Ross County 1 - 1 Queen's Park

Queen's went into the match without a number of players which no doubt badly hurt Billy Stark's pre match plans. Alan Trouten was still suspended, Richard Sinclair and Stephen Reilly were still injured and also missing were Tony Quinn and Damiano Agostini, through other commitments. Queen's therefore took three under 19s up north with them, striker David Torrance, midfielder Ross Dunlop and highly rated centre half Andy Boslem. Queen's did get one pre match boost with the news that experienced forward Robert Dunn would be able to take his place on the bench.

So, Billy was forced to shuffle his pack from last week and started with a surprising eleven. Mark Cairns took the number one jersey once more after missing the trip to Brechin City last week and his defence consisted of Paton, Dunlop, Molloy and youngster Boslem. In midfield were Kettlewell, Ferry, Cairney, Canning and Ronald while Stuart McGrady was deployed as a lone striker. On the bench were Scott Murray, Alan Harty, David Torrance, Robert Dunn and Martin Ure.

The game started cagily in the swirling wind and pouring rain at Victoria Park, but within four minutes Queen's had shocked many within the ground and taken the lead. Stevie Canning's long diagonal ball found Mark Ferry clean through on the left hand side of the penalty area and he lifted the ball up and over the outstretched Tony Bullock and into the net to send the Queen's fans into absolute delirium.

Queen's didnt use this as an invitation to sit back however and Stuart Kettlewell was well denied by veteran Staggies goalkeeper Bullock. Stewart Petrie headed over from a corner with the home sides first real chance. Kettlewell's audacious 40 yarder was then well held by Bullock before Andy Boslem's brilliant slide tackle denied Andy Barrowman a clean sight at goal.

As it approached half time Queen's were suddenly under immense pressure and both Chris Higgins and Stewart Petrie came close to netting for the hosts. Higgins then had the best County chance of the half in injury time, his long ranger flashing narrowly wide of Mark Cairns left hand post.

The second half started with Queen's on top and Mark Ferry forced two good saves out of Bullock before the 50 minute mark had been reached. Petrie then came close for the home side with his long range side before Iain Campbell's inswinging corner forced Mark Cairns into a smart punch away. Queen's were defending for their lives as the game neared its end but after stacks of brilliant defending the goal finally came for County with 86 minutes gone. Paul Lawson's whipped corner met the head of Scott Boyd who powered it into the top corner of the net at the back post.

Queen's brought on youngster Torrance for his debut for McGrady late on and it was Queen's who had the best chance to win it, but sub Robert Dunn delayed his shot too long and Boyd was allowed to slide in and avert any danger.

QUEEN'S PARK: Mark Cairns, Paul Paton, Mick Dunlop, Shaun Molloy, Andy Boslem, Paul Ronald (Robert Dunn), Stuart Kettlewell, Paul Cairney, Stuart McGrady (David Torrance), Stephen Canning, Mark Ferry

SUBS NOT USED: Scott Murray, Martin Ure, Alan Harty

GOALSCORER: Mark Ferry (5)

REFEREE: David Somers

ATTENDANCE: 2323

MAN OF THE MATCH: Mick Dunlop