Queen’s Park paid the price for not finding the net as they went down 2-0 in Aberdeen to Cove Rangers with Connor Scully grabbing a double for the hosts.
As well as not taking their chances Queen’s lost Stephen Eze and Tommy Robson to injuries and missed out on the chance to go level with leaders Ayr United before the Honest Men play on Saturday afternoon.
Head coach Owen Coyle brought Grant Savoury in for the suspended Dom Thomas with Charlie Fox making a welcome return to the substitutes’ bench following a near 3-month absence.
Former Queen’s striker Luis Longstaff started for the hosts who were out of revenge for a 2-1 defeat in the first ever Championship meeting between the sides back in August.
The game almost got off to an explosive start with Queen’s coming close to a goal within the first 40 seconds when a surging Josh McPake run set up skipper Simon Murray to cut in from the left and fire for goal with Stuart McKenzie using his legs to save.
Within two minutes the visitors found themselves a goal down when trickery from Longstaff created space for a cross on the right with Connor Scully darting in-between Eze and Alex Bannon to volley home from six yards.
The Spiders looked to hit back and Savoury took the ball from right to left before picking out McPake who had a shot deflected over.
On 14 minutes a long ball from Bannon looked to have released Murray for a clear run-on goal with an offside flag ending hopes of an equaliser.
A minute later Pat Jarrett slipped a pass to Jack Thomson on the 18-yard line and his drive forced Mckenzie into a low save.
Cove showed they were not going to sit back and on 19 minutes Mitch Megginson found a dashing Scully 12 yards out with Ferrie making a smart stop.
Six minutes later a fine pass from Thomson found Savoury with Shay Logan closing the striker down as he shot for goal.
The end-to-end nature of the contest continued and Cove raced to the other end with Ferrie making a brave stop at the feet of former team-mate Longstaff after Gerry McDonagh had released Scully.
On 31 minutes Jarrett flashed a shot wide from 18 yards after a strong run from Thomson had created the opportunity and four minutes later Thomson found Savoury who teed up Jarrett with his effort hitting a home defender and being deflected wide.
Six minutes from the break the Black and White Hoops came close again as McPake cut in from the left wing and curled a right foot shot towards the far post with the ball going a foot wide.
Queen’s looked to have been punished for not levelling on 42 minutes when Megginson fired another whipped-in Longstaff cross past Ferrie with many in the ground thinking the ball had hit the net as opposed to the advertising boards behind the posts.
It looked like parity would be restored for the half-time break after Murray and Robson combined on the left and when the full back’s driven cross was cleared Eze stabbed the ball goalward only for Mark Reynolds to pop up on the goalline to clear.
Longstaff made a fast start to the second half as well as he looked for a penalty after a challenge from Malachi Boateng however referee Grant Irvine was not interested.
On 54 minutes a delightful move from Queen’s took them from the edge of their box to the edge of Cove’s box with McPake seeing his shot hit the retreating Max Johnston and go wide for the corner.
Four minutes later pressure from the visitors kept the home defence penned in with the danger only ending when Eze headed a Bannon cross over. Eze and the home side’s Jack Sanders were injured in the aerial joust with the visiting defender eventually replaced by Jake Davidson after a lengthy delay. Davidson slotted in at right back with Bannon moving into a central defensive position.
The long delay as Eze received treatment looked to have deflated Queen’s Park’s head of steam however Murray looked to rally his troops with a charging run and shot that just cleared McKenzie’s bar.
On 72 minutes there was a second injury blow for the visitors as Robson limped off and David Boateng was brought on as his replacement.
A minute later it looked like the Spiders had shrugged off their woes when Murray drifted in from the left and sent a shot that looked set to beat McKenzie until the shot-stopper stuck out a foot that deflected the ball over the bar.
Cove doubled their lead with 14 minutes left when Blair Yule pierced the Queen’s defence with a through ball and Scully grabbed his second goal when he side-footed home a first time shot from 14 yards.
Home substitute Fraser Fyvie sent a shot drifting wide before David Boateng forced a corner when he darted forward to receive a pass from Murray.
On 88 minutes Yule fired over after a charge forward by Johnston and two minutes into injury time Fyvie headed against the bar from a Longstaff corner.
In the sixth minute of injury time a Thomson corner reached Davidson and his header bounced over McKenzie’s goal to sum up the Spiders’ night.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Alex Bannon, Stephen Eze (Jake Davidson 62’), Lee Kilday, Tommy Robson (David Boateng 72’), Jack Thomson, Malachi Boateng, Grant Savoury, Pat Jarrett (Scott Williamson 66’), Josh McPake, Simon Murray. Subs not used: Jason Naismith, Charlie Fox, Louis Longridge, Johnny Kenny, Cameron Bruce, Jacques Heraghty (G/k).
Cove Rangers: Stuart McKenzie, Shay Logan, Connor Scully, Gerry McDonagh (Fraser Fyvie 80’), Blair Yule, Mitchel Megginson, Charlie Gilmour, Luis Longstaff, Jack Sanders, Mark Reynolds, Max Johnston. Subs not used: Kyle Gourlay (G/k), Morgyn Neill, Leighton McIntosh, Iain Vigurs, Robbie Leitch, Cieran Dunne.
Referee: Grant Irvine