Match Report


Queens made it into their fourth challenge cup final after an extra-time goal from Ryan McGuffie was finally enough to see off a spirited performance from Arbroath. This game was nothing like the league clash between the sides at Palmerston earlier in the season, and although Queens created the better of the chances, the visitors were still well in the game until McGuffie`s calm finish settled the game and sent Queens into the final.
Queens boss Allan Johnston was forced into making changes to the side that started at Stranraer last time out, with Paul Burns being cup-tied, and both Willie Gibson and Chris Higgins being suspended. Stephen McKenna ,and Dan Orsi ,filled the midfield places, whilst Ryan McGuffie replaced skipper Higgins at the back,and took over the captain`s armband for the day as he made his first start since that epic night at Ibrox last month. The visitors who had been on a decent run after losing at Palmerston, included former Queens men, Scott Robertson in midfield, and Derek Holmes on the bench.
By the time kick-off arrived, a crowd of just over 2300 had gathered to witness what was a first ever semi-final tie to be played at Palmerston and on a pleasant Autumnal afternoon, Queens attacked the Terregles Street end in their usual 4-4-2 formation as the half got under way. As early as the opening minute Nicky Clark unsettled Arbroath defender Stuart Malcolm to win a first corner for the home side, but Chris Mitchell`s delivery was easily defended by the visitors. After wining a 2nd corner early on following good play from Dan Orsi, a neat lay off from Derek Young fell nicely for Stephen McKenna, but the midfielder drove his shot from 20-yards narrowly over the bar. Arbroath had threatened with the pace of Rennie down the right on a couple of occasions, but he had no support in either break and Queens coped comfortably.
The early goal that Queens were looking for came on 9 minutes when Orsi made good progress down the left before playing the ball inside to Derek Young who`s drive from the edge of the area took a nasty deflection and bounced past the wrong footed Arbroath `keeper Morrison to put the home side in front. Winger Orsi had made a bright start to the game and his pace and direct running was causing problems for full back Baxter, and another break by the youngster brought another corner for Queens, but once again the cross from the dead ball situation was wasted. Queens appeared to have strong claims for a penalty after 18 minutes when a tackle by Kevin Holt saw the ball rebound into the path of Gavin Reilly and the young striker appeared to be pulled down inside the area as he moved towards goal, but referee Clancy waved away the appeals. There then followed a period in the game that could have resulted in both sides scoring. Firstly, a swift move down the right involving Dorris and Rennie for the visitors set up a chance for Robertson, but the former Queens man saw his well placed header brilliantly turned away by the diving Lee Robinson, and as Queens hit on the break straight after, Danny Carmichael ghosted past 3 defenders before placing his shot from just inside the box narrowly over the bar with the `keeper well beaten. Another quick break from Queens saw Reilly and Clark combine on half way, but as Reilly made for the six-yard box, Clark`s initial touch was just too heavy meaning that he was slightly off balance as he attempted to find his strike partner and he miscued his cross, although the ball bounced on the top of the crossbar had the cross been another six or so inches further back, Reilly might well have scored.
Derek Young strikes the first goal
Surely a penalty as Reilly has his shirt almost off his back
The first of 8 yellow cards to be shown in the game went to Arbroath full back Mark Baxter for a crude challenge that left Kevin Holt lying on the ground,and minutes later Queens really should have gone further in front. Excellent play down the right from Carmichael saw the winger produce a perfect cross into the 6 yard box where an unmarked Clark directed his header wide of the post. Carmichael was starting to have more of an influence on the game, and twice in the space of three minutes he was sent sprawling to the ground by defender Hamilton, the second time being enough for him to be cautioned for the offence. The visitors replied with a shot from Currie going wide of the target after good hold up play by the impressive Doris. Arbroath were convinced that they should have been awarded a penalty minutes from the break as Currie cut inside Holt in the area, but the striker seemed to stumble into Holt more than being fouled by the Queens man, and the referee waved play on much to the disbelief of the visitor`s bench who were still fuming at the decision as the referee ended the half.
Arbroath replaced Hamilton with David Banjo at the break, no doubt hoping that the youngster would be able to pull the strings in midfield during the 2nd period. The half began brightly for Queens and after a spell of pressure in which they pinned their visitors back, Orsi unleashed a cracking drive that may have caused problems for the Arbroath `keeper, but instead it caused more problems for Ryan McGuffie as the ball smacked straight into his face and knocked him over. An effort from Reilly was blocked by Keddie, and soon after McKenna had another go from distance but his shot was never on target and always rising over the bar. Queens forced another corner after 53 minutes, but once again the delivery was lacking, and Arbroath were able to launch a swift counter-attack that led to a shot from Rennie going wide after a good lay off from Sibanda. The visitors were clearly gaining in confidence and 5 minutes later they levelled the game when Keddie was on hand to head in at the near post following Rennie`s corner.
Keddie`s effort beats Robinson to equalise the scores
For the first time in the game, Queens showed signs of being disorganised, and Doris almost put Arbroath in front, but Lee Robinson saved well as Queens began to look a bit shaky. The first change for Queens came after 69 minutes with Derek Lyle replacing Dan Orsi, and two minutes after coming on, Lyle had the ball in the net,but the goal was disallowed apparently for pushing. Sibanda on 74, and Robertson on 75, made their way into the referee`s notebook, and Carmichael was sent to the floor fot the umpteenth time in the game, this time it was scorer Keddie who was cautioned. The resulting free-kick from a good position on the right was ultimately wasted when Derek Lyle shot well over. With the game moving towards extra-time, a quick break from Arbroath created a half chance for Doris, but a timely intervention allowed Mark Durnan to clear the ball to safety. McGuffie and then Holt were both cautioned for silly fouls right on the stroke of full time, as the first ever Palmerston semi-final was set for extra-time.
Sabanda puts in a strong challenge on Mitchell
It was Queens who had the first chance of the extra period,when following good play by Lyle and Clark, Carmichael was just unable to latch onto Clark`s pass and  Malcolm cleared. Lyle was in the action a couple of minutes later as he showed good skill to bring down Robinson`s high clearance with a sublime touch before playing a square pass to Reilly who hit a powerful drive over when well placed. Arbroath`s Banjo created a half chance for himself after charging down a clearance inside the Queens box, but he shot well wide of the target.The best opening of all then fell to Queens as Carmichael`s effort was parried into the path of Clark 4 yards from goal but the striker was unable to keep his shot down and the chance was gone. To be fair the ball did come back off the `keeper at fast pace, but in form Clark probably should have done better. Gavin Reilly was then replaced by the player-manager after 103 minutes as Queens continued to have the better of the play,but without being able to find that bit of composure needed to find the breakthrough.
The second period of extra time saw Arbroath go close to taking the lead as Robertson again rose above the Queens defence to glance a header just wide, and almost straight away Queens might have grabbed the lead when Carmichael charged down the `keeper`s clearance and the ball looped up and only just cleared the crossbar. Another chance came Queens` way following a good cross from Johnston, Lyle dummied the ball but Carmichael didn`t make the best of connections and his shot went just wide. Just as it seemed as if the game was heading to penalty kicks, the hero of Ibrox, became the hero of Palmerston when Ryan McGuffie produced a top class finish from just inside the box placing his shot high into the net past the outstretched hand of `keeper Morrison to give Queens the advantage. Queens introduced Steven Black in place of Clark, who had taken a knock in the dying minutes,and as the final whistle blew, it was Queens who had triumphed to make it into another Challenge Cup Final. Ramsdens man-of-the-match award went to Danny Carmichael who had another fine game, and special mention has to go to Ryan McGuffie, who`s deciding spot-kick at Ibrox got Queens into this semi-final, and today his perfect finish has put Queens into the Final. Absolutely Brilliant!!!
McGuffie strikes the winner
Morrison can`t reach McGuffies effort
Celebration time
Danny picks up the sponsors Man of the Match award

  • Robinson

  • Mitchell

  • Durnan

  • McGuffie

  • Holt

  • Carmichael

  • McKenna

  • Young

  • Orsi


  • Clark


  • Reilly



  • Atkinson

  • Lyle


  • Black


  • Johnston


  • Slattery

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14:26 Howdy folks and welcome to Palmerston as Queens host Arbroath in the Challenge Cup Semi-Final.
14:28 The sun is shining in Dumfries and here are today`s teams:
14:29 Queens: 1 Robinson 2 Mitchell 3 Holt 4 Durnan 5 McGuffie 6 Young 7 Orsi 8 McKenna 9 Reilly 10 Clark 11 Carmichael
14:29 Subs: 14 Lyle 15 Black 16 Johnston 17 Slattery 12 Atkinson (gk)
14:30 Arbroath: 1 Morrison 2 Baxter 3 Hamilton 4 Kerr 5 Malcolm 6 Keddie 7 Sibanda 8 Robertson 9 Doris 10 Currie 11 Rennie
14:31 Subs: 12 Holmes 14 Gribben 15 Banjo 16 Sheerin 12 Bullock (gk)
14:32 And today`s whistler is Kevin Clancy assisted by flagwavers John Gilmour and Michael Banks with Craig Charleston as 4th official.
14:35 Some enforced changes for Queens today as Chris Higgins and Willie Gibson are suspended whilst Paul Burns is cup-tied.
14:51 The teams last met in September with Queens winning 6-0 but since then Arbroath have hit some form. They`re unbeaten in the 5 games since.
14:53 So far in the Challenge Cup Arbroath have beaten Elgin in a 7-5 thriller, Forfar 3-2 and Stenhousemuir 1-0.
14:55 And Queens have seen off 1st Division sides Dumbarton and Morton as well as ,of course, humbling Rangers at Ibrox.
15:01 The teams are out as the sun disappears. We`re ready to go...
2 min First attack from Queens sees Nicky Clark get to the byline but his cross is blocked. The ensuing corner comes to nothing.
6 min Queens have begun in a 4-4-2 formation whilst Arbroath look like they`re in a 4-5-1 line-up with Steven Doris up top on his own.
8 min Nice strike McKenna. Queens attack and Young lays in front of McKenna 25 yards out who smashes it just over the crossbar.
9 min GOAL QUEENS! Young the scorer
11 min Nice wing work from Orsi as he gets a cross in, the ball falls to Young. He hits it and a cruel deflection takes it past the keeper.
15 min That`s exactly the start Allan Johnston was looking for as Arbroath are going to have to come out and attack more in search of a leveller.
17 min Queens have a shout for a penalty as Reilly looks to burst into the area goes down under a challenge but it`s not given.
18 min Chances at both ends. Arbroath have their first effort on target as Robinson has to dive full length to keep out Robertson`s header.
20 min Queens go straight up the other end as Carmichael dribbles past three challenges before firing his shot just over the bar. Great play.
24 min Hits the bar. Nice play from Reilly as he plays in Clark. He didn`t mean it but Clark whips in a cross which clips the top of the crossbar.
25 min Yellow Card : Arbroath`s Mark Baxter leaves Kevin Holt in a heap and is cautioned.
28 min Queens are playing the ball around nicely but Mark Durnan nearly gets in trouble as he takes a heavy touch but McGuffie clears up for him,
32 min So close Clark! Carmichael does well on the right and floats a cross onto the head of Clark whose header lands on top of the net.
32 min So close Clark! Carmichael does well on the right and floats a cross onto the head of Clark whose header lands on top of the net.
39 min Yellow Card : Arbroath`s Colin Hamilton takes out Carmichael for the second time in five minutes and earns a booking.
41 min Almost McGuffie. The ball falls to the big defender inside the box and he smashes a fierce shot towards goal but it is blocked.
43 min Arbroath have a penalty shout of their own as Currie cuts inside Holt in the area and goes down. The ref waves play on.
Half Time HALF TIME - QOS 1:0 Arbroath
Half Time A good first half sees Queens with a deserved lead. Arbroath have caused problems to the Queens defence but the home side are looking strong
Half Time Today`s attendance is 2,310.
45 min Substitution for Arbroath as the fantastically named David Banjo replaces Colin Hamilton.
48 min Orsi tries a volley from the edge of the box but his effort is blocked by his own player as McGuffie takes the well-hit shot in the face.
49 min A couple of nearly moments from Queens as Reilly has a goal-bound shot blocked before McKenna fires over the bar.
54 min Arbroath threaten as a long ball falls to Sibanda but the wingers` shot dribbles well wide of the goal.
55 min Goal Arbroath. Keddie the scorer
57 min Slack play from Queens at the back and they allow Arbroath onto them. A simple goal as Rennie`s corner is headed in by Alex Keddie.
65 min Good save Robinson! Steven Doris does well for Arbroath as he gets past McGuffie and fires a low ball across the goal but Robinson saves.
66 min The crowd are getting restless as Queens look shaken. Arbroath are by far the better team at the moment.
66 min Substitution : Lyle on for Orsi
68 min Queens threaten with a Chris Mitchell freekick from wide. It`s a good ball in which drops inside the 6 yard box but nobody is there.
71 min Goal disallowed for Queens. Derek Lyle finds the back of the net but the referee had already blown for some pushing.
72 min Yellow Card : Arbroath`s Sibanda and Robertson each earn bookings for seperate offences.
76 min Yellow Card : Arbroath`s Alex Keddie trips Carmichael on the edge of the box and is booked.
77 min Derek Lyle takes the freekick but hits it well over the crossbar.
80 min Good defending from Durnan. Doris causes more problems and looks to find his strike partner. Durnan is there and awkwardly gets it behind.
81 min With not long to go Queens are looking more likely winners but Arbroath have looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
86 min Yellow Card : Ryan McGuffie picks up a yellow for a late challenge.
89 min Yellow Card : Kevin Holt gives away a freekick high up the pitch and is booked.
90 min Queens clear the danger from the box as the referee signals the end of 90 minutes. We will now have extra-time.
90+1 min After a pretty dominant first half Queens` intensity dropped in the second and allowed Arbroath back into the game.
90+3 min We are underway again.
90+5 min Almost! Nice play from Queens as Lyle lifts it to Clark at the back post. He then heads across for Carmichael but the wee man can`t reach it
90+6 min A wonderful touch from Lyle plucks the ball out of the air and allows him to set up Reilly on the edge of the box but his shot is well over.
90+8 min Arbroath have an effort of their own as Davie Banjo hits one well wide.
90+9 min What a miss! Carmichael hits a curling shot toward the far post and the keeper saves well. The ball falls to Clark but he puts it over.
90+14 min Queens are doing most of the pressing at the moment but just can`t break through. They have a corner now though...
90+15 min The corner comes to nothing as Arbroath eventually clear.
90+16 min Substitution : Johnston on for Reilly
90+18 min Queens are going for it now as they are playing Clark, Lyle and Carmichael up front with Johnston in behind.
90+19 min Half-time in extra-time.
90+21 min Queens completely dominated the first period of extra time it`s obvious they do not want a penalty shootout. 15 minutes more to go...
90+21 min Game on again.
90+23 min Chance for Arbroath! From a corner once again but this time it`s Scott Robertson who meets it and heads wide.
90+24 min Chance for Banjo! Arbroath`s sub stumbles through the Queens defence but has no composure and smashes it high and wide.
90+25 min So close! Dan Carmichael closes down the Arbroath keeper whose clearance hits the winger and drops inches over the crossbar. Wow.
90+26 min Arbroath make their final sub with former Queens striker Derek Holmes coming on for Sibanda.
90+31 min Carmichael chance! Johnston does well on the right wing and crosses low. Lyle steps over it before Carmichael stabs it wide of the post.
90+32 min GOAL QUEENS! McGuffie the scorer
90+34 min Finally Queens break through!Clark does well to control inside the area and lays it to McGuffie on the penalty spot who finds the top corner
90+37 min Substitution : Black on for Clark
17:29 FULL TIME - QOS 2:1 Arbroath
17:30 Queens are in the Challenge Cup Final after a hard-fought and at times frustrating 120 minutes of football.
17:31 Queens were by far the better team by the end of play but allowed Arbroath into the game in the 2nd half and made things difficult.