Queens completed their pre-season with a comfortable win over third division Queens Park at a pouring wet Lesser Hampden. There was some confusion about the game being defined as 'closed door' but eventually Queens Park representatives were persuaded to let in the small band of Queens fans who had made the trip. There was no Ian McCall tonight as the manager is in Bosnia with the BBC for the Hearts game but Stevie Morrison took charge of a strong side.
Four minutes in and Sean O'Connor sprang the offside trap of the home side for the first of many times on the evening. Mark Cairns sprinted from his goal to upend the big striker wide on the right though and prevent a cross or shot coming in. From the resultant Eric Paton free kick, O'Connor's header was parried by Cairns and Henderson's rebound was smuggled wide for a corner. In the 12th minute Paul Burns played O'Connor through behind the defence again and this time he did beat Cairns with his shot but missed the target to the left from 12 yards. The home side though were showing up front as well and on 21 minutes an attack down the right side eluded Jim Thomson and a low cross was spooned over the bar by their No 10 from six yards out.
In the 26th minute a fine move saw O'Connor head down for Burns who picked out O'Neill with his cross. The former Queens Park star's shot beat Cairns but was smothered by a defender on the line and hacked away. Straight back up the other end though and Murray Henderson was called into action to head a net-bound lob off the line with Scott beaten. A goal had to come and it duly arrived in 33 minutes. O'Connor's shot was blocked out for a corner on the left and when Paton swung it in it was headed on at the near post by a defender to the back of the six yard box where the lurking John O'Neill had time for a touch to control before poking home. Before half time O'Connor set up Scally for a volley that was well blocked by a defender whilst at the other end the No 2 tried and failed to bend a shot around Scott from the left side.
Queens made six half time changes with Kyle Bryson, John Henry, Scott McKenzie, Lewis Sloan, Michael Mullen and Andy Thomson coming on for Lauchlan, Thomson, Burns, O'Neill, Weir and O'Connor.
Two minutes into the half the lead was doubled. Whorlow's clever pass down the left sent Mullen away and he outwitted his opponent before cutting the ball back into the six yard box for Andy Thomson to knock home.
Just after the hour mark Paul Burns was re-introduced at wing back for the hobbling Paton who had taken a hefty first half knock. Five minutes later and the home side had their best chance of the game which No 10 should have finished but clean through on goal he shot fairly centrally and allowed Scott to make a good block. Two nil became 3-0 in the 75th minute when Henderson's pass sent Lewis Sloan haring towards goal. The youngster held off two opponents before slipping the ball inside to Michael Mullen who provided a cool finish from 18 yards. A minute later it was 4-0 when Mullen's clever dummy sent Andy Thomson through and he made equally no mistake with his finish. The same two players in fact should have combined for a 5th five minutes from time but over-played the passing and Mullen ended up shooting high into the side-netting instead of the target.
So that's it for the pre-season work. It's onto the real stuff when the feeling that we have a good side this year will be tested to the maximum, starting next week at Livingston.