Callum Davidson’s first game in charge of Queen’s Park was a successful affair as Raith Rovers were seen off 2-1 at Stark’s Park.

The Davidson era kicked off at a dry Stark’s Park with Queen’ s Park’s new head coach, along with his assistant Liam Craig, making two changes to the side that defeated Dunfermline Athletic eight days ago.

Sean Welsh was handed a quick-fire debut in the heart of the Spiders midfield with Louis Longridge also returning to the engine room with Jack Spong and Alex Fairlie moving to the substitutes’ bench.

Welsh got a very early first touch as he took kick-off before adopting a central midfield berth in a 3-5-2 formation however it was the Kirkcaldy side struck early.

With just three minutes gone a pass was played out to Dylan Easton on the left wing and he shuffled the ball onto his right foot before curling a cross to the back-post where Jack Hamilton stuck out a foot and diverted it past Calum Ferrie.

The visitors looked to get back on level terms quickly and a Dom Thomas cross was cleared to the edge of the box where Longridge had a shot blocked and then Andrew McNeil had to move sharpish to keep out a follow-up drive from Ruari Paton.

On nine minutes Raith debutant Kyle Turner had an effort deflected wide with Ferrie doing well under pressure to punch the resultant corner clear before Referee Stuart blew for a foul.

Lewis Vaughan took a tumble 25 yards out from the Queen’s goal as the game ticked towards the quarter of an hour mark with Paton standing strong in the defensive wall to block Josh Mullin’s direct effort.

Alex Bannon stayed clam on 20 minutes as Hamilton bore down on Ferrie’s goal with the defender waiting his time before sliding in and ensuring that the danger was over.

The Spiders raced to the other end and a delicate chip from Longridge released Zach Mauchin with Dylan Corr doing well to cut out the wing-back’s cross. Mauchin advanced again midway through the opening half with Corr this time heading a cross away just as Paton looked set to pounce.

Connolly earned a dubious free-kick on 29 minutes with Ferrie forced into a fine one-handed save high to his left when the former Queen’s Park player sent in a swerving shot from the dead-ball.

Ferrie was forced to turn an Easton shot wide shortly afterwards with the resultant corner flashing past the post.

As the hosts looked to build pressure Tommy Robson was forced to turn a Mullin free-kick wide of his own goal with his knee however the danger was seen off.

Ten minutes from the break Queen’s created an opening through some flowing football on the right that saw Longridge and Mauchin combine to send Thomas scurrying to the touch-line. The skipper’s deep cross was met by a volley from Cammy Bruce with Andy McNeil in the home goal doing well to stretch and save.

On 40 minutes Vaughan tried for goal directly from a free-kick with Ferrie skipping across his goalline to gather first time and Queen’s made the most of that save two minutes later.

A free-kick on the half-way line was played across the pitch to Robson who strode forward before deftly sending a pass to the 18-yard line where BRUCE had charged forward. The teenager collected the ball on his left foot and steadied himself before curling a right foot shot out of McNeil’s reach and into the far corner.

The first half was brought to a close with many in the ground still discussing the quality of Bruce’s first ever senior goal!

Half time – Raith Rovers 1 Queen’s Park 1

Raith started this half brightly as well and Ferrie had to produce another fine stop to prevent them retaking the lead with the shot-stopper having to drop low to push away a net-bound close range Hamilton header.

The Spiders created their first chance of the second half on 50 minutes when Thomas led a charge before picking out Jack Turner who slipped a pass to Paton who fired for goal only to find McNeil well-placed to save.

On 55 minutes Paton’s persistence won a corner for his side and from it Queen’s took the lead as Thomas’ dead-ball was perfect for the in-rushing WELSH who marked his debut with a goal by nodding firmly into the net from six yards.

Paton showed his resilience again as he battled to keep the ball with an hour played and that allowed Robson to try and set up an attack however his forward pass was cut-out.

Raith were stung by the turnaround in the score and Robson had to move sharply to end a Connolly raid before Easton was crowded out as he looked to attack Ferrie’s goal.

The Queen’s shot-stopper had to watch another Hamilton header carefully midway through the second half and when play switched to the other end a clever chipped pass from Turner was met by a volley from Paton however a blue-shirted defender got in the way.

Paton proved to be a nuisance again on 71 minutes with the striker brought crashing down 35 yards from the Raith goal with Bannon just unable to get enough purchase on Turner’s free-kick.
Jamie Gullan was quickly involved and it took a brave block from Jack Thomson to prevent a fierce shot from the substitute troubling Ferrie.

For those of us who have seen this movie before, twice already this season, there was a sense of relief when Ferrie fell onto a close-range header and reduced some of the pressure that the hosts were building.

With nine minutes left Easton looked to have unlocked the Queen’s Park defence as he cut across the box however his parting shot rose and cleared the goal.

Ferrie’s determination to keep his side’s lead saw him dash from goal in injury time and leap high to clutch a bouncing ball despite being clattered into.

Bannon made a block as Raith pushed with Thomas taking the loose ball up the park as the game entered injury time.

Three minutes into added on time Raith were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out. Gullan lifted it over the wall however eyes were opened again when the sound of the ball crashing off the bar was heard!

There was one more charge as Spong released Paton with McNeil finger-tipping away his low drive and then the whistle blew!!

Queen’s Park – Calum Ferrie, Zach Mauchin (Ben McPherson 73), Alex Bannon, Jack Thomson, Tommy Robson, Cameron Bruce (Will Tizzard 85), Jack Turner (Jack Spong 73), Louis Longridge (Stuart McKinstry 90+5), Sean Welsh, Dom Thomas, Ruari Paton.
Unused substitutes – Callan McKenna (G/k), Aaron Healy, Lewis Reid, Alex Fairlie, Patrick Jarrett

Raith Rovers – Andrew McNeil, Liam Dick, Aidan Connolly, Lewis Vaughan, Josh Mullin (Callum Smith 85), Dylan Corr (Jamie Gullan 76), Kyle Turner, Jack Hamilton, Scott Brown, Shaun Byrne, Dylan Easton.
Unused substitutes – Robbie Thomson (G/k), Scott McGill, Callum Hannah, Adam Masson.

Referee – Peter Stuart.

Starting Eleven