Matchzone: Queen of the South (A)

Kilmarnock maintained their impressive start to the SPFL Reserve Cup campaign with a 7-1 victory against Queen of the South at Palmerston Park on Tuesday 7th November.

A Steven Warnock hat-trick accompanied an own goal, plus strikes from Kian Leslie, Aaron Brown and substitute Shaun Kennedy.

Ethan Brown captained the side from a centre-back position, alongside Ruari Ellis and a trialist. Aaron Quigg and Ben Brannan were given the central midfield roles, with wide players Tom Davies, Kian Leslie and Aaron Brown supporting a front two of Bobby Wales and Steven Warnock.

Killie took an early lead in Dumfries, opening the scoring from the penalty spot after five minutes. Neat play from Kian Leslie on the right wing resulted in a cross being claimed by Steven Warnock at the back post, before the attacker was upended by Queens number 11 Peter Mendy. Steven Warnock stepped up to strike the penalty he had earned, finding the top left corner (0-1).

The visitors doubled their lead through on-form winger Kian Leslie, who has impressed on loan at Clyde this season. Strong hold up play and a neat backheel from Aaron Brown set free a trialist who broke into space before drilling a ball across the edge of the box. Steven Warnock received the pass and quickly fed Kian Leslie who fired across the goalkeeper with his right foot (0-2).

The Ayrshire side’s third of the afternoon came with 14 minutes on the clock. A long throw from a trialist caused havoc in the Queens box, before landing in the keeper’s arms. Steven Warnock was alive to a quick attempt at distributing to the midfield, nipping in and finding an empty net 25 yards from goal (0-3).

Killie took a three-goal lead into the break, with no need to call on the bench at half-time.

The hosts were first to strike after the restart. Peter Mendy recovered possession and drove into the box from the right wing. His resulting shot forced a fine save from Killie’s trialist goalkeeper, but the ball fell to Queens number 4 Matt Hall who slid home the rebound from close range (1-3)

A three-goal lead was restored on 54 minutes. Steven Warnock played a neat ball forward to Bobby Wales, who layed-off to Aaron Brown. The winger drove a few yards before rifling a shot into the net from 25 yards (1-4).

The fifth came with 25 minutes to play. A lovely reverse pass by Steven Warnock wrong-footed the Queens defence and picked out Aaron Brown. His arrowed ball across the face of goal was diverted into the net by defender Alex O’Hagan as he attempted to clear his lines (1-5).

Steven Warnock bagged his hat-trick on 72 minutes. Ben Brannan pounced on a loose pass, skipping past challenging defenders and nipping the ball into Warnock’s feet. The attacker expertly shuffled to work a yard of space before curling the ball over the keeper and into the top right-hand corner (1-6).

Killie rounded off the scoring with two minutes remaining. Shaun Kennedy pressed a defender into a mistake, recovering possession and knocking forward to Stephen Warnock. The forward drove into the box from the right-hand side before cutting back to Kennedy, who showed composure to slot past Thomson (1-7).

Full time: Queen of the South 1 – 7 Kilmarnock

Queen of the South lineup: Thomson, Bryson, Burns, Hall (Kerr), Hawes (O’Hagan), Currie, Downie, Watson, McLinden (Davidson), Foster, Mendy

Kilmarnock lineup: Trialist, Ellis (Mackle 70), E.Brown, Trialist (Mersey 57), Leslie (Kennedy 70), Quigg, Brannan, Davies, Warnock, Wales (Craik 57), A.Brown (Devlin 75)