Mar 4 2011 by Susan Bryden, Dumfries Standard Friday
Queens held at Cowdenbeath
QUEENS were held to a 2-2 draw by Cowdenbeath on Tuesday night with a 92nd minute goal denying the Doonhamers full points.
Brannigan was forced to bring on youngsters he hoped he could save from first team duties.
But it was the senior players whose performances he was angry with.
It was a game Queens dominated for the first 25 minutes, forcing six corners in the opening 10 minutes.
But they only had the one goal to show for their efforts and that came in the 16th minute. As Mark Baxter cleared from Derek Holmes, Willie McLaren played in the corner, the ball was headed on by Bob Harris for David Weatherston who hooked the ball past David Hay to give the Doonhamers the lead.
Minutes later Holmes hit a stinging left foot strike from 20 yards but Hay saved well. A short time later, the same player had another half chance. Harris played a good ball in from the left wing and the big forward got his head on it but the chance was blocked.
With the amount of pressure they had, Queens really should’ve been strolling through the game but they only had the one-goal advantage and as they started to sit back the home side were allowed to come back into it.
They were given a warning of things to come midway through the half when David Hutton had to make a double save to deny the home side in their first real attack on goal.
The Queens defence was caught out by a ball over the top and forward Archie Campbell nipped in, his shot was a good attempt but Hutton pulled off a great block with his feet.
The ball spun to Mark Ramsay who also struck the ball well but he found Hutton in good form as he dived low to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Queens had threatened from the start with Weatherston and Holmes a handful as they received good support from Danny Carmichael and McLaren in the wide areas.
But as the home side started to make an impact.
They pulled level 10 minutes before the break. As the ball was played in from the right, Harris and Weatherston were both there with John Armstrong. He went down in the box with referee Crawford Allan pointing to the spot after he said Weatherston had clipped him.
Hutton was helpless as Campbell hit the ball low to his right side. It was no more than they deserved as Queens slackened off their grip on the game.
The second half was very scrappy with both sides cancelling each other out for long spells.
Holmes did have a chance two minutes after the break but Hay did well to save his left foot drive. Then Colin McMenamin, playing in a deeper role, also made a good run to get on the end of a McLaren cross but his header was just wide. At the other end Hutton again made a fine save with his feet to deny Campbell.
Midway through the half, McLaren made a great pass from the middle of the park to set up a chance for Daniel Orsi who had come off the bench for Carmichael. The youngster did well to create a chance for himself but his final shot was too weak and ended up more like a pass back to the keeper.
Queens’ number one had made some great saves but almost suffered an embarrassing moment when he spilled a non dangerous cross from Lewis Coult at the feet of Scott Linton. Had the winger not been caught off guard he would've slotted the ball into an empty net.
But his slow reaction allowed Hutton to grab the ball from his feet.
Then, with seven minutes left, from nothing Queens grabbed the lead. McMenamin made a good run to get enough on the ball to force it past Hay as McLaren played in another inswinging corner. It should’ve been enough to earn Queens three points but in injury time the Queens defence failed to clear a long throw in and substitute Greig Stewart knocked the ball over the line at the back post to earn the home side a share of the points.
Boss Brannigan felt let down by his experienced players and said he needs more from them from now on in.
He said: “Honestly I don't know where they're coming from. I think I need to take them all in and introduce them to themselves as the lack of communication between them is incredible.
“They aren't looking after themselves at the back. They need to start accepting responsibility and stand up and be counted. It's scary and its my experienced players who let me down tonight not the kids. It’s my experienced players, I need more out of them and right now I'm not getting it. The problem is they know I can't take them off when they're not doing it. It's scary, it's embarrassing.
“For the first 25 minutes we stuck to the game plan, they go out there and win six corners in 10 minutes we eventually score off one of them and they suddenly change, they think they know it all.
“They stopped doing the things that got them the goal and that's not right. They need to start taking the chances.
“David Hutton saved us tonight with the saves me made.
“When you come to places like this where teams are fighting for their lives we need to be big and right now were not big enough. I think it was a point gained as they fought harder than us, that's two teams below us that we've lost four points to and that's not acceptable.”
Queens take on Raith Rovers at Palmerston tomorrow afternoon.
Cowdenbeath: Hay, Baxter, Adamson (Stewart 87), Makel (McKenzie 78), Armstrong, Mbu, Ramsay, Cameron, Campbell, Coult, Linton.
Subs not used: Crawford, Miller, Roy
Queens: Hutton, Reid, Harris, McGuffie, Lilley (McShane 81), Carmichael (Orsi 63), Weatherston, Johnston, McMenamin, Holmes, McLaren Subs not used: McKenzie, Holt, Smilie
Referee: Crawford Allan