While Rovers were humping Shirey at Cliftonhell we were continuing our good festive season form with a fine 0-0 draw at fellow promotion chasers Dumbarton. Our makeshift defence stood firm and denied highly rated striker Stephen Dobbie a fairytale ending to his loan spell at Sons. This injury crisis has had some other good points, the emergence of Paul Cairney has him earmarked as a real star of the future while Chris Colquhoun, despite only playing 4 minutes on Saturday, looks like a decent young player with a possible future at Hampden Park.
This season, both Queen's and Rovers have been praised by supporters of other teams as two of the best footballing sides in the division, but these derby affairs normally bring the worst out of teams, and don't expect anything other than a battle on the predictably boggy Coatbridge surface tomorrow afternoon.
We have met our rivals twice in the league this season. In August, a Spiders side fresh off dumping Aberdeen, were held to a 1-1 draw at Cliftonhill thanks to Joe Savage's last minute looping header over Mark Cairns. David Weatherston had given Queen's the lead with his first for the season. In November a late Stephen Reilly penalty decided a tense Hampden encounter. Alan Trouten hammered Queen's into the lead before Chaplain headed home a leveller moments later. Weatherston was brought down by keeper Ewings with 7 minutes left and Reilly did the business to take our winning run to 4 matches.
How we would take a similiar outcome tomorrow!
LIKELY LINE UP
XI: David Crawford, Paul Cairney, Mick Dunlop, Damiano Agostini, Richard Sinclair, Steven Canning, Stuart Kettlewell, Tommy Murray, Paul Ronald, David Weatherston, Mark Ferry
SUBS: Xander Cowie, Robert Dunn, David Waters, Chris Colquhoun, Richard Bowers