Queen's Park 2 - 2 Stranraer
After the minutes applause it was time for action and Gardner Speirs had made one change in personnel from the side that was beaten 2-1 by Partick Thistle last weekend, loan midfielder Paul Cairney replacing Ross Dunlop in the attacking midfield role. Queen's started the better in the sunshine, with Adam Coakley dragging a shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area following good work by Ryan Holms.
After this single opportunity however, began a period of domination for Stranraer, where French frontman Gregory Tade exerted himself on the game. He was causing lots of problems for the Queen's defence and after six minutes he headed over the bar when he probably should have scored. Martin McBride then forced a great save from Cowie with a low, whipped free kick before the Blues took the lead on 15 minutes.
Tade dominated Sinclair and Brough in the air and the ball fell for him in the eighteen yard box, he then wriggled past challenges from both players before sliding the ball under the legs of a hesitant Zander Cowie. A poor goal where goalkeeper and defence were made to look foolish, by the talented forward. It wasn't getting any better for Queen's, and Tade hit one just wide of the mark from twelve yards when he looked odds on to net his second of the match. They did double their lead however on 20 minutes.
Queen's gave away another free kick on the edge of the box, the fifth or sixth already, and this time Martin McBride made no mistake, bending the ball into the top corner with the keeper looking hesitant. A very poor start and Queen's were still looking sloppy. A poor backpass by Martin Ure was badly controlled by Cowie, he took a touch and hesisated and got lucky when his clearance rebounded off Gregory Tade and out for a Queen's throw.
It took a red card on the half hour mark to give Queen's some hope. Coakley and White had a set to just inside the Stranraer half, and the linesman flagged, he identifed the Stranraer defender as the guilty party and John McKendrick flashed the red card. Stranraer boss Derek Ferguson then got involved, with a disgraceful attempt to attack the standside linesman, Ferguson was rightly banished to the stand, and can expect heavy sanctions from the SFA and SFL.
After this controversy, Queen's picked up slightly and neat interchange between Coakley and the impressive Paul Harkins led to the ex-Neilston midfielder dragging his shot narrowly wide of Scott Black's right hand post. Jack Henry then blazed a one-on-one miles over the bar after being released by Cairney before Adam Coakley forced a neat save out of Scott Black, after Ryan Holms played him in 20 yards out.
Henry then missed an absolute sitter when Douglas burst past two Stranraer defenders on the left wing. His inch perfect cross was aimed at Henry who headed over from three yards. An unbelievable miss and the Queen's support began to fear that this would be a familiar Queen's Park home match, where chance after chance would be passed up. 55 minutes in and boss Gardner Speirs decided to ring the changes, on came Tony Quinn, Robert Dunn and Ross Dunlop to replace John Neill, Jack Henry and the injured Martin Ure.
Quinn partnered Coakley up top, Dunn took his place on the right of midfield and Ross Dunlop filled it at right full back, and the subs made an impact straight away. A sweetly struck corner kick by Barry Douglas was met by Richard Sinclair, his header was looped back into the air by the Stranraer defence, and Tony Quinn and Robert Dunn both did just about enough to bundle the ball over the line. Dunn got the final touch and Queen's were back in the game. Almost straight away, we were nearly level, Cairney blazing wide after good play by Dunn. Minutes later, Coakley and Holms got in each other's road following Dunn's great cross and another chance had been passed up.
Queen's did eventually level on 82 minutes, thanks to a dubious penalty given by referee John McKendrick. Douglas appeared to bring down Stranraer defender Kane in the Blues box and with the majority in Hampden expecting a free kick to be given, the ref instead gave Queen's a penalty kick. Up stepped Paul Cairney, to hammer the spot kick high past Scott Black and send the Hampden crowd into raptures.
We still had chances to win following this, but both Paul Cairney and Ryan Holms couldn't beat the inspired Black with fantastic ranged efforts. In the end, a point was good result, but there was disappointment that Queen's couldn't convert their chances to win the contest outright. Next up for Queen's is old friends Clyde on Tuesday night in the Co-Operative Insurance Cup 1st Round.
QUEEN'S PARK: Zander Cowie, Martin Ure (Ross Dunlop), Barry Douglas, Richard Sinclair, Jamie Brough, Paul Harkins, Jack Henry (Robert Dunn), Paul Cairney, Adam Coakley, John Neill (Tony Quinn), Ryan Holms
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Boslem, David Crawford (g/k)
GOALSCORER(S): Robert Dunn (60), Paul Cairney (pen 82)
BOOKED: Paul Harkins
REFEREE: John McKendrick
MAN OF THE MATCH: Paul Harkins