Aug 8 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
Queen of the South's Nicky Clark
NICKY Clark bagged his third Queens goal in a week on Saturday but admitted he still worries about losing his place in the team.
Clark’s late double sealed an impressive cup win for the injury-hit Doonhamers over a stuffy Alloa Athletic side.
And the 21-year-old striker insists he must keep hitting the back of the net – because he knows someone is ready to claim his place in the starting 11.
He said: “I was delighted to get the goals again, especially after not scoring at all last season.
“There’s a lot of competition in this team which keeps everyone on their toes.
“We know that if we don’t score we could fall out the side.
“Last week I played up front with Kevin Smith, it was Derek Lyle this week and then there’s young Gavin Reilly too.”
Queens scored three goals in the last seven minutes to seal their place in the hat for the League Cup second round draw.
Allan Johnston’s team dominated for the most part but struggled to find a way past impressive Alloa keeper Scott Bain.
Chris Mitchell opened the scoring in eight minutes but defender Ben Gordon headed an equaliser just after the hour mark.
Queens captain Chris Higgins put his team back in front two minutes later with a powerful header before Martin Grehan levelled with 12 minutes left.
But the hosts strolled to victory in the end thanks to Clark’s two goals in two minutes and an 89th-minute strike from returning striker Derek Lyle.
Palmerston boss Johnston is delighted at how his side is shaping up and insists they are buzzing ahead of the league kick-off this weekend.
He said: “There’s a lot of confidence in the squad and plenty of competition.
“We had good energy today and created a lot of chances.
“We were missing Kevin Smith, Dan Carmichael and Willie Gibson but I was impressed with the players that stepped in.”
Alloa assistant Paddy Connolly said: “I think the scoreline was a bit heavy on us but the better team won in the end.
“Queens have possibly set the benchmark in the second division.
“It’s disappointing but we will bounce back.
“We showed some character to come back twice but it’s hard to take positives when you get beat 5-2.”