John Connolly put out a near full strength side this evening against English third division outfit Darlington whose manager Gary Bennett did the same fielding almost his strongest side. The first half was a pretty even affair with Queens just having the edge in terms of possession and chances, four corners to nil was the first half tally. The best of the chances falling to Peter Weatherson in the thirty fifth minute who was through on the 'keeper but finished weakly into his arms.
The second half saw Queens changing the bulk of the midfield, Sunderland on for O'Neill, McGhie for Patterson and Atkinson for Gray, it paid off almost immediately with Sunderland putting in a deep cross that Weatherson did well to win only to see the ball cleared for a corner, the resulting corner being played onto the head of Connolly who couldn't get enough onto the ball to trouble the Darlington keeper.
Peter Weatherson had another shot and turn well saved before a change to the strike partnership was made in the sixty fifth minute with Alan Hogg replacing Stuart Connolly.
Within five minutes Queens had taken the lead as Peter Weatherson laid the ball into the path of Warren Hawke who drove an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner to give the Doonhamers a well deserved lead.
Des McKeown was working well in his left wing back role and was putting in some troublesome balls to the heart of the penalty box, from one cross Peter Weatherson laid the ball off to Alan Hogg who managed to turn around the ball and strike it against the inside of the right hand post and could only watch as the ball ran along the line and off the inside of the left hand post before the keeper managed to collect it.
A short corner finding Jon Sunderland who fired in an angular ball onto the head of Weatherson who flicked it onto Alan Hogg who could only send the ball scraping over the bar was the next action, Queens final effort being a strong run and cross from Paddy Atkinson that couldn't find a taker as it whistled across the face of the goal.
The last touch of the game was from a Darlington player as he rose above what had been a watertight defence to nod home a scarcely deserved equaliser.