Last updated : 21 July 2005 By Duke Of Galloway

Carlisle exploited Queens ring rusty defence to the full and must have ben pleased to come away with a narrow victory despite a late charge by the home side which almost snatched an undeserved equaliser. The Cumbrians look the more composed lot from the start with the Queens defence looking very uneasy indeed. Carlisle almost took the lead early on when a free-kick sneaked past Barnard but for some obscure reason the referee chalked it off. The writing however was very much on the wall as the Cumbrians took the lead in 5 minutes after accepting an absolute gift. Queens Thomson made an absolute has of a clearance when there was no imminent danger and the resultant square pass from an opposing player allowed the unmarked Hawly with an easy chance to beat Barnard. Queens tried to come back with Paton and Payne foraging down the right but it was Carlisle who were in control and out to add to their lead with the dangerous McGill tearing the Palmy defence to shreds. On 18 minutes Queens suddenly burst into the game with Bowey almost scoring only for the Carlisle keeper to turn over his fierce drive. McGill almost increased Carlisle's lead but for a save by Barnard however on 33 minutes a further error in the home rearguard allowed Grey to fire high into the net to silence the home support. Queens tried hard to claw back into the game but the Cumbrian defence were giving nothing away and at the interval their 2-0 lead was entierly deserved.

Half -Time

Queens 0 Carlisle 2
Queens improved a great deal in the second half and when the out of touch Thomson was replaced by Wood they started to take the game to Carlisle. Payne and Paton sterted to feature and questions were being asked of the Cumbrian defence. However Queens with all their effort created very little up front with McNiven living off scraps. Gibson was a huge disappointment on the left and O'Neill was being heavily marked by the big Carlisle defence. Payne squandered a free-kick as Queens tried desparetely to take something from the game but Carlisle were content to play out time which was very nearly their downfall when they gave away another free-kick 5 minutes from the end. Payne thundered the ball home to give Queens some hope. Queens laid seige to the Carlisle defence in the closing minutes and ONeill missed a chance from point blank range. The Cumbrians however held out and must be delighted with their win but to be honest they will have to improve a great deal if they are to survive the drop to non-league next season. Queens fans will obviously be disappointed but there were several plus points with Payne and Paton in good form. We played the ball around well in midfield but didn't create a lot up front which may be worrying for manager Scott. Motherwell will provide more keen oppostion on Saturday so Queens will have improve to compete. Jim Thomson looked a bit short of match fitness and received some very unkind abuse from some quarters but I know the Big Man and he will be back.