East Fife 0 Queen’s Park 0
Queen’s recorded their fifth draw on the bounce as they travelled to Methil and shared the spoils with East Fife. It was a nervy afternoon with both teams having chances to win it, but neither could find the killer touch.
In fact, the only winner of the afternoon was the Fife weather as some fierce April showers turned the surface into a skating rink.
After the late drama of last week, Gus made just one change to the starting XI bringing back Anton Brady for Dominic Docherty. So the familiar looking line-up read: Willie Muir, Ross Millen, Cameron Foy, Ryan McGeever, Adam Cummins, Sean Burns, Jamie McKernon, Conor McVey, Brady, David Galt and Dario Zanatta. The bench comprised Docherty, Liam Brown, Bryan Wharton, Aiden McIlduff, Gavin Mitchell, Billy Mortimer and Ewan MacPherson.
The first chance of the game fell the way of the home side with the impressive Robinson weaving through before firing a warning shot narrowly wide with just a couple of minutes on the clock.
Galt was the first Queen’s player to make an impact winning a corner on our left after six minutes. McKernon’s low delivery was flicked narrowly wide by McGeever.
Things got scrappy at this stage with neither side able to string any passes together, but Queen’s did liven proceedings up as the first quarter of an hour passed. Firstly, Galt had a shot well saved by Hurst before Brady went close with a cross-shot.
We had the first bizarre incident of the day after 21 minutes when Kitman Rhodesie was dispatched to find different boots to try to give McKernon and Foy a firmer footing.
Unfortunately, referee Lowe said the two players had to leave the field to change their footwear, so the Spiders were temporarily reduced to nine men. They survived that discomfort and got back on the front foot with Galt and Brady combining well before David’s shot was well taken by the home keeper.
It was then Muir’s turn to shine as he denied Brown, and then Duggan had a powerful shot blocked.
As half time approached Zanatta pounced on a mistake by Kane and bore down on goal. He lost control at the vital moment however and the defender managed to get a toe on the ball. Burns followed up and saw his shot deselected for a corner.
Just on the interval, McGeever produced a crunching tackle to knock the ball away from Duggan. To the defender’s annoyance, Lowe saw it as a foul – and also flashed a yellow card. It seemed harsh in the extreme … Big Ryan certainly thought so.
The foul came to nothing and the whistle sounded with the score line:
East Fife 0 Queen’s Park 0
There was another strange moment right after the interval. Penrice looked to have been struggling as he left the park at the end of the first half, but sub Cooper was late getting the call. The Fife team took the field – eventually -but then dilly dallied until Cooper appeared on the touch line and got the nod to come on and replace Penrice.
Queen’s came out the blocks well at the start of the second period and Galt twice went near to breaking the deadlock before Brady also tested Hurst.
Muir was the hero for the Spiders as the first hour came and went, producing a stunning double save. First he beat away a shot from Smith and then bounced up to palm away a follow up header from Cooper.
The final 20 minutes saw the visitors turn up the heat, without finding the goal they might have felt they deserved.
Galt was influential as he showed neat footwork on more than one occasion to win Queen’s a series of corners. One of these was very much a training ground move as it went short before Brady whipped in a cross which had to be scrambled clear for another corner.
The home team had their moments as well, notably when Duggan led a counter and McGeever had to get the timing right with his tackle – which he thankfully did.
McVey had a chance for glory when he picked up the rebound from a Zanatta shot, but the wee man blasted over.
There was just time for Galt and Brady to raise hopes of a dramatic finale, but there was no late goal this week. In fact, the final action saw Galt booked for illegally halting a Fife breakout after another QP corner was cleared.
So the draw specialists that are Queen’s these days, make it a nap hand …remaining four points behind the Fifers in the race for the last promotion play-off spot. We’ve got the mummy and daddy of all weeks ahead of us with a trip to face our old foes Albion Rovers on Tuesday, followed by a home match against struggling Peterhead on Saturday, and as if that wasn’t enough, we play Rovers again the following weekend.
Wins in those three would make life very interesting for the final run-in, but this league is still unbelievably tight and anything could yet happen.
Keep the Faith … as Sir Alex said: “It’s getting very close to squeaky bum time”.