There were some starting midfield and forward line changes in today's side that took on a Newcastle eleven at Palmerston. Upfront was Jon Sunderland to partner Peter Weatherson but more interestingly in the centre of the park was Andy Aitken who put in one of the best performances of the day in his new role. The backs remained unaltered as Thomson, Allan and Crawford continued to form their new partnership with Campbell wining the selection for 'keeper. New signing Gordon Connelly was unable to take part as all the necessary clearances have not yet been received.
Aitken was in top form in the centre of the park today
The visitors fielded much the same side that had defeated Berwick 5-2 just a week or so ago with Lualua, Griffin, Bernard, Marcellino, McMennamin and Caldwell all starting.
Queens started brightly and within five minutes Peter Weatherson had just failed to connect with a Paddy Atkinson cut back from a Jon Sunderland through ball. Newcastle were though a very lively side with some excellent passers of the ball in their midst's, shooting from range was another of their skills with a shot from well outside the box that Campbell did very well to palm away.
Newcastle may have been enjoying the bulk of the pressure but Queens were more than holding their own and the combination of Jon Sunderland, Warren Hawke and Peter Weatherson again caused the Magpies trouble in the heart of the defence. In sixteen minutes John O'Neill found himself clean through and with only the 'keeper to beat managed to fall over his feet as Brain in the Newcastle goal reacted with some speed.
The twenty fifth minute of this match saw probably one of the most truly solo goals seen at Palmerston for a long time as Magpies left back and French U18 Internationailst Oliver Bernard picked up the ball close to his own corner flag and set off on a cross field run which culminated in him hitting the back of the Queens net from the edge of the penalty box.
Three minutes later and Warren Hawke picked up a wrist injury in his own area and had to be replaced by Gareth McGhie.
Queens though had a couple of good chances before the break as first Jim Thomson headed over from inside the box and then Queens best chance of the half as Paddy Atkinson put through John O'Neill who in turn fed in Peter Weatherson, Peter's first touch was not bad but before he could turn on the ball Brain in the Magpies goal had come out and smothered the chance to keep the score at 1-0 at the end of the first half.
The start of the second half saw the visitors pressing from the off and within four minutes they had their reward as Jim Thomson could only obstruct the passage of Newcastle substitute Coppinger in the box and had to pay the penalty as Green stroked home the spot kick to make it 2-0 to the North Easterners.
Queens were next to receive a penalty as Peter Weatherson, who had given Marcellino a tough time all afternoon, was eventually upended by Steven Caldwell in the box. No question about who would take the penalty with John O'Neill making no mistake with his hard driven effort to give the home fans some hope.
O'Neill's penalty crashes into the back of the net
John Connolly then did the now familiar substitution of bringing on Super Sub Hoggy to replace John O'Neill and to pep up the front line for a final assault on the Newcastle goal, and within four minutes the move paid off handsomely as Peter Weatherson hit the byeline and put in a terrific near post ball that Geordie Hogg had no hesitation in bulletting into the back of the net to draw the scores level.
The game then became more disjointed as a series of substitutions broke up the rhythm for both sides and a 2-2 result was settled for with honours shared.
All in all another good result for Queens who have come through a tough pre-season undefeated and after facing teams from the SPL, Premiership and English Third Division. The real action starts next Saturday at New Douglas Park where Queens fans will be hoping that pre-season form can be produced in the league from the start.
For the record the Newcastle side was:
Brain, Griffin (McGuffie 65), Bernard, Marcelino, S. Caldwell, McClen (Dimas 72), Gavilan, Boyd (Cowan 77), Lualua, McMenamin (sub Coppinger 46), Green.
On another note did anyone notice that there were more Geordies in the Queens starting line-up than the Newcastle line up and that there were more Doonhamers in the Newcastle side than in the Queens side!