Ten-man Queen’s Park went down 2-1 to Ayr United at Hampden with The Spiders left rueing the combination of events that saw Sean Welsh red-carded seconds after they had built a platform to win the game.

Queen’s Park Head Coach Callum Davidson selected the same starting XI that won on his first away day at Raith Rovers a fortnight ago for his first game at home with the recently appointed former St Johnstone manager making a significant move before kick-off by returning the home Technical Area to the left-hand side of the tunnel.

New loan signing Mackenzie Carse made the bench against an Ayr side who had an even more recent appointment in Scott Brown who was in charge of their side for the first time.

The visitors kicked off after Spiders Jack Thomson was presented with a framed jersey to represent featuring in a century of games for the club with the midfielder turned defender quickly involved as he mopped up an Ayr attack.

The Honest Men attacked again on three minutes through Patrick Reading on the left however a high ball to Anton Dowds at the back post sailed over the striker with Nick McAllister having the first shot shortly afterwards however Calum Ferrie was on hand to save.

As Ayr’s bright start continued Logan Chalmers did find Dowds with a cross however he headed over with an offside flag also popping up.

Queen’s first foray into the Ayr box came on 13 minutes when Thomson fed Zach Mauchin on the right and his through ball looked to have released Louis Longridge however it just slipped past the touchline and ran out of play.

Mark McKenzie looked to be getting on the end of a long ball on 19 minutes however he hauled Thomson down on the edge of the Queen’s box as he looked to break clear and referee Steven Kirkland awarded a foul.

Reading won the first corner of the game midway through the half however Chalmers’ dead-ball delivery was headed clear by Alex Bannon.

Dowds tested Ferrie from distance on 26 minutes however again Ferrie was perfectly placed to deal with the danger and the shot-stopper helped play get transferred to the other end with Queen’s threatening as Mauchin found Jack Turner and his cut-back was taken off Ruari Paton’s toes.

Ferrie punched away a dangerous looking Jamie Murphy free-kick on 33 minutes and as Queen’s struggled to clear the loose ball Chalmers hooked a shot wide.

Five minutes from the break Welsh was harshly judged to have brought McKenzie down right on the edge of the home box with a booking for the midfielder adding to the sense of injustice as the Ayr man looked to have slipped before the challenge.

The Spiders’ grievance grew even stronger as Murphy whipped the free-kick through the wall and out of Ferrie’s reach to give Ayr the lead.

The goal stung Queen’s Park into attacking action with Mauchin only inches away from connecting with a Cameron Bruce cross before Dom Thomas was crowded out after a promising run.

Half time – Queen’s Park 0 Ayr United 1

Tommy Robson stood strong 90 seconds into the restart to stop a Chalmers breakaway after Thomson had ventured forward to try and start an attack.

On 49 minutes captain Thomas and Turner combined and looked to have opened up the visiting defence however a last-gasp tackle stopped the skipper shooting for goal.

Shortly afterwards a Thomas cross rebounded back to him and Thomas volleyed for goal with his effort flashing over.

On 53 minutes Mauchin won Queen’s Park’s first corner of the game and it almost brought an equaliser with Welsh’s header from Thomas’ cross kicked away by Charlie Albinson and Turner only inches out as he volleyed the loose ball goalward.

Ayr hit Queen’s on the break 11 minutes into the second half with Murphy darting forward before releasing Dowds who sent a low shot just wide.

A rampaging run by Thomson was ended in crude fashion by Murphy just after the hour mark and whilst that set-piece was dealt with an equaliser was just around the corner.

On 63 minutes Thomas whipped in what only can be described as a perfect cross and PATON ran onto it with the perfect header that gave Albinson no chance to save.

However, before Queen’s could settle and go again Welsh’s first booking came back to haunt him as he picked a second caution for a foul in midfield and was dismissed.

Ayr retook the lead on 74 minutes when Fraser Bryden lofted the ball into the box and McKenzie headed in.

Eight minutes later Paton caused panic in the Ayr defence as he chased a Mauchin cross with substitute Stuart McKinstry sending a shot wide after the ball had dropped at the far post.

Davidson’s side continued to push for a second equaliser and a Thomas daisy-cutter from 25 yards was saved by Albinson at full stretch.

In the final minute Ben McPherson picked out Robson with a cross with the defender sending a first time shot inches over with Ayr racing to the other end and missing the chance to increase their lead when Aiden McGeady lobbed onto the roof of the net.

McKinstry produced another couple of dangerous moments however an equaliser could not be found.

Queen’s Park – Calum Ferrie, Zach Mauchin (Ben McPherson 83), Alex Bannon, Jack Thomson, Tommy Robson, Cameron Bruce (Stuart McKinstry 72), Jack Turner (Jack Spong 72), Louis Longridge (Mackenzie Carse 72), Sean Welsh, Dom Thomas, Ruari Paton.
Unused substitutes – Callan McKenna (G/k), Will Tizzard, Scott Williamson, Lewis Reid, Patrick Jarrett.

Ayr United – Charlie Albinson, Nick McAllister, Paddy Reading, Sean McGinty, Ben Dempsey, Logan Chalmers, George Stanger, Jamie Murphy (Fraser Bryden 67), Anton Dowds (Aiden McGeady 74), Roy Syla, Mark McKenzie (Ahkeem Rose 83)
Unused substitutes – Robbie Mutch (G/k), Francis Amartey, Paul Smith, Jack Sanders, Scott Tomlinson, Dylan Watret.

Referee – Steven Kirkland

Starting Eleven