Queen’s Park were unable to find the net against visitors Arbroath and they paid the price as they went down 1-0 to a goal from Dale Hilson.
Malachi Boateng was included in the starting line-up after shaking off a knock picked up against Inverness Caledonian Thistle last time out with Marcel Oakley also listed after overcoming illness.
Louis Longridge was included from the start with Jake Davidson moving to the bench as Jack Thomson remained out injured and Cameron Bruce absent as he is on Scotland Youth duty.
Arbroath gave a start to Ricky Little and David Gold, who both have connections with the Spiders, as well as Scott Stewart who is the son of Head Coach Owen Coyle’s right hand man Sandy Stewart.
After a presentation was made to the family of the late Martin Kelly, Arbroath kicked off however the first attacking charge of the game came from Dom Thomas who darted deep into the Gayfield side’s half before overrunning the ball and seeing the danger cleared.
With three minutes gone the visitors came close to taking the lead when Sean Adarkwa wriggled clear at the edge of the box with a combination of Charlie Fox and Calum Ferrie pushing the ball past for a corner.
Silky skill from Thomas created a chance for Queen’s on nine minutes as he dribbled clear on the right and found Malachi Boateng who released Longridge and the midfielder sent a shot flashing across the Arbroath goal.
A minute later the dancing feet of Thomas were on display again as he cut in from the right and fired a shot over Derek Gaston only to see it come crashing back off the bar.
Ferrie had to be alert at the other end as Gold was found in space and sent in a header that required a two-handed stop.
Thomas and Grant Savoury exchanged passes and skipped passed defenders on 19 minutes and their work created space for Euan Henderson at the edge of the box with the striker, who was playing with his socks in a 1970’s rolled down style, forcing Gaston into a leaping save.
On 21 minutes the Red Lichties’ Michael McKenna had a half-chance when a Stephen Eze headed clearance landed in his path however Ferrie gathered the resultant shot.
Connor Shields won a corner with half an hour played however Thomas’ in-swinging dead ball was nodded away from the visitors’ goal.
With a further four minutes played Oakley slipped Shields in on goal however Gaston raced from his line to narrow the options with the striker’s effort beating the shot-stopper only to be kicked clear.
As Queen’s continued to press Thomas took on and beat Colin Hamilton on the full-back’s outside however there were no takers for the wide-man’s driven cross.
With Stewart running free on the left Oakley intercepted a McKenna pass five minutes from the break and the hosts raced to the other end and Thomas had a shot gathered up by Gaston.
Another chance to grab the opening goal slipped by 60 seconds later as Shields sent a cross curling across the front of the Arbroath goal.
In first half injury time Gaston made a fine double block as he pushed away an angled drive from Shields and then leapt high to turn over a follow up effort from Thomas that took a deflection on its way to goal.
With the second half a minute old McKenna picked up the first yellow card of the game for a trip on Henderson who had darted from the edge of his box with the ball until over the half way line.
Robson and Savoury took the game to Arbroath on 50 minutes and their groundwork gave Longridge a glimpse of goal with Gaston able to watch his drive creep over the bar.
Boateng rescued Queen’s on 51 minutes when he headed a net-bound Adarkwa shot from 12 yards past for a corner after referee Clancy missed a foul on Oakley in the build-up.
Arbroath forced a further two corners with Little rising at the back post to nod them goalward in a familiar fashion with Queen’s glad to end a spell under the thumb with clearances.
Substitutes Jake Davidson and Patrick Jarrett made a quick impact as they swapped passes and then found Shields on the left with his low cross evading Gaston before being kicked away from close to the Arbroath goal.
Queen’s forced another good opening on 64 minutes when Jarrett accepted a Shields pass and carved his way towards Gaston who got a touch to his low shot with Savoury unable to turn the loose ball in.
With 18 minutes left Oakley nipped in to stop a Ryan Dow pass reaching substitute Hilson and when the play was switched to the other end Savoury fired a 20 yarder over.
On 76 minutes the deadlock was broken when Hilson took possession from Eze and moved into the home box before side-stepping his way to the penalty spot where he sent a low left foot shot past Ferrie.
As Queen’s looked to level Shields volleyed a Davidson cross wide however the ‘Black and White Hoops’ were finding it hard to build up a head of steam.
Oakley won a corner with two minutes to go and Jarrett picked out Eze from the dead ball however his header went over.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Marcel Oakley, Stephen Eze, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Louis Longridge (Jake Davidson 57’), Malachi Boateng, Dom Thomas (Aaron Healy 79’), Grant Savoury (Scott Williamson 79’), Euan Henderson (Patrick Jarrett 57’), Connor Shields.
Subs not used: Jacques Heraghty (G/k), Lee Kilday, Josh McPake, Calum Biggar, Alex Bannon.
Arbroath: Derek Gaston, Lewis Banks, Colin Hamilton, Ricky Little, Thomas O’Brien, Joao Baldé, Michael McKenna, David Gold (Dylan Tait 68’), Ryan Dow, Sean Adarkwa (Dale Hilson 68’), Scott Stewart (Bobby Linn 82’)
Subs not used: Cammy Gill (G/k), Keaghan Jacobs, Seun Paul Komolafe, Olutoyosi Olusanya, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, Scott Allan.
Referee: Kevin Clancy