Brechin City 2 - 1 Queen's Park
This meant that big goalkeeper Scott Murray was handed his debut in the side and within 6 minutes he was picking the ball out of the net. A short passback by Mark Ferry allowed Darren Gribben to nip in and he lobbed the bouncing ball up and over Murray and into the net to stun the travelling support. Queen's needed to respond quickly but the game was as good as over with eight minutes gone when The City doubled their lead.
Gribben skipped past Martin Ure and his delivery was nodded home in the middle by the bizzarely unmarked Martin Johnstone, Murray had no chance with the header and he was rightly fuming at his defence. Brechin nearly made it three when Stuart Callaghan knocked on just wide before he was well denied by Murray in the Spiders goal.
Queen's despite this nightmare start were extremely unlucky not be back in it straight away moments after the second goal. Paul Ronald's cross from the right hand side was met brilliantly by Mark Ferry at the back post and only a stunning save from Brechin keeper Craig Nelson kept it out, as he clawed the ball away from behind him. Johnstone should have made it 3-0 seconds later when he completely fluffed a free header from seven yards before Charlie King came close for City.
Nelson denied Kettlewell a goal back with a decent stop on the 25 minute mark before Stephen Canning mucked up a one-two with Paul Ronald which would have almost certainly led to at the very least, a shot on target for Queen's Park. Scott Murray then produced a great save from Gribben on the stroke of half time, a half in which the two goal lead enjoyed by our hosts could have been worse for the Queen's Park players.
The second half started with Queen's looking sharper but the first chance was Brechin's. Charlie King producing a top save from Murray, who did excellently to tip his thirty yard free kick over the crossbar and keep the deficit at two goals. Queen's were denied what looked to be a stonewall penalty kick on the hour when after a spot of ping-pong in the box Mick Dunlop's goalbound effort was blocked by an arm of a defender, the Queen's support and players appealed loudly but ref Stephen Finnie and his assistant somehow contrived not to give a spot kick. Martin Ure and Tony Quinn both had chances to shoot moments after but passed them up and laid in Ronald whose weak effort never troubled Nelson in the City goal.
Queen's made a change after 62 minutes, bizzarely, one of our best performers Martin Ure was replaced by Stuart McGrady. Martin Johnstone was lucky to stay on the park after two offences in a matter of seconds on 64 minutes. He was booked for a blatant dive in the Queen's penalty area before chopping down Paul Paton seconds later with a crude high challenge, somehow Mr. Finnie didn't produce the yellow coloured card once more.
Queen's continued to probe away and Paton, Ronald, Dunlop and Cairney all passed up chances to pull one back before we did on 82 minutes. A corner from the right dropped to Stephen Canning after a bit of aerial ping-pong who smacked the ball into the net sweetly on the turn from 18 yards with his left foot, a great goal by Canning but sadly not enough in the grand scheme of things. Mark Ferry almost levelled with 88 minutes gone, but Nelson brilliantly stopped his right foot effort from twenty yards which looked set to dip up and over the keeper and in, it didn't though and Queen's must pick themselves up for the trip to league leaders Ross County next week.
QUEEN'S PARK: Scott Murray, Paul Paton, Mick Dunlop, Damiano Agostini, Martin Ure (Stuart McGrady), Paul Ronald, Stuart Kettlewell, Paul Cairney, Tony Quinn, Stephen Canning, Mark Ferry
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Colquhoun, Andy Boslem, Alex Cowie (gk)
GOALSCORER: Stephen Canning (82)
BOOKED: Stephen Canning
REFEREE: Stephen Finnie
MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen Canning