Queens slumped to a seventh straight league defeat as St.Mirren - without a league victory this season-scored a dramatic late winner to give new Palmerston manager Gary Naysmith a losing start. Having been a goal ahead, and then 2-1 ahead, Queens were unable to hold on and by the time the visitors had got in front for the first time in the game, it was too late for the hosts to reply.
The new manager made two changes to the team that started against Dumbarton at the weekend, as Derek Lyle, and Chris Higgins began in place of Danny Carmichael, and Jake Pickard. Queens lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Jamie Hamill playing alongside Mark Millar in central midfield,and it was the home side who were first to threaten when Jordan Marshall and Lyndon Dykes combined well to win the first corner of the game, that was well dealt with by Saints `keeper, Scott Gallacher. The visitors responded with a swift counter attack that ended with youngster Lewis Morgan driving a shot wide of the target. Continuing in the ascendancy St Mirren won their first corner of the game when Mallan`s shot was deflected, and when the resulting set piece was cleared out only as far as former Queens man Rocco Quinn he was unable to keep his shot on target. Queens responded when a speculative drive from Jamie Hamill produced a straightforward save for the `keeper Gallacher.
Queens won their second corner of the game following Marshall`s persistance. Mark Millar`s delivery was repelled back to him and his powerful drive was spilled by the `keeper that saw Dykes bundle the ball wide from close range following the rebound.
As the game approached its first quarter Queens made the breakthrough. Grant Anderson created space for himself down the right flank and from his shot - that was only parrried by Gallacher, - Stephen Dobbie prodded home the rebound to score his 7th league goal of the season. The goal came slightly against the run of play and if the visitors felt hard done by minutes later they drew level.
Anderson shows great persistence to get the ball across the goal
Dobbie has the easiest of tasks to slot home the opener
Dobbie turns to celebrate his strike
After delightful link up play in midfield, Magennis collected the ball and unchallenged fired an unstoppable 20 yard drive past Lee Robinson. On the half hour mark Queens had an excellent opportunity to regain the lead. Derek Lyle`s sublime pass picked out Lyndon Dykes in the box and from a tight angle he opted to shoot instead of squaring the ball to a better placed Dobbie, and although Queens won a corner nothing came of it and the opportunity was lost. The opening third had produced some entertaining football, particularly from the visitors, with their young players McAllister, Magennis and Morgan all impressing.
Robinson sees another long range effort fly into his goal
For all the visitors endeavours they lacked a final product and 3 minutes before the interval they were punished as Queens regained the lead. Millar`s throw was flicked on by Lyle, into the path of Stephen Dobbie and after he rounded a defender with a nice shimmy he produced a cool finish slipping the ball low past Gallacher for his second of the game.
Dobbie and Lyle celebrate the second
The final action of the half saw Morgan`s curling effort comfortably held by Robinson. This was the first time Queens had scored 2 first half goals at home in a league game since the opening game against Ayr United back in August.
HALF TIME QUEENS 2-1 ST MIRREN
Neither side made any changes at the break as Queens looked to build on their first half performance. Unfortunately after giving it 5 minutes after the break an earlier injury sustained from a collision between Lyndon Dykes and Kyle Magennis resulted in Dykes having to be substituted. He was replaced by Jake Pickard who surprisingly took up his position on the left of midfield.
The first effort of the half was a wayward shot from Lyle which was well off target.
Jake Pickard`s first involvement of the game was to be cautioned for a foul in midfield and unfortunately for Queens this led to St Mirren`s second equaliser. Mallan`s delivery into the box was only half cleared and when it fell to Ben Gordon, his deflected drive flew past Robinson.
Gordons effort takes a massive deflection to beat Robinson
Queens responded well and from their next attack they went very close to restoring their lead. Lyle found Dobbie on the right and after waiting for the run of Jake Pickard, Dobbies excellent cross was inch perfect for the youngster but unfortunately he couldn`t keep his effort on target as he swept the ball over the bar from close range. By this time the game was becoming very stretched and with the game evenly poised it was hard to say which way it would go.
Pickard had a perfect chance to make the game 3-2 but couldnt get the ball on target
Danny Carmichael replaced Grant Anderson in the 65th minute in the hope he would inject some fresh urgency into the Queens attack, but as the game progressed it was the visitors who began to gain the upper hand. Lee Robinson who thus far hadn`t had much to do was suddenly the centre of attention as twice in as many minutes he kept his team in the game. Firstly he produced a brilliant one handed save to keep out MacKenzie`s volley, then he held on well to deal with an awkward shot from Morgan.
The home side were soaking up a lot of pressure and most of the attacks came on the break, and an excellent run and cross from Dobbie almost found Derek Lyle but for some acrobatic defending from Ben Gordon. In Queens next attack a shot from Dobbie clipped the top of the bar as Queens looked to regain the ascendancy and end their poor recent form.
As the game continued to ebb and flow Lee Robinson did well to tip over a looping header from the substitute Shankland and then when play switched back to the other end Stephen Dobbie was only denied his hat trick when Gallacher made a smart save at his near post.
With 7 minutes remaining substitute Jake Pickard was himself substituted after picking up a knock and Dean Brotherston took his place. With the game seemingly heading for a draw St Mirren provided a late sucker punch. Minutes into stoppage time Mallan`s shot from just inside the box sneeked into the bottom corner clipping the inside of the post on its way giving St Mirren their first league win of the season and at the same time sending Queens to a 7th straight league defeat and ensuring it was a miserable start for Gary Naysmith.
Mallan had the time, space and composure to win the game for the Buddies
Sponsors gave Andy Dowie the man of the match award and if Gary Naysmith was in any doubt about the scale of the task, tonights game showed how unforgiving this league can be.