Queen’s made the journey to Central Park on Saturday high in confidence and buoyed by back to back wins over Berwick Rangers and Elgin City. For the third successive match, gaffer Mark Roberts was able to name an unchanged starting eleven, meaning that the returning Gerry McLauchlan had to settle for a place on the bench, at the expense of James Grant who dropped out the squad.
All signs before the match pointed to it being a close encounter with just one place and five points separating the sides in the table, and two of the three previous matches ending in draws.
Kieran Moore got the proceedings underway for the Spiders with the opening few minutes being a scrappy affair. It took the home side just three minutes to register their first shot on target as Gary Fraser cut in from the left before going for goal from 25 yards. The effort never looked like troubling Hart in the Spiders goal who adjusted and gathered comfortably.
Minutes later Queen’s were presented with their first chance of the game as Galt dispossessed Fraser deep inside the Cowdenbeath half before working an opening to get a shot on target which keeper David McGurn was equal to.
Less than a minute later Queen’s again went close to an opener this time through Ciaran Summers who went agonisingly close with a low left foot effort that had McGurn scrambling to cover. Unfortunately for the left back his effort went inches the wrong side of the keepers left hand post.
Queen’s had started on the front foot and it was to be just a minute later, with six minutes on the clock, that we were to have our third attempt at goal. Galt was once again involved in the build-up, playing a delightful ball over the Cowden backline which was gathered by Moore who then forced a great save from McGurn.
Just 30 seconds later Queen’s looked to have taken the lead. Calvin McGrory made the most of a poor clearance from Luc Bollan as he unleashed a right foot effort which had the beating of McGurn but came back off the foot of the post. Quite how the Spiders weren’t ahead by this point was a mystery, and this was all inside the opening six minutes.
With seven minutes played McGrory was upended on the edge of the box, giving Queen’s a free kick in a dangerous position. McKernon stepped up and smashed a low effort into the wall before seeing his second attempt, from the rebound, blocked and eventually going out for Queen’s first corner of the match. Nothing was to come from the corner but the early signs from Mark Roberts side were extremely promising and had the black and white army in full voice.
As the opening stages wore on the home side started to find their feet in the match but it was again the Spiders who went closest to an opener. With 14 minutes on the clock Galt saw an effort blocked, from the rebound Roberts found Gibson in space inside the box but the captain smashed his right foot effort just over the bar.
Four minutes later Queen’s were to get yet another sight at goal. Roberts again involved, this time as he found Galt with a neat lobbed pass but the front man, on the back of a hat trick last weekend, blazed his effort high and wide. The groans from the travelling support indicated that it could be one of those days.
Moore was next to have a go for the Spiders as he raced on to a through ball on the right and took the ball past keeper McGurn who had raced out, unfortunately for the young striker his goal bound effort lacked the conviction needed to beat the covering defender. From the follow up however he was to be presented with another bite at the cherry as Roberts cut it back to Moore only for the striker to see McGurn get down to save the close-range shot.
As the first half wore on there were half chances at either end but nothing that troubled either keeper and very little by the way of any real action worth mentioning. When referee Craig Napier brought the first half to an end, you couldn’t help but wonder quite how Mark Roberts side were not out of sight and whether or not the number of missed chances would come back to haunt us, as they have done on so many occasions in the past.
Half time: Cowdenbeath 0-0 Queen’s Park
The were no changes for either side at the break and it was the home side who got the second half underway.
As with the first half it was Queen’s who started on the front foot, winning a corner inside the opening minutes through Galt’s determination. It was Galt who then provided the delivery, finding McLaren at the back post but it had too much on it for the big centre back to be able to get a decent header away.
The home side were to get their first shot on target of the second half with 55 minutes played. Fraser Mullen whipped in a dangerous delivery from the right which Luc Bollan rose highest to meet in the crowded box, but Hart was quick to react and in the end it was a comfortable save for the Spiders keeper who had been fairly quiet up to now.
As the hour mark came and went the game was turning into an even scrappier affair than it already had been with a number of free kicks being awarded to both teams for niggling fouls resulting in constant breaks in play.
With 62 minutes on the clock Calvin McGrory dragged an effort wide from the edge of the box, his frustration in the aftermath evident and just about summed up the feeling of the majority of the those in black and white.
Queen’s best chance of the second half came a few minutes later as Kurtis Roberts found space to get a shot away from 25 yard which saw McGurn produce a fingertip save to knock effort onto the bar and out for a corner.
As the game wore on, the foul count continued to increase but it wasn’t until the 77th minute that referee Napier produced the first booking of the game. That would go to Cowden’s Gary Fraser who hauled Roberts to the ground after the energetic midfielder had got the better of him.
Mark Roberts used the stoppage to make his first change. Striker Kieran Moore departed to be replaced by Euan East.
Just a few minutes later the card count was level, this time David Galt was adjudged to have gone down too easy in the box and picked up a yellow for simulation.
With ten minutes remaining the home side made their first substitution as Blair Malcolm was replaced by Jordan Allan.
The final ten minutes of the match saw Alan Gow introduced to replace Lewis Hawke for Queen’s and Jordyn Sheerin replace David Cox for the home side but there was to be little by the way of any chances that troubled either keeper. The home side had half chances through Jordan Allan and Gary Fraser but it was to finish goalless.
Full time: Cowdenbeath 0-0 Queen’s Park
Cowdenbeath: David McGurn, Fraser Mullen, Harvey Swann, Jamie Pyper, Luc Bollan, Kyle Miller, David Cox (89’ Jordyn Sheerin), Blair Malcolm (80’ Jordan Allan), Kris Renton, Gary Fraser, Robbie Buchanan.
Substitutes: Kieron Renton, Jamie Todd, Kyle Sneddon, Ryan Connolly, Mark Fotheringham.
Queen’s Park: Jordan Hart, Scott McLean, Ciaran Summers, Jamie McKernon, Dominic McLaren, Scott Gibson, Calvin McGrory, Kurtis Roberts, Lewis Hawke (82’Alan Gow), David Galt, Kieran Moore (78’ Euan East).
Substitutes: Kieran McDougall, Steven Bradley, Gerry McLauchlan, Michael Ruth, Lewis Magee.
Referee: Craig Napier.