For previous news articles see the monthly archive at the foot of this page.
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.

Bill Goldie
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.
50-50 Draw 29th March 2004
The winning number on Saturday was 11640, the prize 175.
'Keeper Capped 28th March 2004
Scotland Under 21 coach Rainer Bonhof has named on-loan 'keeper Craig Samson in his squad for the Safeway Under 21 international against Romania at Firhill this Tuesday evening. He has been named along with Graeme Smith of Rangers, presently on-loan at Ross County, as one of the two 'keepers in the squad so whatever happens a first division 'keeper will be between the sticks for the Under 21's.
Queens 0-0 Ayr - Reaction 27th March 2004
It was the poorest game of the season this afternoon as Queens and 'bottom dogs' Ayr United battled out a 0-0 draw in a dour encounter. It was also the first goal-less draw at Palmerston this season and a share of the points was really no good to either side.

After the final whistle and angry John Connolly raged, "That was terrible, very, very poor indeed. You wouldn't think that talks on new contracts were coming up in a few weeks on that performance.

"At the start of the season we set ourself a standard and today our play was well below that. It's just not good enough for we all know we can perform a lot better than that.

"We've still a lot of loyal fans out there and today we let them down. The players have been told that in no uncertain terms. There was no passion at all in our play and that's what disappointed me most.

"Perhaps there was a bit of tiredness in the team following a fruitless trip to Kirkcaldy last Saturday followed by a return visit on Tuesday night. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one but it still doesn't excuse our display out there this afternoon".

Ayr manager Campbell Money claimed, "We should have taken three points without a shadow of a doubt but I couldn't fault the fight and commitment of my players. We had good possession but unfortunately our final ball was poor. We had more chances than Queens but squandered them and a point was not enough for us if we hope to avoid relegation. Palmerston Park is never an easy place to come and win but we should have today".

Bill Goldie
Shop News 26th March 2004
There are more good reasons than normal to visit the Club Shop at Palmerston tomorrow.

A special offer on selected T Shirts and Polo Tops will see prices dropped to just 8 for T Shirts and 12 for Polo tops, first come first served. Also there are a few of this seasons home and away tops available at a 25% discount, again though it is first come first served.

There are also some new items this weekend with a Cuff Link and Tie Pin set on offer at 15 or individually priced at 5.50 for the Tie Pin and 10.50 for the Cuff Links.
Man of the Match 25th March 2004
Bowser wins the Man of the Match award by a long way for his impressive performance against Raith on Tuesday night. Second place went to Alex Burke and third to Stephen Payne.

All of the scores can be viewed on the 'Latest Report' link and the Player of the Season league table has also been updated and can be found on the Man of the Match link.

Thanks for voting.
In the aftermath of the 3-1 defeat at Starks Park on Tuesday night John Connolly fired a warning to his fellow Division One managers, 'Beware the Kirkcaldy Foreign Legion'. "We beat them 1-0 up there back in November but during the recent 'windows' they've signed half a team and are a much better side now. They have loads of talent with players who have played with Real Madrid and their striker, Ramon Pereira is a real class act.

"I don't think they'll have any fear of relegation now, which is bad news for Ayr United and Brechin City. They've still to play every team in our division and I'm sure they'll collect their fair share of points, even against the top sides".

This Saturday Queens play host to Ayr United in the 'local derby' fixture and the manager concedes it will be another tough one. "We beat them 1-0 at Palmerston earlier in the season but they played really well that day and we were a bit fortunate to collect all three points. Ayr are currently bottom of the table but knowing Campbell Money, he'll have them fighting to the bitter end".

Queens will be without Brian Reid who is suspended following his 'red card' at Kirkcaldy. Also missing is striker Gary Wood who is still nursing a knee injury. Hopefully, Eric Paton will have recovered from the flu bug and Derek Allan from a 'knock' he picked up at Starks Park. If so, both will feature.
THE "RECORD" SAYS SORRY 24th March 2004
The "Daily Record" has said sorry to Queens fans for the omission of the Raith Rovers v Q.O.S. preview in Tuesday's paper. Said a spokesman for the newspaper "We humbly apologise to all Queen' supporters. The reporter delegated for the story was a bit late with his 'copy' and as a result it was missing in the early editions which go out to the north and south of Scotland. It was in the later editions but we realise that's little consolation to the Queens fans. So, again, sorry for the blip".

Bill Goldie
Raith 3-1 Queens - Reaction 23rd March 2004
The curse of the midweek match following a postponement struck again tonight as Queens slumped 3-1 to Raith Rovers at Starks Park. First it was St.Mirren, then Clyde and now the Kirkcaldy side.

After the match John Connolly conceded "We lacked movement at the start and were caught cold. Losing two goals in the first six minutes left us with an uphill task and chasing the game. Although we pulled one back fairly quickly we couldn't get back on level terms.

"But they're a much better side than they were earlier in the season, they have signed five or six new players during the recent 'windows' and it's fair to say they have some really good quality players in their squad now. At 2-1 down we did have two or three decent chances to equalise but some decisions went against us. On one occasion 'Burkey' was clean through and was pulled back but unfortunately the referee didn't deem it a foul.

"Once big 'Reidy' was sent off we had little chance, his first yellow card was justified but the second, which led to his sending off, was very soft. That means Brian will miss Saturdays game against Ayr but he'll be eligible for the Clyde match. Eric Paton picked up the dreaded flu bug on Monday night and couldn't play so we drafted big Jim in at right back and to his credit he played well.

"So for Saturday Brian Reid is suspended, Derek Allan suffered a knock and could be doubtful but we're hoping Eric Paton will have recovered and be fit to play".

Bill Goldie
Soup-er Deal 22nd March 2004
Raith Rovers have been on the phone today and are keen to provide the travelling supporters with some measure of compensation for their wasted journey for the postponed match on Saturday. In a soup-er gesture the Kirkcaldy side are offering every Queens fan who turns up a bowl of home-made soup to warm them up before the match between the two sides.

So make sure that you get yours by turning up in plenty of time and entering via the Main Stand entrance, go up to the Hospitality Suite and you will be welcomed by the hosts. When you are ready to take your place in the stand a transfer ticket will be provided and you will be free to move from the Main to the North Stand where the Queens support will congregate.

Well done and thanks to Raith for their hospitality.
BACK UP TO KIRKCALDY 21st March 2004
Queens set off up the road again on Tuesday for the match with Raith Rovers which was postponed on Saturday owing to a waterlogged pitch. Admitted John Connolly "As I've said before, being the manager of a 'part-time' side I'm not keen on mid-week fixtures for various reasons however, we're going into the game knowing now that a victory would take us above both Falkirk and Ross County into fourth place. It would also take us to within two points of St Johnstone.

"We'll have the same squad as Saturday with Gary Wood and Brian McColligan still unavailable".

Asked about the Jim Thomson transfer request scenario the manager confessed "Yes, Jim has handed in a transfer request and we've circulated clubs to let them know of his availability. He's been a good servant but obviously feels it's time to move on. But players come and players go that's the nature of football, however if we don't get a suitable offer he'll remain at Palmerston since he still has a year of his contract outstanding".

To date Jim Thomson has made 170 first team appearances for the club but has had a difficult two months owing to illness and suspension. As the manager says he's been a 'good servant' and it would be sad to see him go. It would be nice if J.T. could be patient until the occasion arose when he could win his place back in the side just as Andy Aitken and Derek Allan had to do earlier this season.

Bill Goldie
Todays Games - Reaction 20th March 2004
Commenting on todays results John Connolly said, "I never complain at draws and three of the four games this afternoon ended in draws, it means no team has really gone much further away from us, except Clyde of course who beat St.Johnstone. However it will only help as long as we keep on winning ourselves.

With the match at Kirkcaldy postponed we headed up to watch the game at Perth and I can only say that Clyde dominated and deserved their 3-1 victory. Our drawback now is that we have to travel back up to Starks Park on Tuesday night. It means players getting time off work, an extra journey in midweek and it also upsets our normal training routine. But that's what you've got to put up with when you're a part-time side.

However one positive is that a victory over Raith Rovers on Tuesday would take us back into fourth spot".

Kick off on Tuesday night will be 7.45pm

Bill Goldie
Game Rescheduled 20th March 2004
With the match at Starks Park being called off today Queens will now face the Kirkcaldy side on Tuesday evening 23rd March.

Rather than about-turn when the news of the postponement came through Queens squad took in the match at Perth where league leaders Clyde defeated the home side in a comprehensive three goals to one victory.
Doubtful Starter 18th March 2004
Brian McColligan looks doubtful for the game against Raith Rovers on Saturday, the midfielder has just come back into the reckoning following his recent suspension but has picked up a virus this week and may struggle to recover in time.
Another of the same 17th March 2004
John Connolly is looking for a repeat performance of the Falkirk match for the visit to Kirkcaldy on Saturday. "We played really well at Ochilview--we had no failures and thoroughly deserved the three points" claimed the manager. "But it's important we keep on winning for draws are no good if we hope to close the gap on the league leaders.

"Raith have a lot of foreigners in their team and play a bit different from the other sides in our league. But they also have a lot of talent and strengthened their squad considerably with new signings during the recent 'windows'. I was asked by a reporter earlier in the week if I felt Raith had been a 'thorn in our side' this season? O.K., they've beaten us and drawn with us at Palmerston but we beat them up at Starks Park on our last visit so, as far as I'm concerned, it's 'honours even'.

"During my playing career I had a good record at Kirkcaldy and I'm not a great believer in statistics. Last week I was informed that 'we hadn't beaten Falkirk away from home for many years' and we went up there and won. I have always believed that you get out of football what you put into it--that's the reality of the game.

"Raith are still down there in the 'relegation mix' and they'll be scrapping for every single point so like every match in our league, it won't be easy. Apart from Gary Wood we hope to have a full squad available. Gary might require keyhole surgery for his knee injury and could be sidelined for a few weeks.

"The top of the table has tightened up again following the midweek results. Clyde have started to drop points, I think they've only collected four in their last four matches but they're still up there at the top. Unfortunately, their one win was against us but, having said that, in our last four fixtures we've played four of the top five sides and picked up seven points.

"All of the leading teams have still to play each other and they'll be a lot of twists and turns before the end of the season. But watch out for St Johnstone, they have by far the strongest squad and I don't think they'll be too far away which is bad news for Partick Thistle. I spoke to the players after the Falkirk game and told them that we were quite capable of finishing third--and that's our realistic target now. We were fifth last season so fourth would be an achievement in itself and third or better, a major success. However, the better we do the harder it gets as it just raises the fan's expectations. Our aim is to stabilise the club, keep it solvent and finish as high up the table as possible".

Bill Goldie
Man of the Match 15th March 2004
Two goal hero Alex Burke wins the Internet Fan Club Man of the Match award from Saturdays win over Falkirk at Ochilview. Second place went to another former Bairn in the shape of Brian Reid whilst Steve Bowey took third place.

The match report has been updated with the average scores and the Player of the Season league table has also been updated, you can find it via the Man of the Match link.

Thanks for voting.
Well Done Jamie 14th March 2004
Congratulations tonight to former Queens player Jamie McAllister who netted the second goal in his side, Livingston's 2-0 League Cup victory over Hibs at Hampden this afternoon. It was a rare strike for the defender but was taken with great composure as he was sent clear of the Hibs defence and placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net past the 'keeper.
Falkirk 0-2 Queens - Reaction 13th March 2004
"A great win and a tremendous performance by every member of the team" that's how John Connolly described the match. "We were all disappointed at the results against Ross County and Clyde and I told the lads to go out there today and show everyone what they could really do. And we proved this afternoon that we can still compete with the top sides.

"Burkey's finishing was brilliant, especially his first goal and big Sean made a difference up front. He takes the weight off Burkey which is a big bonus for us. Brian Reid marshalled the defence well and 'Sammy' our 'keeper is showing tremendous potential, we now have a third place spot well in our sights and my only disappointment today was that we didn't move up the table. However we're now level with both Ross County and Falkirk and still well in the hunt.

"That's three times we've played Falkirk this season and we've had three 'clean sheets' which says a lot for our defence".

Skipper Steve Bowey was full of praise for his team mates and said "We've had no failures out there today, everyone deserved pass marks, they put us under a lot of pressure late in the game but the back four were brilliant. With fifteen minutes to go our 'keeper pulled off a magnificent save which proved crucial. At 1-0 we were in control and at 2-0 the match was ours for the taking as long as we kept focused - and we did."

Bill Goldie
Good News 13th March 2004
Good news for Queens fans today. Big Sean came through the game unscathed and no problems with big Brian Reid who departed the field early for a minute or so - it wasn't a head injury, his contact lens had slipped.
Tan Man Triple 13th March 2004
Congratulations to Queens striker Derek Lyle who notched a hat-trick in his loan team Stirling Albion's 6-0 victory over East Stirling this afternoon. A game in which former Queens favourite George Rowe also got his name on the score sheet.
International Night 12th March 2004
In the Schoolboy International held tonight at Palmerston Park the host nation went down to the odd goal in five to Northern Ireland. The Irish lads opened the scoring but by half-time the home side had scored twice, cheered on by a good three hundred of a crowd.

The second half saw the Irish lads notch two more without reply to win the game 3-2. Local interest was in Liam Patterson from Dumfries Academy and on the bench reserve 'keeper Andrew Leishman who has featured in a few reserve matches for Queens this term.

Man of the Match 12th March 2004
Top performances on Wednesday evening from Steve Bowey - first place, Eric Paton - second and Paul Burns in third was what the voting said in the Internet Fan Club Man of the Match poll.

All of the other scores can be found on the Report page and the latest updated Player of the Season league table can be found via the Man of the Match link.

Thanks for voting.
Laura Dickson 12th March 2004
Would Laura Dickson please send an email to as we do have lots of the information that you are after and would like to mail it to you but as you didn't leave an email address we can't get back in touch.
Penalty Video 11th March 2004
Thanks to David Gow here is the goal from last night's match.

David Gow's Fan's Eye View of the penalty
Another Huge One 11th March 2004
It's off to play Falkirk on Saturday and John Connolly labels the match as "Another huge one". Says John "I went up to watch them against St Johnstone on Tuesday night and just like Clyde, they're a big, physical side. Earlier in the season their form at Ochilview wasn't too hot but now they seem to have acclimatised to their temporary home and prior to Tuesday's defeat had won three home matches in a row. Nevertheless, we've already played them twice this season without conceding a goal, 0-0 up there and 2-0 for us at Palmerston, so if we can keep another clean sheet and snatch a goal, I'd be quite happy at that.

"Sadly, we have striker problems for Saturday. Gary Wood is out with cartilage trouble and Sean O'Connor is still 'very doubtful', but Brian McColligan will be back in the squad following his three game suspension.

"I feel we're not getting the 'rub of the green' at present. Earlier in the season we were getting our fair share of breaks but it's just not happening for us now. But that's football for you I suppose. We're now almost three-quarters of the way through the season and have 39 points--if someone had offered me that back in August I would have 'bitten their hand off', however we still have a lot to fight for. We finished on the 48 point mark last season so we aim to get well past that, and with a bit of luck I'm confident we can. I think we are still capable of taking third spot if we finish as strongly in the last quarter as we did last year.

"Since the formation of the four league set-up no 'part-time' club has managed to survive for more than one season in the First Division so I think I can safely say now that Queen of the South will be playing in the same league next season.

"Again, I hope they'll be a good following up at Ochilview. Our supporters has been tremendous all season and I sincerely trust they'll stick with us to the end for there's still some massive games to come".

Bill Goldie
Queens 1-2 Clyde - Reaction 10th March 2004
"Two 'bog-standard' mistakes cost us the game" said a disappointed John Connolly, "Two defensive errors left us with a mountain to climb and although we fought hard we couldn't quite pull back the deficit. Again I couldn't fault the performance.

"We started off with four big defenders at the back to counteract Clyde's height advantage but it didn't quite work out and when we changed to 3-4-3 it was a big improvement. I felt we were the better team in the second half and deserved a draw but you can't afford to give sides like Clyde a two goal start.

"We created lots of chances again, hit the woodwork twice and even their second goal came from a slight deflection.

"We're a part-time side and that was our second match in the space of four days. We were against the league leaders and they were mighty glad to hear the full time whistle. So it says a lot for the fitness of our lads.

"With Gary Wood now nursing a knee injury and Sean still unfit we are 'strapped' for strikers but getting a good striker is like 'looking for the Holy Grail' - very, very difficult. However we still have a lot to play for and will be trying to put as many points on the board as possible and finish as high in the table as we can. And one thing's for sure, we may not win the league but we'll definitely play a major part in deciding whichever team does".

Bill Goldie
Major Fixture 8th March 2004
John Connolly is looking at Wednesday night's match with Clyde as a 'major fixture'. "Not only for us" said the manager "But for the other four promotion contenders as well. Clyde are out there in front and they've got to be beaten to give us all a chance and I'm sure John Robertson, John Hughes, Alex Smith and Billy Stark will all be hoping for a Queen of the South victory.

"Even before the Ross County game we knew this was one we had to win to keep in touch. We've beaten them twice and drawn once in our last three meetings at Palmerston so we'll be going into the match in a positive mode. Jim Thomson's available again but it will be a last minute decision on big Sean. However, changes will be made--Clyde are the biggest side in the league so we'll have to try and counteract that".

Looking back at Saturday's game John said "It was yet another match where we should have collected maximum points. We scored early but conceded another late goal. We're just not getting that vital second counter to 'kill' teams off although we're making loads of chances. It happened up at Ayr, also against Raith Rovers and again on Saturday. That's six more points we could have had.

"It was great to see 'Bowser' on the scoresheet again. We've been working on his composure in front of goal and it seems to be paying dividends for that's three goals in three games--not bad for a midfielder".

Regarding the injury to Killie keeper, Colin Meldrum, on Sunday and the prospect of Craig Samson being recalled by the Rugby Park side John replied "We've got him on loan until the end of the season so I can't see that happening".

Bill Goldie
Man of the Match 8th March 2004
It was a tight affair at the top of the voting this week with Paul Burns just taking the award with Steve Bowey very close behind and Brian Reid not too far away either.

The full results are listed on the Reports page whilst the Player of the Season league table has also been updated and can be found via the Man of the Match link.
Half Time Draw Winner 6th March 2004
This weeks winner received 140 from the half-time 50-50 draw, the winning number was 9780.
Congratulations Andy 6th March 2004
Defensive stalwart Andy Aitken was presented with a commemorative trophy today by new board member Billy Hewitson to mark the Annan lad's 250th appearance for Queens. A remarkable feat when you consider that Andy only turned 26 in February and has survived massive changes in the squad since signing for Queens in July 1996 from Annan Athletic.

Well done Andy.
Queens 1-1 Ross County - Reaction 6th March 2004
John Connolly described it as "A bad result for both sides. And I'm sure Alex Smith will reiterate what I've said" added the manager. "Personally I was very disappointed to drop two points with a late goal, only eight minutes from the end. We just switched off a bit and they caught us on the hop. It was frustrating for an inch to the right and the ball would have come off the post and back into play. But the boys played well and I can't fault them for effort - overall it was quite a good performance.

"In the second half the wind got up and they had more pressure but I felt we had enough chances to win the match although we did lack a bit of height this afternoon. We must win our home games now - draws are no good if we hope to make ground on the leaders but we're still playing for our own personal pride, firstly to finish higher than last season and after that to finish as high up the table as possible.

"On Wednesday night we meet league leaders Clyde. They lost at home to St.Johnstone today so we actually gained a point on them but if we can beat them our targets could well change again".

The Ross County manager agreed totally with his Queens counterpart. Said Alex Smith "We needed a win this afternoon, draws are no good now earlier in the season we came to Palmerston, lost an early goal and were 'chasing the game' from then on. Today we again lost an early goal but at least we managed a draw this time. Our performance was below standard and if we ever hope to get out of this league we'll have to play a lot better than that".

Young Paul Burns was delighted to win his first Man of the Match award but disappointed at not winning the game.

Said Paul, "I know they had us pinned back for a long time in the second half but I still think we had far more clear cut chances to score. The 'keeper made a good save from me just before half time - if that had gone in I'm sure we would have won".

Bill Goldie
Keeping Match Fit 5th March 2004
Jim Thomson, Brian McColligan and Stephen Payne took part in a bounce match this evening against Threave Rovers at the Keswick Centre. The otherwise reserve Queens side won the match by two goals to nil, the first goal a penalty the second headed in from a Stephen Payne cross.
Keeper Departs 5th March 2004
Queens today released reserve 'keeper Stuart Robertson. Said manager John Connolly, "Stuart's a great lad and has done an excellent job for us, we're sorry to have to let him go but with Colin Scott now back in training we have three 'keepers plus a young lad playing in the reserves".

Bill Goldie
OOPS! 4th March 2004
Apologies to big Sean following our report yesterday stating that Sean had won the Young Player of the Month award. The big man has actually won the Player of the Month award, so even more credit to Sean for his performances in the month of February.
John Connolly admitted today that the next two games are vital and could have a major bearing on where we finish in the league. "They're both at home" he said "And against teams above us in the table. So wins in them would do us a power of good especially with two away matches to follow.

"It's like leap-frog in our league at the moment. Falkirk beat Caley Thistle on Tuesday night and moved up into third spot. Less than two weeks ago Caley Thistle were sitting top but lost to ourselves and now Falkirk. They have a big cup-tie coming up on Saturday so maybe their thoughts are on that.

"The top two are still a few points ahead of the pack but only two points separates the four of us, so it's very important we win games--draws are not good enough now if we are to catch them. However we have all to play each other in the coming weeks so points are bound to be dropped, therefore we must stay focussed and concentrate on our own game.

"Most of the top sides have had their 'blips' since the New Year, except for Clyde perhaps. They can possibly afford to lose a couple and still be in the hunt. But we have a perfect opportunity to close the gap when we meet them at Palmerston next Wednesday. We beat them 4-1 on their last visit here and no doubt that will still be in the back of their minds.

"For this Saturday's match against Ross County Gary Wood will be back in the squad but Jim Thomson and Brian McColligan are still suspended. We're a bit worried about Sean O'Connor however. He didn't train on Tuesday night as his leg was still troubling him so we'll have to try and get to the bottom of this problem. At this moment in time Sean must be rated as 'doubtful' for Saturday, if he doesn't make it, it will be a big blow for us.

"Both Ross County and ourselves are locked together on the same points mark so we're hoping for an exciting match and I'm certain Alex Smith will be as keen to pick up the three points as we are".

Bill Goldie
Sean Scoops Award 3rd March 2004
Goal machine Sean O'Connor has had his goal scoring exploits recognised as he will today pick-up the Bell's League Young Player of the Month award for February.

Congratulations to Sean.
Fixture Confirmed 29th February 2004
Despite reports in today's papers the fixture between Queens and Clyde scheduled for Wednesday 10th March has been confirmed by the club.

Over the years, Queens' fans have had many heroes--Billy Houliston, Roy Henderson, Allan Ball, Jimmy Robertson, Tommy Bryce and Andy Thomson to name but a few. However their present day favourite is undoubtedly Steve Bowey--better known of course as 'Bowser'.

Right from the day he first arrived at Palmerston he endeared himself to the fans with his robust style of play and his never-say-die attitude and he in turn openly admits to having a tremendous rapport with the Queens supporters. Says Steve "When I hear them chant 'Bowser's gonna get you' it really winds me up and makes me feel as if I could run through a brick wall. I imagine it's the same kind of feeling the Scottish players get when they hear 'Flower of Scotland' on the bagpipes before a game. I had a great time with them at the 'Player of the Year' night back in May, I won four awards and thoroughly enjoyed myself. They really are something special".
Born in Durham, Steve started football at an early age turning out for Chester-le-Street Comprehensive and then County Durham. When he was 16 he joined the Army and spent the next four years touring the world but, of course, playing football as well. "I've played in some really amazing places" he admits "West Germany, Cyprus, the South of France and in Holland for an Army XI against the Dutch Under-21 side. Their team was made up of players from clubs such as Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord and included several who went on to become big stars. We also played the Belgian Under-21s. My role was marking Philip Albert who was signed by Newcastle a few weeks later. I'll never forget turning out for the Combined Services XI in Thailand. Our opponents were an International XI, the match was played in Bangkok in front of a 50,000 crowd. It was some atmosphere". After leaving the Army Steve had a brief spell with Forest Green in the Vauxhall Conference League before being signed by Bristol Rovers. He was four years with the English Second Division side then moved back to his native North East to play for Gateshead. "It was the Conference League again and we had some really long journeys to places like Dover and Yeovil. But after being in the Army the travelling didn't bother me too much and I was well prepared for trips to Ross County, Inverness, Peterhead and Aberdeen when I joined Queens.

"Coming to Palmerston was the best move of my career. Gateshead had big financial problems at the time and I got a free transfer, but I've never ever regretted moving north of the border. Queens are a great club and the comradeship and atmosphere in the dressing room is second to none. Apart from the local lads we've players from the Glasgow area, Edinburgh, Ayrshire, the North East of England and Sean O'Connor travels all the way up from Stafford. But we all get on really well together and I think that's the secret of our success.

"We've won the Second Division Championship and the Challenge Cup and were actually top of Division One for five weeks back in November. Games I'll never forget was clinching the League Championship up at Forfar, the celebrations the following Saturday when we met Morton at Palmerston, the Challenge Cup final at Broadwood and the semi-final against St Mirren when we won 5-3. Great days--all of them!" And your most memorable goal we asked? "It's got to be the one in that cup-tie at St Mirren. It was a good strike and came at a crucial time".

Away from football, Steve likes to spend quality time with his three kids, Aaron, Fay and Tamzin and his new wife, Nicola. He and Nicola were married during the summer and spent their honeymoon cruising in the Mediterranean. "It was idyllic" recalls Steve "But it was just before the football season was due to kick-off again and I spent a lot of time running around the ship to keep myself fit. I can imagine what the early-rising passengers must have thought seeing this wee Geordie with a goatee beard and a tammy haring up and down the decks at seven o'clock in the morning".

Bowser admits to being a big Newcastle United fan and has long been an admirer of the legendary England striker, Alan Shearer. "I once met him in the Sea Nightclub in Newcastle and we chatted about football for a while. I really enjoyed it!"

And his ambitions for the future? "I'd love to play in the Premiership or the Scottish Premier League" he confessed "But perhaps at 29 I'm getting a bit old. However, if Queen of the South could win promotion some day, my dream might still come true".

Bill Goldie
Game Off 27th February 2004
The match scheduled for tomorrow versus Ross County has been called off following a pitch inspection at lunctime today. The decision was taken early as the Dingwall side had planned to leave for Dumfries at 2.00pm today.

With both sides having a free Saturday next weekend the game has been rescheduled to be played then.
Team News 25th February 2004
Queens' boss John Connolly said he was looking for the same effort and endeavour shown against Caley Thistle for the game with Ross County. He emphasised "After a bad result up at Brechin we came out really motivated on Saturday and beat a quality side who were sitting top of the league. We've still got 36 points to play for so we'll be trying our utmost to win as many games as possible. We had three home matches on the trot so that's one down and two to go. If we can beat Ross County it would take us three points ahead of them with a game in hand and we'd also be back in third place again. But it won't be easy, County are a useful side who had a good win against St Johnstone last week.

"I was pleased with our new keeper, Craig Samson, although he didn't have an awful lot to do. John Dodds has done well this season but it's good that he's got some competition now to keep him on his toes. Actually I'm lucky to have two good young goalies to choose from. Derek Allan also did exceptionally well on Saturday. He's a model professional and considering he'd only had one Reserve match under his belt since his injury was very impressive.

"Emilio worked his socks off and got himself into numerous goal scoring positions but was very unlucky not to find the net. In fact we have four or five youngsters coming through at the moment which auger well for the future of the club.

"We have Gary Wood back in the squad for Saturday but Jim Thomson and Brian McColligan are still suspended. Jim will be available for the Clyde match but Brian will miss that one as well with his three match ban. We're hoping Sean O'Connor will be fit. He didn't train on Monday night but says 'he's all right now'. He had a 'dead leg' against Caley Thistle so we had to take him off at half-time but a final decision on his fitness will be made prior to the match this Saturday".

Said Ross County manager, Alex Smith. "Both teams are running neck-and-neck in the league and both of us chasing the top two. So, basically, we are both looking to win games as draws are no good if we hope to catch Clyde and Caley Thistle. Victory is the only option!

"However, changes can happen very quickly in football, especially in this league, and if the top two suddenly start dropping points then the pressure will start to get to them. We are a very young team while Queen of the South are a part-time side so even if we retain our present positions I think we'll both have done pretty well.

"Queens have had a fantastic season and all credit must go to John Connolly and his lads. I met John at the Scotland/Hungary Under 21 match last week and we had a right good chat. What he's done at Palmerston is magnificent!

"No team in this division cherishes a trip to Dumfries and on paper Queens must start favourites. They have an excellent home record, I think they've lost only once in their last nine games down there, while our away form has been very poor. Palmerston has been a virtual fortress this season and I know we always have difficulty scoring there. But we'll still be going all out for a win so I trust it will be an exciting encounter for all the fans".

Bill Goldie

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