Player manager Allan Johnston and his assistant Sandy Clark, both ex-Rangers players, are bringing their Queen of the South team up from Dumfries for the Ramsdens cup quarter-final tie at Ibrox tonight. Having already sold 1200 tickets Queens will also be bringing a travelling support that many SPL clubs would love to have following their team.
Queen of the South were born on 21st March, 1919 after a merger of three local football teams: Dumfries F.C, 5th Kings Own Scottish Borderers football team and The Arrol-Johnston Car Company. They were named Queen of the South after David Dunbar, a local poet, referred it to Dumfries in one of his poems. I have been wondering these last few days if Mr Dunbar’s naming of the town had anything to do with my only visit and experience of Dumfries. That was a game of football, a drink in the railway(mans?) club, and a night in the back of a Ford transit with a real wee Queen of the South. A Queen of feminine persuasion I haste to add. Could it be possible Mr Dunbar had parked his carriage on the very spot as my Ford transit? Hmm!
Dumfries and QofTS have a nickname, calling themselves the doonhamers. This came about as Dumfries is one of the most southerly towns in Scotland, and with most people working to the North; they speak of Dumfries as doon hame, which is Scots dialect for down home.
The Doonhamers and Rangers have had a very recent cup meeting in the Scottish cup final on on May 24 2008 when 15,500 supporters from a population of 38,000 travelled up the M74 for a carnival day out at Hamden. Those Rangers supporters who thought that we would have an easy win that day were shocked when Queens pulled back a 2-0 deficit after half-time to make the score 2-2. Fortunately in the 71 minute Chris Boyd rose to head the ball over the keeper and into the net with 18 minutes to go. That goal virtually ended the game as a contest and Rangers climbed the Hampden stairs to lift the cup.
The most prominent player to ever transfer from the doonhamers to rangers for 100,000 pounds was the amazing tin man, Ted McMinn. Those oldies amongst us will always remember those mazy runs with his windmill legs bamboozling everyone probably including Ted himself. Such characters come few and far between these days.
The Scottish cup of 2008 saw Rangers playing a Queens team from a lower league. Tuesday’s game sees the roles reversed with the Queens topping the league a division above the Gers. It can also be said that QofTS are the in form team at the moment and will be confident of getting a positive result even although the game is at Ibrox.
Ranger’s home form this season has been impeccable but our form on the road has been so poor that the voices in the shadows are beginning to call for Ally McCoist’s resignation or sacking. The knives are getting sharper by the day. Although I believe Ally would survive a defeat against Queens he really does need to get the team playing better football and hit a winning streak to silence his doubters for a while.
The injuries to David Cooper Templeton and Andy Little are a massive blow to the team as they looked to be the main players who have the skills and vision to open up opposing defences. Their loss has taken a lot of the cutting edge and movement away, making the team a bit one paced and void of attacking ideas. There's also a doubt about Neil Alexander, who's apparently suffering from a shoulder injury he picked up in the Annan game at the weekend.
Rangers should still have enough class in house to roll over a team at Ibrox which in reality is a few divisions below our standard and financial budget. Unfortunately things don’t always work out that way as we have witnessed at Peterhead, Berwick and Annan.
While Ally has been using one striker up front in recent games I think he will go for two strikers in McCulloch and Sandaza.
Possible team (4-4-2):
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