2002/03 Back in the First
A serialised account of our season by our man who has been at almost every match home and away - Ewan Lithgow
Part Twelve - May and Statistical Round-Up
The final home game of the season saw Ross County come to Palmerston desperate for three points to ensure survival whilst Alloa were desperate for us to do them a favour and keep them alive in the fight to avoid relegation. It was Alloa who were the happier at full time as we did our part with a 1-0 win provided by Sean O'Connor's winner after half an hour. Colin Scott made a couple of fine saves to confirm the victory but, in truth, County deserved nothing from the game. At the end of the game, Brian McLaughlin threw his shirt to the crowd and John O'Neill, who is left out after missing training for a fortnight, is seen departing the ground with all his boots. Both are interpreted as signs the players in question will be moving on.

Queens defence on top against County

Later that night, at the Doonhamers Travel Club Player of the Year Dance, Steve Bowey is confirmed as the Player of the Year with Brian McColligan getting the Young Player of the Year Award. Bowey also takes Goal of the Season for his strike at St Mirren in the Challenge Cup semi-final. It's a poor turn out from the players though with only eight showing face, two of them the departing Goram and Gray. The others were Aitken, Thomson, Atkinson, Dawson, Bowey and Weatherson.

During the following week it's confirmed that Sean O'Connor has also agreed a new deal for next season but that John O'Neill had failed to turn up for further contract talks and, as a result, the club now accepted he would be moving on. He would go on to sign a two year deal with St Mirren after the final league games were played. Brian McLaughlin had also intimated that he was close to agreeing a deal with a full-time club but, as he had kept the club informed all along and continued to train and play as required, he would be in the pool for Saturday's final match. It was also confirmed that Partick Thistle had offered 10,000 for Peter Weatherson, which was rejected out of hand by the club.

The season finished in fine style with a first win over pre-season favourites St Johnstone away at McDiarmid Park. Derek Lyle scored the only goal of a game that saw first starts for Paul Burns and Willie Gibson. Gibson it was who crossed for the goal. It's one of the youngest Queens starting eleven's in history with only captain Jim Thomson (31), over the age of 25 in a team with an average age, even including him, of just 22 years old! It also includes Jamie Campbell making a first appearance of the season and a farewell appearance at the same time when Colin Scott is unavailable through injury. The club also announce that Ben Dawson joins the list of players leaving whilst negotiations are continuing with Eric Paton who has been offered a deal but is yet to accept it.

An extremely successful season sees the club finish three points ahead of Ayr United in fifth spot, comfortably Scotland's top part-time team, with 48 points from 36 games. John Connolly's achievements see him generally held to be one of two candidates for the, still to be announced, Divisional Manager of the Year Award along with Clyde's Alan Kernaghan whilst Steve Bowey is named in a Division One Team of the Season by "The Sun" newspaper. Connolly however somehow manages not to get even a Manager of the Month award after results remained consistent throughout the season rather than particularly good in any one particular month.

Honours & Awards List

Bell's Scottish League Division One - 5th

Scottish Cup 3rd Round

CIS Insurance Cup 2nd Round

Bell's Challenge Cup Winners 2002

Scottish Brewers Challenge Cup Runners Up

Southern Counties Cup Winners

Doonhamers Travel Club Awards
Player of the Year - Steve Bowey
Young Player of the Year - Brian McColligan
"Away Day" Player of the Year - Steve Bowey
Goal of the Season - Steve Bowey
Female Supporters "Rear of the Year" - Andy Aitken
Female Supporters "Lunchbox" Award - Andy Goram

QoS Fan Club Awards
Player of the Year - Steve Bowey
Young Player of the Year - Steven MacKay

Globe Inn Doonhamers Fan Club Award
Player of the Year - Steve Bowey

QoS Internet Supporters Club
Player of the Year - Steve Bowey

Junior Blues
Player of the Year - Steve Bowey

Facts and Figures

Appearances
Player
League Apps
Cup Apps
Total Apps
1 - Andy Aitken
36
+ 9
= 45
2 - Brian McLaughlin
33
+ 9
= 42
2 - Peter Weatherson
33
+ 9
= 42
4 - Derek Lyle
33
+ 8
= 41
5 - Steve Bowey
34
+ 6
= 40
6 - John O'Neill
31
+ 8
= 39
7 - Joe McAlpine
28
+ 8
= 36
8 - Jim Thomson
30
+ 4
= 34
9 - Brian McColligan
26
+ 8
= 34
10 - Derek Anderson
23
+ 9
= 32
11 - Eric Paton
24
+ 6
= 30
12 - Sean O'Connor
22
+ 5
= 27
13 - Colin Scott
17
+ 6
= 23
14 - Andy Goram
19
+ 2
= 21
15 - Derek Allan
17
+ 2
= 21
16 - Robbie Neilson
13
+ 4
= 17
16 - Paul Shields
13
+ 4
= 17
18 - Alan Gray
10
+ 3
= 13
19 - Jon Crawford
6
+ 5
= 11
20 - Paddy Atkinson
8
+ 2
= 10
21 - Steven Renicks
5
+ 2
= 7
22 - Paul Burns
4
+ 0
= 4
23 - Ben Dawson
3
+ 0
= 3
23 - Willie Gibson
3
+ 0
= 3
25 - Robbie Henderson
2
+ 1
= 3
26 - Jamie Campbell
1
+ 0
= 1
27 - Stuart Robertson
0
+ 1
= 1
Appearance stats based on games actually used. Unused substitutes do not count.

Andy Aitken played every single minute of every single game during the season!

Goalscorers
Player
League
Cup
Total Goals
1 - John O'Neill
9
+ 5
= 14
2 - Peter Weatherson
6
+ 4
= 10
3 - Derek Lyle
6
+ 3
= 9
4 - Sean O'Connor
6
+ 1
= 7
5 - Steve Bowey
4
+ 1
= 5
6 - Brian McLaughlin
3
+ 0
= 3
6 - Eric Paton
3
+ 0
= 3
6 - Jim Thomson
3
+ 0
= 3
9 - Paul Shields
1
+ 2
= 3
10 - Joe McAlpine
1
+ 0
= 1
10 - Brian McColligan
1
+ 0
= 1


There were also two Own Goals from the opposition, scored by John Potter of Clyde and Steven Mackay of Ross County.

Red Cards
1 - Robbie Neilson at Falkirk, 31/08/02, Two bookings, First for a trip, Second for fouling the keeper
2 - Peter Weatherson at Inverness, 16/11/02, Straight red for a high tackle
3 - Brian McColligan at Inverness, 16/11/02, Two bookings, First for a foul, Second for a dive

Red Cards Against Us
1 - Dean Keenan vs Morton, 13/08/02
2 - Colin Reilly vs Morton, 13/08/02
3 - Alex Williams vs Morton, 13/08/02
4 - Andy Millen at Clyde, 12/10/02
5 - John Cusick at Arbroath, 30/11/02

Penalties For Us
1 - John O'Neill vs Forfar Athletic, 07/09/02, Scored
2 - John O'Neill at Inverness, 16/11/02, Scored
3 - Peter Weatherson at Aberdeen, 18/02/03, Scored
4 - John O'Neill vs Falkirk, 01/03/03, Scored

Penalties Conceded
1 - Barry Robson at Inverness, 16/11/02, Scored, Barge by Sean O'Connor
2 - Andy Seaton at Alloa Athletic, 18/01/03, Scored, Pull by Derek Anderson
3 - Andy Seaton at Alloa Athletic, 18/01/03, Scored, Trip by Andy Aitken
4 - Chris Hay vs St Johnstone, 08/02/03, Saved by Colin Scott, Foul by Brian McColligan
5 - Ricky Gillies at St Mirren, 22/02/03, Scored, Barge by Brian McColligan
6 - Andy Seaton vs Alloa Athletic, 19/04/03, Saved by Colin Scott, Trip by Andy Aitken


Ewan Lithgow
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