Queen’s Park went down 1-0 at Greenock Morton with a missed penalty denying the Spiders the chance of a point or even better in their first game since Robin Veldman left the club.

Paul Nuijten made two changes to the starting line-up with Will Tizzard coming in for Lewis Reid who moved to the bench as did Stuart McKinstry who was replaced Louis Longridge.

Callan McKenna made a welcome return to the bench as well after a spell out injured with Nuijten opting to go with only seven replacements against a home side that included one-time Spider Ryan Mullen in goal as well as ex-Queen’s midfielder Grant Gillespie in their starting line-up.

Jack Turner kicked the game off in what would best be described as a wet afternoon in Greenock with Nuijten quickly heard on the side-lines offering instructions to his players.
Calum Ferrie was involved early as he judged a dash from his goal perfectly to clear with Jack Turner also well placed on the 18-yard line in five minutes to flick the ball away just as the home side were looking to create danger.

Queen’s earned a corner on six minutes and Alex Bannon was an inch away from connecting with Turner’s curling delivery with a diving header.

Morton took the lead on eight minutes when Lewis Strapp wriggled clear on the left and his low cross was flicked on by Robbie Crawford and Robbie Muirhead applied the finishing touch from a yard out.

It was almost 2-0 four minutes later when Tizzard was robbed of the ball 40 yards out and that allowed Strapp to charge forward and send a shot past Ferrie only to see it crash against the bar.

The hosts lost Iain Wilson to injury after 16 minutes with the midfielder stretchered off and replaced by Alan Power.

Queen’s had chance shortly afterwards when Longridge intercepted a pass from Mullen and slipped the ball forward to Ruari Paton who cut a pass across the goalmouth for Dom Thomas who looked set to shoot until a sliding tackle took the ball off his toes.

Another opening was carved out on 21 minutes when Paton was picked out again with Mullen able to beat away the striker’s shot.

The game was certainly a feisty battle in midfield and a promising raid on the Morton goal inspired by a lovely pass from Dom Thomas was ended for an offside call against Turner who must have been an inch on the wrong side.

The game continued to have a physical undercurrent with Strapp barging unnecessarily into the back of Longridge and then collapsing to the ground when challenged by the midfielder with Thomson then booked for a crunching challenge in midfield.

Three minutes from the break Paton’s jersey was being pulled back as he looked to get on the end of a Jack Spong free-kick however referee Irvine was not interested in penalty claims.

Ninety seconds from the break the temperature that had threatened to boil over did with Morton’s George Oakley shown a red card for a crude challenge from behind on Thomson.

Before the 45-minute mark Paton headed goalward however Mullen was in the right place to save however four minutes into injury time Paton was barged by Kirk Broadfoot at the back post as he looked to reach a corner and referee Irvine pointed to the spot.

Paton stepped up however Mullen dived to his right to keep out his effort from 12 yards out.

Half-time – Greenock Morton 1 Queen’s Park 0

Coach Nuijten made a switch at half-time with Tizzard replaced by McKinstry with Thomson slotting into defence and Longridge moving into a central midfield role to accommodate the wide-man.

Thomson hit a fine diagonal to find Tommy Robson early into the restart however the defender’s low cross was cleared by the home side.

As Queen’s continued to press Thomas had a shot turned into the side-netting for a corner that was also dealt with by the hosts.

On 57 minutes only fine stop by Mullen prevented an equaliser with the Morton goalkeeper leaping to his right and pushing away a net bound 20-yard curler from Spong.

McKinstry popped up on the left to good effect on 63 minutes with a flighted cross that picked out Turner who sent a header over.

Morton relieved some of the pressure with a breakaway midway through the half which earned a corner which was cleared to Strapp at the edge of the box with the full-back powering a shot just over Ferrie’s bar with a further corner awarded.

Thomas was replaced by Barry Hepburn with 18 minutes left in a bid to sharpen Queen’s attacking edge and the replacement was almost avoided instantly as Turner looked to find him with a cut-back.

Morton looked to have weathered the Queen’s Park storm Ferrie had to leap high to keep out a left-wing effort from home substitute Lewis McGrattan with the shot-stopper having to race from his goal again shortly afterwards to clear.

McKinstry worked his way free on the left again with 10 minutes remaining however again the side-netting was the destination for the ball with the former Motherwell man just off target once more as the game entered the last three minutes.

Two minutes into added on time the visitors created one final chance when Ben McPherson scurried down the right and crossed for Turner with Mullen able to scoop up the ball.

Queen’s Park – Calum Ferrie, Ben McPherson (Lewis Reid 90+3, Will Tizzard (Stuart McKinstry 46), Alex Bannon, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson, Jack Spong (Patrick Jarrett 83), Jack Turner, Louis Longridge, Ruari Paton, Dom Thomas (Barry Hepburn 72).
Unused substitutes – Callan McKenna (G/k), Aaron Healy, Cameron Bruce.

Greenock Morton – Ryan Mullen, Lewis Strapp, Jack Baird, Cameron Blues, Robbie Muirhead, Robbie Crawford (Stephen Boyd 80), Kirk Broadfoot, Grant Gillespie (Lewis McGrattan 67), George Oakley Tyler French, Ian Wilson (Alan Power 16).
Unused substitutes – Jamie MacDonald, Darragh O’Connor, Jack Bearne, Logan O’Boy.

Referee – Grant Irvine

Starting Eleven