan during it and, after Young committed another foul, he was replaced by Jon Sunderland in the 37th minute.
The second half was little better, certainly for us. On 53 minutes, a Sandy Hodge cross was headed narrowly past his own goal by Jim Thomson and, from the resultant corner, Andy Aitken put in a good cross which Peter Weatherson headed powerfully but narrowly over the top. This was our only other chance of any note in the whole match.
On 64 minutes, David Mathieson pulled off a tremendous stop to deny Colin McGlashan and Connolly made his second change, bringing on Tony Nelson in place of Ross Atkinson. The second and killer goal was only delayed for another nine minutes though. A cross from the right touchline was met by Stevie Mallan. He headed it back across the face of the goal for the in-rushing Colin McGlashan to bury his shot in the corner of the net, giving Mathieson no chance. Two minutes later, Mallan should really have made it three, given a free header in front of goal, but he put the chance over the top.
There was no significant further action in the match. With eight minutes remaining, Danny Paterson made his first appearance for the first team when he replaced Mark Weir. Second half bookings were given to Brian Caldwell, for continuing to shoot having been given offside, George Rowe for his second bad challenge of the day and Stewart Greacen for a challenge on Mallan.