Two changes were made to the starting line-up today when compared to that which started the last home game versus Inverness CT, one enforced with Sean O'Connor missing due to the leg injury picked up at Motherwell, his place taken by Alex Burke and one tactical with Willie Gibson replacing Joe McAlpine wide left.
The loss of Sean O'Connor was to prove costly as the big man provides a great outlet to relieve pressure on the defence and his height was sorely missed up front as both Jaconelli and Burke were unable to win much in the air today.
The game began with both sides showing an intent to play attacking football, first to show were Queens as Steve Bowey found some space on the edge of the box in only five minutes and fired an effort directly at the on-loan Rangers 'keeper Graeme Smith in the Staggies goal. Shortly after a superb passing move between Burke, Burns and Bowey sent Burns through but his effort was turned away for a corner. The corner when it came over was headed out as far as Eric Paton, he chipped the ball over the defence, this allowed Steve Bowey to latch onto the ball and he copied the move of Paton by chipping the ball over Smith and into the net for an early lead.
County were giving as good as they were getting however and it was only a timely interception from Brian Reid that prevented Sean Higgins latching onto a John Rankin cross ball on twelve minutes. Five minutes later and a Higgins header from a McCunnie cross forced Samson into palming the ball onto the roof of the net when the County striker should have done better.
On twenty-four minutes some superb work from Derek Allan to win the ball following a corner sent away Paul Burns who sent the ball cross field to Jaconelli, his ball to Bowser was turned through to Burke who should have done better than slice his shot wide of the goal with only the 'keeper to beat. A minute later and at the other end Queens managed to escape as a defence splitting ball from McGarrie was just shepherded past by Aitken as Bayne raced in at the far post.
County were pressing for an equaliser but Queens gradually came back into the match and forced a series of corners just after the half hour mark. The half ended with Queens the better side as Jaconelli released Paul Burns and the midfielder had two attempts to beat Smith but both were dealt with well enough.
The second half started without either manager making any early alterations. It was Queens though that almost opened the scoring in the half as a Willie Gibson ball down the wing found Andy Aitken and his pass through to Alex Burke made the 'keeper push the ball away for a corner.
A good instinctive save from an unsighted Craig Samson kept the lead intact and then the clearance from defence found its way to Emilio Jaconelli who made enough space to shoot but managed to clear the bar by only a few inches. Seconds later and Paul Burns should have wrapped the game up as he found himself with a free-header eight yards out and with lots of empty space to aim at in the goals. Unfortunately though his glancing effort went the wrong side of the post - a miss that was to prove costly.