Posted by: palmerstonblue | September 19, 2012

RYAN IS SPOT-ON FOR QUEENS…

RANGERS 2-2 QUEENS AET QUEENS WON 4-3 ON PENS

Ryan McGuffie’s penalty shoot out winner for Queens ended a 64 year wait for the team from Dumfries as they recorded their first win at Ibrox since 1948 in a thrilling Ramsdens challenge cup quarter-final tie in front of almost 24,000 fans. The unbeaten 2nd division table-toppers were more than a match for their illustrious hosts, and apart from the opening 12 minutes or so,it was Queens who controlled the first period and the only thing missing from their performance was a goal. Rangers’  Neil Alexander was the busier of the two ‘keeper’s, saving well from both Chris Mitchell and Danny Carmichael as Queens grew in confidence and the home side struggled to match their visitors appetite for the game. The home fans grew evermore frustrated at their sides inability to string more than a few purposeful passes together, and as the half drew to a close, whilst the travelling support were eager to show their appreciation of their teams effort, a big section of the home fans made it clear that they were very much disapproving of their teams performance.

Rather surprisingly Rangers made no changes at the break-a break during which  a young Queens side ‘won’ a ten-second  shoot out against a young Rangers side,even that angered many in the ground-and as Queens attacked the end of the ground where their fans were gathered, the half opened in brilliant fashion for the Doonhamers as just 3 minutes in they stunned Ibrox by taking the lead. A cross from the left by Willie Gibson picked out Nicky Clark unmarked in the six-yard box and the young striker rose unchallenged to power a header firmly past Alexander to send the Queens fans jumping for joy. It was no more than Queens deserved, and in fact minutes later, Clark had the chance to add to the lead, but once again Alexander dealt well with his effort.

This seemed to spur Rangers into action at last, with Kevin Kyle replacing the largely inaffective Sandazza, and on 55 minutes they drew level as for the first time in the game Queens failed to deal with a corner and McKay swept home the equaliser. Kyle who had only been on the field for just over 10 minutes was then shown a straight red card for an elbow on McGuffie, but it was the 10 men who went on to score the game’s next goal. Chris Higgins upended Lee McCulloch just inside the box, and the Rangers skipper placed the resulting penalty kick high out of Lee Robinson’s reach to give the home side the lead for the first time in the game. That was harsh on Queens, and things got even worse for them when Willie Gibson picked up a 2nd yellow for a foul on halfway and at that point it seemed as though the game was up for Queens. However spurred on by their noisy supporters Queens mustered up one last chance, and as the clock ticked towards the final minute of stoppage time, they salvaged an equaliser. Mitchell released Clark on the right and his accurate pass across the 6-yard box was met at the far post by in form striker Gavin Reilly who side footed home from 4 yards. There was barely time for a re-start before the final whistle blew, as one corner of the ground went ‘mad’ whilst everywhere else was stunned into silence.

The extra-time period saw Rangers create a few half chances as Queens for the first time began to look a little weary, but it was not all guns blazing from the home side, and Queens held out pretty comfortably. In fact it was Queens who had the best chance to win it in extra-time, but once again Alexander-who was probably Rangers best player on the night-saved well from substitute Dan Orsi, and the game went to the lottery that is penalty kicks.

The shootout did not start very well for Queens as Derek Lyle-on as a sub-blasted his well struck kick against the cross bar, and McCulloch repeated his earlier feat of beating Robinson, but the Queens number one was soon up to his penalty saving tricks, and once Rangers had missed again, the scene was set for Ryan McGuffie to seal an unforgetable night for Queens and as he calmly despatched his kick wide of the diving Alexander the 1300 hundred travelling fans almost took the roof off that part of Ibrox in which they were gathered as the chanting and partying began in earnest. It was quite simply a remarkable night, and one that will live long in the memories of every Queen of the South supporter for many years to come. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take as long as 64 years to experience something as brilliant as that again.

There were so many brilliant performances from Queens players in this game, and it would be unfair to single out one player above another, so I won’t, but on the Travel Club bus that I was on it was close between Higgins, Clark and Reilly, each of whom performed brilliantly well. Final word goes to the Queens support who were brilliant and supported their team correctly, such a shame that the same cannot be said about a number of so called Rangers fans who spent the entire game hell bent on winding up, and abusing Queens fans near them, if as they claimed, ‘they are the people’then we are all in trouble!!!

QUEENS: Robinson-McGuffie-Holt-Durnan-Higgins-Young-Mitchell-Carmichael-Reilly-Clark-Gibson.

SUBS: Lyle for Mitchell, Orsi for Carmichael

NOT USED: Atkinson-Black-Johnston

GOALS: Clark, Reilly

CROWD: 23952

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