Queen of the South 0 Dunfermline 3Saturday, 2nd May 2009
Pars win 3-0 in Dumfries in their final away fixture of the season. Scorers - Andy Kirk, Calum Woods and Nick Phinn.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 0 DUNFERMLINE 3
Jim McIntyre made four changes from his Hampden eleven but then a warm up injury to Steven Bell forced a rethink. Nick Phinn and Jamie Mole dropped to the bench and Scott Thomson's injury kept him out. Stephen Glass served the final of his two match suspensions. That meant starts for Scott Muirhead, David Graham, Andy Kirk and Greg Ross. Following Bell's withdrawal Phinn was back and Lee Graham took up a place on the subs bench.
Not surprisingly Queen of the South were unchanged from the eleven that demolished Clyde last Saturday. For the last match of the season at Palmerston, Sean O'Connor returned to their bench along with Neil MacFarlane.
There were 100 Pars fans in the stand for away supporters as Kirk and Bayne kicked the game off. Within 40 seconds Muirhead fed a ball inside and the strikers almost carved out an early goal but the QOS defence was resolute. In the fifth minute Phinn fed a nice ball out to the right for Graham but it was Ross who centred and Kirk forced the first save of the afternoon driving a low shot from eight yards at Robinson.
The home side's first shot at goal came in 10th minute when Steven Tosh's shot broke off Scott Wilson but Paul Gallacher was out swiftly to smother the ball. Two minutes later there was another good chance for the visitors. Andy Kirk ran on to a long ball and fed the ball back for Burke to pick out Phinn on the left side of the Queens box. His cut back set up Muirhead but the two central defenders blocked him and when the ball broke back to Alex Burke he fired wide left from 20 yards.
A Muirhead cross in 16th minute earned a corner on the right. This was sent deep by Graham looking for Wilson but Martyn Lancaster's head got there first. Burke picked up the pieces but his curling cross, maybe shot, sailed wide of the right post. Graham won another corner two minutes later and Burke took this one but still QOS got it away.
In 21st minute a brave header from Andy KIRK eight yards out put the Fifers ahead. Phinn played the ball off the strikers on the edge of the box and chipped the return into the Queens box. Robinson came out but the Pars man leapt regardless to head over the all green stopper for his 16th goal of the season.
The Doonhamers tried a quick reply and Stephen Dobbie had the Dumfries crowd oo-ing with a whistler of a shot driven just outside the right post. Instead it was Dunfermline who were to find the net just five minutes after their first goal. A David Graham corner was sent over from the right, it cleared the target - Scott Wilson - but Burke gathered and sent a fine delivery into the six yard box where Calum WOODS rose to head into the left corner of the net.
On the half hour Tosh got another opportunity after Stewart Kean drove the ball off Wilson on the 18 yard line. Fortunately for Dunfermline his aim was just outside the left hand post. Two minutes later a Barry Wilson corner was hammered wide right by the red boot of Neil Scally.
A Graham cross in 34 minutes was headed on by Bayne for Muirhead to blast a superb shot on target but Robinson pulled off a great save. But the Pars kept up the pressure with Muirhead squaring the ball for Nick PHINN to find the net from 20 yards.
Muirhead and McCann combined well to force a 42nd minute opportunity but Robinson held Ozzie's cross. At the other end Scally tried an impressive overhead kick that sent the ball inches high of the bar.
It may have been a reply from a wounded animal but this was an amazingly positive first half from the Pars. Unfortunately the performance was at least one week too late but it was a joy to watch a Dunfermline team play the ball about so well. Bayne and Kirk were really squeezing the QOS defence and the midfield were connecting just as you'd want. More of the same in the second half please.
Half Time: Queen of the South 0 Dunfermline 3
Playing towards the empty terracing end at Palmerston, Dunfermline should have scored in the fifth minute of the second half. Bayne sent the ball out to the left corner flag and Muirhead put in a great ball that surprised Phinn on six yards. Three minutes later Kirk sent Muirhead away down the left again and his cross for Bayne gave Robinson problems and a corner was conceded.
In 55 minutes a Muirhead free kick broke to Graham and he sent in a good ball to the top of the box. Phinn was spilled by Tosh but the Pars man's fall looked too theatrical to earn a penalty. But the home defence froze leaving Kirk a chance from close in that he failed to take.
A nice 62nd minute jink from Graham got him around Lancaster, into the right side of the box and Robinson had to turn a low shot around his left hand post. A long ball from Robinson four minutes later was latched on by Dobbie but a great crunching tackle by Woods prevented the striker increasing his tally.
In 68 minutes Queen of the South were reduced to ten men and despite the red card Jim Thomson was applauded off by the home crowd. There was no doubt about referee Chris Boyle's instant decision since the the home captain stamped on Graham Bayne's calf after he went down in a tackle midway into Queens half.
Manager Gordon Chisholm withdrew Stephen Dobbie to allow 27 year old Sean O'Connor to come on for his final appearance for the Doonhamers prior to his retiral. The home crowd were crying out for their side to show more fight but with just ten men they looked vulnerable.
Bayne received a pass from Kirk to force the keeper to turn the ball out right. Ross fired the ball from the corner at Robinson before Rory Loy came on for Kirk, followed by Jamie Mole for Bayne. Loy tried to chip Robinson in 84 minutes but was unsuccessful with his attempt from the right angle of the box.
In 87 minutes Loy had a glorious chance from a Graham cut back but his shot from 12 yards rocketed over the crossbar. The match ended with the same scoreline as at half time but this was a much improved Dunfermline show. With results elsewhere going Dunfermline's way it takes them into third place in the league with two matches to go.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Lee Robinson; Craig Reid, Bob Harris, Jim Thomson, Martyn Lancaster, Neil Scally, Barry Wilson, Steven Tosh (Neil MacFarlane 58), Jamie McQuilken (David Weatherston 61), Stephen Dobbie (Sean O'Connor 71), Stewart Kean.
SUBS: Craig Barr, Bryn Halliwell.
RED CARD: Thomson (68)
YELLOW CARD: Lancaster (68), Wilson (89)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Greg Ross, Calum Woods, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann; David Graham, Steven Bell, Alex Burke, Scott Muirhead; Graham Bayne (Jamie Mole, 82), Andy Kirk (Rory Loy 76) .
SUBS: Greg Paterson (GK), Lee Graham, Paul Willis.
SCORER: Kirk (21), Woods (26), Phinn (34)
REFEREE: Chris Boyle
WEATHER: Sunny 14?C
NEXT MATCH: First Division v Morton, Tuesday 5th May
East End Park, kick off 7.45pm