A late Michael Doyle goal secured a point for the Spiders in a pulsating game yesterday at the Balmoral Stadium.
Head Coach Laurie Ellis made three changes to the side who lost last time out. Fox, Gillespie, and Smith giving way to Morrison, Connell, and Murray.
The Spiders were aiming to bounce back after their first league defeat of the season last Sunday, however fell behind after only five minutes. Not for the first time, the deadly duo of Megginson and McAllister combined, with McAllister slotting past Muir for his 10th goal of the season.
Half an hour in and Masson cut in from the left-hand side and brought out a brilliant save from Muir. The resulting rebound fell to the on rushing Robertson whose header went wide – a let off for Queen’s who were struggling to get a foothold in the game.
Queen’s were inches away from equalising in the 35th minute, when neat interplay between Robson and Murray saw the ball flash across goal, just evading the onrushing McHugh.
A cross by Shay Logan in the 36th minute was met by McAllister whose looping header crashed off the bar before Muir gathered the loose ball.
As half time approached, a floated ball from Connell was met by Morrison, whose powerful header was saved by McKenzie. However, the keeper couldn’t hold on and Bob McHugh was on hand to force the ball over the line for the equaliser.
The first half action wasn’t over. A McHugh shot came off the crossbar and once again a Queen’s forward pounced. This time Longridge was on hand and although he didn’t make the cleanest connection, the ball ended up in the net and Queen’s ended the half, slightly against the run of play, ahead 2-1.
Strachan was booked for the home side in the 53rd minute for a foul on Murray who was breaking into the Cove half and a dangerous counter attack was abruptly halted.
Just over an hour gone, and Connell drove at the heart of the Cove defence before playing a deft ball into the path of the on rushing McHugh, whose powerful strike was tipped over the bar by McKenzie.
The game took a dramatic twist in the 66th minute. Queen’s forward Simon Murray made a robust challenge chasing a loose ball. Referee Grainger blew quickly for a foul and, after calming several players down, flashed a red card at Murray. Queen’s down to ten men with 25 minutes plus stoppage time to go.
It didn’t take Cove long to press home their man advantage. In the 69th minute an inviting ball was whipped in from the right-hand side and Megginson got across his marker and bulleted a header into the net for the equaliser.
In the 77th minute a cross from substitute Yule appeared to be misjudged by Queen’s keeper Muir, and in a crowd of players the ball broke off the unlucky Morrison into the net to give Cove a 3-2 lead.
Laurie Ellis rang the changes in the 82nd minute, with Gillespie and Longstaff on for Connell and Brown, as Queen’s looked to salvage a point.
Just a minute later the Spiders were level. A Longridge cross was met by captain Michael Doyle whose firm header sailed into the net to tie the scores once again.
This was certainly a top of the table clash and both sides played some flowing attacking football to entertain the fans. Queen’s will be pleased to have fought back to secure a point while down to 10 men and now look forward to the next game, home to East Fife at Firhill next Saturday.
Queens Park: Muir, Doyle (c), Kilday, Morrison, Robson, Thomson, Brown (Gillespie 82’), Longridge, Connell (Longstaff 82’), McHugh (Davidson 84’), Murray. Subs not used: Ferrie, Moore, Fox, Smith
Cove Rangers: McKenzie, Neill, Scully, Strachan, Megginson (c), Masson (McIntosh 81’), McAllister, Vigurs, Robertson, Fyvie, Logan (Yule 76’). Subs not used: Milne, Ross, Adeyemo, Leitch, Gourlay
Referee: Graham Grainger