Queen’s Park went down 2-1 to visitors Queen of the South in their final Viaplay Cup Group game after an incident packed second half that saw Aaron Healy score a fine goal.

There were three changes to the starting line-up with 16-year-old goalkeeper Callan McKenna handed the gloves for a second time this season with Tommy Robson and Alex Bannon also playing from the first whistle.

Calum Ferrie, Cameron Bruce and Will Tizzard were on replacement duty against a Doonhamers side with Charlie Fox wearing the captain’s armband.

Within the first minute Jack Turner showed an adventurous approach with a stinging 20-yard drive that flashed just past.

McKenna was next to show his skills as he controlled a lofted Fox pass-back under pressure before side-stepping a Dumfries attacker and playing the ball away from his goal cooly.

On seven minutes McKenna showed that he could use his hands to great effect as well as he got down low to push away a driven effort from Gavin Reilly.

Four minutes later there were claims for a home penalty as Ruari Paton fell to the ground after a challenge from Kyle McClelland however nothing was given.

On 13 minutes McKenna was forced into another save as he pushed away Cameron Logan’s chipped effort after the midfielder had been released by a Reilly through ball.

Fox put in an almighty leap on 18 minutes to try and get on a well-worked corner from Dom Thomas however the big defender just failed to get enough power on the ball.

Jack Spong, who had played a number of fine passes, helped set up a raid on the right on 29 minutes in conjunction with Louis Longridge, with Jack Thomson the beneficiary however his parting cross was overhit and the ball cleared the Queen of the South penalty area.

Sixty seconds later a fortunate ricochet sent the visiting Kieran McKechnie clear on goal and he skipped past McKenna before netting only for an offside flag to cut short Blue and White celebrations.

Barry Hepburn looked to make the most of that reprieve as he cut in from the right wing and fired for goal with his effort just off-target and as the hosts pressed again on 33 minutes a Thomas shot was deflected against the bar.

The woodwork rescued Queen of the South again on 38 minutes when Jack Thomson cracked a 14-yard effort goalward following a scramble that came after a Hepburn corner.

In injury time a combination of passes and strong running from Thomson allowed him to slip a pass inside to Thomas with the winger sending a first-time shot just over.

The second half was less than a minute old when Queen’s were reduced to ten men after a series of unfortunate events went against the Spiders.

What looked like a foul on Thomas went unpunished and when the visitors lofted the ball forward Bannon unfortunately slipped and that allowed Reilly to pounce on the ball.

Fox attempted to rescue the situation with a sliding challenge 30 yards out however Reilly fell to the turf and after taking his time to make his decision referee Irvine brandished a red card at the home skipper.

On 52 minutes the ten men almost scored when a long pass from Thomson sent Hepburn away on the right. The wide-man drove forward and cut a pass back to Longridge who sent an 18-yard drive flashing just wide.

Queen’s threatened again when Ruari Paton and Thomson teed up Spong with his well-struck drive from distance crashing against a visiting defender.

Cameron Bruce was introduced to the game on 64 minutes however before he had a chance to get established in the game Queen’s Park found themselves a goal down.

Josh Todd scampered away from Bannon and down the right wing where he looked up and rolled a pass across the six-yard line that was perfect for Reilly to slide in and score.

With 17 minutes left Bruce ventured forward and played a pass forward to Tommy Robson who surged deep into the visitors’ box before unleashing a shot that just flashed past the far post.

Queen’s Park suffered further misfortune on 77 minutes when Harry Cochrane robbed McKenna of possession and slotted into an unguarded net.

Five minutes later Queen’s were given a lifeline back into the contest when substitute Liam McLeish was felled by Jordan Houston however Paton saw his penalty saved by Gordon Botterhill.

On 88 minutes the hosts did get a route back into the game with a fine goal from replacement Aaron Healy who accepted a pass on the 18-yard line with one foot before allowing the ball to bounce and sending a shot fizzing into Botterhill’s goal.

There was one more moment of drama as Patton wriggled clear after chasing a high ball and turned away from his marker and sent a low shot past Botterhill only to watch on in agony as his effort went inches wide.

Queen’s Park – Callan McKenna, Louis Longridge, Alex Bannon, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Barry Hepburn (Cameron Bruce 64), Jack Thomson (Aaron Healy 77), Jack Turner (Will Tizzard 48), Jack Spong, Dom Thomas (Liam McLeish 77), Ruari Paton.

Unused substitutes – Calum Ferrie (G/k), Rocco Hickey-Fugaccia, Scott Williamson, Lewis Reid, Patrick Jarrett.

Queen of the South – Gordon Botterill, Jordan Houston, Paul McKay, Harry Cochrane, Kieran McKechnie (Harvey Walker 77), Josh Todd, Gavin Reilly (Ross Irving 80), Kyle McClelland, Reegan Mimnaugh, Cammy Logan, Efe Ambrose (Lee Connelly 69).

Unused substitutes – Daniel Church, Charlie Cowie (G/k), Lewis Gibson, Ben Johnstone, Greig Frame.

Referee: Grant Irvine

Starting Eleven