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Sunday, 7th August, 2022
Season Review 2021/2022 Part 5
So Good They Wanted Him Back.

By Stuart McLaren

Date 18th May, 2022

Having got back into regularly attending Palmerston, I was about to have another short break as a new variant of COVID, Omicron, threw the country back into lockdown and led to Queens having to cancel a couple of games due to their own COVID outbreak.

It was my own decision to give the game against Ayr at Palmerston on 18th December a miss as Omicron started to take hold and I missed possibly Queens' best performance of the season as they won The Burns Derby 3-0.  Our next 2 games, away to Morton and Raith Rovers, were postponed due to Queens COVID outbreak and the momentum was well and truly lost as Hamilton came to first foot us at Palmerston on 2nd January 2022 and left with a 3-0 victory.  It was back to a ballot for 500 tickets for this one but I wasn't willing to risk it.  It was still only 500 for the visit of Kilmarnock as Queens suffered a 2-0 loss.  Shae Gordon had joined on loan from Partick Thistle by the time we travelled to Inverness and for the 1st time this season came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw, although the result took us joint bottom of the table.


Things had settled enough by 29th January to allow me back to Palmerston for the vital match against Dunfermline.  There were 2 new loan signings for this one, Darragh O'Connor from Motherwell and another Middlesbrough loanee, Sam Folarin, who was hooked at halftime and never had the impact of Jones last season!  Queens were outclassed by Dunfermline in a depressing 2-0 defeat.  Back on the road, Queens came from behind 3 times at Raith to secure our 5th successive away draw.  Innes Cameron was back in the fold for this one having been briefly recalled by Kilmarnock.  Partick Thistle's truly awful pitch saw our next game postponed.    Our loss at Morton on 12th February (i.e. after the transfer window had closed) thanks to 2 late goals saw our opponents pull well in front of us. They, in common with most of our relegation rivals, had changed managers and were benefiting from that, while we stuck with Alan Johnstone, who seemed to be in a total rut.


I had a lot of time for Alan Johnstone after what he did for us first time around, however, it was time for a change and it was no great surprise when he was relieved of his duties.  Willie Gibson, with the help of Grant Murray, was asked to take the team through until the end of the season.  Although his first game in charge was only a 0-0 draw against top of the table Arbroath (yes, you read that right, Arbroath were top of the league on the 19th of February) the difference in attitude was obvious immediately.  The last game of February saw Queens travel to Ayr and earn a 1-0 win which had confidence soaring and, with a Challenge Cup Semi-final next up, the perfect place to end this section.  


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