Today's match had a lot at stake with Queen's Park needing to win and rely upon Strling Albion beating or drawing with Forfar, as it turned out the Loons continued their recent good form and defeated the Binos 3-1, Queen's Park, with a vastly inferior goal difference did as much as they could and beat a Doonhamers side that seemed to be firing on only three cylinders today. So the Spiders went down along with Stirling Albion, Queen's the team that both faced when their fate was confirmed.
The Queen's line up at the kick-off looked a bit strange with three right-backs, Walklate, Pickering and Atkinson starting but with Des McKeown in the right back spot. It soon became clear why Paddy was initially assigned the left back role as he took on a man-marking job on the main Queen's Park threat Kevin Finlayson. Walklate featured in the centre of defence partnering Aitken and Pickering on the right wing. Geoff Paterson retained his starting place in the side on the left side of midfield and this week Graeme Armstrong got to partner Peter Weatherson up front. On the bench youngster Willie Gibson had his first taste of first team duty whilst Jon Sunderland, Alan Hogg, Phil Nixon and Colin Scott filled the remaining seats.
Early exchanges were competitive and committed but with no real threat on either sides goal, although Queen's did have a good penalty claim for handball turned away during the first twenty minutes it was Queen's Park that made and took the only real chance when Finlayson got the better of Atkinson down the right and sent in a ball that the Dumfries defence could not get to and allowed Gallagher to side foot a volley into the net.
Jamie Campbell gets down well to push away a net-bound Spiders effort shortly after they scored their goal.
The Doonhamers only real chance in the remainder of the half was when Stephen Pickering demonstrated some excellent close control to thread his way through the Spiders back four before seeing his shot deflected away for a corner. From the corner Des McKeown should have done better than to put a free header wide of the far post, but he did and that was the end of the first half action.
Half time saw the replacement of youngster Geoff Paterson with Jon Sunderland and within minutes the more direct approach of Sunderland was evident as he broke forward only to see his effort fly wide of the 'keepers post. Then Armstrong put Sunderland through with a well timed cross and the substitute saw his shot spectacularly saved by Corr in the Spiders goal. The ball was then punted up the other end of the park and Jamie Campbell had to look lively to come quickly out of his box and head away a clearance.
Des watches as Finlayson dives in to meet the cross ball, fortunately his effort was well wide.
To liven things up up-front John Connolly replaced Graeme Armstrong with Alan Hogg and minutes later gave youngster Willie Gibson his first taste of first team football when he replaced Stephen Pickering.
The Doonhamers were much livelier now, the substitutions certainly having the desired effect. Paddy Atkinson drove forward to the edge of the box and unleashed a shot that just went the wrong side of the post and then the energetic Alan Hogg beat a Spiders defender to a 50-50 ball on the edge of the six-yard box and got in an effort that Corr in the Spiders goal was relieved to see flash past the upright (see photo).
Hoggy beats his man and fires in a shot that Corr is happy to see flash past the post
Youngster Willie Gibson was entertaining the crowd as he demonstrated that despite being slightly built his commitment in the tackle was 100%, he was also showing close control and ball skills that will surely make him a favourite with the Palmerston faithful very quickly indeed.
Des sends his throw-in to Peter Weatherson in the box but with a defender keeping a firm grip on him.
It was almost constant Doonhamers pressure for the remainder of the half as first Paddy Atkinson turned in a neat ball to John O'Neill who saw his excellent effort well saved by Corr, the ball was met by Hogg but his effort flew past the upright.
A grounded John O'Neill can only watch as his effort is pushed away.
The half came to an end with the Doonhamers still pressing but finding no way to break down a stuffy defence, when the final whistle came there was no cause for celebration from any of the fans as the Spiders heard that Forfar had won and they were therefore relegated, they did leave the field to a standing ovation from a sizeable traveling support and from the Doonhamers faithful who had been directly involved in three out of four relegation/promotion issues in the league this season.
The Spiders fans give their side a standing ovation at the end despite their relegation to the third division.
John Connolly commented afterwards that he will be having a very close look at his squad during the close season as he recognises the task that awaits next year if further progress is to be made.