Paul Duff was the name on everyone’s lips after this game as the Valley winger showed his class in a match where Colin Valley showed a new ruthless streak to their game. Queens Grads were expected to come and provide stiff opposition after dumping Valley out of this cup at the fourth round stage last season - but they left Valley Park well and truly Duff-ed up as the home side ripped them apart with some scintillating football.
Duff started the day as he meant to go on when he finished a neat passing move between Valley’s front men Martin Kelly and John Benson.
The ball was fed to him on the right hand side of the box and as he cut inside a defender he calmly lifted the ball over the keeper’s head and into the net for 1-0.
The next goal came 2 minutes later and Duff turned provider this time playing an even better chipped ball over the heads of the whole Queen’s defence for Martin Kelly to run onto.
The Valley Striker calmly slid the ball into the bottom corner and it was 2-0 to the home side.
The third was the goal of the day when it came after another 10 minutes of fantastic moving on and off the ball by the home side, and once again it was that man Paul Duff who provided the telling pass.
This time it was a pin point cross from about 30 yards back out on the left wing. He spotted Charlie Dunlop, in midfield for Valley, make a deep forward run and played a fantastic cross into the heart of the Queen’s defence.
Dunlop still had a lot to do on the edge of the box and flicked the ball over the head of a Queen’s defender with his first touch and simply side footed the Volley into the top corner of the net as the keeper once again stood rooted to the ground with no chance of getting near the shot.
3-0 to the Valley and the Queen’s players could be forgiven for the stunned look on their faces.
The three goals had come in a period of 15 minutes for the home side, which had effectively killed the game.
Queen’s came out for the second half a totally different team though and belatedly tried to make a cup game of it.
They put Valley under some pressure in midfield and tried to close down the wings that had caused them so much trouble in the first half.
The Valley machine were well drilled in defence though Fay, Milliken, Mallon and Magill and holding strong - and as a team they weathered a 15 minute rally from the visitors before they once again took control.
It was the left wing again where the goal came from as Paul Duff got his 3rd assist of the day.
This time he set up substitute Patrick McDonnell who collected a slide pass in the box - dinked between two defenders and fired the fourth goal of the day passed the Queen’s ‘keeper - great stuff.
Duff's fourth assist came not five minutes later as yet again he terrorised the Queen’s right back getting to the buy-line before turning back inside and putting a great pass onto the edge of the box for Bufty (Darren Turley) to finish with a one touch shot into the bottom left corner with the inside of his right foot.
5-0 and a masterclass from Duff did not flatter the Valley team such was their attacking play.
The home team still weren't finished yet though as they showed a previously unseen ruthless streak - John Benson got the next as a flowing move through Dunlop, McDonnell and Bufty in midfield saw Benson played in on the right hand side of the box - the striker only needed one touch to blast the ball into the bottom corner past a bewildered Queen’s ‘keeper to make it 6-0.
Finally (and fittingly) the two best players on the pitch combined to put the final nail in the Queen’s coffin.
Dunlop excellently finished another flowing move down the left wing when Paul Duff put another excellent cross onto his head just outside the 6 yard box. McMullan was silently delighted with his team after a recent away defeat to Bangor YM had spoiled their 100 percent record in the league.
But this 7-0 slaying of a team one league above them will do more than make up for their slip up in Bangor - it sends a message to the rest of the Amateur League that Colin Valley have finally arrived!