||For previous news articles see the monthly archive at the foot of this page.
|BOSS CALLS FOR 'BIG IMPROVEMENT'||29th April 2004|
John Connolly's looking for a big improvement on last week for Saturday's fixture against St Johnstone. Said the manager "The Brechin game was probably our worst performance of the season and totally unacceptable. The players were told that in no uncertain terms and our fans had every right to be critical after that display. But what a lot of our supporters won't realise is that three or four players involved last Saturday won't be with us next season. In an ideal world we just wouldn't play them but, unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of a big squad so we had little alternative. However they are still registered Queen of the South players until the end of the season and owing to injuries and illness we've been struggling to get a squad of 16 players those past few weeks.
"The only positives to come from the Ayr and Brechin games was the fact we didn't lose either of them but it's going to be a much harder task against St Johnstone. They're the only team in our division that we haven't beaten this season so I'm hoping that's an incentive in itself. We've drawn with them twice but we should have won both these matches--particularly the one at Perth when they snatched a disputed goal deep into injury time.
"Eric Paton suffered a knock last week but we're expecting him to be fit while Steve Payne had a virus earlier in the week but we're hoping he'll be O.K. too. Davy Bagan returns after two weeks out with an ankle injury; Joe McAlpine is back in the pool as well and Alex Burke and Andy Aitken are also listed. Sean O'Connor, however, is doubtful".
|Back on Top||28th April 2004|
Queens regained top spot in the South of Scotland league with a resounding 6-0 victory over Crichton on Monday night. Leading marksman was Sean Ferrie who netted four of the goals. On Wednesday night the reserves travelled to Creetown for the quarter finals of the Southern Counties Cup and the youngsters pulled off a tremendous 2-0 victory over the home side. Scott Robertson opened the scoring in sixteen minutes and twenty minutes into the second half Stuart Hill netted the all important second goal. Coach Paddy Atkinson said, "It was a brilliant result" and the reserves now meet Dalbeattie Star in the semi-final at Palmerston next Wednesday. Prior to that they have a league match with Abbey Vale on Monday night.
|Man of the Match||27th April 2004|
Winner of this weekends voting for the Queens Man of the Match was Eric Paton closely followed by goal scorer Emilio Jaconelli with Steve Bowey in third place.
The rest of the scoring can be found on the Latest Report link and the Player of the Season league table will be updated tomorrow evening.
Thanks for voting.
|Second Pre-Season Game Arranged||27th April 2004|
John Connolly has set up a second pre-season match with Queens scheduled to travel to take on Mark Wright's Chester City on the 24th July 2004. The game against the newly crowned Conference Champions has a 3.00pm kick-off.
|Aitken Moves On||26th April 2004|
Another player leaving Palmerston this season is Andy Aitken who is moving to Gretna. Andy was offered a 'very good' contract which included added incentives but has decided the chance of full-time football at Raydale Park is too good to miss. He has been eight years with Queens and is our longest serving player with 257 appearances to date. He was a loyal servant and a model professional and all at Palmerston wish him well at his new club.
|Man of the Match||26th April 2004|
Due to some PC problems the Man of the Match result will be carried tomorrow evening on the site.
|Queens 2-2 Brechin - Reaction||24th April 2004|
An angry John Connolly blasted his players after Queens threw away a 2-0 lead to draw with bottom dogs Brechin. Raged the manager, "We had a two goal lead but to be fair to Brechin we didn't deserve to be ahead for they were by far the hungrier side, however although we played badly we should still have won the game from there.
It was a poor, poor performance even more so than the one against Ayr four weeks ago. We didn't deserve to be 1-0 up at half-time but I was glad to see Emilio score his first goal. We got off to the perfect start in the second half with Burkey's strike but it was all an uphill battle after that. We then lost two goals in quick succession and at the end we were hanging on desperately for the draw. If we play like that against St.Johnstone next Saturday it will be a four or five nil job.
I'm always first to back the players when it's justified but I can't back them today. The performance was totally unacceptable and the fans have every right to be critical. I think we've been 'safe' for so long this season that complacency has crept in but there's still no excuse for a display like that".
Jim Thomson missed today's match as he was suffering from tonsillitis.
|Reserves off the top||24th April 2004|
Following a 3-0 win over Mid-Annandale at Lockerbie on Monday night Queens reserves could only manage a 1-1 draw at Girvan this afternoon and they now drop to second place in the table, one point behind Stranraer Athletic who had a comfortable 6-2 victory over Abbey Vale.
With nine call-offs due to injuries and suspensions the home side could only field ten men which makes the result look even worse. Girvan took the lead in 73 minutes when Stewart Wilson shot home but Stuart Hill netted a late equaliser for Queens two minutes from time.
The other championship challengers Creetown went down 2-0 to St.Cuthbert Wanderers so it now looks like a two horse race between Queens and Stranraer Athletic for the title.
|GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS||21st April 2004|
There has been good news and bad news for Queens this week. First the good news--23-year-old midfielder Brian McColligan has signed for another season. But the bad news--striker Gary Wood, who had just resumed training following keyhole surgery on his knee, has now had an operation for appendicitis and will be out for the remainder of the season.
Queens v Brechin
This Saturday Queens play hosts to bottom of the table Brechin City, a match in which our fans are expecting a home victory. However John Connolly warns "Of course we're looking for three points and the big incentive for us is that it would take us above our points tally of last season which was 48. Nevertheless Brechin are a 'stuffy' side who normally pack their defence and get bodies behind the ball, but it might be a bit different this time around since they need full points to give them any chance of avoiding the drop so I'm looking for a more open game, especially for the fans' sake.
"We've already met Brechin thrice this season and in all three encounters they've only been a goal in it. We've beaten them 1-0, twice , and they beat us 2-1 in our most recent match up at Glebe Park but we played for 70 minutes that day with only ten men. Gary Wood obviously misses the game following his appendix operation while both Davie Bagan and Sean O'Connor are 'doubtful', so we'll possibly be including a couple of young Reserve players in the squad again. I know it's near the end of the season with little at stake for us now but personal pride, however our support has been great up to now so I hope you will be there to cheer us on in these last four fixtures".
|Thommo on the move?||21st April 2004|
According to various unofficial sources former Queens hero and legend Andy Thomson has joined rival side Falkirk for next season. There is no news on any official sites but it seems as though we will be seeing Thommo on the wrong side at Palmerston next term!
|Man of the Match||19th April 2004|
Man of the Match on Saturday against Inverness was the ever reliable Club Captain Steve Bowey. Second place was snapped up by Emilio Jaconelli whilst goal scorer Alex Burke took third place in the voting.
All of the other scores have been added to the match report whilst the Player of the Season league table has also been updated with the results and can be viewed via the Man of the Match link.
Thanks for voting.
|Cup win for reserves||18th April 2004|
The Reserves won through to the quarter-finals of the South of Scotland Challenge Cup with a 4-1 victory over Crichton at Palmerston on Saturday. Fraser Greenhorn put Queens ahead but the visitors equalised before the interval, however in the second half Queens were well on top and goals from Colin Baird (2) and Ross Beattie ensured a comfortable win. By the end of the game Queens had no fewer than seven 16-year-olds on the park which augurs well for the future. They now travel to meet Creetown in the next round of the cup on Wednesday evening but prior to that they play Mid-Annandale in the league at Lockerbie on Monday night. It's a match Queens need to win to stay top of the table as Stranraer Athletic are only a point behind with a game in hand. On Saturday the Reserves are away to Girvan, also in the league.
|ICT 4-1 Queens - Reaction||17th April 2004|
Caledonian Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Queens in recent years and it proved a 'graveyard' once again today as we slumped to our second 4-1 defeat at Inverness this season. That's fourteen goals conceded up there in the past two seasons so it's certainly not been a favourite venue for Queens supporters.
After the game John Connolly conceded, "These two goals in two minutes just before half-time really killed us off. For the first forty minutes we played reasonably well and there was nothing in it but pure lack of concentration at these goals cost us dearly. This has happened too often this season and I'm not happy at all about it. To be fair their first goal took a wicked deflection but their second was down to really bad defending and we had only ourselves to blame.
"In the second half conditions really deteriorated and in the last half-hour we were playing into a gale force wind which made it very difficult. But you cannot afford to make mistakes against sides like Caley Thistle. They have three or four real quality players in their team and their strike force is particularly strong so you get punished for any errors.
"We had four players missing this afternoon and then big Sean O'Connor pulled out with knee trouble in the pre-match warm-up, this left us flat to the boards and we had to put two of our young reserve players, Sean Ferrie and Steven Sloan on the bench. No doubt the fans will be asking why Alex Burke wasn't in the team. It was for a very good reason. We heard before the game that he had supposedly signed a pre-contract agreement to join Ross County next season and we felt it was not appropriate.
"We now have three of our last four games at Palmerston, we've only lost thrice at home this season and only Clyde and Inverness can better that. We'll be trying to put as many points as possible on the board in these last four games but at the same time planning for next season. I think this will be even more difficult than this one with teams like Partick Thistle, Morton and Airdrie United likely to be in our division".
|Shirt Sponsorship Draw||15th April 2004|
The Shirt Sponsorship Draw letters have been sent out this week and Queens are hoping that it will be another record breaking year for entrants. The value of the prize this season has been put at £80,000 which for an entrance fee of just £350 must surely be a bargain, particularly when you consider that every entrant will receive a free season ticket.
We are looking for as many entrants as possible so if you think that your employer or even you yourself would like to enter then you can print off the introductory letter by clicking on link below or by printing the online form via this linkDraw Form, filling it in and posting it to Palmerston with the appropriate remittance.
Draw Details You will need Acrobat Reader to download this file.
|Dodds Decision||15th April 2004|
Another Queens player, John Dodds, has been told that he will not be retained next season. The 22 year old 'keeper joined the club having been released by Ayr United in the close season and made a total of sixteen first team appearances for Queens.
|Queens off on Highland Fling||14th April 2004|
Queens head north on Friday and, as per usual, will be staying overnight at Aviemore in preparation for Saturday's match against Inverness Caley Thistle. "It will be a tough one for us" conceded John Connolly "But I feel we have a good chance of getting a result if we display the same committment we did against St Mirren. Caley Thistle had a hard cup-tie against Dunfermline on Saturday; then another difficult game on Tuesday night when they beat Brechin 1-0 and still have the cup replay with Dunfermline coming up in midweek. It stands to reason that their players will have thoughts of a possible cup-final on their minds which may help us a bit on Saturday. However, it's not going to be easy for they have lost only one league match at home all season.
"They've beat us on our last three trips north but I felt our overall performance in each game was good. They'll also have in mind that we've beaten them in both matches at Palmerston and I think Falkirk are the only other side in our division to have defeated them twice this season.
"David Bagan is doubtful with an ankle injury while both Paul McMullen and Joe McAlpine missed training this week with a bug, so they'll be a question mark against them. Sean O'Connor will be back in the squad and we'll probably be taking a couple of youngsters from the Reserve team for the experience".
News on other players. Gary Wood has now resumed training while Colin Scott turned out for the Reserves in tonight's game against Stranraer and came through unscathed. Apart from Brian Reid, Eric Paton and 'Bowser' re-signing for next season and Jim Thomson, Steve Payne and Gary Wood still under contract several young players (under 24) are still tied to Queens and can be retained at the club's discretion. These include Willie Gibson, Paul Burns, Emilio Jaconelli, Brian McColligan, Sean O'Connor and Derek Lyle (currently on loan to Stirling Albion).
|Busy time for reserves||14th April 2004|
Queens Reserves are having a very busy time of it at present. On Monday night they beat Dalbeattie Star 1-0 in the Southern Counties League. Scorer was 16-year-old Scott Robertson. And tonight they defeated Stranraer 2-0 at home in another league fixture with Colin Baird and Fraser Greenhorn the marksmen. On Saturday they play hosts to the Crichton in the Southern Counties Challenge Cup, on Monday night they travel to Lockerbie to meet Mid Annandale in the league and should they triumph over the Crichton they will be away to arch rivals Creetown in the second round of the Cup on the Saturday.
|A point to ponder||13th April 2004|
Here's a point to ponder! Not only is John Connolly the most successful Team Manager in Queens' 85-year-old history but he could also be regarded as the longest-serving as well. Come May, J.C. will have been four years at Palmerston and of our 27 past managers and coaches, none can better that.
Both Mike Jackson and Billy McLaren notched up four years total service but that came in two spells at the club. As for the legendary father and son McKinnells, it was all a bit different then. Although Jimmy (senior) was 8 years in the post and Jimmy (junior) an amazing 14 years in charge they were both termed manager/secretaries who looked after the everyday running of Queen of the South. In those days the Directors selected the team and the physio (probably someone like Neilly Gibson at that time) supervised the training sessions. So they weren't team managers as such although they did give a total of 22 years sterling service.
In fact John Connolly is the longest-serving manager in Division One and actually the third longest in Scottish League football. Paul Smith has been at Berwick since 1997, Jimmy Calderwood at Dunfermline since 1999 and then comes J.C. He just beats his friend and mentor, Dick Campbell by three weeks, Dick joining Brechin City on 30th May, 2000 and Celtic supremo, Martin O'Neill is close behind enlisting at Parkhead on 1st June that same year. Others who joined in Millennium Year, 2000 were Rowan Alexander (Gretna) and Craig Levein (Hearts).
Interesting reading, and perhaps we could say that J.C. has carved for himself another notch in the history of our famous club. Decide yourselves!
|Man of the Match||12th April 2004|
Human dynamo Steve Bowey yet again takes the Internet Fan Club Man of the Match award after his match-winning performance on Saturday against the Paisley Saints. Second place went to Willie Gibson for another inspired performance on the wing whilst third was shared between Emilio Jaconelli and Stephen Payne.
All of the individual scores have been added to the match report and the player of the season league table has also been updated and can be found via the Man of the Match link.
Thanks for voting.
|Farewell to Joe||12th April 2004|
Joe McAlpine has been officially informed that he will not be offered a new contract at Palmerston next season. Joe was a first team regular right up until December but has only made five starts since then. He has been a good servant and we wish him well for the future.
|Scotsport Shocker||11th April 2004|
Queens' fans and management were united in disgust at the biased reporting and comments in the QOS v St Mirren highlights on "Scotsport" this afternoon. An irate John Connolly raged "We had three goals chalked off, hit the woodwork twice and had about 80% of the game yet the brief highlights shown made it look as if St Mirren were on an equal to us. Not one of our disallowed goals were shown and I was particularly keen to see them to judge for myself, but they focussed on St Mirren's 'offside' goal in great detail. It was diabolical. I intend phoning the STV studio to register a complaint and I'm sure all our fans will back me on this one".
|Special Feature - Eric Paton||10th April 2004|
For a special interview for the website featuring Eric Paton click on this link:
Eric Paton Intreview
|Queens 1-0 St.Mirren - Reaction||10th April 2004|
"How we only won that one 1-0 I'll never know" that was John Connolly's response as he left the dressing room. "We should have been four up at half-time. We worked very hard for the whole ninety minutes, created loads of chances but our old failing was still there - the art of polishing teams off.
"We had three goals knocked off for offside and how that second one was disallowed I'll never know. We were by far the better team but at only 1-0 up there's always the chance that they could sneak a goal and it very nearly happened from John O'Neill in the closing minute.
"Everyone did well today. Willie Gibson put in another good shift and I was pleased to see him get the Man of the Match award. When David Bagan came off injured we stuck on another teenager, young Stephen Payne and he was tremendous as well. Big Sean was missing this afternoon and with 'Bagey' taking a knock we're 'flat to the boards' again player wise. But three good points and my only disappointment - we didn't win by a bigger margin. Never the less we've closed the gap on Falkirk to one point and we're only a point behind Ross County as well so that fourth spot is still well within our reach."
Young Willie Gibson hurtled out of the dressing room after being kicked all over the park but delighted to have won the game and also the sponsors Man of the Match award. "I won it in the first home game of the season" he recalled "but today anyone of five or six players could well have been named. It's just super to get back into the team again. I felt I played quite well at Clyde last week and I must now try and build on these past two matches and retain my first team place for the remainder of the season". After receiving his award Willie rushed off home to be with his girlfriend who is expecting their baby any time now.
Of the 2,211 crowd today there were 450 St.Mirren fans in the East Stand.
|Looking for a winning streak||8th April 2004|
Queens play hosts to St Mirren this Saturday and John Connolly says he's keen to get the side back on a winning streak again. "We've only had two league victories since New Year" he admitted "And that's just not good enough. However, St Mirren are in the same boat and I think they've won only once over the same period. Unfortunately it was against us. But we 'owe them one' as we've lost twice to them this season and a win would make it 'honours even'.
"Our home record is really quite good with only 3 defeats in 14 games but one of those was against the Paisley team. On their last visit to Palmerston they beat us 2-1 but new manager, Gus McPherson, had just taken over and they were really 'fired up'. That night they were the better side and deserved to win but I feel we could have taken something from our two other defeats. Against Raith we should have had the match all sewn up in the first half hour and in the recent 2-1 defeat by Clyde I thought we done enough in the latter stages to merit a draw.
"For this Saturday's game Sean O'Connor is doubtful with tendonitis so it will all be down to a pre-match fitness test to decide whether he plays or not. We're expecting Gary Wood to start full training next week following his knee operation while Colin Scott is more-or -less fit but we'll have to give him a run-out in the Reserves to get some match practice in.
"It's probably common knowledge by now about Brian Reid, Steve Bowey and Eric Paton signing one-year extensions to their contracts. They are three key players and it's a massive boost for the club after all the 'rubbish' about 'Bowser' talking to Carlisle United.
With Jim Thomson, Steve Payne and Gary Wood still under contract for next season and youngsters like Paul Burns, Willie Gibson and Brian McColligan young enough to be tied to the club, it provides us with a good nucleus to build on and I'll be talking to others over the next few weeks".
|Great News||8th April 2004|
Great news this morning for all Queens fans as three key players last night signed one-year extensions to their contracts. The trio coincidently sit in the top three places in the Internet Fan Club Player of the Season League Table which just emphasises how important they are to the side.
Skipper Steve Bowey, central defender Brian Reid and the influential Eric Paton all put pen to paper to ensure that they would be playing their football at Palmerston next term.
|News Desk||7th April 2004|
Look out for some new badges in the Club Shop this weekend - they are based upon the cuff link and tie pin design presently on sale which look very smart too - see the Club Shop link.
We also hear that John Connolly may be making an appearance at the Queen of the South Sanquhar Supporters Club meeting next week in the Crown Inn.
|Ross County Tickets - Online Now||6th April 2004|
If you are planning to travel up to Dingwall on the 8th May you can now purchase your tickets online from the Ross County website. The link to click on is www.rosscountydirect.co.uk.
|Honest Men - Right Enough||6th April 2004|
The Ayr nickname of the 'Honest Men' was proven conclusively last week. Ayr fan Robert Ritchie from Haverhill in Suffolk had travelled up for the game at Palmerston and when purchasing his programme asked if the lad selling them had change of £10. Our lad did and handed over the change, however both of them forgot to exchange the note.
On Roberts return to Suffolk he noticed that he still had the £10 and immediately sent it up with a note explaining the situation to Queens. We're very grateful to Robert for his honesty and we're sure that the programme seller is equally as grateful.
|Man of the Match||5th April 2004|
In the tightest voting of the season Willie Gibson was just pipped to the award of Internet Fan Club Man of the Match by 0.01 points, the winner Steve Bowey taking his seventh award of the season. Third place went to livewire striker Emilio Jaconelli.
All of the votes have been added to the match report and the Player of the Season League Table has also been updated and can be found via the Man of the Match link.
Thanks for voting.
|Super Support||3rd April 2004|
According to the Clyde officials there were approximately 320 Queens fans at Broadwood today.
|Match Reaction||3rd April 2004|
Said John Connolly after the game, "Although we lost I felt we played reasonably well today. Last Saturday against Ayr we were terrible but we still picked up a point and today over the ninety minutes we played much better and came away with nothing. However, that's football.
"At half time there was little to choose between the teams although I thought we just edged it, during the interval we spoke about concentration for we knew we were going out there to face the wind. So what did we do, we go and concede a bad goal in the first minute.
"However conditions out there were very difficult especially when the rain came on but compared with last week our effort this afternoon was day and night and I can't fault the players for commitment. Clyde are top of the league and we always knew it would be a tough match but that first goal was 'a killer' but I must say that Jack Ross' strike was superb.
"We've six games left now four of them at home, so with Ross County drawing and Falkirk losing we can still finish fourth".
|OFF TO FACE THE LEAGUE LEADERS||1st April 2004|
Queens head north to Broadwood at the weekend to take on front runners, Clyde. Last Saturday we played bottom dogs, Ayr United at home and now, in stark contrast, we face the league leaders, away. Says John Connolly "Clyde are currently favourites for the title and in pole position--four points ahead at the top with only seven games left. It's where all clubs would like to be at this time of the season.
"We've already met them three times to date and shared 12 goals, so they've been high -scoring games. But we usually play quite well up at Broadwood and we'll be going all out for a win, although a draw wouldn't be a bad result. They're a big physical side who tend to overpower the opposition and that is always hard to handle but I'm looking for a vast improvement on last week and we'll be giving it our best shot.
"Clyde signed two new players on Wednesday and I'm sure one of them, Austin McCann, will feature against us. They are in a peculiar position at present, not knowing whether they'll go up or not if they do win the title. The goalposts appear to be moving week by week and I'm certain there's still a lot to run in that scenario yet. However that's not our problem.
"Our division now appears to have split into four sections but this often happens come this time of the season. We've got the top three pushing for the championship, the bottom two fighting relegation with St Mirren and Raith Rovers locked together, almost safe but not quite. We're up there three points behind Falkirk and level with Ross County but I'm confident we can finish fourth as we've still got Falkirk at Palmerston and we've a good record against them this season.
"We're all set for our third season in Division One and no 'part time' side has managed to survive two seasons before. All the managers in our league agree that it's so competitive that the first priority is 'to ensure staying in this division'. We've had the luxury of knowing for several weeks that we were 'safe' and this has enabled us to start planning for the future. We already know most of the players who are to be offered a new contract--whether they accept it or not is up to them. Once we've sorted out all the internal signings we can then decide what new recruits we'll be bringing in. I've got several already circled but we can't make any positive moves until we establish who's staying and who's going.
"While on the subject of planning I can inform our fans that the first pre-season friendly has been arranged. We play Barrow (away) on Saturday, 10th July, kick-off 3 p.m. We are still talking to clubs concerning other friendly matches and we'll let you all know whenever they're agreed".
Team news: Following his one-match suspension, Brian Reid returns to the Queens' squad for the Clyde fixture. Still out is striker, Gary Wood, who is recovering from 'keyhole surgery' on his injured knee. However, Gary is set to resume training shortly.
|Craig Starts||30th March 2004|
Good to see that Craig Samson started in goals tonight for the Scotland Under 21's as they faced Romania at Firhill.
|No Go For JT||29th March 2004|
Queens have rejected a request from Des McKeown, Stenhousemuir co-manager, to take Jim Thomson 'on loan' to Ochilview until the end of the season. The player is still on the transfer list but will have to join another club before the 31st March (Wednesday) if he is to play for them this season. Queens are looking for around £20,000 for the big central defender.
|Man of the Match||29th March 2004|
The defence were naturally the stars on Saturday as Andy Aitken won the voting with an assured display alongside Jim Thomson in second place, Eric Paton in third and Derek Allan in fourth.
All of the scores have been added to the match report and the player of the season league table has also been updated and can be found via the Man of the Match link.
Thanks for voting.
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