Queen’s Park ended 2023 with a 2-1 injury time defeat from Airdrieonians at Hampden with a first half lead from a penalty from Dom Thomas cancelled out by Mason Hancock and Nikolay Todorov.

Paul Nuijten listed the same eleven that drew with Dundee United eight days ago with a fit again Stuart McKinstry added to the substitutes’ bench along with Zach Mauchin.

Jack Thomson was again in a central defensive position and he was just inches out with a long diagonal cross-field pass from right to left just seconds after kick-off.

Louis Longridge showed some nice touches early on with Jack Turner earning praise from coach Thomas O’Ware for showing a different side of football as he chased, harried and then disposed an opponent on the half-way line.

Dom Thomas showed ambition in the eighth minute as he accepted a pass from Ben McPherson on the right wing and cut in before hitting for home from 25 yards with his shot clearing Josh Rae’s bar.

Pat Jarrett forced a corner on 9 minutes after a fine move however Longridge lost possession when the ball was rolled to him and the danger was over.

McPherson earned another corner two minutes later and this one produced a chance as Turner’s cross found Jarrett who volleyed wide.

Airdrie threatened on 18 minutes a long ball from Callum Fordyce was allowed to travel into the Queen’s box with Adam Frizzell set to run clear however McPherson got back with a timely tackle.

Queen’s replied with a surging run from Turner and it required an equally well-timed tackle from Charlie Telfer to deny the hosts an opening.

Another fine passing move saw Jack Spong, Thomas and Turner combine and provide Jarrett the chance to pick out Ruari Paton with the striker crowded out as he looked to shoot towards Rae’s goal.

It was Airdrie’s turn to reply on 26 minutes with a shot from Telfer taking a deflection and spinning just wide of Calum Ferrie’s goal.

On 34 minutes Spong released Turner in-behind the visiting defence with a delightfully chipped pass that enticed Rae from his line with referee Robertson pointing to the spot after the Diamonds goalkeeper sent Turner crashing to the floor.

Skipper THOMAS took responsibility from 12 yards and found the net despite Rae getting a hand on the ball.

Turner was certainly involved in the game as he picked up a booking seven minutes from the break for a sliding challenge deep inside his own half.

Bannon stood strong to head away a dangerous cross from Lewis McGregor after Airdrie were awarded a throw in on the right wing that looked to be a home ball.

Right on half-time The Spiders won a corner that was met by Bannon however his header did not trouble Rae with Paton yellow carded when he got in the way of the goalkeeper’s clearance.

Half time – Queen’s Park 1 Airdrieonians 0

Airdrie restarted the second half with Todorov on in place of Calum Gallagher however it was The Black and Whites that earned an early corner when Callum Fordyce nodded behind as Longridge waited to pounce. The dead-ball was cut back to Spong who sent a first-time shot high over from 18 yards out.

Five minutes into the restart Thomson picked out Thomas on the right wing with a raking 50-yard pass however the captain’s low ball across the Airdrie box to the unmarked Paton was cut out.

Airdrie forced a hat-trick of chances just before the hour mark with Ferrie diving low to save from Lewis McGregor on 57 minutes before pushing away a drive from Telfer and then standing strong to deny Todorov.

On 65 minutes the home goal had a let-off as Todorov rounded Ferrie and shot for goal only to see the ball strike the post, hit Bannon, and go behind for a corner. There was to be no reprieve from the dead ball as Telfer picked out Mason Hancock who headed in from a yard out.

McPherson went off with a knock eight minutes later with Cameron Bruce coming on with a number of positional changes required to support the change including McKinstry, who had only been brought on six minutes before, moving from left wing into central midfield.

With seven minutes left Airdrie looked dangerous again as their substitute Gabby McGill roamed free on the right however his cross was scrambled clear with Bannon heading the resultant corner away under pressure.

In the final 90 seconds Thomas looked to create a chance only for his cross to fall to Rae who helped set up an attack with Ferrie having to use his legs to keep out another effort from Todorov.

In injury time Paton teed up McKinstry at the edge of his box and he looked to have hit a winner however Rae leapt to his left to make a fine save.

Airdrie capitalised on that reprieve with Todorov wriggling clear on the right again and drilling into the far corner.

Queen’s Park – Calum Ferrie, Ben McPherson (Cameron Bruce 73), Alex Bannon, Jack Thomson, Tommy Robson, Jack Spong, Patrick Jarrett (Stuart McKinstry 67), Jack Turner, Louis Longridge, Dom Thomas, Ruari Paton.
Unused substitutes – Callan McKenna (G/k), Barry Hepburn, Aaron Healy, Will Tizzard, Lewis Reid, Alex Fairlie, Zach Mauchin.

Airdrieonians – Josh Rae, Rhys McCabe, Mason Hancock, Callum Fordyce, Lewis McGregor (Gabby McGill 75), Calum Gallagher (Nikolay Todorov 46), Adam Frizzell, Liam McStravick (Craig Watson 90+3), Dean McMaster, Kanayo Megwa, Charlie Telfer.
Unused substitutes – David Hutton (G/k), Josh O’Connor, Elliot Dunlop, Cameron Rowley, Gavin Gallagher, Joe Cassidy.

Referee – Don Robertson

Starting Eleven