A little bit of Forfar was turned into a little bit of Dumfries today as what must have been around nine hundred Queens fans transformed Station Park into a mass of royal blue and white as they witnessed their side play fast attacking football that was impossible for their hosts to match. Three goals without return could have been doubled, but no one was complaining as the victory ensured that season 2001~2002 will go down in the history books as the season that Queens took their second ever league championship, both secured at Forfar.
There were no changes to the side that started last week, only the substitutes had altered personnel as both Barry Donald and John Crawford got a seat at the expense of George O'Boyle and Allan Moore. The match itself fully lived up to expectations, Queens dominated from the off and soon wore down any resistance that the Loons offered, the front pairing of Lyle and Weatherson looking particularly lethal and wing men McAlpine and Gray giving excellent support yet again.
Queens were first to threaten and at Station Park, where fans can still change ends, had the benefit of shooting towards the Doonhamers support in both halves. After and early John O'Neill effort had cleared the bar following good work from Alan Gray and Joe McAlpine, the same pairing again combined as Gray fed a cross onto the head of McAlpine, his looping header being pushed into the air by the Loons 'keeper and then again into the air as it looked to be falling back into the net, eventually the ball was pushed away but not before McAlpine had again threatened.
Queens then had their worst period of the game as Forfar kept them in their own half for a few minutes, culminating in a dipping effort flying past the upright that had Colin Scott well beaten. It didn't last long though as Graham Connell was next to threaten as he was put through in the box, his effort though was high as the ball bobbled in front of him. On the half hour Peter Weatherson managed to dispossess the 'keeper, however he could not capitalise on it.
The pressure was mounting on the home goal at this stage and Peter Weatherson almost opened the scoring as he rose to meet a Joe McAlpine cross but didn't quite get high enough above the ball and sent it over the bar, a minute later a John O'Neill effort on the edge of the box was blocked, the ball landed at the feet of Paddy Atkinson who floated a ball across the box and onto the head of Peter Weatherson, Nellie made no mistake as he buried the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0. Two minutes later and it was almost two as Joe McAlpine again sent in a cross, this time Derek Lyle attempted to lob it over the 'keeper but this time Brown in the Loons goal made a terrific save to push the ball away.
On forty minutes Forfar had their first shot on target in the match as possession was lost on the edge of the box allowing an effort by the Loons strike force, Colin Scott however was down well to his left to gather.
Queens came out for the second half appearing to be even hungrier than they had been in the first, almost immediately Joe McAlpine setting up Derek Lyle for an attempt then a few minutes later John O'Neill put the ball through to Nellie who lofted it over the 'keeper and into the net for number two. Queens were in full flow now and the Forfar defence were stretched to the point of almost increasing the Doonhamers lead as a McAlpine cross was bulleted goalward off a home defender only for his 'keeper to save him with a terrific diving save.
Nellie almost completed his hat-trick when McAlpine fired in a cross that he flicked just past the post. Then in the seventy second minute Forfar had their only other shot on target but again found Scott getting down well to smother the shot.
Derek Lyle then made way for Sean O'Connor and received a standing ovation as he left the field for yet another fantastic afternoon's work. Another standing ovation was given a few minutes after as Alan Gray had to be stretchered away after he had gone down in what appeared a reasonably innocuous challenge, Steve Bowey coming on for Gray.
The killer goal came with only five minutes to go as Peter Weatherson fed in Sean O'Connor, the big man showed just how deadly he is as he struck an unstoppable shot into the 'keepers top right hand corner to send the support delirious.
Three nil to Queens and as the final whistle blew the good natured crowd were allowed to invade the pitch to celebrate with the players and make some memories that will last a lifetime.
A superb performance from a superb team in front of their superb fans, truly a day to remember for everyone associated with the Doonhamers.
LIVE MATCH ACTION - CLICK ON PICTURE TO PLAY VIDEO CLIP
Nellie's first goal
Many thanks to David Gow for the video clip
COLLECTION OF PHOTO'S FROM THE DAY