Stephen Dobbie's happiest moment came against today's foes Dundee

When you are a 36-year-old striker and producing such a goal blitz that a season-best return of 32 has been achieved at little over halfway into a campaign, there is no need to look back to yesteryears for glory days in Scottish football.

Stephen Dobbies phenomenal scoring has helped Queen of the South to fourth in the Championship. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

Yet Stephen Dobbie does so. It can be considered indicative of his humility and his enduring affinity for Queen of the South that he is enjoying a remarkable late career surge.

Dobbie had spells with Hibernian and St Johnstone before his Dumfries days provided the springboard to enjoy unforgettable English top-flight play-off success at both Swansea and Blackpool. In his first stint with Queens, Dobbie helped the club power to the 2008 Scottish Cup final, the only time they have contested that 
showpiece.

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They did so by ousting Dundee in the quarter-finals – the Premiership team whom the Championship side will face in the fourth round at Dens Park this afternoon.

That 2-0 quarter-final success of 11 years ago was notable for an 84-yard strike. Looking through the prism of Dobbie’s predatory instincts today, the wonder of that goal is that the Glasgow-born plunderer didn’t bag it.

“I actually scored quite a good goal that day but no-one remembers it because of Ryan McCann’s goal,” he said. “What a feeling that was after the game, it was brilliant. In terms of playing in Scotland that was my happiest time. It was a great achievement [to reach the final].

“A lot of the boys we had then have retired now but we still keep in contact with each other.

“When you have an achievement like we had you become friends for life and it would be great to do something like that with this team.”

Dobbie might believe he is stepping up a level in pitting his mature predatory instincts against a top-flight side but his goal return should in no way suggest that the player is some sort of flat-track bully. He is, instead, a phenomenon, his efforts central to Gary Naysmith’s side having edged up to fourth in the Championship.

That has been achieved by a fine run of form that included last week’s 4-0 thrashing of leaders Ross County.

Dobbie, naturally, claimed a double. Such feats are why he would easily walk into many Premiership sides. Only the pull of finishing his career with a Queens team he is determined to haul to the highest level prevents that.

After all, today he will be up against Kenny Miller who isthree years his senior – he jokes the pair have a combined age of 90 – and who he first faced “another lifetime ago”.

It is many lifetimes since Scottish football had a player in his late-30s breaking the 30-goal mark in a season for the first time in his career.

“It is not too bad, is it?” Dobbie said of his haul. “I always get asked if I have set a target and all I say is that I am out to beat last season’s [27 goals]. Next season might not be achievable but I will keep going. There are 15 or 16 games at least still to go so if I can rack up a few more.”

There is, Dobbie says, no secret. “I just get on wth my work. There is a good group of boys here who work hard and as long they are making chances hopefully I will keep scoring them.”