Queen of the South boss breathes sigh of relief after Stirling Albion draw

Harry Stone collects a cross
Harry Stone collects a cross -Credit:QoSFC2020

Manager Marvin Bartley heaved a sigh of relief as Queen of the South held out for a vital point at Stirling Albion in a nerve shredding finish.

The goal less draw at Forthbank came after a fraught 90 minutes featuring a fine goalkeeping display by Harry Stone.

And a great late defensive tackle by Paul McKay also prompted praise from the Palmerston boss.

Bartley said: “I think Paul’s been a revelation recently, he really has.

“First, he goes in as a central midfielder and he has to come back to a centre half. I think he’s been brilliant playing in the middle of the three and that tackle was absolutely fantastic and worth the point.

“If he doesn’t make the tackle, then you’re asking Harry Stone to pull off a safe from real close.

“He actually gets hurt doing it, but we said to them it is going to be one of those games when you have to put your body on the line.

“I’m not interested in people not going to tackle, so the second half was a lot more physical, but we stood up to it.”

Queens went into the game three points ahead of struggling Stirling, who sit in the relegation play-off place, and knew that a win would all but secure their safety in League One.

Bartley admitted: “It was a game that probably lacked any real quality. It was two nervous teams, which is understandable with so much riding on it.

“The conditions made it difficult, although it was a nice day, it was a dry pitch, but the important thing is not to concede.

“I think earlier in the season, especially at the corners they had, someone would have switched off.

Doherty shoots from distance
A flying Reilly is tackled

“So, the key thing was we didn’t concede, and we said to get to the other end to try to make them pay.

“We had a couple of decent chances, or decent strikes rather, but we just couldn’t get the goal.”

Another player earning praise from Bartley was birthday boy keeper Stone, who celebrated his 22nd birthday with a clean sheet.

The Queens boss said: “Harry had a couple of good saves. It was Marsh’s (goalie coach Gordon Marshall) birthday yesterday and Harry’s today.

“I think he’s trying to copy his hero.

“Harry’s been really good for us and he gathers extremely well, so there’s nothing for the rebound. But that is what we expect from Harry as he is somebody who works hard every day.”