Queens Knock Holders St Mirren Out Of League Cup

Queen of the South manager Jim McIntyre praised his side`s character after they knocked League Cup holders St Mirren out of the competition with a 2-1 win after extra time at Palmerston Park.

After a very even ninety minutes the action really got started when St Mirren were awarded a penalty 2 minutes into extra time.  Substitute Paul McGowan stepped up only to see Calum Antell keep the spot-kick out with a smart low save.  Queens` relief was short-lived though as Steven Thompson headed the Paisley-side in front just a couple of minutes later.  Queens responded impressively and could have equalised through Iain Russell shortly before Stephen McKenna smashed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.  The game was stretched in the final 15 minutes and could have gone either way but it was the home side who snatched the winner through Michael Paton`s volley from range to send his side into the League Cup 3rd Round.

Jim McIntyre said: “It was a really tough game.  The boys just never knew when they were beaten.  With the penalty against us Calum`s made a top drawer save and I thought he was excellent tonight, he had a couple of really good saves from long range efforts as well.  The response we got from losing the goal straight after that was excellent. 

“You`ll not face a tougher two than [Stephen] Thompson and Gary Harkins who has got great quality and goes into areas where he`s difficult to pick up but I thought the back four marshalled them well.  It would be unfair to single individuals out because the work rate was just immense.

“Even when we went behind I still thought that we would make a chance to score.  I didn`t think it would be in quite that spectacular fashion but they kept going and they battled away at it.  We knew that we might get one chance and it was important that we took it when we did because when you do that it gives you extra energy in the legs and that bit of belief as well.

“What a fabulous strike from Stephen McKenna and also the second goal was great quality as well – a great bit of vision from Michael Paton.

“We`ve tried to turn Stephen McKenna into more of a forward-thinking player because we believe his height and his strength can cause problems - I didn`t know he had that in his locker but I`ll certainly take it!”

The change to McKenna`s game has brought rewards as he took his tally for this season to three goals with the spectacular strike that levelled the match:

“I don`t score that many goals, when I do they seem to be pretty good ones so thankfully it went in.  St Mirren are a good side, they pass the ball well and unfortunately they scored a few minutes after missing the penalty but we went up the park and scored a goal and just had to keep going and thankfully got a second goal and held on.

“We`ve got players that create chances, we had Iain Russell come on and he was terrorising them.  We`ve got players that can cause damage so we always get chances and we just have to put them away.  Thankfully we scored a couple tonight.

“We have huge belief and I think it stems from last season.  We`ve retained most of the squad, brought in a few players and we`ve got confidence.  We sort of let ourselves down a wee bit on Saturday but it wasn`t like us and thankfully we got back to winning ways tonight.”