Last updated : 25 January 2004 By Duke Of Galloway
St Mirren bounced back from their mauling at Brechin to record an emphatic win against a depleted Queens who were without regular central defenders Reid and Thomson, the latter having gone down with Gastroenteritis earlier in the day. Aitken and Woood took over in defence and it was fairly evident early on that this combination looked very vulnerable indeed against the eager Saints side with former Queens man O'Neill to the fore. Queens also were struggling in midfield where Saints seemed more sharper and first to the ball. Saints forced a serious of corners and there were several near things around the Queens goal with O'Neill in the thick of it. It was no surprise when the same man nodded home from close in on 29 minutes to put St Mirren ahead. O'Neill's goal celebrations in front of the Queens fans were cut short when the referee stepped in and booked him. Even after his booking O'Neill continued to gesticulate with the furious Queens fans but in the end order was restored amid some rather unsavoury scenes. Queens were really up against it now and despite tremendous encouragement from the huge travelling support just could not get into the game. They were showing nothing up front with O'Connor being well shackled by the Paisley defence although it has to be said we were being overun in mid-field and the big man was suffering from lack of service. Queens somewhow survived until half-time and they trooped off with the knowledge that a huge effort would be needed to get back into the game.

Half-Time St Mirren 1 Queens 0

Queens got off to a awful start to the second half by losing a goal on 50 minutes when Mc Ginty was allowed to stroll right through the centre of the Queens defence to crash in a wonderful shot via the post much to the surprise of Dodds. A minute later Queens were down and out as a horrendous back pass by Paton allowed O'Neill to strioke the ball home. Surprisingly Bagan pulled one back for Queens on 56 minutes but the game was finished despite Jaconelli going close with a header late on. Queens never recovered from the O'Neill goal early on and their makeshift defence struggled throughout. We were overun in mid-field at times with Bowey fighting a losing battle with the result that very few chances were made up front with O'Connor strangely subdued. The loss of Thomson and Reid obviously had a huge impact on the game and Queens will struggle if they are still unavailable for the Clyde game. The Aitken and Wood combination at the back looked rather frail indeed but they will have a chance in training during the week to sort things out if Thomson is still on the sidelines. Our Championship dreams are now looking decidingly dodgy and on this display today it looks like a damage limitation exercise from now until May.

However, the Dream lives on.