|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 Six - November|
Saturday 1st November saw Queens held onto top spot for another week following a 1-1 home draw with St Johnstone. Brian McColligan's attempted cross was deflected past Kevin Cuthbert for the opener but Brian McLaughlin needless to say netted the equaliser towards the end of the game. Defeats for Inverness and Ross County meant we stayed top with the draw. However, after the game it became clear that Sean O'Connor, who went off injured after just ten minutes, actually suffered cartilage damage and required an operation that would keep him out for five weeks. This began a run of bad luck with injuries and illness that would go a long way towards ending our serious title challenge.
Before the next match John Connolly was awarded his first Bells Manager of the Month Award for Division One after Queens charge to the top during October. He then beat the usual hoodoo and managed to win the next game 1-0 at Raith Rovers. Alex Burke grabbed the vital goal after an error by Richard Brittain.
The league was still very tight and Queens temporarily lost their top slot without even playing the following Friday night as Falkirk beat Raith in a match brought forward to avoid a clash with the Scotland v Holland play-off. Indeed, only Inverness' failure to hold on to a three goal lead at home to Ross County prevented them from passing us also. However, we bounced back to the top on Sunday afternoon following a 1-0 Palmerston win over Ayr United. Alex Burke scored the goal again, this time with virtually the first shot of the second half. Jim Thomson was sent off with over half an hour to go following his second bookable challenge but we held on comfortably enough. Indeed had Derek Lyle, on as sub, not headed against the bar when it was easier to score late on we would have won by more.
Our run at the top of the table ended for good the following weekend following a 3-1 defeat at Clyde. Perhaps more crucially an effectively season ending injury suffered by Colin Scott in that game would mean more in the long term for the prospects of returning to the top. In spite of Scott's injury we took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Gary Wood's first league goal but Ian Harty and Andy Smith combined for all three Clyde goals in the second half.
McAlpine with a late chance against St.Johnstone
The month ended with the postponement of our scheduled home match with St Mirren due to a waterlogged pitch following a Saturday morning downpour. That meant we finished November with 26 points from 14 games, in 5th spot but just a point off the top and with a game in hand.
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