Queens surge up the league came to an abrupt halt this afternoon as a determined Forfar side fought back three times to take a deserved victory. It was a Queens performance that did little to inspire any confidence with the solidity at the back missing due to an early injury to Paddy Atkinson and the replacement of Ronnie McQuilter at half time.
Forfar, like Clydebank last week were out of the blocks much more quickly than the homesters and within the first few minutes they could have and should have been a couple of goals to the good, as first McQuilter laid on an almost perfect through ball to Christie who had his effort finger tipped away by Mathieson in the home goal. The next effort came down the left with the ball cut back across goal with Mathieson stranded, fortunately the Forfar forwards were not as sharp as their approach play and the ball was cleared, although Paddy Atkinson suffered a groin strain and was replaced on twelve minutes by Stephen Pickering.
Before the substitution Warren Hawke had come close with a looping shot from a Peter Weatherson lay-back that had Garden in the Forfar goal struggling to tip it over. Then Stuart King made an impressive run down the left and crossed just too high for Warren Hawke to get proper contact with, for King though was the highlight of his match as he was well guarded by the Forfar right back.
Out of nothing on thirty eight minutes Peter Weatherson produced a moment of pure class as he received the ball with his back to goal and the Forfar defender looking favourite to win the challenge, Peter turned his man, raced through on the keeper and when others would have panicked, deftly lifted the ball over Garden and into the back of the net.
Queens pressed forward as the half drew to a close with Jon Sunderland making an impressive run down the wing and putting in a cross that was knocked back by Peter Weatherson for the waiting Graham Connell to shoot, his effort deflecting wide for a corner. From the corner though Forfar broke upfield and forced a corner themselves. Queens weakness at corners was again evident as nobody challenged for the ball as it came across, it ended up at McQuilter's feet but he could only half clear it, in the scramble that followed the ball seemed to ricochet off the back of a Queens player and into the net to level the scores.
The last action of the greatly extended half was a Dave Bowman effort which just sailed past the post with Mathieson well beaten, Queens were fortunate to leave the field on level terms.
The second half saw a change to the defensive line up again with Ronnie McQuilter replaced by Denis Boyle and Des McKeown taking on his old central defensive role, the defence though had not looked settled since the loss of Paddy Atkinson and this change didn't help matters either.
The first action noted in the half was the replacement of Stuart King by Martin Hughes, although there appeared to be no-one assigned to the left wing as a number of balls into the position following the substitution went to waste.
Queens second goal came from nothing in the sixty seventh minute as Jon Sunderland was sent tumbling in the box, new penalty taker Jon O'Neill stepped forward and clinically finished to give Queens a flattering 2-1 lead.
Queens were really on the back foot as Forfar pressed for an equaliser, so much so infact that at a couple of Forfar corners the box was full of the entire Queens side, with no-one ready for a loose ball and everyone crowding the box. The second time this happened, in the seventy fourth minute the Forfar on-loan Celt Liam Keogh struck a hopeful ball through the middle of the crowd and with so many in the way Mathieson had no chance to see it, the ball finished in the back of the net and the scores tied at 2-2.
A draw would have been a good result on today's performance but even that was not to be as another extended half was played out, Queens looking for a winner from a corner only to find Forfar breaking upfield and the referee awarding a free kick on the edge of the Queens box. Up stepped Beaton to curl home a tremendous effort to give the Loons a 3-2 victory, although a last gasp Peter Weatherson effort almost crept inside the far post.
Forfar were worth their victory today and Queens must hope that their form will return in time for Tuesday's match at Gayfield where the on-form visitors today took second place in the league from our South West rivals Stranraer who crashed at home to lowly Stirling.