Queen’s Park exited the SPFL Trust Trophy after going down 1-0 at Falkirk with an early spot-kick for the Bairns proving to be the difference between the sides.

Ben McPherson was missing from the line-up due to the combination of international duty and being cup-tied with Will Tizzard dropping out of things due to a knock picked up late in the week.

Charlie Fox returned in place of Tizzard with Young Queen’s Park striker Lucas McCormick making his first start for the club against a home side that included former Spiders front-man Alfredo Agyeman in their plans.

Skipper Dom Thomas kicked off as the Spiders shot towards the Falkirk fans with midfielder Jack Spong earning a quick-fire free-kick after being felled close to the half-way line.

On three minutes Barry Hepburn was fouled in a similar position and Louis Longridge’s quickly taken ball allowed Jack Thomson to advance to within 25 yards of the home goal however Nicky Hogarth was equal to his chipped cross.

Falkirk were awarded a penalty on five minutes when Ola Lawal was allowed to run past Longridge on the right and when he collided with Alex Bannon referee Scott Lambie pointed to the spot.
Jordan Allan took responsibility from 12 yards and he found Calum Ferrie’s right-hand corner of the net despite the shot-stopper getting a hand to the ball.

Two minutes later Ferrie had to leap up and use his legs to save after Spong had miscued a pass-back and the ball looked set to sail into Queen’s Park’s goal.

There was brighter play from the visitors on 13 minutes when Thomas and Hepburn combined to free McCormick on the left and the youngster evaded two challenges before seeing his shot blocked.

As Queen’s continued to press Thomas took charge of a bouncing ball 12 yards from the Falkirk goal before curling a shot just over.

Shortly afterwards Thomas slipped a pass into the path of Ruari Paton however he delayed in shooting and the chance was lost. Another chance came and went on 20 minutes when Paton poked a pass to McCormick who was in isolation with Hogarth getting down low to save his effort.

Falkirk raced to the other end and Ferrie rescued his side again when he raced from goal to block Lawal’s shot with Fox blocking Allan’s follow-up header.

Ferrie excelled again just after the midway point in the first half when he stretched high to push over a Gary Oliver drive that was destined for the postage stamp corner.

On 32 minutes it was Queen’s Park’s turn to go close as the play switched from Thomas on the left to Thomson to Hepburn on the right and the on-loan Bayern Munich attacker showed some fancy footwork before sending a deflected shot against the bar with the loose ball bouncing into Hogarth’s arms.

Eight minutes from the break Spong, who had been receiving treatment at the side of the pitch, was replaced by Jack Turner.

Falkirk were awarded a corner 90 seconds from the break after a was it, was it not out debate between the referee and his assistant however no danger threatened from the dead ball.

In injury time Ferrie kept the score at 1-0 once more with another leaping save to palm away another Oliver shot, this time from a Lawal cut-back.

Half time – Falkirk 1 Queen’s Park 0

Patrick Jarrett was introduced at the start of the second half in place of Thomson and the replacement helped set -up a chance for Thomas that Hogarth grabbed after the ball had travelled through several bodies.

Lawal tested Ferrie on 53 minutes with a 20-yard drive after a corner was nodded into his path with the Queen’s number one on hand to grab Tom Lang’s header from the loose ball.

Three minutes later Fox met a Turner free-kick with a header with Hogarth able to save without too much exertion.

When the play switched to the other end Bannon made a superb block after Layton Bisland had found himself free in the visitors’ box.

McCormick’s first start came to an end just after the hour mark with Liam McLeish coming on in his place with the substitution seeing Thomas return to a left-wing berth. The skipper quickly made his presence felt on the wing with a couple of runs and crosses with Hogarth on hand to cut out the danger.

Hepburn came to life on 67 minutes 30 yards from the Falkirk goal and he darted forward into the box before sending in a shot that beat Hogarth but crept over the bar.

With 20 minutes left Queen’s had another escape when Leon McCann picked out Allan at the back post and his volley looked net-bound until it hit recently introduced substitute Calvin Miller and bounced over.

On 77 minutes Queen’s had their best chance of the second half when Jarrett slipped the ball left for Thomas who side-stepped his marker and drilled for the far corner with Hogarth sticking out his left hand to make a fine stop.

The Spiders made faint appeals for a penalty five minutes from time when Hepburn fell to the ground as he chased a Thomas cross with Lawal in close attendance.

Fox who had been sent forward helped set up a late chance for McLeish however a sliding challenge ended the danger and even Ferrie venturing up for a late corner failed to bring an equaliser.

Queen’s Park – Calum Ferrie, Louis Longridge, Alex Bannon, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson (Lewis Reid 78), Barry Hepburn, Jack Spong (Jack Turner 37), Jack Thomson (Patrick Jarrett 46), Lucas McCormick (Liam McLeish 61), Dom Thomas, Ruari Paton.
Unused substitutes – Samuel Kane (G/k), Aaron Healy, Cameron Bruce, Alex Fairlie, Zach Mauchin.

Falkirk – Nicky Hogarth, Tom Lang, Leon McCann, Liam Henderson, Coll Donaldson, Jordan Allan (Ross MacIver 76), Alfredo Agyeman, Finn Yeats, Gary Oliver (Calvin Miller 68), Layton Bisland (Sean Mackie 76), Ola Lawal (Harrison Howe 88).
Unused substitutes – Sam Long, Cooper Knox, Thomas Jay Gibb.

Referee – Scott Lambie

Starting Eleven