Match Report

 In our great sport of football, it is absolutely essential that you work hard not only for yourself, but for your team mates too. And that?s exactly what the 14 men in maroon did today, coming back from 1-0, against a team that Queens have struggled against recently in Inverness, to win 2-1.

 

The work rate and determination shown by the Queens players was immense throughout the 90 minutes today, and they got their just rewards. 

 

New boy Nicky Low came straight into the starting line-up, while Motherwell loanee Barry Maguire had to make-do with a place on the bench. The man that Maguire is replacing, Callum Semple, was playing his final game for The South today before he heads back to Sheffield United.

 

Semple has become a bit of a fan-favourite, putting in consistent impressive performances in his time at Queens. There is no doubt the youngster will have a big future in the game if he continues to grow.

 

After Morton?s 1-0 victory on Friday night, a win for Queens would put us just one point from the play-offs, while if Inverness won, Queens would be five points away. It really was a vital match, not only on the pitch, but it was the opening game of Queens? 100th year of football, while it was also Inverness Caledonian Thistle?s 25th.

 

Queen of the South got the game underway, sporting the maroon away kit. It didn?t take long for the game to get going, with Inverness winning a dangerous free-kick 25-yards from goal. However, it was blocked by the wall and as Lyndon Dykes broke away, he was brought down by Thistle?s skipper Carl Tremarco. 

 

Tremarco was somewhat lucky to escape a booking, as his legs flew in relatively high.

 

Queens? first real chance fell to talisman Stephen Dobbie, who?s shot from the edge of the box was caught safely by Mark Ridgers. Just a minute later Liam Polworth had ICT?s best chance of the game so far, his effort from 15-yards straight at Alan Martin.

 

Mikey Doyle, playing in right-midfield, then delivered a dangerous ball into the area, only for Todd to sky his shot in what was a decent chance.

 

All action Doyle

 

It was end-to-end stuff, a real frantic start to what was a rollercoaster match. 

 

Dobbie released the ever impressive Josh Todd, who got himself through on goal, before being barged over just before he could take his shot. Despite appeals from the Queens players and staff, referee Barry Cook waved play-on.

 

Todd found himself through on goal 10 minutes later, and he would?ve scored had it not been for a fantastic save from Ridgers.

 

ICT began to really put the visitors under pressure in the closing stages of the first 45. 

 

Firstly, the towering Jordan White found himself just eight yards from goal with only Martin to beat. However, the Queens shot stopper, who has put in a string of impressive displays over the past few months, was there to save White?s effort.

 

On the stroke of half-time, the home side had what was the best chance of the half. A cross into the box was met by Tom Walsh, who?s header struck the underside of the bar and stayed out, before White?s rebound was cleared off the line by Callum Semple. A close call for Queens, however 0-0 was probably a fair result at the halfway point.

 

Semple with a goal saving tackle

 

Half Time - ICT 0-0 QoS

 

As the second period got underway it was clear that Nicky Low was really beginning to play. Cool, calm and composed best described the new number 14, who kept the game ticking with some nice passes. And he certainly wasn?t afraid of the dirty side of the game either. 

 

However, just five minutes into the second-half it was Inverness who struck the woodwork again. From their first corner, Coll Donaldson?s header struck the far-post, before the rebound was shot wide. 

 

Another let off for Queens, but just four minutes later they had another brilliant chance. Todd found himself in behind the Caley defence again, and much like his first chance, he had another excellent effort that was somehow tipped wide by Ridgers.

 

Todd could only watch as his effort was pushed away by Ridgers

 

Dobbie was the next man to try his luck, this time a free-kick in prime position. Going the low-route, Dobbie?s shot was safely caught by Ridgers.

 

However, after 69 minutes it was the hosts who took the lead. Some good work down the right hand side resulted in a cross into the box that was met by Walsh, and his volley flew powerfully into the bottom corner, giving Martin no chance to save.

 

 Walsh turns away after firing the home side into the lead

 

A defeat for Queens certainly would have been harsh, however tactical genius Gary Naysmith wasted no time in changing the game, taking Doyle off for the typically more attacking Andy Stirling.

 

Stirling inserted some energy and urgency into Queens. The tricky winger changed the game, and it wasn?t long until Queens got back on level terms.

 

Highlighting the importance of offensive full-backs in the modern game, Scott Mercer was the man to get the away side back on level terms, courtesy of a Jordan Marshall assist after 83 minutes. As Marshall went down the left, he nutmegged Walsh, before hitting the by-line and putting a cross in for Mercer, who simply couldn?t miss.

 

Mercer turns the ball past Ridgers for the equalsing goal

 Mercer celebrates his goal

 

It was Mercer?s second ever goal for the club, coming just a matter of weeks after his first. 

 

The scores were not at 1-1 for very long though, as just one minute after Mercer?s goal, Stephen Dobbie was there to put the visitors in the lead.

 

?Dobs? found himself in the box, before cutting inside onto his right foot and striking the ball into Ridgers? near post. 

 

 Dobbie fires home the winning goal

 

Dobbie celebrates

 

The turnaround shocked everyone at be ground, not because it wasn?t deserved, but because of just how quickly it happened. It was Dobbie?s 30th goal of the season, and since his return to Queens in summer 2016, he?s scored a sensational 85 competitive goals for the club.

 

The Queens captain went off to be replaced by the debuting Barry Maguire, to add some more physicality to the Queens midfield and try and see out the victory. 

 

And see it out they did. Inverness only really mustered one half chance in the final seven or so minutes, and it was the away team who started 2019 with all three points.

 

Full Time - ICT 1-2 QoS

 

Queens climb the table to fifth place, courtesy of Mercer and Dobbie, and it puts the Doonhamers just a solitary point away from Greenock Morton in the play-offs. 

 

Plenty to be positive about both on and off the pitch heading into what is sure to be a special 2019. 

 

Nicky Low?s impressive debut, a potential play-off for the Premiership, Stephen Dobbie chasing the record goals scored in one season for Queen of the South (41) and obviously, the centenary celebrations. Alongside this, Queens have lost just one game of their last nine (eight in the league). A seriously impressive record, especially in the Championship.

 

Next week it?s highland opposition again, this time back home at Palmerston, as Queens entertain league leaders Ross County. The hosts remain undefeated against the high-flying County, and on the back of an excellent victory, will be going for another three points.

 

 


  • Martin



  • Mercer
    1


  • Fordyce



  • Semple



  • Marshall



  • Doyle

    Sub1



  • Jacobs



  • Low

    Sub2



  • Todd





  • Dykes







  • Dobbie
    1



    Subs


  • Leighfield



  • Bell



  • Murray



  • Stirling

    Sub1-73



  • Frizzell

    Sub2-84



  • Maguire


 
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