|2007/08 Season Review
||A serialised account of our season by our man who has been at almost every match home and away - Ewan Lithgow
|Part Seven - January||21st June 2008|
On New Year's Day Queens unveiled John Stewart as a new signing on loan from Falkirk. The striker was well out of favour at Falkirk and returning from a fairly unsuccessful loan spell at St Johnstone. He would have a better time of it at Palmerston. Another new signing was Ryan McCann. The name was unfamiliar to most fans but it wouldn't be for long. By season's end he had scored one of the most famous goals in Queens 89 year history and one that will be talked about for a long long time by those who witnessed it.
New signing McCann.
On January 2nd a Queens side including two Trialists on the bench (Robert Campbell and Darren Martin) and without both Dobbie and O'Connor went down narrowly 1-0 at league leaders Hamilton Accies. It was a respectable loss to be honest and could have been better with a goal a personal nightmare for young Jamie MacDonald who came out for a cross he was never getting and left an empty net for McArthur's header to drop into.
The weekend though brought better news though it didn't initially look like it would do. Michael McGowan knocked home a first half penalty for Clyde and it wasn't until Dobbie's introduction as sub that we brightened up. The striker volleyed in an equaliser from close range before Burns and then Tosh with a penalty of his own clinched the points. We climbed to 5th and after the match Robert Campbell signed a deal to the end of the season.
It was back to Scottish Cup action next and in the run up to the high profile meeting with Linlithgow Rose Stevie Tosh was in the headlines again having apparently said it was wrong that Junior clubs be allowed into the Scottish Cup. He's entitled to his point of view but the week before you play one probably wasn't the wisest time to say it! Much of Scotland was waiting for Tosh to come a cropper on Saturday but fortunately there was no sign of that happening as Queens swept aside their Junior opponents. It was 4-0 but could easily have been twice that. Dobbie, Thomson, O'Connor and an own goal by McArthur, set up by Tosh needless to say, were the scorers. The draw immediately after the match was one that caused much interest with the possibility of a game at Gretna. Also immediately after the match Stranraer's centre half prospect Gerry McLaughlin signed a pre-contract to join up for next season.
Gilmour fires a shot goalward against Linlithgow
During the following week the club concluded a superb piece of business by persuading Stephen Dobbie to add an extra 12 months to his existing contract. Neil Scally also agreed a one-year extension but Neil McGowan finally left the club destined for Ayr United.
Dobbie celebrated his new deal in style, despite being left on the bench for the weekend trip to Morton. Introduced in 64 minutes at 0-0 the striker bagged the 'perfect' hat trick inside 20 minutes with a left foot shot, right foot shot and then a header.
The following week brought more off the field news. Firstly the unsettled Eric Paton, who had lost his first team place to Ryan McCann, agreed a pre-contract with Dundee for next season, bringing to an end six years of service at the club. A different sort of negotiation also saw Queens officials agree to play host to Gretna's cup replay with Morton due to Fir Park's shocking playing surface. In addition, should Gretna win the game, Palmerston would also host the next round clash of Gretna and Queens meaning there was a serious prospect of Queens playing an away game at Palmerston!
At the weekend Queens won a terrific match at Dens Park by 3-2. Frequent scourge Colin McMenamin scored an early goal on his Dundee debut but six astonishing second half minutes saw O'Connor equalise when Samson cannoned a clearance off him and then turn in the loose ball after Samson hauled down Burns in the box. For good measure Burns himself added a third. Although McMenamin bundled in a last minute consolation Dundee never looked much like getting back into the game.
The prospects of an away game at Palmerston were hit for six on Monday night though as Morton knocked hapless Gretna out of the cup by 3-0 at Palmerston. Instead it would be a second trip to Cappielow in a fortnight for Queens. The month ended with the signing of young right-sided defender Craig Reid from Celtic on deadline day although a move for Gretna's Martin Canning fell through when Hibernian showed an interest. Three league wins on the spin since the loss at Hamilton had also pretty much dispelled any immediate relegation concerns.
Part Eight - February
This cup run was starting to interesting! Queens travelled to Greenock and recorded their third win of the season away to Morton. This time O'Connor struck the important goal in the opening minute of the second half before going off with a head knock and John Stewart clinched the win with a late second following up after McCann's effort was parried. The following day, the live TV draw saw us rewarded with a home tie against either Motherwell or Dundee. Certainly winnable. Dare we dream of Hampden?
With five wins on the spin it was no great surprise when Gordon Chisholm was named as Manager of the Month for January and a few days later his side made it six with a superb flowing performance sending St Johnstone home with their tails firmly between their legs. McQuilken and O'Connor had us two up before Andy Jackson pulled one back for the visitors. Any thoughts of a come back like their previous visit were dispelled though by a wonderful move that saw Tosh carve open the defence and O'Connor fire home a third goal.
A crowded box against the Perth Saints
On Monday Dundee surprised Motherwell with a 2-1 win on their own ground despite finishing with nine men so the draw in the Scottish Cup was really beginning to open up for us. Meantime six wins turned into seven as Stirling Albion were vanquished very comfortably 3-1 at Palmerston. Paul Burns scored twice in the first half either side of a Ross Harris goal for Stirling. Jim Thomson clinched things with a second half header.
Jim loops a header into the net against his home town club
With the good news continuing to arrive it was announced at the AGM that negotiations lasting several years for the return of the old Tesco building to Queen of the South had finally been concluded successfully.
The winning run finally came to an end at Firhill with a 0-0 draw though, in the circumstances of Jim Thomson getting an early (and controversial) red card and Sean O'Connor playing an hour at centre half, it was verging on a moral victory.
The end of the month saw the club in fine form. A comfortable 4th in the division, a quarter final against a divisional rival to look forward to and an eight match unbeaten run.