Sunday 13th September 2015
Friendly v Giffnock Old Crocks at Braidholm
David Stewart; Robert Shimmons, Ally McNaught, Alan Galindo, Allan Mackenzie; Gary Duncan, Craig McKenna; Darren Dunsmore, Derek Muir, Ross Dunbar (c); Scott Macrae. Subs (all used): Stephen Fox, David Blair, Graeme McQuarrie, Andy Dick and Neale Waugh
We’re slowly running out of Glasgow opposition for friendlies but luckily Giffnock Old Crocks are still on the go and we headed to Braidholm to take on their “B” Team.
The Boss had a squad of sixteen to work with and picked David in goals (available for the first time this season); Boab and Ally at full back; Al and Gee in central defence; Gary and Craig as the first line of midfield; Darren, Del and Ross ahead of them; Sebo up front. On the bench were LHD, Graeme, Andy D, Neale and Foxy MaRoxy for the first time this season, a substitute with experience.
The Braidholm grass pitch looked in excellent condition and the sun was shining and we went into the game full of confidence on the back of a five game unbeaten run.
It only took us ten minutes to continue our good form as a long ball to Darren on the right saw him outsprint the home defence to score the opener.
Our lead didn’t last long though as Giffnock equalised from a close range header as the teams started off evenly matched.
There had been a pre-match rumour that Ally McCoist was going to make a second half appearance for Giffnock and it was found to be true when Ally showed up and got changed.
Sebo, a name Ally must remember well, was inspired by the sight of a legendary striker but unfortunately he brought laughs from everybody when he attempted a scissors kick from a cross but only succeeded in landing with a thump.
Things didn’t improve for our Sebo when he fired a penalty kick over the bar after Darren had been brought down. And things didn’t improve for us a minute later when Giffnock took the lead after a shot from distance struck the underside of the bar and the rebound was turned in to put the home side ahead at the break.
The Boss was in carefree mood and made five changes at half time with Boab, Ally, Gary, Del and Sebo all making way.
Ally McCoist came on for the Old Crocks in central midfield and became easily the most famous (ex)player to play against us.
Our changes immediately made a difference as we equalised with a superbly worked goal.
Foxy received the ball at right back and played it inside to Andy and went off down the wing looking for the return. Andy played the perfect pass, Ross let the ball go through his legs, Foxy ran on and crossed to the back post and Graeme headed home to complete a great team goal.
A minute later and we were ahead as Darren burst through the defence and coolly finished past the keeper.
Another couple of minutes passed before we were two ahead. A throw in on our right saw the ball punted forward and Darren outjumped a defender to find Graeme and his shot looped high in the air and over the keeper to make it 4-2.
The goals wouldn’t stop coming and McCoist pulled a goal back less than a minute later then equalised a few minutes later, both low shots into the corner of the net.
Despite the Crocks’ goals we were now the better side and Darren’s pace was causing the home defence all sorts of problems and he was again fouled in the area to give us our second penalty of the game. Ross stepped up this time and made no mistake.
With about fifteen minutes to go we were back to being two goals ahead as Ross received a short free kick about 30 yards out and fired in a shot which the keeper could only block. Sebo, back on in central defence, was up in attack and the first to the ball to score our sixth and also our 2600th of all time.
There was still time for us to have another couple of penalty shouts turned down, the first when Andy was pushed to the ground by the keeper and the second when Graeme was fouled. The latter shout saw the referee blow the final whistle to save the home side more punishment.
An excellent victory and we retired to the Giffnock North Social Club for a drink and some food with the home side.
THE FINAL WORD FROM THE BOSS
Another very good performance over the piece from our lads against a Giffnock side who had always held the upper hand against us in previous games.
The first half wasn’t vintage Queen’s in terms of our performance but we were very unfortunate to go in behind at the break. We deserved our early lead and looked comfortable throughout. It was concerning that we lost two poor goals but we had all the clear chances, including a missed penalty!
Second half was much more like it overall as we calmed down in the midfield and started playing the passing football we all know we can. Our third goal was a superb team effort and exactly the kind of thing we’ve shown ourselves capable of throughout this unbeaten run (which now stretches to 6 games).
We dealt with the blow of being pegged back to 4-4 by Ally McCoist and in the end should have probably scored more than the six we ended up with. Every one of the 16 players we fielded can be happy with the performance and we have set ourselves up very well for a big weekend of League and Cup action.
Hopefully by Sunday we are 8 unbeaten, and in the hat for the 2nd Round of the British Cup!