Sep 19 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
QUEENS came from behind twice to continue their unbeaten start to the season at Ayr United.
Allan Johnstons men were left trailing after an early double from loan star Darian MacKinnon either side of a strike from Nicky Clark.
But a headed goal from Paul Burns followed by a Gavin Reilly brace secured the win at Somerset Park.
It wasnt the most convincing performance from the Doonhamers, who moved 12 points clear of the Ayrshire side, but Johnston praised his team for battling back from behind.
He said: I mentioned to the players before the start that Ayr United have got quality players in the squad and that I think theyll be up there challenging come the end of the season.
To have a 12-point gap on them already is really pleasing. Its a great result away from home and we would take that any day.
We started slowly and Ayrs strikers caused problems but once we got going we started to link up well and created chances again.
To come back was great, I dont remember that happening too often last year they have the belief and confidence now, their heads didnt go down.
Perhaps the international break caught us unaware, and we conceded poor goals but to come here and score four is brilliant and we could have scored more.
Queens hadnt lost a goal in the league this season but that record was smashed after just nine minutes when MacKinnon, on-loan from Hamilton Accies, forced the ball into the net from close range to open the scoring.
The visitors replied seven minutes later through Clark, with the in-form striker firing the ball into the roof of the net after Dumfries-born keeper Darren Martin spilled from Burns.
Ayr continued to impress in attack and re-established their lead on 19 minutes again through former Juniors striker MacKinnon when he headed Michael Moffats cross past Lee Robinson.
Both sides pushed forward in what was a very open game but it was the Dumfries men who found the net next, with Burns marking his first start following his Queens return with a goal, evading his marker to head Chris Mitchells corner into the net.
The hosts lost their urgency after the break and table-topping Queens stepped up a gear to take control of the game, with teenage hit-kid Reilly stepping up with the goods again.
Clark knocked on a Danny Carmichael cross for Reilly to sneak it past Martin at the back-post to continue his fine scoring form, following goals against Hibs and Arbroath.
He bagged his second and Queens fourth midway through the second half, leaving Ayr defender John Robertson on the turf before tucking a left foot low-angled shot into the net.
Queens pushed on further and created further chances but failed to add to their goal tally.
Five games into the season, Johnstons side is sitting pretty at the top of the league having scored 13 goals, only conceding the two.
The Palmerston boss insists his side are brimming with confidence but he has warned that they must not rest on their laurels.
He said: You can see the talent and energy that these youngsters have and the desire to go and win and improve.
But we are realistic to know we cant stand still because we will be seen as a scalp we have got to keep doing it.
I said at the start of season that confidence is massive, and you can see the confidence the players have got with the way they came back and never gave up.