Queen’s Park v Dunfermline Athletic
Allan Johnston brings his Dunfermline side to Hampden as the Spiders get our Scottish Cup campaign underway at the third-round stage. For many of the Hampdens faithful the visit of the Pars will provide a welcome break from league business, albeit only for a week, with a fixture that we go into with nothing to lose.
But with a lengthening injury list, and a couple of suspensions thrown into the mix, Queen’s will be forced into changes. However, when the club media team caught up with Gaffer Gus MacPherson on the eve of the tie, Gus said the absentees presented an opportunity for other players who had been on the fringes of the action to stake their claim for a regular starting spot.
Gus confirmed that he will be without captain Sean Burns and midfielder Anton Brady, both of whom miss out through suspension. They will be joined in the stand with injured trio David Galt, Kevin Green and Ciaran Summers.
Firstly looking back on last Saturday’s match against Arbroath Gus said: “Once again I couldn’t fault the players for their application but it’s decision making at both ends of the park that cost us the game.
“We need to be much more ruthless in front of goal and tighten things up at the back. We lost the second goal through poor communication, something which has been an issue for us for some time. It’s a massive part of the game, especially if you are a defender. Decision making is also a critical part for ourselves as we lost another game where I didn’t think there was a lot between the teams.
“It’s the old cliché that goals change games and it was extremely disappointing to have taken nothing from a game that we were capable of taking something from. I thought we got some decent balls into the box, got bodies into the right areas and played at a decent tempo for the first hour but the second goal deflated us.”
Looking ahead to the Dunfermline tie the gaffer said: “The squad know the importance of learning from their mistakes and go into the game looking to ensure they don’t make the same errors.
“We say every week that the matches at League One level are tough and this weekend it’s going to get that bit tougher again. Concentration will be key. We have shown spells this season what we are capable of – but not often enough.
“We know the importance of ensuring we do the basics right, only then will we give ourselves a chance in games. We also know only too well that more composure is required in the final third. That is vital.”
The opposition: The Pars go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw in the Championship away to Falkirk last Saturday. Dunfrmline ended the game with nine men after Kallum Higginbotham and Declan McManus were sent off. The Fifers currently sit fourth in the Scottish Championship, two points behind league leaders St Mirren.
Head to head: Played 63; Queen’s Park 16; Draw 19; Dunfermline Athletic 28.
Last meeting of the sides: 08/10/2016; Dunfermline Athletic 2-1 Queen’s Park.
Recent form: Queen’s Park LDWLLL; Dunfermline Athletic LLDWLD.
Top scorers: Queen’s Park – Anton Brady (3); Dunfermline Athletic – Joe Cardle (9).
Match officials: Referee – Steven McLean. Assistants – Andrew McWilliam & David Dunne.
Admission prices: Adults £14; Senior Citizens (65+) £5; Student/Unemployed/Children (u16) £3.00.
Twitter: You can keep up to date with all the action as it happens at @QueensParkFC.
Our next match: 25/11/2017 v Raith Rovers at Starks Park. Kick off 3pm
Other Scottish Cup fixtures: Lothian Thistle Hutchinson Vale v St Mirren; Airdrieonians v Cove Rangers; Arbroath v Berwick Rangers; Banks O’Dee v Ayr United; Buckie Thistle v Brechin City; Clyde v East Fife; Dumbarton v Elgin City; East Kilbride v Albion Rovers; Formartaine United v Forfar Athletic; Livingston vs Glenafton Athletic; Montrose vs Queen of the South; Peterhead vs Raith Rovers; Spartans vs Fraserburgh; Stenhousemuir v Alloa Athletic; Stranraer v Brora Rangers.