John Connolly went with his 'cup' team today as Colin Scott claimed the goalies gloves, Jon Crawford lined up in defence and Brian McColligan had a midfield berth. The formation started as a three-four-three with Allan, Crawford and Aitken given the task of defending Colin Scott's goals. The central midfield pairing was O'Neill and McColligan with McAlpine and Neilson providing the width. Peter Weatherson played just behind the front two of Shields and Lyle.
Queens started positively immediately making their way into the visitors area, however Forfar were equally intent on a positive start and forced two corners in the first five minutes. The next fifteen saw Queens rather subdued as they attempted to break down a stuffy Forfar side packed with experienced players with long balls and a lack of accuracy in their passing.
Forfar were first to have any real efforts on goal, Kevin Byers was the main threat for the Loons as he firstly attempted an effort from twenty yards that was always going wide then sent a ball across the face of the goal that Marc Anthony connected well with, the former Berwick player must have thought that he had opened the scoring, however he didn't count on Colin Scott making a terrific one handed diving save to push the ball away.
Queens almost took the lead as they cleared forward and Paul Shields forced his way through on a one on one with the 'keeper, his chipped effort looked like a goal but it hit the upright and bounced clear.
The twenty sixth minute saw Queens take the lead and it was from good work by Shields that gave Queens a penalty. The on-loan Celt broke into the box but was upended by a Forfar defender, the referee initially blew for a free-kick, deeming the offence to have occurred just outside the box, however the stand-side assistant referee corrected Mr Young and indicated that the offence had infact occurred inside the box. John O'Neill did not need an invitation and took the ball to the spot, his effort was well placed and driven in to the back of the net with a purpose.
Jonjo smashes his penalty home
The lead was almost increased immediately as a superb Joe McAlpine cross was flicked goalward by Peter Weatherson but it beat the crossbar. Queens were more dominant in the closing stages but the Loons had not given up.
The fortieth minute saw Byers blow a great chance as the ball was crossed deep into the Queens box, the Forfar frontmans effort hough went well over when it looked easier to hit the target.
The final moments of the half though belonged to Queens as firstly Paul Shields was fed by Robbie Neilson and his effort on the turn beat the 'keeper but also the post. Then Neilson fed McAlpine with a cross field ball that Joe took down on his toe then beat his marker before sending in a screaming effort that also went just past the post.
HALF TIME 1-0
John Connolly was obviously unhappy with the first half performance and altered the formation accordingly as he removed McColligan and sent on Anderson to become the left back in a back four, Robbie Neilson dropped back from midfield to take the right back position and Jon Crawford was promoted to a central midfield role.
The first chance of the half came from a good move between Lyle and Shields with Shields sending in a chip that beat the 'keeper but rebounded off the bar. Moments later John O'Neill became the only Queens player to be booked as he went in slightly high on Anthony.
Ten minutes into the half and we saw a side of Jon Crawford not seen before at Palmerston, the ball came across to the central defender/goalkeeper and the man of many talents let fly with a first time curling dipping effort on goal that crashed off the crossbar, it would have been a goal to remember.
Queens then won a free-kick wide left, the ball was played cross-field to Neilson who fed the ball into O'Neill, Jonjo took the ball in his stride and crashed an unstoppable shot into the back of the net from the edge of the box to make it two nil. Shortly after Jonjo was replaced by Eric Paton as the midfield maestro had picked up a slight groin strain.
With fifteen minutes to go it looked as though Queens defence were getting ready to lose the customary goal to set up a nerve racking ending for the fans, first Andy Aitken had to be well positioned to block away a goal bound effort and then Derek Allan and Colin Scott failed to communicate effectively, both sharing responsibility for spilling the ball at a Forfar forwards feet, the effort however was fortunately blocked by Scott's feet, although he will have know little about it as he was attempting to get back to the goal line at the time.
Joe McAlpine was then replaced by Brian McLaughlin as the wide man suffered a bout of cramp that was deep into his muscle and not advisable to run-off.
The closing minutes saw a good effort by the home side as a Derek Allan header from a corner was cleared off the line by a defender and then the clearance was driven in by Eric Paton only to be cleared by the same defender who had fallen to the ground and probably didn't know much about what had happened.
Derek Allan heads goalward but Rattray(No. 2) would block on the line
The final minute saw Derek Allan stretchered off with what looked a bad injury as his leg was in a splint, it turns out that the injury may not be as bad as originally thought though as it was an ankle knock and although obviously painful it should not put him out for any great length of time.
The final result was the important thing today, it was not a classic performance but it was sufficient to defeat the opposition, the second round draw is expected later this week and Queens will be hoping for a big name side at home.