Play-off push continues for Queens after 2-1 win.

Queen of the South marched in to a play-off spot after coming from a goal down to beat Livingston 2-1.


Marc McNulty converted a Livi penalty before half time to put the home side a goal up but goals from Mark Durnan and Derek Lyle in the second half gave Queens a vital 3 points in the play-off race.


After two high-scoring draws earlier in the year, Queens were looking to finally take three points from their West Lothian competitors but with Iain Russell and Chris Higgins both suspended following Wednesday`s 1-1 draw with Morton – as well as Zander Clark being injured – McIntyre`s men faced a tough time at the Energy Assets Arena on a bitterly cold day in Livingston.


Queens started off on the front foot as `Keeper Jim Atkinson didn`t have a save to make in the opening 30 minutes and the youngster impressed all day.


Paul Burns shot was the Doonhamers first effort on goal, however, he drilled the ball six yard wide of Darren Jamieson in the Livi goal.


The game was quickly becoming a victim of the conditions with heavy rain and high winds making it hard for both teams to play. Half chances fell to McHugh and Reilly in the opening twenty minutes but the Livi `keeper wasn`t troubled by them.


Martin Scott had Livingston`s first real chance after 25 minutes with a speculative shot from outside the box, however Atkinson watched the ball sail past his right hand post with little danger. Livingston were starting to creep in to the much though, and Marc McNulty forced Atkinson to jump on a dangerous ball sent across the six yard box by the forward. 


Mark Durnan was then caught on the ball by Jason Talbot but the left back failed to find McNulty, sparing Durnan`s blushes and giving Queens a huge let-off.


However, the Palmerston side did not recieve a let-off from Referee Greg Aitken as, just before 40 minutes, he awarded Livingston a controversial penalty. Chris Mitchell was cautioned as the Referee judged that he had pushed over a Livi forward in the box. The Queens supporters inside the Energy Assets Arena voiced their opinions towards the officials – days after having two men sent off against Morton. McNulty converted the penalty to harshly put Queens one goal down.





Atkinson had no chance from a very well taken penalty


Jason Talbot then went close for John McGlynn`s side minutes after the penalty but Queens managed to hold on and go in at the break a goal down.


As did the first half, Queens started off on top with Reilly and McHugh continuing to create problems for the Livi back four, with the latter, drilling a shot inches by the Livingston goal as the Doonhamers looked to launch themselves back in to the tie. 


With less than ten minutes gone in the second half, Queens had catapulted themselves back in the game thanks to a Mark Durnan header. Bob McHugh was brought down by Mike Mampuya of Livingston and from the resulting free kick, Michael Paton guided the ball on to Durnan`s head and the centre back raced off to celebrate as Queens found themselves level.





Durnan beats Mensing to head home the equaliser….



….and celebrates with McKenna


The pressure continued to mount as McShane went close with a 20-yard effort and McIntyre`s men looked determined to take all three points back to Palmerston. Once again though, the weather started to prevent the game from hitting top gear as the torrential rain returned – but the Queens supporters` spirits were not dampened as they continued to roar their team on. 


Daniel Carmichael replaced Michael Paton with 30 minutes to go and the midfielder had Queens next effort from the edge of the area but it went agonisingly wide. 


The next Queens opportunity didn`t fail to hit the target, however, as Derek Lyle sent Queens 2-1 in front with ten minutes to go. Bob McHugh beat the offside trap to go one on one with Livi `keeper Darren Jamieson and – after Jamieson parried the ball – Lyle was standing on the edge of the box to slot the ball in. 





Lyle celebrates his goal


The Doonhamers managed to brave the storm coming from the Livingston players – as well as the skies – in the closing stages in the match and held on for a hard-fought 2-1 win. The win also moves Queens in to fourth in the Championship – and a play-off spot after Raith and Dumbarton failed to win.



After two away games in four days Queens now have two home games in two weeks against the top two sides in the Championship, starting with Falkirk at Palmerston on the 8th.


info and pictures from http://www.qosfc.com

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