|The East stand was eerily silent for most of the first half, Jambo's fans had turned up in significant numbers expecting to see their favourites cruise to a comfortable victory down the road in Dumfries. A bit of a shock then to find your team played off the park and losing 1-0 after only fourteen minutes.
Captain Marvel Steven Leslie had latched onto a cleverly lobbed through ball from Bryan Caldwell, advanced with the ball whilst holding off the massive Kevin James and knocked the ball past the diving Rousset in the Hearts goal, the crowd celebrated in fine style, all except the Jambo's who must have though that this wasn't in their script.
The remainder of the half was played with Queens closing down every play made by an opponent and pouncing on every opportunity to break forward. Man mountain Kevin James in the middle of the Hearts defence was mopping up with ease every high ball sent upfield, however the impressive Bryan Caldwell was giving the big man a hard time on the ground forcing him into a number of errors.
To be fair though Hearts made a few first half chances and twice the woodwork came to Queens rescue as confusion in the box lead to sight of goal being given to the ever eager Gary McSweggan.
The half time whistle sounded and the crowd cheered the Doonhamers from the park as if victory had already been assured.
Jim Jeffries though, is an astute manager and his half time team talk and substitution of Juanjo with Jackson paid immediate dividends. The ball broke down Queens left and Andy Aitken played it back to keeper Hillcoat, on a night when the keepers kicking was to say the least the weakest part of his game, he only managed to slice it back across the field to Aitken. Aitken's attempted clearance was charged down and Jackson was through on goal with only the keeper to beat, his first attempt was blocked by Hillcoat but the ball fell back to Jackson again who this time put it below the diving keepers body to equalise the scores with only his second touch of the game.
Next a controversial moment, Mallan gets between Pressley and James, wins the ball and chases through, Pressley attempts to shield the ball and in the process both players tumble, Stevie is first up and manages to connect with the ball before the keeper can react and 'scores' in the right hand corner, surely a goal, not according to the referee who awards Hearts the free kick. Could this be a turning point?
Turning point it was as shortly after disaster struck as everyone in the Queens defence watched as a cross bounced through the defence to the back post and onto Severins head then into the net. Two one to Hearts.
Queens didn't give up however and were soon back forcing the game, although Hearts did look much more comfortable stroking the ball about in midfield when leading.
The double substitution of ex-Hibees Bailey and Findlay for Adams and Harvey didn't quite have the same effect as it had had on Saturday, however it did help Queens pick up the pace again. The best chane for Queens in those closing stages was a tremendous effort from a narrow angle by Steven Leslie which Rousset did well to block. The game though had already been lost and the final goal in the eighty fifth minute did not properly reflect the relative performances of the two teams.
This was also borne out by the Sponsors, CIS Insurance, who chose Queens captain and goalscorer Steven Leslie as the Man of the Match.
Whilst dissapointed with the final result both co-managers Rowe and Eadie expressed themselves more than satisfied with the performance of the team and the numbers and reaction of the sizeable home support.