2005/06 Season Review
A serialised account of our season by our man who has been at every match home and away - Ewan Lithgow
Part Six - December
It was sublime to ridiculous in the first week of December when we moved straight from an encouraging performance against County to probably the worst showing in years and years at Airdrie. We lost 4-0 but that tells only a part of the tale. We didn't compete in any area of the park and made the game very, very easy for the home side who could yet have been dragged into the relegation equation with a Queens win. In the end Prunty, McLaren and McPhee (twice) took advantage of errors by Carr (twice), Lovell and Payne to score the goals but it could easily have been more. The second half of this match saw Stuart Lovell take his first hesitant steps in the sweeper position. Quite what McCall saw in him that day to want to persevere with it I do not know but he was eventually proved right, as he is in most things.

Defeat continued to follow defeat and it became four in a row for McCall as a slightly improved performance at least saw us go down 2-1 at Perth. Again the scoreline flattered us a little as Gary Wood's injury time goal of the season contender put a better light on it than there should have been. Jason Scotland and, for the 4th time in three games, Steven Milne had done the damage long before that though. The match was also notable for McCall publicly criticising Colin Scott during the game and then substituting him with Barnard at half time. Stranraer's point at home to Airdrie moved them seven points clear in the third bottom spot.

Before the next match came the AGM of the club at the Nith Hotel. The formal part of the meeting contained no dramatic announcements but Ian McCall in a manager's forum afterward confirmed that David McNiven was to become the first victim of his cull and would be leaving the club as soon as the window re-opened. He also confirmed he would talk to Sean O'Connor about a return move from Morecambe and that he had offered Willie Gibson and Paul Burns two year extensions to their current deals.

On Saturday the home fixture with Dundee was called off in somewhat controversial and embarrassing circumstances. The pitch passed a 9:30am inspection by Grade One official Martin Sproule after the actual match official, Mike Timulty, chose not to come down early to make the inspection himself. When Mr Timulty finally did appear just before 1pm he decided that the pitch was frozen and the game could not go ahead, by which time of course the Dundee team and their fans had already reached the ground. Understandably they were not best pleased by this turn of events although both managers ultimately agreed with the decision.

Before Christmas Queens defeated a Falkirk side 5-2 in a closed door friendly at Palmerston that saw Gary Wood grab a "hat-trick". Our other goals were both scored by John O'Neill whilst Andy Thomson was on the mark for the visitors along with Ian McSween. In the days after the game Queens announced that the farcical situation with the Dundee game had seen them purchase pitch covers to avoid the recurrence of the situation in future whilst Stephen Payne was confirmed as the second victim of McCall's squad purge.

Thomson and English watch on as Sutton attempts an effort
Boxing Day brought with it a visit from the league leaders St Mirren and Palmerston's biggest crowd of the season to date witnessed a 0-0 draw that was never dull. Gary Wood saw red for a challenge on Andy Millen whilst John Sutton joined him in the proverbial early bath a few minutes later for a challenge on Jim Thomson that saw the Queens skipper stretchered from the park with a bad head injury. Sutton would subsequently have his red card rescinded though after TV evidence showed nothing more than an accidental clash of heads. Despite the draw with a difficult opponent it proved a bad day for us as Brechin finally won their first game of the season and Stranraer won an incredible match with Hamilton by the odd goal in nine!
It wasn't a pleasant New Year for Queens fans generally as we went down to a turgid 3-0 defeat at Clyde courtesy of another two goals for Alex Williams and a Stephen O'Donnell strike. Meantime Ian McCall confirmed that Brian McColligan would be the third player leaving during the impending window and that he was finding it harder than he'd hoped to bring in new faces.

Ewan Lithgow
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12

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