Queen’s Park and Arbroath played out a 1-1 draw at Ochilview with the hosts moving level with three other clubs at the top of the table and the visitors moving off the foot.
Spiders Head Coach Owen Coyle made changes to his starting line-up with Jake Davidson, Alex Bannon, Louis Longridge and Pat Jarrett getting the nod to begin the game with Jason Naismith, Lee Kilday, Grant Savoury and Scott Williamson making way.
Arbroath were out for revenge for Queen’s 2-1 success at Gayfield earlier in the season and Calum Ferrie was called into action within the first minute to clutch a shot whipped in by the evergreen Bobby Linn.
The Red Lichties continued to threaten in the opening minutes and Jake Davidson had to move sharply to head the ball back to Ferrie with Dale Hilson all set to run clear.
Former Black and White hero Ricky Little did well on 7 minutes to nod clear just as former Gayfield favourite Simon Murray was itching to get in-behind the visiting defence.
Murray did get in-behind the Arbroath rear-guard three minutes later to pick up a pass from Dom Thomas however an assistant’s flag stopped the home skipper as he looked to shot towards Derek Gaston’s goal.
Longridge was the next player to look to create danger for the hosts as he darted forward to receive a pass from Jack Thomson however a perfectly timed tackle from visiting captain Thomas O’Brien halted the wide-man’s progress.
Queen’s threatened again a minute later however Murray’s knockdown from Longridge’s chipped cross found no takers.
Murray did get a shot on target on 18 minutes however his low drive was gathered by a diving Gaston.
Midway through the opening half a surging Tommy Robson run took him to the bye line however his low cutback was kicked clear by Scott Bitsindou.
Arbroath were next to create danger with a deep cross picking out Keaghan Jacobs who sent a header flashing wide.
On 29 minutes the visitors appealed for a penalty when a Linn shot looked to have struck the arm of the grounded Malachi Boateng however referee John Beaton was not interested.
Arbroath’s disappointment at not being awarded the spot-kick deepened a minute later as Thomas slipped in JARRETT on the left-hand side and the former Stoke City man sent a shot sliding past Gaston for his first Championship goal for the club.
Linn looked to lift his side with one of his trademark free-kicks shortly afterwards with Ferrie watching it carefully as it bounced its way into his arms.
Seven minutes from the break a clearance from the visitors ran to Boateng some 25 yards and his side-foot drive looked set for the net until O’Brien got in the way to block.
The game then went through a scrappy phase until Jarrett looked to have a shooting chance for a second right on half-time however a foul by Murray on Jacobs in the build-up was punished.
Ferrie made a smart stop three minutes into the restart after Linn slipped a pass to Marcel Oakley on the right and his cross picked out Dylan Tait who saw his seven-yard header saved at the base of the far post.
On 56 minutes Queen’s breathed a huge sigh of relief when a low Linn cross found the boot of the out-stretched Hilson however he could not get enough on the ball to turn it in.
Two minutes later Arbroath had Gaston to thank for keeping the score at 1-0 with the goalkeeper producing a wonder-stop when he dived to his left to flick away a powerful first time Murray effort from a Thomas cross.
As the danger swept back to the other end Arbroath did grab an equaliser after a mix-up in the home defence allowed Hilson to tee up LINN who slotted into the far corner.
The pace of the game continued to be frantic and Gaston produced another fine save to turn away a swerving free-kick from Jack Thomson.
It was Queen’s turn to appeal for a penalty when substitute Scott Williamson, who had just been brought on, looked to be taken out in the box as he chased the ball however again referee Beaton did not point to the spot.
With six minutes left Williamson was chasing a Jonny Kenny flick on when play was brought back for a foul on the on-loan Celtic striker with a second foul awarded closer to the Arbroath box when the defensive wall had not retreated far enough when Thomas struck for goal.
Arbroath forced a late corner which Kareem Isiaka sent wide before Gaston had the final touch as he grabbed Eze’s header from Thomas’ corner.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Jake Davidson, Alex Bannon, Stephen Eze, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson, Malachi Boateng, Louis Longridge (Johnny Kenny 64′), Dom Thomas, Pat Jarrett (Josh McPake 81′), Simon Murray (Scott Williamson 68′). Subs not used: Jason Naismith, Lee Kilday, Cameron Bruce, Jacques Heraghty (G/k), Grant Savoury, David Boateng
Arbroath: Derek Gaston, Marcel Oakley, Colin Hamilton, Ricky Little, Thomas O’Brien, David Gold, Dylan Tait, Keaghan Jacobs, Scott Bitsindou, Dale Hilson (Daniel Fosu 68′), Bobby Linn (Kareem Isiakia 72′). Subs not used: Kieran Shanks, Deri Corfe, Mason Hancock, Scott Allan, Cammy Gill (G/k).
Referee: John Beaton