Match Report

Queens suffered the ultimate late sting in the tail as visitors Alloa grabbed all three points courtesy of a stoppage time winner as they claimed their first victory at Palmerston since winning by 1-0 back in April 2003, some 16 years ago. Having fallen behind after 18 minutes, Queens rallied in the second half and deservedly drew level, and for much of the second period - rather like last weekend against Dundee United - Queens did everything but score as chances came and went with regularity and their failure to capitalise on those opportunities came back to haunt them when the visitors grabbed their late winner and sent Queens crashing to a fourth consecutive league defeat.

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Queens made one change to the team that started against Dundee United, with Callum Fordyce starting ahead of the suspended Barry Maguire at the centre of a back three as a slight change in formation saw Queens start with a 3-2-4-1 set-up. Visitors Alloa- who had taken 4 points from Queens already this season came into the game on the back of 4 league defeats and found themselves in bottom spot as the game began, but a well organised set-up restricted Queens to just a few half chances early on, as efforts from Stephen Dobbie, and then then a close range header from Lyndon Dykes tested the visiting defence with Dykes seeing his goal bound effort being cleared off the line.
As Queens continued to push forward, Nicky Low`s delicately lofted ball into the path of Jordan Marshall sent the wing back clear down the left, but before he could deliver a cross, Dick recovered well to block the ball for a corner, and from Scott Mercer`s delivery , Kyle Jacobs rose well to get above the defence but could only direct his header over the bar.
Jacobs heads over
The visitors responded well to win a corner of their own when a snap shot from close range from Zanatta forced Alan Martin into making a fine reaction save, and from the resulting corner, there was nothing Martin could do to prevent Alloa from taking the lead. Flannigan`s delivery to the near post was met by Alloa skipper Graham who got ahead of the Queens defence to guide the ball just inside the near upright.
Neither Mercer nor Martin could prevent Graham from scoring
For the next 10 minutes or so, it was the away team who began to control the game and following a flowing move that simply carved the Queens defence open they really should have doubled their lead, but Shields was wasteful with his finish from what was arguably the best move of the half.
It seemed as though Queens were finding it difficult to adapt to the new formation, and time after time, the ball was given away, or over hit as frustration began to set in, and Alloa might even have added more frustration had Graham managed to keep his header from a free-kick on target, and a quick break by the visitors was only halted by a timely tackle by Iain Wilson as Alloa continued to pose an attacking threat.
With the interval looming Queens worked themselves a couple of half chances, firstly when a low shot across goal from Dobbie zipped past the far post, and then after more good work down the left by Jordan Marshall - making his 150th start for the club - saw him pick out a cross that Lyndon Dykes did well to control, but on the turn , could not keep his shot on target. Right on the stroke of half-time Queens were presented with another decent chance after Zanatta`s foul on Mikey Doyle gave them a free-kick, but from Mercer`s excellent ball in, Callum Fordyce could only send a header high over the bar.
Dobbie fires an effort just past the post
There were no changes made at the break, although there was a slight adjustment to Queens` formation as Dykes moved further forward to join Dobbie up front, but his first involvement in his `new` position saw him become the first player to be cautioned by referee Newlands, as he picked up his 7th league booking of the season - although this one was quite harsh.
The visitors might have grabbed a second goal early in the half, as a low drive from Shields was comfortably held by Alan Martin, and then following a slip Trouten was allowed a sight of goal that thankfully he wasn`t able to take, but from that moment on - again very similar to last weekend - Queens controlled the game.
Nicky Low went close with a half volley that just curled away from the far post, and after Jacobs picked out the run of Marshall the wing back for the day slipped the ball to Dobbie who cut inside and drove a low shot just wide. As Queens continued to turn the screw and increase the pressure on their visitors, you could sense that a goal was coming, and just before the hour mark it came as no surprise to see them draw level. Having won a corner, Fordyce powered a header towards goal that produced an excellent save from `keeper Parry, but the Alloa `keeper was powerless to prevent Kyle Jacobs from smashing the loose ball into the empty net. Moments later it looked as though the turnaround had been completed when Dobbie finished well after being set-up by Dykes, but the celebrations amongst the home support where quickly dashed after the assistant referee ruled that Dobbie had moved into an offside position.
Jacobs fires home the loose ball
Jacobs celebrates his strike
As is usually the case, the scoring of a goal raises confidence, and Queens boosted by the equaliser went in search of a second goal and when a cross from Marshall was missed by Dobbie, Scott Mercer at the back post might have done better than to blast a shot over the bar. A free-kick for a foul on Dobbie just left of centre and some 30-yards out gave Queens another opportunity, but Dobbie`s effort, after being teed up by Andy Stirling, ended a few yards wide of the target.
With 25 minutes to go, Fraser Aird replaced Callum Fordyce,  and Scott Mercer moved into the back three.
After being quite pro-active in the first half, Alloa were just starting to show signs of struggling with the Queens pressure,and were clearly hanging on, but a couple of clever tactical decisions and substitutions saw them steadily gain a little more control as Queens began to play with a bit more of a direct style.
A long clearance from Wilson was chased down by Dykes who was able to get a shot on target, but it was comfortably saved by Parry, and then a powerful drive from Wilson dipped just in front of Parry and the `keeper did well to push the ball to safety. A long range effort from Aird flew harmlessly off target and with time running out, Scott Mercer joined team-mate Dykes in the referee`s notebook for a foul on Hetherington.
Nicky Low was replaced by Ian McGrath with 4 minutes to go and possibly the best chance for Queens to win the game came in the 88th minute. A foul on Andy Stirling gave us a free-kick and after a short set-piece routine, Mercer`s ball into the box was met by the unmarked Stephen Dobbie, but sadly for Queens the ball was in the air and although Dobbie managed to get his head to the ball, he headed it straight at the `keeper who saved easily. The Queens talisman had two further chances to find a winner late on, but on both occasions his attempts missed - although not by very much, and so it was left to Alloa substitute Jordan Kirkpatrick to get on the end of a cross from Zanatta to head past Alan Martin deep into stoppage time to claim only a second away league win of the season for Alloa. The win moved the Wasps ahead of both Partick, and Falkirk at the foot of the table, and another disappointing result now leaves Queens closer to the bottom of the table than the last play-off spot. We now face two difficult away trips to Morton - on Tuesday, and then Dunfermline on Saturday, before returning to Palmerston to play Inverness in two weeks time -  a big 3 games coming up !!!

  • Martin

  • Doyle

  • Fordyce


  • Wilson

  • Mercer

  • Jacobs

  • Stirling

  • Low


  • Marshall

  • Dykes

  • Dobbie


  • Leighfield

  • Brownlie

  • Aird


  • McGrath


  • Murray

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