Queen’s Park 1 Airdrieonians 1

OUR last home game before Christmas, and it would be nice to get an early pressie of three points.

The Spiders’ ultimately thwarted heroics at Somerset Park last Saturday should give everyone at the club hope for the rest of the campaign.

Those who travelled to Ayr would have been gutted by the manner of the 3-2 defeat. But on the plus side, there could have been only pride at the way the young Queen’s players stood up to a pacy, physical, full-time side, and even overcame going a goal behind and actually got in front of the League One title favourites.

For the visit of Airdrie today, Queen’s were boosted by the return of two players missing at Somerset — Luke Donnelly who had been injured and Gregor Fotheringham who had to serve a one-game ban on the naughty step.

Gregor had to be content with a place on the bench while Luke went straight into a starting XI which showed two changes from Somerset, one enforced after Scott Gibson got injured in the warm-up.

Donnelly and Adam Cummins started, at the expense of Lewis Magee and Dominic Docherty, while Ciaran Summers came off the bench to replace Gibson.

Queen’s lost 4-2 at the Excelsior Stadium in September, with Dominic Docherty hitting a double, and Airdrie arrive at the National Sadium after claiming four points out of six against Forfar and Raith Rovers.

The Diamonds kicked off on a sparkling afternoon, with the floodlights on despite the clear skies.

A very patient start by Queen’s, zipping the ball around well, brought a corner for Mortimer in three minutes. It was played short by Galt to Mortimer, Galt took the return and was brought down by MacDonald as he weaved his way into the box – PENALTY Queen’s.

There were no complaints from the visitors, but plenty from the stands as Donnelly saw his weak shot comfortably saved by Ferguson.

Homer was hoping for an early pressie, but we’d just looked a gift horse in the mouth and it came right back to bite us as Airdrie took the lead in 10 minutes with their first shot on goal.

Cummins fouled Hastie on the edge of the box on the left and Watt’s free-kick beat keeper White to his right despite the Spider getting a hand to it.

Just like last week, Queen’s had to come back from a goal down, and they came close in 16 minutes, but Donnelly couldn’t get the ball out of his feet after a neat drag-back just outside the six-yard box, and then Galt had a shot blocked.

Queen’s as usual were enjoying plenty of possession but other than his penalty save Ferguson had not touched the ball as we approached the half-hour.

But Airdrie came alive after the 30-minute mark. Iredale’s challenge on Russell when he cleared a vicious cross had the Diamonds players appealing for a penalty, then Summers had to deflect a dangerous cross for a corner.

But this was typical Queen’s. Having conceded a goal while they were on top, it was only natural that they should equalise after Airdrie’s best spell so far.

It was Cummins who got us back in the game in 38 minutes, rising alone in the box to direct Galt’s right-wing corner wide of Ferguson with a nice header. It was no more than Queen’s deserved given their possession stats, but we really should have been in front.

Half-time: Queen’s Park 1 Airdrie 1

Furtado created the first excitement of the second half, shaking off Leitch into the box on the right and then testing White with a low left-foot shot that the keeper turned round his right-hand post at full stretch.

He’s a big lad, is Furtado, and he and Iredale were having a good scrap.

Watt was next to try his luck, moving onto a clearance from a corner and blasting it high over.

Airdrie made the first change in 58 minutes, Fry replacing Russell, but Queen’s were then forced into a change when Iredale injured himself making a clearance and he was replaced by Kevin Green.

Burns was booked for a foul on the edge of our box on 70 minutes after he overran a clearance, but this time Furtado sent the free kick well over.

Duff then replaced the limping Donnelly for Queen’s as Airdrie came more into the game and White had to be alert to get down and hold a Cairns shot.

McGregor was booked for tugging back Mortimer and before the free-kick, which was cleared, Airdrie sent on Brown for Edwards.

Docherty got the last eight minutes for Queen’s when he replaced Mortimer, and he came close to repeating his Airdrie scoring feat when he moved onto a low Galt free-kick but ran it past the near post.

There were a couple of awkward moments at both ends without either keeper being troubled, and at full-time there was the feeling of two points dropped.

A quick glance at the league table showed we were still bottom, but only by virtue of having scored one goal less than Forfar who we travel to play next week in the proverbial six-pointer.

Keep the faith, and a Merry Christmas from Homer and Gulliver.

Queen’s Park: Michael White; Sean Burns, Adam Cummins, Jack Iredale, Scott Gibson; Conor McVey, Anton Brady, Robbie Leitch, David Galt, Luke Donnelly, Billy Mortimer. Subs: Chris Duff, Dominic Docherty, Lewis Magee, Gregor Fotheringham, Kevin Green, Ciaran Summers, James McLennan.

Airdrie: Rohan Ferguson, David Brownlie, Kieran MacDonald, Jordan McGregor, Luke Watt, Jushua Edwards, Scott Stewart, Dean Cairns, Cameron Russell, Jake Hastie, Willis Furtado. Subs: Adam Brown, Tom Fry, Sean McIntosh, Jordan Allan, John Higgins, Robbie Leighton, Matthew Kerr.

Referee Grant Irvine