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Narrow Escape
Lyle
Winner

By Stuart McLaren


Date 1st August, 2015


Queens made their shortest ever trip for a competitive fixture, and were lucky to escape their most embarrassing result in a long time. To get the excuses out of the way, I don't think we can judge them too harshly on this game for 3 reasons : 1) The pitch reminded me of the 1st artificial one at Palmerston, 2) The weather reminded me of last seasons 1/4 final, 3) There is a clause in Peter Weatherson's contract which says he has to score twice against us in every match!

Saturday 1st August, 2015
Galabank Annan
League Cup 1st Round
Attendance : 1,359

Queens 4

Annan 3

Conroy (41)
Lyle (64)
Hilson (92)
Lyle (100)
Osadolor (58)
Weatherson (62)
Weatherson (71)
Queens Yellows Hilson
Queens Reds

Queens Team

Thomson R
Kidd
(Hooper 82)
Dowie
Higgins
Marshall
(Pickard 83)
Conroy
Millar
Jacobs
Russell
(Smith A 75)
Hilson
Lyle
Bench: Rutherford Atkinson J Skelton
none   none  

Match Report

It was nice to be able to leave the house for an away fixture at the same time as I would have for a home one for a change. Well, almost, the last time I was in Annan, before they had the foresight to bye-pass the place, horse and cart was the prevalent form of transport, so I left earlier in case parking was going to be difficult, but in the end it was no problem.

 

Queens team was I think the same as last week, but the fact that the 3 used subs today were all kids shows that we are lacking a bit in depth. I'm jumping ahead a bit, but to get to the new guys first, Thomson in goals was generally pretty solid, although could maybe have done better with the 3rd goal at least, I thought Marshall was unfairly criticised after the Kilmarnock game, and I thought he looked solid enough again today, Conroy was outstanding as expected and came pretty close to Man of The Match for me, Jacobs I hardly noticed, may just have been my position behind the goal today and Hilson had some really nice touches, including a superb last minute equaliser and a brilliant first half run which finished with him being booked for a dive rather than winning a penalty. The other "newish" player to impress me was Millar, I think a full pre-season will help him this year, and although his passing was a bit off in today's wind and difficult pitch, he got through a barrow load of work.

 

Anyway, back to the start, and Queens, playing into the strong wind, dominated early possession, without threatening the goal.  We had a couple of half chances in the first 22 minutes, but it was Annan's most dangerous player, number 10 Osadolor, who was first to threaten when he held of the Queens defence's weak efforts to stop him before firing the ball against the post when he probably should have scored. Annan's confidence increased with this and the game became much more even from then on.  Osadolor got through again in 30 minutes but this time Marshall managed to cover round behind the defence to block the ball away for a corner. 

 

Hilson's run came in 33 minutes when he beat his man on half way, ran past another couple on the way into the penalty box, only to be booked for diving as he pushed the ball past the keeper and looked for a penalty. Much too far away for me to have an opinion! 

 

Queens went close in 40 minutes when Higgins header from a right wing corner was cleared off the line, but there was no stopping us a minute later as this time from another right wing corner, Conroy closed the Goal of The Season betting this early on as he met the ball pulled back to him on the edge of the box on the full volley to leave the keeper with no hope as the ball flew into the net. 1-0 to Queens in spectacular fashion.

 

I was quite happy with 1-0 at half time, and thought that with the wind on their backs in the 2nd half, Queens would wind up easy winners.

 

How wrong I was. The 2nd half continued in the scrappy fashion most of the first half had been played, until possibly the games outstanding player, Osadolor, met a right wing cross with a diving header in 58 minutes, sending the ball high into Thomson's left hand corner and giving him no chance. 1-1, game on!

 

Game well and truly on, as in 63 minutes the home side, two leagues below Queens remember, took the lead. I couldn't see exactly what happened from the other end of the park, but the end result was that a low left wing corner was met at the near post and found it's way into the net at the near post. Wasn't sure who had scored at the time, but I should have known it would be Weatherson, who seems to have got bored of his not celebrating goals against Queens bit after getting so many of them! 1-2, Queens in trouble.

 

Queens equaliser in 65 minutes had a hint of luck too it. The ball seemed to come off Hilson's knee on the right wing, but bounce throught to Lyle, with space in the box. There was nothing lucky about Del's finish through, as he gave the keeper no chance. 2-2.

 

The topsy-turvy 2nd half took another twist in 72 minutes and Higgins hesitated, Thomson was too slow in coming out, meaning he could only block the ball at the feet of Osadolor, but the ball fell to, you've guessed it, Weatherson, to coolly lob the ball into the empty net. 2-3.

 

Things were looking bad for Queens, although it looked like we had got back into it in 82 minutes when Conroy's cross from the left was met by Hilson at the back post, but as the hands went up around me to block my view, once the dust had settled, it turned out the keeper had manager to turn his shot away for a corner. Fowler threw on extra attackers to try to get the equaliser, and one of them, Aiden Smith, won us a free kick right on the edge of the box in the last minute. It looked like it wasn't going to be our day through as Conroy's kick left the keeper rooted to the spot watching as the ball hit the inside of his left hand post before flying along his goal line behind him, but not crossing the line. Surely Queens last chance had gone.

 

Hilson had the ball in the net in the 91st minute but was ruled off-side, but he was to have the final say as with 2 minutes of injury time played, he cut inside on the right of the box to unleash a left footed shot across the keeper into the far corner for a dramatic equaliser for Queens. The reaction of a strangely subdued Queens support was more relief than delight, but at least we now had 30 minutes to finish them of as the 90 minutes finished 3-3.

 

Annan predictably tired in extra time, and were reduced to 10 men when their right back, who I didn't realise at the time was ex-Queens Steven Black, received a 2nd yellow and therefore a red after 2 minutes. Queens were now on top, and took the lead after 100 minutes of football. There was a scramble in their box, the ball was them slammed against the underside of the bar, before Derek Lyle got his head onto the re-bound to make it 4-3 to Queens. Even then there was doubt amongst us Queens fans at the other end of the ground if the goal had definitely happened as it took a while for things to get going again and the players to line back up, but it turned out it was only for Del to get treatment.

 

Queens were pretty comfortable after this, and it was made easier when Annan's number 7, Omar, who had been down with cramp just before the incident, dived in so late to a tackle in the 117th minute after Queens had already been awarded a free kick, I'm sure the referee had already drawn his little circle on the pitch before his tackle hit! It think it was a tired tackle rather than malicious, but it did deserve the straight red card that ensured Queens a nice easy last few minutes and progression to the next round.

 

Don't be too quick to judge Queens on this one, conditions were difficult, let's see how we get on in our first league match next week. As I said at the beginning, I've gone for Hilson as Man of the Match. And for those of you in the Fantasy Betting League, I hadn't really thought before how to deal with an extra time game, so I've "paid out" on both a 3-3 draw and 4-3 Queens win (or other score!) and also on Queens-Draw and Queens-Queens for half time/full time. Don't forget to get your bets in on the other fixtures for next week's first league game.



Man of The Match : Hilson
Read The Opposition's View at - Click Here For A Link To a Annan Site.

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