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SMOKED SAMMON; Hitman is Jags hero with late clincher.

Byline: Colin Paterson

QOS .1 Partick Thistle 2

Alan Archibald admitted he was relieved to have avoided an upset after Conor Sammon's late winner booked Partick's place in the fifth round.

Jags were touted as the topflight team who'd come a cropper. But Irish striker Sammon's double either side of Ross Fergusson's first Queens goal sent the Premiership side through and silenced their doubters.

Boss Archibald said: "There is always relief. It's never easy.

"The first thing I said to the players was well done because they'd got through a cup tie. We were tipped as a team who could fall and Queens are a good side.

"They have good quality so I was delighted to get through.

"We say there's always usually a shock in every round of the cup, whether it's the FA Cup or Scottish Cup. We said to not let it be us and we're delighted it's not."

This looked an accident waiting to happen for Jags as they returned from the winter break.

But their fans were certainly up for it and about 1000 made the journey to Dumfries.

They were in good voice as ref Willie Collum got the game under way but Stephen Dobbie could have struck early for the home side. The talisman unloaded from distance in six minutes but it flew just wide. It was cagey stuff but Jags are suspect defensively and were almost masters of their own downfall twice in the space of as many minutes.

Abdul Osman was short with a backpass along the goalline but Tomas Cerny came to the rescue to deny Fergusson.

Fergusson then raced on to Adam Barton's weak header and chipped a shot over the Jags No.1 but the ball bounced wide.

Partick slowly found their feet and came close to breaking the deadlock in 39 minutes when Blair Spittal's corner found Niall Keown. His effort was well saved by fit-again keeper Alan Martin though.

Queens replied with an effort from Dobbie that was well saved by Cerny and that proved to be a crucial moment as Partick took the lead seconds later.

They worked the ball along the edge of the box to Sammon, who benefited from the defence breaking down to blast into the bottom corner.

It was harsh on Queens but they regrouped at the break and in 55 minutes were level.

On-loan Rangers kid Beerman knocked the ball on for Fergusson and the 20-year-old shook off Keown as he surged into the box and blasted into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.

A stunning turnaround could have been completed in 74 minutes but Shaun Rooney nodded wide from Scott Mercer's corner. And Queens had their hearts broken seven minutes later as Jags clinched it.

Once again the home defending left a lot to be desired with Sammon afforded time and space in the box to fire in a low effort that deflected past Martin.

teams Queen of South Martin 6, Rooney 7, Fordyce 5, Brownlie 5, Mercer 6, Dykes 5, Thomson 6, Rankin 5, Beerman 6, Fergusson 7, Dobbie 7. Subs: Cameron 4, Murray 5, Stirling 3. Partick Thistle Cerny 7, McGinn 5, Keown 5, Osman 5, Booth 5, Barton 5, Erskine 6, Edwards 6, Spittal 7, Lawless 6, Sammon 8. Subs: McCarthy 2, Doolan 4.

Queens rallied in the closing stages in a bid to force a replay but Jags held on.

Archibald hailed star turn Sammon and added: "You saw in this game he was a handful and I'm delighted he got his goals."

Queens No.2 Dougie Anderson said: "That is the best we've played for a few weeks and I'm gutted for the players. It's a cruel game.

"The goals we conceded could have been prevented but the boys gave us their lot and we couldn't ask for any more from them."

game changer save to in Cerny's Dobbie Tomas deny Stephen the first half with the game was key as goalless Jags took the lead soon after.


CON FIRE Sammon celebrates in style
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 21, 2018
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