United, who had ex Spiders hero Jimmy Boyle in the home dugout, started the game as the better side and Queen's were struggling with The Diamond's pretty uncoventional 4-2-4 system. We were struggling to get hold of the ball early on and Mark Cairns had to make a particuarly smart stop to deny Russell from close range. Airdrie were creating stacks of chances but Queen's still looked as if they could threaten on the break and Mick Dunlop had a decent right footed effort from six yards well held by Stephen Robertson.
Airdrie should have been ahead when Russell was given the opportunity to knock McKeown's cross into an empty net from three yards but he screwed the ball over the top and into the stand to the sound of sarcastic cheering from the 250 strong Queen's Park away support. Lack of service to Canning up front was frustrating and we were resorting to a long ball game for vast periods of the first half. This nearly paid off when Agostini's hump up the park found Quinn whose poor through ball to Trouten, who was in the clear, spoiled the move.
Airdrie squandered a number of chances before referee Steven Conroy blew the whistle for half time, with the Queen's support relieved that somehow we had managed to keep a clean sheet in the match so far. The second half started in the same poor vein and as soon Mark Ferry lost possesion six seconds into the second period, you just knew that Airdrie were going to pound the Queen's goal once more, and after 51 minutes they did manage to take the lead.
McKeown's through ball into the box was poked under the onrushing Cairns by ex East Fife ace and Blackburn youngster Stuart Noble. Queen's came into the game more after the goal and on 65 minutes Mick Dunlop headed a Paul Paton free kick narrowly wide at the back post. Paul Cairney then fizzed one over from the edge of the box before substitute Robert Dunn hammered a 30 yarder off the top of the crossbar. Stevie Canning then forced a great save out of Robertson with another stunning 30 yard strike. Then came the matches only real moment of controversy.
Dunn beat two defenders on the right before playing a ball across the six yard box which was hammered into the net by Paul Ronald, but, the assitant Boulstridge raised his flag despite Ronald looking narrowly onside. This took the stuffing out Queen's and ignited the affair. Alan Trouten could have saw red after smacking Bryan Prunty with the ball in the nuts at the corner flag but by this point the officials had lost interest and the full time whistle soon followed.
QUEEN'S PARK: Mark Cairns, Paul Paton, Mick Dunlop, Richard Sinclair, Damiano Agostini, Alan Trouten, Stuart Kettlewell, Paul Cairney (Paul Ronald), Tony Quinn (Robert Dunn), Stephen Canning, Mark Ferry (Stuart McGrady)
BOOKED: Paul Cairney, Stuart Kettlewell
REFEREE: Steven Conroy
MAN OF THE MATCH: Stuart Kettlewell