Report: St Mirren 1-3 Queen of the South


By Stuart Gillespie at the Paisley 2021 Stadium
Saints slid to the bottom of the Championship table this afternoon after losing to Queen of the South in Paisley.
Derek Lyle curled Queens in front early on after good work from Stephen Dobbie, who was later denied by a great Jamie Langfield save. A stunning Tom Walsh over-head kick levelled things up towards the end of the half but a few minutes later Lyle scored again to ensure the visitors enjoyed the advantage at the break.
The game was as good as over as a contest by the hour mark, Lyle returning Dobbie’s earlier favour by sending him through to add the third. Lyle wasted a fantastic chance to complete his hat-trick before he was subbed, the closest Saints coming to reducing the deficit being when Lewis Morgan hit the post.
Saints had made two changes to the side that started last week’s seven goal thriller against Albion Rovers. Jason Naismith returned to the side in place of Jordan Stewart, who dropped out completely, with Ryan Hardie partnering John Sutton up front. Gary MacKenzie kept his place in defence as he made his home debut with Kyle Hutton lining up in midfield against his old club.
Saints created the first opening for the visitors, some miscommunication between Naismith and Langfield allowing Lyle to pinch the ball at the edge of the box but he lifted his shot well off target. Queens returned the favour by giving the Buddies a free-kick at the edge of the box when Mark Millar flattened Stephen Mallan. It was very much in his range and his effort was low and hard, however Lee Robinson did well to get across goal and turn it behind for a corner that MacKenzie headed into the keepers arms.
Moments later Queens took the lead. Dobbie was allowed to wander along the edge of the box and when the options appeared to have dried up, he back-heeled for Lyle and he curled a tremendous shot beyond the grasp of Langfield to put the Doonhamers in front.
Saints’ brightest moments were usually coming thanks to Lewis Morgan on the left, one of his crosses finding the unmarked Tom Walsh but he headed wide. Dobbie had a chance to double Queens lead when Jamie Hamill found him at the edge of the box with a free-kick, however he didn’t get a clean connection and his effort was dealt with by Langfield. Moments later he worked the Saints keeper properly. Dale Hilson took advantage of some hesitancy from Naismith to switch play across to Lyle and he delivered a fine cross for Dobbie, his header kept out by great save from Langfield.
Queens were looking comfortable and a foul just outside the box gave Lyle a chance with a free-kick in a decent position, however he sent his effort a yard or two over. Grant Anderson then scooped a shot over the bar before Saints drew level in spectacular circumstances. A cross from the left bounced off the head of Andy Dowie to Walsh, who conjured up a wonderful overhead kick that flew past Robinson before the keeper had even seen it.
That briefly transformed Saints and Walsh almost completed the turnaround seconds later, his shot inches away from the bottom corner. However, no sooner had that happened than Queens were back in front. Anderson outpaced Andy Webster to the ball and got to the byline before crossing for Lyle to slide in and score his and his side’s second. On this occasion the Saints response was immediate, Robinson doing well to turn Ryan Hardie’s powerful effort behind for a corner which led to MacKenzie’s header being hacked off the line.
Half-Time: St Mirren 1-2 Queen of the South
Despite being behind, Saints had finished the half with some momentum and should have been level shortly after hostilities resumed. A tremendous Walsh cross picked out the unmarked Hardie lurking at the edge of the six yard box, however his header was weak and Robinson was able to save. Queens were then forced into a change, Jake Pickard replacing the injured Mark Millar.
The Buddies were enjoying a bright spell but it came to an abrupt end. After Robinson sent a poor free-kick straight through to Langfield, the Saints keeper tried to take advantage of his opposite number being out of position by launching the ball upfield. Queens won back possession and worked the ball forward to Lyle who slipped it through to Dobbie. The forward waited on Langfield committing himself before squeezing a shot home from a tight angle, Anderson lurking at the back post just in case the ball didn’t cross the line on its own.
Saints soon found themselves with a mountain to climb and John Sutton and Naismith were replaced by Lawrence Shankland and David Clarkson in a bid to find a way back into the game. However, before the hosts had carved out a chance Lyle should have had a hat-trick. Dobbie robbed Andy Webster at the half-way line and as he raced forward he spotted his unmarked strike partner. His square ball was perfect, however Lyle inexcusably shot over. Next time Dobbie went himself, his shot getting the better of Langfield but flying narrowly past the far post.
A corner gave Saints some hope of reducing the deficit, however as the ball dropped both Walsh and Clarkson went for it, the former’s effort going wide. Webster had been struggling to deal with the Queens attack and was replaced by Ben Gordon for the final 20 minutes or so. There would be no hat-trick for Lyle as shortly after he was replaced by Steven Rigg before Morgan almost gave Saints some hope, beating a couple of men before rattling the post from 20 yards. The youngster tried again a few minutes later, however Robinson easily held the long range shot. Late on, Rigg and Dobbie were unable to take chances to pile the misery on the Buddies, the home fans making their displeasure clear at full-time.
Full-Time: St Mirren 1-3 Queen of the South
St Mirren: Langfield, Naismith (Shankland 60), Irvine, Webster (Gordon 69), MacKenzie, Sutton (Clarkson 60), Mallan, Hutton, Walsh, Morgan, Hardie.
Subs Not Used: Magennis, Baird, O’Keefe, Gallacher (GK).
Queen of the South: Robinson, Hamill, Marshall, Dowie, Brownlie, Anderson (Brotherston 83), Millar (Pickard 53), Lyle (Rigg 71), Hilson, Dobbie, Jacobs.
Subs Not Used: Higgins, Moxon, Tapping, Atkinson (GK).
Referee: Barry Cook.
Assistant Referee: Jordan Stokoe.
Assistant Referee: Chris McTiernan.
Attendance: 3,102 (273 Queen of the South fans)
Match report and match gallery pictures by John Millar – © John Millar.

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