Match Report

A moment of defensive indecision proved costly for Queens as they slipped to a third consecutive league defeat losing by a single goal against title chasing Dundee United. After conceding a penalty and being reduced to 10 men just before the interval, a spirited second 45 minutes from Queens - during which they did everything but score - finally ended with them not being able to find the reward that their second half performance deserved as the visitors held on to make it 2 wins from 2 at Palmerston this season.

Following the cup exit at Aberdeen, Queens made just one change to the team that started at Pittodrie, as Iain Wilson made his home debut replacing Callum Fordyce who took up a place on the bench along with Darren Brownlie who featured in the match day squad for the first time this season.
Once again the visitors were backed by an impressive travelling support that was in excess of 500, and the contingent from Tayside helped to take the attendance over the 2000 mark and made for a decent atmosphere. 
VIPs today
The away side made the brighter start and the newly formed Queens centre-back pairing of Wilson and Maguire were soon coming under pressure, and after a nervy start, they settled well. With the away team having much more of the early possession - mostly up until the final third - Queens seemed more than happy to allow their visitors to have the ball in areas that they were largely on the whole able to deal with. The first noteworthy piece of action was a sore one as a clash of heads in midfield between Scott Mercer, and Nicky Clark, saw the Queens defender come off second best and he was forced to leave the game for some dressing room attention. During Mercer`s absence the away team had a sustained spell of pressure and a jinking run from Pawlett ended with him dragging a shot just wide of the far upright. McMullan, and then Frans both went close before Alan Martin made a decent stop to keep out a Safranko volley after United won their first corner.
As the visitors continued to push forward, Pawlett tried a cheeky back heel, that Queens blocked, and then Gomis went for the spectacular but got his effort all wrong.Queens responded with their first corner and from Mercer`s delivery - back in the game following his head injury - and when Mikey Doyle`s flick on fell awkwardly for Kyle Jacobs at the back post, from almost on the goal line he could only guide an effort over the bar. Just short of the 30 minute mark, Alan Martin produced another fine save as this time he moved to his left to keep out Safranko`s well placed header that looked to be heading into the top corner.
Martin makes a great save
Queens were struggling to find any momentum going forward and a lot of their attempts at linking the play was just not happening, as the visitors dominance of the midfield area through Gomis, Clark, and Harkes was solid.With the half drawing to a close, Queens would have been more than content to reach the break on level terms, but unfortunately on 40 minutes the game turned in favour of the visitors when they took the lead following the award of a penalty. There seemed to be little danger as Queens with the ball almost on their own bye-line looked to play their way out of trouble, but when Wilson turned the ball square across to his centre-back partner Maguire, the on-loan Motherwell man allowed the ball to run across him which allowed Pawlett the chance to dispossess him and left the defender with no option than to pull him down for what was a clear penalty and an obvious red card as he certainly prevented a goal scoring opportunity. Former Queens striker, Nicky Clark stepped up to take the spot-kick, and although Alan Martin guessed correctly, Clark`s low, hard drive was perfectly put away. Maguire`s dismissal was the first time this season that Queens have had a player sent-off, but there can be no doubt that the decision was the correct one from referee Dallas.
Red card for Maquire
The enforced change saw Callum Fordyce replace the unfortunate Andy Stirling as Queens dealt themselves a cruel blow just before the break.
The start of the second half saw Queens switch to a 5 man midfield in an effort to stop United from playing through them, and after the initial change to the game plan was worked out, Queens began to take the game to their visitors, and although Alan Martin again saved well from a McMullan effort, and Seaman went close from a free-kick from distance in the early period of the half, as the half wore on it was 10-man Queens who were asking most of the questions. On 55 minutes we came very close to levelling the game when Stephen Dobbie hit a stunning free-kick that shaved the right hand upright with `keeper Siegrist well beaten, and then a right wing cross was met a powerful header from Jacobs on the angle, but although on target, the United `keeper was able to make a comfortable save.
Even though they were down a man, Queens kept going and for long periods of the game it seemed as though it was them who had the extra player as tireless running from Jacobs, Nicky Low, and Jordan Marshall started to drive Queens on as they chased what looked like an unlikely equaliser.
If Dobbie was unfortunate from his set-piece, then with 20 minutes to go Jacobs was even more disappointed as his 20-yard drive from the right crashed against the bar, with Siegrist once again playing a spectator`s role.
Jacobs crashes an effort off the bar
A clash in midfield involving Low and Seaman threatened to turn ugly, and neither player could have had an argument had the colour of card been red, but the referee showed restraint when he punished both with just a caution.
Low tries to defuse the situation with a cheeky smile
Queens continued to search for a leveller and although United did have the ball in the net for a second time following a nice flowing move, Pawlett moved a fraction too soon and was flagged for offside long before he slotted the ball past Martin. Queens made a second change with 6 minutes left when Ian McGrath replaced Kyle Jacobs, and although both Lyndon Dykes, and Stephen Dobbie had fairly decent chances late in the game, it wasn`t to be as once again, for the second time this campaign, Dundee United returned to Tayside with all 3 points.
Perhaps the only crumb of comfort after today`s loss for Queens was the fact that neither Inverness or Morton won which means that as disappointing as the outcome of the game was, we haven`t lost too much ground and remain firmly in the hunt for an end of season play-off place.

  • Martin

  • Mercer

  • Wilson

  • Maguire


  • Marshall

  • Doyle

  • Jacobs


  • Low

  • Stirling

  • Dobbie

  • Dykes


  • Leighfield

  • Fordyce


  • Brownlie

  • Murray

  • McGrath


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