Queens made it seven games undefeated with a superb 3-1 victory away to St Mirren. Derek Lyle put the Doonhamers ahead with a curling effort on twelve minutes. The Buddies got on level terms thanks to Tom Walsh`s over-head kick. But they were only level for a matter of minutes as Lyle pounced from close-range to restore Queens` lead. Stephen Dobbie added a third, ten minutes into the second-half as he rounded the `keeper and slotted home to ensure the points came back to Palmerston.
Gavin Skelton named the same starting eleven from last week`s 7-1 victory over Stenhousemuir in the Irn-Bru cup, so Steven Rigg had to settle for a place on the bench after coming on and bagging his first Queens` goals last weekend.
Former Queens midfielder Kyle Hutton started in the middle of midfield. Stephen Mallan, who was a key figure in Queens` last two visits to Paisley would be a man to keep a close eye on. Ex-Dundee and Blackpool centre-half Gary MacKenzie made his home debut for the Saints in the centre with captain Andy Webster.
St Mirren had endured a slow start to their Championship campaign, two points from four league games. But the Buddies got their first league victory against Queens last season, so Alex Rae would hope it`d be de-ja-vu on a sunny, but windy afternoon at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.
The home side started brightly and were helped when a slack pass from Jordan Marshall was intercepted by on-loan forward Ryan Hardie but before he could get a shot away, stand-in captain Andy Dowie cleared to spare the left-back`s blushes.
It was the hosts turn for a defensive fumble two minutes later. A mix-up between goalkeeper Jamie Langfield and Jason Naismith, let in Dale Hilson who turned and laid the ball to Derek Lyle. Del seen Langfield off his line and dinked an effort from 20-yards over the `keeper but also over the crossbar.
The game was starting to open up and on 9 minutes, Hardie made ground on the right-hand side and crossed into the penalty area but Queens` stopper Lee Robinson was close enough to punch the ball clear. A scramble in the box followed and was finally cleared by Dowie, only to Stephen Mallan but before the midfielder could line-up an attempt at goal, was brought down by Mark Millar just outside the area.
Mallan brushed himself down to take the free-kick and nearly gave the Saints the lead but Lee Robinson was on hand and tipped his effort out for a corner. The resulting set-piece was floated in and found MacKenzie at the back-post but he could only guide his header into the hands of Robinson.
Robinson denies Mallan with a superb save
The hosts were knocking on the door but Queens looked dangerous on the counter, especially with Dale Hilson using his pace to sprint past right-back Jason Naismith on the left and win a corner for the visitors. Two minutes later, the Doonhamers edged ahead with their first shot on target.
Stephen Dobbie used his skill and strength on the edge of the box to keep the ball and outrageously back-heeled to Derek Lyle and at the first time of asking, he curled his strike past Langfield and into the top corner of the net. A fantastic goal from Del and a delicious assist from Dobbs.
Lyle strikes a superb opener
Lyle starts a goalscoring conga
Alex Rae`s side did pose a threat going forward but were vulnerable at the back and making mistakes. Langfield mistimed his kick but Anderson didn`t have enough time to punish the `keeper`s mishap.
MacKenzie fouled Hilson on the right-hand side on the half-hour mark. Hamill`s sprayed a short free-kick to Dobbie on the edge of the box, but the former Blackpool star couldn`t get a clean connection was comfortably caught by Langfield. Three minutes later, Queens were denied their second goal of the afternoon as Langfield pulled off a remarkable save. Hilson broke forward, switched the ball to Lyle on the right, Del crossed the ball to Dobbie at the back-post but the striker`s header was terrifically tipped over by Langfield. Queens had another chance to double their lead on 37 minutes but Lyle`s free-kick from 20-yards, flew over the goal.
The majority of the play was in the Buddies half but the hosts looked dangerous on the counter and a cross was headed by Dowie, only into the path of Tom Walsh and his spectacular over-head kick from ten-yards out flew into the top corner of the net, on 41 minutes.
Robinson can do nothing to stop a fantastic overhead kick from Walsh to equalise
But the Buddies were only level for two minutes as Queens took the lead for the second time in the match. Anderson did well to outpace Irvine on the left and keep the ball in-play. His low powerful cross was tapped in by Derek Lyle, taking his Queens goal tally to 103.
Lyle strikes his second of the afternoon
Derek Lyle - he`s having a party..................
The Saints could have grabbed another equaliser moments later when Hardie`s shot from 20-yards was tipped over the bar by Robinson, who was having a fine afternoon in the Queens goal.
St Mirren 1-2 QOS
The visitors started the second period the brightest and almost made it three. Dobbie floated the ball into the box to Anderson but the winger lacked composure and blasted a strike over Langfield`s bar. Up the other end, Hardie met a Walsh cross and his header looked to be going in but Robinson made a last gasp save to keep Queens` advantage.
Skelton was forced to make his first change of the afternoon on 53 minutes, when Mark Millar stayed down after a meaty challenge and was eventually replaced by youngster Jake Pickard.
After Robinson sent a poor free-kick straight to Langfield, the keeper launched the ball upfield but Queens quickly won back position and Lyle slipped the ball through to Dobbie and rounded Langfield before slotting home from a tight angle to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.
Dobbie seals it
Dobbie loves a goal
The Doonhamers could`ve been out of sight minutes later, when Dobbie broke forward and raced forward and squared to the advancing Lyle but the Tan Man couldn`t find the target to get the match-ball. Dobbie himself could have made it four and end the contest, after some great individual skill created space in the box but his shot flew over the bar.
Saints captain Andy Webster was clearly struggling to cope with the Queens attack and was replaced by Ben Gordon for the final 20 minutes. A few minutes later, Steven Rigg entered the fray coming on for the goal-hero Lyle for the remaining 16 minutes.
The Buddies did come close to halving the deficit when Morgan beat two Queens men before hitting a low powerful strike from 20-yards, past the rooted Robinson but smacked the post.
Young winger Dean Brotherston replaced Grant Anderson on the right and the Doonhamers seemed to be happy with the scoreline as they kept possession without creating any meaningful chances before referee Barry Cook blew for full-time.
The fantastic start to the season continues for Gavin Skelton and his side as they move up to second in the Championship, two points behind leaders Hibernian. Defeat for St Mirren means they`re now at the bottom of the table.
Next up for Queens is a tasty home fixture against Gary Locke`s Raith Rovers at Palmerston next week. Locke`s side lost to Falkirk this afternoon and are third in the league.