Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Queen of the South - Palmerston Park

3rd February 2001

Queen of the South 1-3 Partick Thistle

This trip to Palmerston Park, Dumfries was another of my convoluted journeys.  I began by driving through to Glasgow to obtain camcorder footage of Glasgow University FC’s ground, before dropping in on Auchinleck, Cumnock, Girvan and Stranraer for the same reason.  

There was then a slightly reckless dash along the A75 from Stranraer to Dumfries to get to Palmerston in time for this match, after which I scurried up to Edinburgh to start an overnight shift at work.  Is this normal behaviour for a grown man?  I doubt it very much.

I had been to Palmerston once before, in the early 1990s, to see a New Year local derby between Queen of the South and Stranraer.  I sat in the main stand on that occasion, but this time I paid to stand behind the goal in the enclosure generally populated by the more excitable and unstable Queens supporters.  

And rarely have I witnessed such a group of angry people.  Angry at seemingly everything – not only at the referee (naturally), opposing fans (also natural), but also their own team, those running their club and even, most scarily, each other.  None of the snarling group seemed to be having the remotest fun – they all appeared just to want to vent their spleen at anything and anyone.  And I could not help but feel that some minor but unknowable indiscretion on my part, could easily result in me being the next recipient of their ire…….with a sore face not far behind. 

Mr Angry and his extended family.

The Palmerston Main Stand

Mind you, they did have a lot to be annoyed about that afternoon.  Their team were playing crap, the referee seemed to delight in making any number of unfathomable decisions against them, and the Partick Thistle supporters at the other end were having a whole lot more fun than they were. 

And the main reason for this latter state of affairs was Thistle’s Martin Hardie who, apart from running the show from the Jags’ midfield, was in the process of helping himself to two goals in a 3-1 win.  HARDIE’s first came along in the 19th minute as he headed in a Danny Lennon cross, with home ‘keeper David Mathieson floundering - a second arriving 13 minutes after the break.  In between these strikes, John O’NEILL had snuck in a wholly unmerited equaliser for Queens on 41 minutes.  

The home fans anger-quotient increased throughout the second-half as Thistle tightened their grip on proceedings, although it did take until 7 minutes from time for the visitors to make the game safe courtesy of Scott McLEAN’s impressive drive.

The approach to Palmerston Park from Portland Drive.

The main entrance to QOS Palmerston Park.

Panorama of Palmerston Park, Dumfries.

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