It couldn't have been much worse for Queens today as Marc Cleeland was sent off, Andy Aitken booked and now almost sure of a long suspension, Warren Hawke sent to hospital with a suspected broken wrist, sustained in the fifth minute and two goalkeeping errors leading to another defeat.
Victoria Park was as windswept as the rest of the country today and with Queens winning the toss George Rowe elected to start with the wind at their backs. This almost paid dividends immediately as Stevie Mallan went close within two minutes, goalkeeper John Hillcoat nearly found himself on the scoresheet in the twelfth minute as the Staggies trialist keeper just managed to fumble away a long goal kick given extra length by the whipping wind.
Traffic was not one way however as George Rowe found when he had to clear a net bound effort off the line then watch as a Stevie Mallan effort similarly had to be cleared by the County defence, Kinnaird demonstrated again what a danger he can be from set pieces as he fired the ball over the Queens wall only to see it hit the crossbar and then five minutes later the woodwork again came to Queens rescue as a shot rebounded to safety off the inside of a post. That was about the sum of the first half action and the sides left the field all square.
The second period saw County capitalise on the wind much better than the Dumfries men had in the first, John Hillcoat looked lively dealing with a rasping 30 yard shot early in the period and in total made at least five excellent saves to keep the score level.
The goals had to come and after sixty minutes of play Paul Kinnaird took an inswinging corner which caught out Hillcoat and ended up in the back of the net, just six minutes later another Kinnaird corner found the towering Brian Irvine who outjumped the Queens defence and headed into the net.
After this Queens never really threatened and the game was finished as a contest, a great improvement is needed if Queens hope to avoid even more highland outings next season.