The comparative match fitness of the two squads showed today as Partick Thistle turned in an impressive second half performance to return to Maryhill with a well deserved haul of three points. It was all so different during the first half however as Queens turned in an impressive display and were unlucky not to be leading when the half time whistle blew.
Queens started with an almost all new midfield line up, Jon Sunderland wide right, Graham Connell and Jon O'Neill in the heart of midfield and Mark Angel wide left. Up front Peter Weatherson was partnered by recent signing Alan Hogg. The defence was the one area that had a more familiar look to it with Aitken and McQuilter in the middle, Atkinson and McKeown in the backs positions.
For the first twenty minutes of the match it was almost all Queens possession with Partick pinned back for long spells and lucky to escape conceding a goal from a number of clear cut chances. Amongst those chances was Peter Weatherson who was fed through by Paddy Atkinson within the first minute, this week the striker was to be tightly marked all match and there was no way through to get a clear shot on goal. Graham Connell demonstrated his eagerness to hit the target as he had a long range effort well saved in the eighth minute.
Against the run of play Partick took the lead, and it all came from a poorly taken Queens corner at the other end, the ball broke loose and was played into the Queens half, a 50-50 challenge resulted in Queens being penalised just outside the box, the initial effort was not properly cleared and the ball came out again wide right, this time the cross found the head of tall striker Martin Hardie who had the simple task of heading the ball into an unguarded net as David Mathieson was well away from the ball as he attempted to intercept the cross.
Partick came a little more into the game at this stage and Mathieson made amends for his earlier error when he saved a point blank effort as the defence waited for an offside flag that never came.
Star men for Queens in this period were Paddy Atkinson and Jon Sunderland, both were combining well down the right hand side and with defender Archibald being booked early this was proving the best route forward.
Alan Hogg looked lively up front and was unlucky not to get a clean shot on goal in a goalmouth melee on 35 minutes. Queens were pushing though and a goal was looking imminent. It came when Alan Hogg got to the byeline and cut back for Peter Weatherson to turn the ball on and into the path of the inrushing Jon O'Neill, the midfielder took delight in burying his debut goal for Queens hard into the empty net thereby setting up a terrific finish to the half.
In the remaining four minutes of the half Queens could have scored at least a couple more, Jon Sunderland was making some mazy runs and producing some better deliveries although he couldn't resist the temptation to shoot on a couple of occasions and Alan Hogg had a superb shot parried by the keeper with no Queens player following up on the loose ball.
The second half was more a tale of Partick producing some good flowing football and Queens having an occasional foray into the visitors half. Changes were made early in the half, first Paul Kinnaird came on for Mark Angel and produced a couple of good runs in combination with Jon O'Neill. Shortly afterwards David Mathieson made an excellent stop but failed to hold onto the ball only to see frontman Hardie eagerly finishing as he was quick to follow up on the loose ball.
A controversial moment followed as referee Orr waved play on as Partick keeper Arthur picked up a side footed pass back on his goal line.
Queens made their final change of the afternoon in the sixty fourth minute and brought on Dean Muir for Alan Hogg, Jon O'Neill taking over the second strikers berth from Hogg with Jon Sunderland getting a more free roaming role and Dean Muir going wide right.
Finally a long through ball saw the Queens defence claim for offside once more this afternoon only for it not to be given and this time ex-Queens player Scott McLean happily stroked the ball past Mathieson for a well deserved third goal.