Queens Close In On Records

Queen of the South overcame a hard-working Stranraer sid to record their 27th league victory of the season and put them within four points of overcoming Gretna`s league points record of 89 points.

The Palmerston crowd hailed their double-winning heroes as they paraded the Ramsdens Cup trophy at full-time following a 2-0 victory with goals from Kevin Holt and Nicky Clark.

Manager Allan Johnston, said: “I`m delighted.  It was always going to be a hard game.  They`ve been picking up results lately and we had the highs of the cup final last week.  You know sometimes after a big game like that it`s a wee bit of an anti-climax but all credit to the boys with the way they performed.”

When asked about beating Gretna`s points record the Queens manager was confident his side could top the 89 points total:  “It`s going to be difficult but you can see the boys are still desperate to win, are still working hard and as long as we keep our standards the way they have been all season then we`ll continue winning games.”

With the league trophy secured Johnston fielded some of the fringe players with Steven Black and Pat Slattery coming into the side.

“Black has been frustrated a wee bit because he’s not been playing.  He`s a good player and it`s good that he took the opportunity and young Pat came in and did exceptionally well in the middle of the park and looked as though he`d been playing all season.

“[The fringe players] are going to get a chance.  You can see that they are more than capable to step in, they`ve got good ability and it`s a great time for us to be able to play them.”

Nicky Clark netted his 35th goal in all competitions to seal the win as he sets his sights on Jimmy Rutherford`s 1931-32 record of 41 goals in all competitions.

Clark said: “I got the ball down the channel, I was a bit lucky to get by the defender and put it in.  It was the same as Sunday, I knew I was going off again, I was knackered again but I got another goal and I`m happy.

“In the first ten minutes we kind of made it hard for ourselves.  To be fair, I think some of the boys were still tired from Sunday.  But we got the goal and then we were a lot better second half and I finished it off.

“It`ll be hard but I`ll give it my best shot and hopefully I`ll get there.  I need seven goals in four games to beat it, it`ll be hard but I`ll be taking every penalty and free-kick!”