Match Report

Queens got their 2019 Betfred League Cup campaign off to the worst possible start after they were beaten by Premiership side Motherwell 3-0 at a gloriously sunny Palmerston. 

There was little to choose between the sides in the opening forty-five minutes, but after the break the game was predominantly played out in the Queens half and although it took the visitors until the 70th minute to finally find the breakthrough, they were the better team on the day and deservedly won the game.


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The teams met at this stage of the competition last season, and such is the nature of football in this era, only 2 Queens players, Scott Mercer, and Stephen Dobbie, started in both games and today`s line-up saw Queens giving competitive debuts to 5 players, Robby McCrorie, Lee Kilday, Dan Pybus, Jack Hamilton, and Andy McCarthy, with former players Kevin Holt, and Lewis Kidd also in from the start. 


VIP`s today



The visitors were also full of newcomers and backed by a very large travelling support - in excess of 800 - it was them who got the game underway.


The first incident of note occurred just seconds into the game when Motherwell striker Long was unfortunately hit from close range as Darren Brownlie cleared the ball and after a delay of some minutes, he was replaced by substitute Scott.


Queens had started with a 4-3-2-1 formation with Connor Murray, and Jack Hamilton playing just behind Stephen Dobbie and for the opening period it took time for the players to adapt to their new roles, but as the game progressed we began to pose a few problems for the Motherwell defence, and when Dan Pybus won possession in midfield and linked up well with Murray, the ball was fed to Mercer on the right who`s delivery to the near post looking for Dobbie was only just cut out by a covering Motherwell defender.


There was a scare for Queens after 13 minutes when Brownlie and Kidd made a hash of a free-kick midway inside their own half, but the pair were rescued by `keeper Robby McCrorie who saved well to keep out the shot from Scott.


As Motherwell increased the tempo of the game a shot from Campbell was well blocked by Hamilton, and from our next attacking move we came very close to opening the scoring. A fast paced move developed down the left and when Dobbie`s cross fell nicely for Murray he was unlucky to see his close range effort blocked almost on the goal line.


No VAR required here as the ball is clearly handled


Queens were enjoying their best spell of the game at that point and once again came very close to taking the lead when a shot from Dobbie was blocked into the path of Pybus but from the angle of the 6-yard box he was unable to keep his shot on target and his effort flew over the bar.


The game was fairly open with both teams looking to attack and when Mercer and Hamilton linked up well down the right, Hamilton`s driven cross was deflected away for a corner with Murray not too far away from making contact as the ball flashed across the 6-yard box.


Just past the half an hour mark Stephen Dobbie produced a powerful drive that required Motherwell `keeper to produce a smart save that saw Queens gain a corner, but nothing came from the set-piece as Gillespie claimed the ball confidently.


Dobbie tests the keeper


Ten minutes before the break  Mercer and Cole clashed heads in an aerial challenge which left Mercer needing `running repairs`, but thankfully both players were able to continue, and the final action of the opening half saw Motherwell win a free-kick some 30-yards out, but although Carroll`s shot dipped at the last second it was still too high to pose any problems for McCrorie and the half ended scoreless.



There was no doubt about it, the visitors stepped up their game at the start of the second half and for large periods they pinned Queens back hardly allowing them to get out of their own half. With Donnelly, and Campbell gradually starting to gain control of the midfield, the visitors more accurate passing allowed them to pose problems for the Queens defence who gradually started to sit deeper and deeper. A shot from Scott didn`t miss the target by very much, and after creating a shooting opportunity for himself following some clever footwork, Cole wasted the chance when he ballooned his shot out of the ground. Cole and Scott both had shots blocked, before on 54 minutes a change for Motherwell saw them introduce Sherwin Seedorf  in place of Ilic.


As the away side pushed for the breakthrough it very nearly arrived just short of the hour mark when Dunne climbed well to head a corner against the bar, and following a succession of corners they went close again when Lee Kilday was forced to head the ball off the line and over the bar as Motherwell`s pressure on the Queens goal intensified.


Having brought on one winger, Motherwell then introduced another when Hylton replaced Cole - a move that would have a big impact on the outcome of the game. The lively wing man was a box of tricks and although he was only on the field for just over half an hour he was a strong contender to be Motherwell`s star man as he tormented Queens down their right. Even before he was involved in the opening goal, his pace and trickery caused problems, and on 70 minutes he was felled inside the box by Mercer and Donnelly confidently sent McCrorie the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick.


Donnelly sends McCrorie the wrong way



There was a slight response from Queens when after 75 minutes they managed to at least get a shot on target,with Andrew McCarthy forcing Gillespie to make his only save of the half. The visitors had several chances to wrap up the game as Gallagher,Semple, and then Semple again went close to increasing the lead.


With just 2 minutes left Hamilton was replaced by young Ross Irving who made his Queens debut, but it was to be a losing one as both Seedorf, and then Hylton scored cracking goals that left Queens well beaten on the day.


Ross Irving makes his debut


A fairly decent opening fixture crowd of 1956- boosted by the large travelling support- would have enjoyed the summer sunshine, but for those of a Queens persuasion that would have been all, on what sadly turned out to be a disappointing day.


  • McCrorie

  • Mercer

  • Brownlie

  • Kilday

  • Holt

  • McCarthy

  • Kidd

  • Hamilton


  • Murray

  • Pybus

  • Dobbie


  • Burns

  • Irving


  • Gourlay

  • Williamson

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