The Queen’s Park roller-coaster moved back in an upward trajectory as Ayr United were seen off 2-0 at Ochilview thanks to a Dom Thomas penalty and a Nick McAllister own goal.
It was debut night for wing-back Marcel Oakley and attacker Connor Shields against the Honest Men with Lee Kilday and Jack Thomson earning recalls after missing out in midweek.
Jake Davidson, Stephen Eze, Louis Longridge and Euan Henderson moved to the substitutes’ bench as the Spiders looked to get the better of the Somerset Park side for the first time this season.
The Spiders kicked off shooting towards the away fans and after an early foray towards that end new boy Oakley got his first touch as he mopped up a visiting attack on the right.
With four minutes gone Malachi Boateng produced a wonderfully timed sliding tackle to take the ball from Ayr dangerman Dipo Akinyemi just as he was planning a raid into the home box.
Four minutes later Oakley showed his pace as he helped set up an attack that ended in a corner after Charlie Albinson pushed away a Jack Thomson shot.
Shields created a chance for himself on 11 minutes as he won possession by pressurising the visiting defence however Albinson raced from his line and kicked clear.
A flashing cross from Dom Thomas looked perfect for Shields to get a header in on the Ayr goal however visiting defender Sean McGinty nodded away at the expense of a corner that led to another flag-kick however no danger threatened.
Ayr were given possession from a dropped ball after Josh McPake had suffered a head-knock in the middle of the pitch with the attacker thankfully returning to action shortly afterwards.
Queen’s had a terrific chance midway through the half when Shields darted through the Ayr defence and rather than shooting, he slipped a pass to Grant Savoury who mis-fired and the ball travelled wide.
McPake moved from left to right to create danger on 27 minutes with his driven shot only partially saved by Albinson with the shot-stopper able to recover just as Savoury was ready to pounce.
Ferrie had to be wide-awake five minutes later to reach up and collect a Nicholas McAllister cross from the right with Akinyemi ready to pounce.
It was Charlie Fox’s turn to be alert ten minutes from the break as he headed away a dangerous looking Josh Mullin free-kick as it curled across the six-yard line with Boateng and then Ferrie ensuring that Ayr failed to build pressure from the set-piece.
As Ayr continued to push number one Ferrie punched the ball off the head of Akinyemi after a deflected cross dropped into a dangerous area.
After Boateng had picked up a booking following a foul in midfield another Mullin free-kick created danger however an offside flag was raised.
Queen’s raced to the other end with Shields combining with Thomas with a diving header from McGinty ending the threat.
A fine flowing move saw Thomas pass to Oakley who passed to McPake with the striker swivelling on the spot and firing just past.
Ayr responded with a Paddy Reading drive from 20 yards that just cleared Ferrie’s bar with the hosts creating the next chance with a lovely cross to the back post from Thomson that unfortunately found no takers.
The visitors started the second half at lightning speed and within 30 seconds Akinyemi had teed up Michael Hewitt eight yards out with Ferrie glad to see his first time shot clear his goal.
Owen Coyle’s side looked to get going and Thomas made a piercing 20 yard run with the wide-man one of many in the ground disappointed that referee McLean did not blow for what looked like two fouls.
Thomson released Oakley on the right with the wing-back flighting a delightful ball into the danger area with Alex Kirk having to carefully watch his clearing header drift wide of his own goal.
Lee Kilday showed some fancy footwork on the half-way line nine minutes into the restart before finding Savoury who released Shields who won a corner that Albinson stretched high to cut out.
Boateng, Thomas and Savoury combined to release McPake in great space one the left on 59 minutes and the attacker charged cut in and charged towards the visitors’ goal. A trio of Ayr defenders were in pursuit and as McPake got set to shoot he was bundled to the ground with THOMAS drilling home the resultant penalty.
It could have been two a minute later through a close range Savoury flick however Albinson stuck out his legs to save.
With the difference between the two sides still one Ayr pushed to draw level quickly and a close range Akinyemi header brought out a fine save from Ferrie.
The Honest Men came close again on 66 minutes when Jayden Mitchell-Lawson rolled a shot against the far post after an Akinyemi drive had been blocked.
Kilday ventured forward with 18 minutes left to received a pass from Thomas with his right wing cross becoming a cross that only just missed Albinson’s goal.
A second goal for Queen’s arrived on 77 minutes with fine passing between Thomas and Boateng releasing substitute Jake Davidson and the ‘QP Cafu’ just kept on going and going until he was next to Albinson’s right hand post.
Davidson fizzed the ball across the goal and the unlucky Nick McAllister turned it into his own net.
Coyle made a further substitution with ten minutes left with Longridge replacing the industrious Thomson with Fox stepping in with another timely intervention shortly afterwards as Ayr continued to probe.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Marcel Oakley (Jake Davidson 69′), Lee Kilday, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson (Louis Longridge 80′), Malachi Boateng, Dom Thomas, Grant Savoury (Pat Jarrett 90′), Josh McPake, Connor Shields (Euan Henderson 90′).
Subs not used: Jacques Heraghty (G/k), Scott Williamson, Aaron Healy, Alex Bannon, , Stephen Eze.
Ayr United: Charlie Albinson, Paddy Reading, Sean McGinty, Alex Kirk, Nicholas McAllister (Jordon Houston 80′), Reece McAlear (Daire O’Connor 85), Ben Dempsey, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (Paul Smith 86′), Michael Hewitt (Mark McKenzie 60′), Josh Mullin (Fraser Bryden 80′), Dipo Akinyemi.
Subs not used: Aidan McAdams, Kinlay Bilham, Dylan Watret.
Referee: Steven McLean