Queens continued their unbeaten start to 2017 with a 2-1 victory against Dumbarton. A Dom Thomas brace either side of a Christain Nade equaliser sealed the points for the Doonhamers and help lift Queens to fifth in the league table.
Gary Naysmith made one change to the dramatic 3-3 draw at Dundee United last week. Chris Higgins come into the side for the injured Jordan Marshall and started at left-back. Jamie Hamill wasn`t in the match day squad due to the late yellow card he received against St Mirren two weeks ago so Scott Mercer continued on at right back.
With all other Championship sides in Scottish Cup action it was Queens and Dumbarton, who were both knocked out by lower opposition in the third round, who took centre stage.
Both sides played attractive football early on and the hosts had the first chance to break the deadlock on seven minutes. Sons midfielder Andrew Stirling created space on the right and passed to the central Lewis Vaughan who took a touch and had a pop from 25 yards but Queens goalkeeper Lee Robinson scurried to his right and tipped Vaughan`s effort wide.
The Doonhamers knocked the ball around well and when on-loan winger Dom Thomas got the ball it sparked the visitors into life. A dangerous Thomas ball from the right was flickered into the box but was too long to find a blue shirt in the Sons box.
The pace of the match slowed soon after with not much goal action to be had. Only a John Rankin shot from 20 yards on 17 minutes was worth noting but the former Dundee United midfielder dragged his attempt wide of Alan Martin`s far post.
From the goal kick Dumbarton`s Stirling collected the ball on the centre circle and turned to left but was pulled back by Scott Mercer. Referee Steven Kirkland gave the foul and cautioned the Queens` new signing for his troubles.
The visitors probably shaded the first 24 minutes and were rewarded when Thomas used his quick pace to move past his marker, cut inside and unleashed a 25-yard drive which gave Martin no chance and flew into the bottom corner.
Thomas fires in his first
Naysmith`s men marched on for a second and had two chances in quick succession to double their lead.Thomas was denied his second by Martin and the rebound fell to former Sons favourite Stephen Dobbie but his effort was superbly stopped by the Dumbarton stopper.
Martin denies Dobbie
The visitors` link-up play was slick and Dobbie set-up Rankin on the edge of the box, Rankin chose to cross rather than go himself but his powerful delivery was too quick for the Queens attack.
Andy Dowie became the second Queens player in Kirkland`s black book on 36 minutes, to the dismay of the travelling Queens support.
It was a good half of football from Naysmith`s men with Dom Thomas continuing his impressive form since arriving from Motherwell.
HT DUMBARTON 0-1 QOS.
The temperture at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium had dropped and a cold breeze and it looked like Queens were about to freeze and concede on 53 minutes after a slick one-two from David Smith and Mark Docherty created space for Vaughan but the midfielder pulled his shot wide of Robinson`s net.
Three minutes later Queens were beginning to find their first-half rhythm when Dobbie and Dan Carmichael linked up on the left and the former Blackpool striker hit a shot but was deflected out off Darren Barr for a corner.
It was same combination of Dobbie and Carmichael who should have gave the Doonhamers breathing space but Carmichael`s shot from the left drifted wide after a superb feeder ball from Dobbie.
Carmichael shoots but Martin deflects the ball wide of goal
Queens were made to pay two minutes later as Stevie Aitken`s outfit grabbed an equaliser. Stirling`s powerful strike from 20-yards cracked the post and the ball fell to ex-Stranraer striker Christian Nade, who had the simple job of tapping in the rebound.
Nade reacts first to the rebound off the post
It only took the Doonhamers seven minutes to edge ahead again and it was in-form Thomas who was took centre stage once again.
Former Sons midfielder Joe Thomson blasted a shot off the woodwork and the ball landed to Thomas who made no mistake and fired home from seven yards. This was Thomas` third Queens goal in two games- and is already establishing himself as fans` favourite.
Thomas slams the ball home for his second
Goal celebration number two
Naysmith made his first, and only, change of the afternoon with striker Derek Lyle replacing Dan Carmichael on 77 minutes.
The hosts had a few sniffs of an equaliser in the dying stages but couldn`t muster up a shot that troubled Robinson.
Queens were solid at the back and held on for an important three points against a stuffy, well-organised Dumbarton side.
This was the Doonhamers` first victory over Dumbarton this season in three attempts- a previous 0-0 at the Rock and a surprise 2-1 defeat at Palmerston.
FULL TIME DUMBARTON 1-2 QOS
Queens moved up to fifth in the Championship table. Queens are unbeaten in four matches now and go into next week`s fixture against Neil Lennon`s table topping Hibernian with confidence. Kick-off 3pm at Palmerston.