Stranraer came out on top today, just as they have in the previous two encounters this season. The home fans left disappointed as they saw the all out efforts of the Dumfries side in the last twenty minutes fail as they attempted to draw the scores level from being 3-1 down.
In truth though Stranraer were worth their win as they again demonstrated that they are one of the best organised sides in the division, their speedy front man Walker causing the Queens defence trouble throughout.
The Queens side saw a number of changes from last time out with Des McKeown taking up the midfield role previously taken by Dean Muir, whilst Danny Patterson came in at left back. The starting strike pair today were Bryan Caldwell and Jarrod Suddick. On the bench were new signings David Milne and Jon O'Neill, although O'Neill was listed as a trialist as his documents could not be processed in time, he has though signed an 18 month contract.
Queens started brightly as usual and struck first after only six minutes as the Stranraer defence, for the second time this season, put through their own net, this time it was Greig McDonald who deflected a Jarrod Suddick cross into the back of his own net.
Queens continued to pressure and it was Stranraer old boy Paul Kinnaird who almost silenced the away support as he struck a tremendous effort from the edge of the penalty area which beat everyone but the inside of the far upright and then bounced away to safety.
Queens play was becoming a bit slack with Stranraer players being given room to run at the defence. David Mathieson though made a number of solid saves to prevent the scores from being tied, until the twenty sixth minute that is, when a ball lofted over the Queens defence was just too far for Aitken and too short for Mathieson, the 'keeper attempted to clear it with his body but only succeeded in playing it to a Stranraer forward. As Mathieson was stranded on the edge of the box Aitken and McQuilter attempted to keep goal, however Billy McDonald kept his composure and slotted away the equaliser.
The most potent threat up front for Queens for the remainder of the half was the combination of McKeown and Kinnaird, once from a free kick outside the box by Kinnaird, McKeown managed to get an outstretched leg to the ball only to see it comfortably collected by the 'keeper and then from a Kinnaird corner Des climbed above the Stranraer defence but again his header was comfortably dealt with.
It was Stranraer who extended their lead however as on thirty seven minutes the lively Paul Walker managed to beat the defence and David Mathieson to the ball and slide it by everyone and into the net.
Queens front two were not producing any real chances between them and at half time John Connolly made a change, off came Jarrod Suddick, on went midfielder David Milne, Warren Hawke pushed up and joined Caldwell as the attacking force. Caldwell, though, was having little success against the robust Stranraer defence and he was next to be substituted giving us Skinner and Hawke up front.
Skinner's first contribution, however, was to lose possession just outside the Stranraer box, from this the ball broke out to Harty who strode forward and finished by shooting over the top of Mathieson and into the home net to make the score 3-1.
High drama was to follow shortly after as the visitors 'keeper McGeown was sent off for bringing down a goal bound Paddy Atkinson, when the 'keeper eventually left the field his replacement got down well to his left to push away Paul Kinnairds penalty attempt, the ball was fired back in a couple of times unsuccessfully until it fell to the victim in the whole affair, Paddy Atkinson who drilled the ball home without any fuss.
Queens final change followed as Jon O'Neill replaced Danny Patterson, although O'Neill took up a midfield role and Des McKeown dropped into to the left back slot vacated by Patterson. Queens pressurised from then until the final whistle but could find no way through against a well organised Stranraer defence.