Nov 9 2011 Dumfries Standard Wednesday
THE LAST time these sides met in the opening league fixture of the season, Annan ran out comfortable 5-2 victors at Galabank.
There was to be no repeat in this fixture with both sides having to be content with a share of the spoils in a thrilling encounter which only lacked goals.
Annan manager Harry Cairney showed faith with the same starting line-up which defeated Alloa Athletic in the previous weeks William Hill Scottish Cup encounter.
Annan created by far the better chances and will no doubt look back on the game with some regret, but they could have left Hampden pointless had it not been for a superb tackle by Aaron Muirhead on David Murray in the final minute of the game to deny the Queens Park man who was homing in on goal.
Queens Park settled quickly and were soon on the attack looking for an opening but they found it difficult to seriously test Summersgill in the Annan goal.
Michael Daly tried a speculative 40 yard effort in the eighth minute but Summersgill easily plucked the ball out of the air.
Scott Gibson then made an important tackle to thwart Paul Gallagher as Queens Park went all out to open their account.
Jordan McKechnie tried his luck with a 30-yard effort as Annan gradually began to get a foothold on the game and in the 20th minute they carved open the Spiders defence to create the most clear cut chance.
Cox picked the ball up wide on the left, cut inside and picked out Bell at the back post who headed the ball back to McKechnie who drove the ball over the bar from 12 yards.
It was a golden opportunity lost and without doubt the best of the half.
As the game edged towards half-time Annan were looking like the team most likely to break the deadlock.
Sloan and Muirhead both made penetrating runs to the edge of the Queens Park penalty area but the home defence stood firm.
Ten minutes into the second half, Annan once again penetrated the Queens Park defence with good play culminating in Bell threading the ball into the path of Sloan but his final shot slipped past the upright and another clear cut chance was lost.
Queens Park won a free kick 30 yards out and Martin McBride tried his luck with a shot which slid past the post.
Cox could and should have opened the account in the 75th minute after Bell and Gilfillan combined.
Gilfillan then flicked the ball onto Cox who had taken up an inviting position in the centre of goal but his shot went wide.
Queens Parks best opportunity in the game arrived minutes later after David Murray sent in an inviting cross.
Michael Daly connected with the ball but his header from eight yards was wide of the target.
With full-time approaching, Sean OConnor cut in from the right and it took a fine save from Neil Parry to deny the Annan striker a goal.
With the game into injury time Annan then had Muirhead to thank for a timely tackle on Murray who was homing in on goal after the Annan defence was split with a ball played from the middle of the park.
Annan boss Harry Cairney was not too critical of his teams inability to score. He said: Queens Park were on a run of four consecutive victories and we were prepared for a good contest. That was the first league game where we have failed to score.
It would have been concerning if we had not created any chances, on another day they would have gone in.
Defensively we were excellent, the back four looked solid and limited Queens Park to very few clear cut opportunities. It was not your typically no-scoring game with both teams prepared to attack.
Queens Park: N Parry, P McGinn, S Burns, D Meggat, R Little, P Gallagher, I Watt (C Smith 80 min), M McBride, M Daly, J Longworth, D Murray. Substitutes not used: J Brough, A Urquhart, G Lachlan, A Strain.
Annan: C Summersgill, A Muirhead, M McGowan, S Gibson (K Neilson 80 min), P Watson, J McKechnie (J Steele 83 min), S Sloan (S OConnor 63 min), C Jardine, B Gilfillan, G Bell, D Cox. Substitutes not used: J Macbeth, A Mitchell.
Referee: Des Roach.