Queens recorded only their second away victory of the season this afternoon at a blustery Stair Park. A fine start to the new year combined to a fine end to the last year ensures that Queens narrow the gap between themselves and second bottom Hamilton, who were held to a draw at Partick today, to just three points.
Stranraer were the bookies favourites for this afternoons game, boss Billy McLaren having just received the Bell's Second Division Manager of the Month award for his teams performances, indeed it was only seven games previous that the Stair Park men had travelled to Dumfries and recorded their largest ever victory against the Doonhamers with a five nil victory.
Queens though put all this to one side and with a much changed team to the one which had crashed those few weeks ago, found the desire to inflict revenge with a hard working performance right through the team.
The first goal was not long in coming, indeed it took only four minutes for Warren Hawke to open his away goals account when the experienced Tom Black in the Stair Park defence failed to clear properly and the ex-Morton hitman capitalised on the mistake.
Queens were looking lively upfront with co-boss Ken Eadie posing problems as Stevie Mallan and Warren Hawke provided the running. Stranraer however were making a contest of it and nearly equalised when they hit the inside of the post with Hillcoat beaten.
It was Queens that made the next breakthrough in the twentieth minute with Ken Eadie being fed through the middle by a lovely lob over the defence by twenty year old Stuart Davidson on a months loan from Kilmarnock, veteran hitman Eadie showed no hesitation in lobbing the ball over the advancing home keeper to make the score two nil.
Queens were in control for long periods and comfortably held out for the remainder of the half, indeed almost increasing the lead with a sliced corner clearance by Tom Black.
The second half was only seven minutes old when Andy Aitken was uncharacteristically shown the red card inside the box for violent conduct, the ball at the time being in the centre circle, the home sides Harty stepped up and gave Hillcoat no chance despite the visiting keeper's valiant attempt.
You would have expected the home side to then bombard the Doonhamers goal, but after a couple of chances and another good save by Hillcoat it was Queens who made the running with again Eadie, Hawke and Mallan posing lots of problems to the homesters defence.
Queens were well worth their win today and can now look forward to a small break from league action with a visit to Montrose next Saturday in the Second Round of the Scottish Cup.