|2003/04 Season Review
||A serialised account of our season by our man who has been at almost every match home and away - Ewan Lithgow
|Part Two - Pre-Season Friendlies|
The 12th July saw the friendlies get underway with a 1-1 draw at Palmerston with a young Newcastle United side. Craig Bates gave them the lead before Eric Paton equalised from a free kick awarded for a soft foul on Lyle. Mark Canning, a potential loan recruit from Kilmarnock, started in midfield whilst Ryan Davidson, Craig Coates and a certain David Bagan all came on as subs as they attempted to earn deals. In fact John Connolly wasted no time at all in signing David Bagan up immediately after the game. The midfielder had been a teenage cup winner with Kilmarnock but had lost the bulk of two seasons to injury whilst with Inverness.
Midweek saw a comfortable 4-1 win at Penrith in the second friendly. Derek Lyle struck twice in the first half before a bad defensive error by Derek Allan allowed the hosts to pull a goal back. However, second half strikes from Paton and Craig Coates left the final score comfortable for Queens. A shortage of fit players and Emilio Jaconelli managing to get lost driving from Kilmarnock(!) meant that Kenny Crichton and Warren Pearson ended up being listed as subs in the game. Fortunately we were spared the sight of Mr Crichton attempting to demonstrate his ball control in proper football. Ryan Davidson played in the game again but failed to impress John Connolly and moved on to Stirling Albion after the match.
The next weekend saw a narrow 2-1 defeat at Morecambe. Sean O'Connor scored early in the second half but, after Connolly started making multiple changes, the home side struck twice in the final ten minutes through Thompson and star striker Adriano Rigoglioso to snatch victory. A couple of days later Craig Coates was also signed to a one year deal having impressed with a hat-trick against Dalbeattie in the reserves.
Big Sean impressed everyone at Morecambe
Midweek saw another Palmerston draw, this time 2-2 with Darlington. Sean O'Connor was in fine form and notched the first before Liddel equalised for the visitors. A fine solo Alex Burke goal restored the advantage in the second half but sloppy defending left Dodds exposed again and another equaliser arrived. The night was also notable for Kenny Crichton beginning treatment on his latest whining victim, me! I ruptured my ankle ligaments at five-a-sides and ended up in the hands of Scotland's finest physio for an intensive course of recovery treatment over the next few weeks when he wasn't pampering the players.
The final pre-season friendly saw us shocked 1-0 in an abject performance away to Dumbarton. The goal arrived ten minutes from time after Jim Thomson tripped his opponent just inside the box. Dillon duly tucked the resulting penalty in off the post. However, the performance was awful and didn't give much encouragement for the impending season.
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