John Connolly sent out his 'league' side this afternoon, the same sixteen that had performed so well at Ayr a few weeks ago. They faced newly promoted Raith Rovers who were making their first visit to Palmerston Park since season 1988/89.
The match started brightly with both sides producing some excellent free-flowing football in excellent conditions.
It was Queens that showed first with Gary Wood charging down a clearance and getting through the defence and winning a corner, the set piece saw 'keeper Gonzalez making an acrobatic attempt to make a simple save look spectacular and only succeeded in knocking the ball to the edge of the box but with no Queens player quick enough to respond the chance was lost.
Willie Gibson then demonstrated some continental skill of his own as he skipped past Patino to charge down the left and set up Derek Lyle, Lyle though was wide with his effort. Queens were finding success down this side of the pitch and next up was Steve Bowey as he too out paced the Raith right back and sent a cross toward Lyle and Wood, it was just too far behind Lyle and too far in front of Wood though.
From a corner in twelve minutes Brian Reid almost opened his scoring account for Queens as he rose at the back post to head a Willie Gibson header toward the top corner, Gonzalez diving to save.
Although Queens were on top Raith still posed a threat on the break, however it was Queens again who almost opened the scoring in twenty two minutes as a crunching tackle on Steve Bowey was won back by Willie Gibson who set Derek Lyle off down the right, his effort this time being palmed past by the 'keeper.
Disaster struck however in the twenty-fifth minute as a harmless looking throw in on the left was played to Blackadder, he beat Derek Allan to get in a cross to the front post where John Sutton had positioned himself in front of Brian Reid to prod the ball home. Almost immediately Queens responded as a Derek Lyle flying header was again saved with great acrobatic effects by the visitors 'keeper.
Sutton prods home the opener
Raith came more into the match and began to probe the left hand side of the pitch where they were having some success.
Back up to the visitors goal and a high looping ball from the right hand side of the pitch enticed Gonzalez off his line to attempt to collect, he was some way wide and short and the ball was played to David Bagan, his effort being deflected off Lyle and eventually cleared by a defender.
On forty minutes the goal scoring move was almost repeated as Derek Allan attempted to keep a Jim Thomson clearance in play but only succeeded in feeding Blackadder on the left, the young wingers effort this time was again to the near post and again to John Sutton. Sutton's effort though hit the wrong side of the post.
Thomson and Sutton tussle
The half ended with a superb move between Bowser and Willie Gibson as the two exchanged numerous passes down the left before setting up Wood to cross for Bowser himself and Lyle to have efforts before the ball came back out to Gibson on the edge of the box, the youngster had the time to compose himself but could only shoot over.
The second half started with most Queens fans believing that at least a single and possibly a couple of goals were more than likely for the home side in the half and indeed the team came out with that in mind. In the first few minutes of the half Eric Paton had a free-kick on the edge of the box that was blocked away but came back to him for him to set himself up from almost the same position and fire another effort goalward, it again being blocked away.
Sean O'Connor was introduced in the fifty-fifth minute to replace Willie Gibson, Derek Lyle going wide right, and Gary Wood was needlessly booked for dissent.
There was then a huge scramble in and around the six-yard box as three or four blue shirts attempted to hit home a loose ball, the 'keeper was only responsible for one of the number of blocks, his defenders stopping the ball with bodies and legs as the home fans watched in disbelief.
Queens were still the more dominant of the two sides but Raith were proving dangerous on the break.
With twenty minutes of the half remaining Alex Burke replaced Derek Lyle and Joe McAlpine pushed up with Queens adopting a more attacking formation.
A free-kick on the edge of the box almost worked out as the ball was played across the penalty box to David Bagan, the long-range specialist this time being defied by the visiting 'keeper as he pushed the ball around the post.
Plenty follow up
Queens were then caught on the counter as the left hand side again proved useful for the visitors with Derek Allan attempting to defend the patch on his own and being beaten for pace as the ball was squared once again to Sutton who finished very well to give Dodds little chance.
Heads went down after that and little of note happened in the final few minutes other than the visiting 'keeper demonstrating balancing difficulties.
The final change of Burns for Paton in 86 minutes was never going to make much difference.
All in all it was a disappointing result, however the performance was a good one and on another day the score could easily have been the other way around. We had the chances but didn't take them.