One year on from the best away result of last season, Queens matched that performance on the same ground and ran out comfortable winners in this game. John Connolly made three changes to the side which drew at Cowdenbeath last week. With Jim Thomson away on business, the pre-match talk was which of Derek Allan or Andy Aitken would come in. Connolly fooled us by playing both of them with Alan Grey moving to right wing back and Jon Sunderland dropping to the bench. In the other expected change, Peter Weatherson returned from suspension to replace Stuart Connolly.
The first chance of the game came after two minutes when Peter Weatherson met Gordon Connelly's right wing cross with a flying header which narrowly missed the right goalpost. Berwick's first chance came in the seventh minute when Colin Scott spilled a deep cross on the edge of his box in front of a striker. He atoned for the error though when he managed to get some kind of block on the chip back and John Crawford was able to shepherd the ball past the post. This was as close as the "Wee Gers" came to scoring all day. Free headers in the Berwick box continued to be order of the day and in fifteen minutes, Gordon Connelly found himself all alone eight yard out on the end of O'Neill's left sided free kick. He managed a powerful header but straight at O'Connor in the home goal. Two minutes later and it was Craig Feroz's turn to meet a Grey cross unchallenged only to again find O'Connor better positioned than his defenders.
The first goal arrived after half an hour following some clever work on the left touchline from John O'Neill. His cross looked to be perfect for Weatherson but, Berwick centre half, Alan Neill managed to get there first. His efforts were to no avail though as his stretched boot only succeeded in diverting the ball high into his own net.
Queens began the second half in determined mood and less than a minute had gone before O'Neill struck a half volley narrowly over the crossbar. A minute later, Derek Allan picked up Queens first booking for a fairly innocuous looking challenge. In fifty minutes, Queens doubled their lead. Weatherson produced an overhead kick on the halfway line to send Craig Feroz running clear down the right wing. He cut inside and hit a cross shot which struck the nearest defender on the arm. It was an incident very reminiscent of the one which saw Andy Aitken concede a penalty on our last visit to Berwick and had the same result, a penalty was awarded. John O'Neill did his usual job of burying the kick once all the protests had been calmed down.
Berwick's only real effort of the second half came when defender Neill met a corner with a decent header but Scott saved the ball down low on his goal-line. On the hour mark, Colin Scott picked up a yellow card when he raced from his goal to meet Gary Wood and tripped the attacker as he tried to pass him. There were other defenders around though so there was never any likelihood of a red card. The resulting free-kick was blasted straight at the wall and cleared by Andy Aitken. In the 63rd minute, Berwick's Grant McNicoll was booked for hauling down Craig Feroz after the striker had gone past him.
In the 73rd minute, two goals became three. A long cross-field ball was hit towards Feroz in the box. McNicoll came across and made a reckless challenge which seemed to catch the on-loan striker in the midriff. A penalty was the inevitable result along with a second booking and a dismissal for the defender. Again John O'Neill made no mistake with the spot kick, this time to the other side of the goal. Straight from the re-start Feroz produced a tremendous run to the bye-line but his cut back eluded everybody and the chance was lost.
With eight minutes remaining Connolly made his first change with young Graeme Armstrong replacing Weatherson. Three minutes later and the rout was completed when Gordon Connelly picked up a loose ball in midfield, evaded two challenges and found himself clean through on goal. He slipped the ball under the advancing O'Connor and into the bottom left corner of the net. To complete proceedings, Queens brought Des McKeown and Stuart Davidson on to replace Joe McAlpine and John O'Neill.
In summary, a fine win for Queens to continue their unbeaten away record. We're still fourth in the table but continuing to challenge at the right end. Now for Aberdeen!