Queens beaten by Raith Rovers
QUEEN OF the South’s wait for a first league win of the new season goes on after they wasted another winning position.
After drawing with Livingston on the opening day despite being 2-0 up, they were 1-0 up on Raith Rovers on Saturday at half-time before eventually suffering a defeat.
To make things worse, Kevin Smith was controversially sent off after earlier giving Queens the lead.
The Doonhamers dominated the first half, with Smith and Scott McLaughlin going close early on.
However, a mistake from keeper Roddy McKenzie almost gifted the visitors the lead, messing up a challenge on Raith striker John Baird before Alan Reid raced in to clear the danger.
Queens looked good when they moved forward in style and a superb passing move almost saw them in front, Reid crossing for Smith whose header was kept out by a stretching David McGurn.
Another cross almost gave Queens the opener, Tom Brighton sending in a great cross that Smith couldn’t reach before Carmichael’s effort hit a Raith player instead of the back of the net.
Ryan McGuffie then rattled the bar with a header from a McLaughlin free-kick before Queens were handed the perfect chance to take a lead into the break.
Dougie Hill held back former Rovers defender Mark Campbell inside the box from a corner and when the penalty was given, Smith rattled it home.
Instead of giving Gus MacPherson’s men something to build on in the second half it seemed to wake Raith up.
And midway through the half they drew thanks to a quickly taken freekick that looked nowhere near where Carmichael had made a foul.
That led to a corner and when Allan Walker whipped it in, McKenzie missed it and Iain Williamson played it back for Baird to score.
McGurn was then called into action to make a superb save from a Chris Higgins before Nicky Clark found the side netting with a great free-kick.
However, with 13 minutes left Baird put Raith in front when he took advantage of some defensive hesitation before smashing a 20-yard effort past an out of position McKenzie.
Queens’ day got even worse late on when Smith was sent off for an elbow on Reece Donaldson before Brian Graham chipped McKenzie for the third.
The striker then avoided a red card when he hit McLaughlin’s face off the ball, which ref Alan Muir decided merited only a caution.
Gus MacPherson said: “We played so well and created so many chances in the first half and should have been two or three goals up. And then to lose goals in that manner is poor to say the least.
“We made individual mistakes. When you’re in that situation, you’re looking for basic defending. But when we lost the first goal from a set piece it gave Raith Rovers a lift.
“The second and third goals were goals you just shouldn’t concede. I’m more concerned about the goals we lost – that’s the most worrying thing. They are good professionals who know when they have made mistakes – and they know.”
Queens: McKenzie, A.Reid, Higgins, Simmons, Campbell, McGuffie, Clark (McShane 81), McLaughlin, Smith, Brighton, Carmichael. Unused subs: Smillie, Black, Reilly, Robinson.
Bookings: Brighton, Carmichael. Sent off: Smith 86.
Referee: Alan Muir