A late Luca Connell penalty handed Queen’s all three points at home against East Fife and cemented their play-off spot in the process.

The Spiders named an unchanged side that drew with league leaders Cove Rangers last time out.

A bright start from Queen’s Park as they were millimetres away from breaking the deadlock after only 5 minutes, courtesy of Luca Connell. He had a free kick just left of centre about 20 yards out and he whipped a venomous effort over the top of the wall, however it rattled the crossbar – nearly the early breakthrough the Spiders had been hoping for.

East Fife spurned a chance to take the lead on the 15th minute when Leo Watson dug out an inch perfect cross to Kyle Connell who head over from inside the six-yard-box.

The 27th minute saw a half chance for the Spiders. Tommy Robson played a one two with Connell before he fired in a dangerous cross. Bob McHugh flicked the ball on at the near post which found the unmarked Louis Longridge, however he sliced his effort wide.

A mere five minutes later, and the visitors passed up a rare chance to score. Kyle Connell did brilliantly as he beat Tommy Robson to the bouncing ball and drove down the right wing before a raking pass picked out Ryan Blair ghosting in at the back post, but he couldn’t control his volleyed effort.

Overall, a poor first half showing from both sides. The game is crying out for a piece of magic in the second half to spark the game into life. It remains a stalemate in the Firhill sunshine, with neither goalkeeper really tested so far.

Half time substitution for the visitors saw Leo Watson replaced by Danny Denholm.

10 minutes into the second half Queen’s Park have followed suit and dipped to the bench as Simon Murray replaced Connor McBride.

A terrific save from Jude Smith to deny Connor Smith the opener for Queen’s on the 58th minute. It was nearly an instant impact from substitute Murray as he chased down a long ball before playing a deft pass inside to the onrushing Smith who tried to curl it into the far corner, but it deflected off a defender and keeper Smith had to show a strong left hand to keep the ball out of the net.

Queen’s made a double substitution in the 70th minute with Luis Longstaff and Jai Quitongo replacing Louis Longridge and Connor Smith with the Spiders hoping these changes would add that spark that is required to go on and claim all 3 points.

Simon Murray has been a livewire since coming on. Fellow substitute Longstaff sends a searching ball over the top of East Fife’s defence and Murray is in one on one with the keeper but his shot trickles just shy of the right-hand post. It was a good piece of goalkeeping from Smith as he spotted the danger early and rushed out and narrowed the angle for Murray, otherwise it would have been 1-0.

The 90 minutes had come and gone, however there was late drama at Firhill as Longstaff was pulled back inside the box and Queen’s Park were awarded a penalty. Luca Connell stepped up and fired a tame effort which just evades keeper Jude Smith to gives a precious 3 points for the home side.

With Falkirk beaten by Cove Rangers, this win secured a play off spot for the Spiders. A scrappy game and a narrow win for Queen’s – the visitors will be disappointed not to have taken a point from this game.

The official attendance today at Firhill is 580. Next Saturday, Queen’s head north to face Peterhead at the Balmoor Stadium.

Queen’s Park: Ferrie, Doyle (c), Kilday (Grant 81’), Fox, Robson, Lyon, Connell, Longridge (Quitongo 70’), Smith (Longstaff 70’), McHugh, McBride (Murray 55’). Subs not used: Davidson, Heraghty, Morrison, Gillies, Darcy.

East Fife: Smith, Steele, Murdoch, Higgins (c), Watson (Denholm 45’), Mercer, Millar, Pollock (Walls 85’), Newton (Healy 80’), Blair, Connell (Semple 55’). Subs not used: Slattery, Campbell, Higgins, Dow, McKenzie.

Referee: Lloyd Wilson