BRECHIN City produced another memorable cup display to send their full-time opponents crashing out of the Scottish Cup at Palmertson last Tuesday evening.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, Jim Weir stuck with the same 11 players who hammered Annan Athletic the week before.
That meant there was only a place on the bench for new signing Raith Rovers’ centre-back Dougie Hill, alongside Gary Fusco, Jamie Redman, Mark Archdeacon and Davie Scott.
City’s start to the game was just what assistant boss Kevin McGowne had promised, attack-minded and positive.
The reds went agonisingly close to taking the lead after just three minutes.
Rory McAllister intercepted a poor back pass and advanced before rounding Lee Robinson in the home goal. Crucially the goalkeeper may have got a finger-tip to the ball, which forced the striker wider than he would have preferred. He tried to roll the ball home, but it hit the side-netting.
City should have been two up inside four minutes. Again Queens were slack defensively and McAllister robbed Craig Reid and advanced into the box.
The big man very unselfishly squared the ball to Mark Docherty, who fired over the bar and an open goal from about eight yards out. To be fair to the City midfield man, the ball appeared to bobble in front of him at the crucial moment.
The first real sign of a threat of sorts from the home team saw Paul Burns shoot tamely at Craig Nelson from the edge of the box.
City had Queens at sixes and sevens again. On this occasion it was McKenna, who had an outstanding night in the forward line, intercepteded Reid’s miss-hit back pass and only the timely block of David Lilley prevented a goal.
City finally got the goal their football deserved after 17 minutes. Kevin Byers picked the ball up in midfield and let fly from 25 yards. His shot hit the shoulder of a defender and left Robinson stranded. No more than City were worth at this stage.
QOS continued with the unrewarding policy of knocking high balls into the box. It was music to the ears of Ewan Moyes, who won nearly every high ball that came his way, ably supported by Davie White. Former Hearts striker Derek Holmes was next to shoot weakly at Craig Nelson.
The home side also forced a couple of corner kicks, but the only threat is a looping header from McGuffie to the far post, which Craig Molloy cleared to safety.
Far from being out of it, Brechin continued to look the more likely side to increase their lead.
Davie McKenna spotted Robinson off his line and attempted an audacious lob, which had the goalkeeper scrambling backwards to make an excellent save, parrying the ball for a corner.
From the resultant corner, the ball broke to Mark Docherty on the left-hand side of the Queens’ box and he crossed a teasing ball with the outside of his boot which Rory McAllister volleyed home in superb fashion to give Brechin a thoroughly merited two-nil lead.
Robinson saved his side once again, a few minutes later. He had to dive full-length to push Kevin Byers’ clinically-struck drive for a corner.
Queens were booed off the park by their own fans at half-time. Frankly two-nil at this stage, didn’t do Brechin City justice.
QOS introduced former Hearts winger, Allan “Magic” Johnston, at half-time, but you felt that even the introduction of Paul Daniels wouldn’t have been liked by the Doonhamers’ die-hards.
They also reverted to a back three in an attempt to get back in the game.
McAllister had the first chance of the second period, when he picked up a loose ball.
However, he couldn’t get enough power into his low drive to bother Robinson.
Highly-rated Bob Harris gave his side a glimmer of hope when he burst through with a powerful run, but his 30 yard drive cannoned off the stanchion behind the goal.
It was a case of “anything you can do, we can do better” immediately, as Rory McAllister turned his marker inside out on the half-way line, saw the goalkeeper off his line and attempted an audacious lob that beat Robinson all ends up, but struck the underside of the crossbar.
Colin McMenamin handed his side an unlikely lifeline in 66 minutes, when he cut in from the left and struck a crisp drive that beat Craig Nelson at his right-hand corner.
There was a ten-minute spell after Queens’ goal, which was the only period of the game where the home side looked capable of scraping a draw. Former Celtic youngster Rocco Quinn was replaced by Danny Carmichael for the home side.
Referee Stevie Nicholls brandished a yellow card at Queens’ Willie McLaren for a late lunge on Craig Molloy.
It was McLaren’s last involvement as he was “hooked” immediately and replaced by David Weatherston a team-mate of Jim Weir and Kev McGowne from their St Johnstone days.
City almost grabbed a third at the death as man-of-the-match McKenna raced away into the box, but just as he bore down on Robinson,
Harris slid in with a great tackle, to conceded a corner.
City were unfortunate to have Kevin Byers booked. David Lilley was the game’s only other caution.
City now face either East Stirlingshire or Highland League Champions Buckie Thistle in the next round of the national tourney.
If Brechin reproduce their form of the last two rounds they are a match for anyone.
Queen of the South - Robinson, Reid, Harris, McKenna, Lilley (Johnston), McGuffie, Burns, Quinn (Carmichael), Holmes, McMenamin and McLaren (Weatherston). Brechin City - Nelson, McLean, Cook, White, Moyes, Janczyk, Byers (Fusco), Molloy, McAllister, McKenna (Redman) and Docherty (Scott).