Match Report


Lyndon Dykes backed up his impressive showing on Saturday with a brace either side of a Connor Murray goal, to hand Queen of the South  the initiative in the Championship Play-Off Final.


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Unsurprisingly, Allan Johnston selected the same starting XI and bench that negotiated Montrose successfully on Saturday. The striking trio of the aforementioned Dykes and Murray, were backed up by new record holder Stephen Dobbie. At points, they were a delight to watch as their interchanging caused the Rovers back line all sorts of problems.


Alan Martin continued in goal, with Josh Todd and Iain Wilson playing either side of Kyle Jacobs in a midfield three.


The first half got underway with the hosts seeing most of the ball. Some solid defending by the Queens backline, aided aptly by the midfield, prevented Rovers getting a sight of Alan Martin?s goal.


It took 10 minutes for Queens to see any real possession in the Rovers half, but when they did, they made it count.


After just 17 minutes, Iain Wilson, playing on the right of the midfield trio, beat his man, before squaring to Dykes. The big Aussie, using the outside of his right boot, was able to direct the ball into the far corner of Dean Lyness? goal from the edge of the area. It was an impressive finish by Dykes, who?ll look to continue his goal scoring form on Saturday.


Just two minutes later however, Jamie Gullan had a gilt-edged chance to equalise. The Hibs loanee was able to out-strength Mikey Doyle, but his shot at Martin?s goal from the right flew inches wide.


And Queens made him pay, as after 22 minutes, they doubled their lead. Receiving the ball on the left, Dobbie hit the byline, before squaring back to Murray, who made no mistake in putting the ball in the net. 


The only thing separating the teams was the ruthlessness in-front of goal shown by the Doonhamers. 


Raith almost pulled a goal back, as a mistake by Martin nearly let Nathan Flanagan in. In a bizarre incident, Martin never threw the ball hard enough towards Jordan Marshall, giving Nathan Flanagan a shot at an open-goal from 20-yards out. However, a gut-busting run by Mikey Doyle was able to prevent a goal back, as he cleared the effort from the line.


Raith missed another glorious opportunity just minutes later, as Calum Crane found himself one-on-one with Martin, however the wing-back?s low shot was tipped wide by the rushing keeper.


The last 15-minutes of the half were uneventful, although Rovers skipper Kyle Benedictus, as well as Iain Davidson, were shown yellow cards for high challenges.


HT: Raith 0-2 QoS


A first-half hour laden with chances for both sides, however it was the visitors who went in leading. Still, John McGlynn and the Rovers team had plenty to be positive about as they came searching to get back in the tie.


The home team were seeing a lot of the ball, with Nat Wedderburn ticking things over in the middle for them. However there was just no final ball, and the Queens back line were able to hold strong.


Darren Brownlie probably put in one of his finest performances of the season in the second period, absolutely dominating 35-goal striker Kevin Nisbet, who couldn?t get a sniff all game.


But despite Raith having better possession, and despite Stephen Dobbie being replaced by Fraser Aird, Queens extended their lead further. 


A challenge from Euan Murray on Aird, which saw the Raith centre-half booked, resulted in a wide free-kick for Queens. The Canadian stepped up to take, finding Darren Brownlie in the box, who?s header ricocheted off someone or something, but nonetheless, ended up in the net.


There was plenty of deliberation about who scored it, with Brownlie and Dykes both seeming to claim it, while certain angles showed it may be a Euan Murray own-goal. However, overall opinion seemed to be that it was Lyndon Dykes? goal.


Queens? task now was to see out the remainder of the match, to carry as high a lead as possible to Palmerston on Saturday. 


Although, Queens almost extended their advantage to four goals. A beautiful through-ball from the resurgent Connor Murray saw Dykes one-on-one with Dean Lyness, but the keeper somehow got a touch to Dykes? effort, which then came off the post and into the grateful hands of Lyness.


The closing 10 minutes were nervy for Queens, and they got even more nervy when Dave McKay cut Queens? advantage back to two.


A cross from the left of the box was headed clear, and fell to McKay as the Rovers midfield struck a powerful volley into the back of net. Martin did get a foot to it, but such was the power that he wasn?t able to prevent it going in.


This reenergised the 2170 strong home-support, as they tried to reduce the deficit to a solitary goal. And they almost did, through Nisbet, but Alan Martin was there to produce a brilliant save low to his right, patting the ball clear of the oncoming Rovers players ready for a rebound.


Following an additional three minutes, referee Gavin Munro blew his whistle, signalling what is essentially half-time in this two-legged tie.


FT: Raith 1-3 QoS


A performance that the Queens players can be proud of. It will be Lyndon Dykes who receives the plaudits for this game, and righty so, as he really caused Raith Rovers problems all game.


There were an exceptional 301 travelling fans, who made their voices heard throughout the game. As ever, your support is always appreciated.


The return leg is at Palmerston on Saturday, with an unusual kick-off time of 4.05PM. It?s your last chance to see the boys in blue this season, and it?s also a farewell match to Lyndon Dykes, Josh Todd and Nicky Low who have each agreed deals to join other clubs in summer.


It?s the biggest match of the season, and one you certainly do not want to miss.


  • Martin

  • Mercer

  • Doyle

  • Brownlie

  • Marshall

  • Wilson

  • Jacobs

  • Todd


  • Dykes

  • Dobbie

  • Murray


  • Mehmet

  • Fordyce

  • Stirling


  • Low

  • Maguire

  • Aird

  • McGrath

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Advantage Queens As Dykes Delights
  Lyndon Dykes backed up his impressive showing on Saturday with a brace either side of a Connor Murray goal, to hand Queen of the South  the initiative in the Championship Play-Off Final.   Clic ...

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