The astonishing predatory power of Stephen Dobbie blew Montrose away in the first half as Queen of the South stormed into the Championship play-off final.
Every song played at Palmerston had “magic” in the title as a tribute to returning boss Allan Johnston but it is Dobbie who is the undisputed king of Dumfries. It was an incredible performance by the 36-year-old striker, pictured, who set a new club record of 43 goals in a season by bagging his sixth hat-trick.
All three of his goals were magnificent and left Johnston purring with delight. He said: “Stephen is phenomenal and he brings out the best in other players too. Some of his finishes were outstanding, He’s a top-quality player. We took him off early in the second half because he’s a massive player and we want him ready for Wednesday [when Queens face Raith away in the first leg of the play-off final].”
Dobbie started the rout in 11 minutes when he won the ball in his own half, fed Lyndon Dykes, raced forward to take the return and finished superbly.
Dykes capitalised on hesitation in the Montrose box in 23 minutes to lob in the second.
Then Dobbie grabbed his second five minutes later when he took a pass from Dykes, feinted to the right, went left and slammed a left-foot shot under Allan Fleming.
Michael Doyle made it 4-0 when Montrose failed to clear Josh Todd’s corner.
Then the remarkable Dobbie completed his hat-trick in imperious fashion. He took Kyle Jacobs’ pass, flicked the ball over Ian Campbell, headed it down to gain control and then hammered a right-foot shot into the left corner.