The Spiders starting line-up showed two changes with Charlie Fox back in defence after suspension and Scott Williamson leading the attack in a 4-2-3-1 formation after an impressive outing as a substitute in last Friday’s win over Hamilton.
Alex Bannon moved to the bench where he was joined by Patrick Jarrett with Josh McPake back in the squad after missing out against the Accies.
Queen’s kicked off as the home fans made a dash from behind one goal to the other with the first noteworthy piece of action coming in the second minute when the ball was taken off Grant Savoury’s toes 20 yards out.
The hosts forced a corner a minute later which Connor Shields cleared however when the ball was lofted back in Sam Ashford was all alone and Calum Ferrie did well to tip over his header.
Ayr forced another corner on eight minutes after Ashford had eased Marcel Oakley off the ball with Ferrie allowing a Dipo Akinyemi header to run out of play with his goal untroubled.
On ten minutes Jack Thomson, who had seconds earlier played a delightful 60-yard pass to Savoury, had the visitors’ first attempt on goal with his low 20 yarder scooped up by Charlie Albinson.
Ayr raced to the other end and it was Akinyemi’s turn to be left unmarked at a free kick with the striker thankfully firing over from six yards.
On 15 minutes Akinyemi shrugged off the attention of Oakley on the left and sent a pass across the 18 yard line to Ben Dempsey with the midfielder sending a drive flashing wide.
Three minutes later Dom Thomas sent in a wicked free-kick that was headed away by the home defence with Lee Kilday all set to pounce with Owen Coyle’s side earning their first corner shortly afterwards.
Again Thomas flighted in a dangerous ball which was directed into the path of Thomson on the edge of the box who flicked it up with one foot before volleying wide with the other.
Midway through the half Thomson picked up a face knock after being clattered into in midfield and Queen’s played on with ten men
Andy Murdoch looked to make the most of Ayr’s one-man advantage however the midfielder fired just wide before Thomson returned to the action.
On 32 minutes Ayr created a chance when Jayden Mitchell-Lawson broke down the right and rolled a pass to Dempsey with Ferrie well-placed to smother his drive.
Nine minutes from the break another fine delivery from Thomas looked set to find the head of Malachi Boateng however his header failed to land on target. Ayr cleared the ball and it was heading out for a throw-in until referee McLean blew his whistle to check on the Queen’s midfielder, who was running back to his own half, and restarted the game with a bounced ball in favour of the hosts.
On 41 minutes the Spiders came within a whisker of a goal as Savoury found Shields on the right and the attacker drilled a cross across the face of the home goal where Williamson applied a deft flick from three yards however Albinson jumped to his right to make a super stop as he clawed the ball away.
Two minutes before the break Kilday, who had been struggling with an injury for a few minutes, limped off to be replaced by Alex Bannon.
As the visitors looked to regroup Ashford looped a header over Ferrie with Thomson popping up under his own bar to nod clear at the expense of a corner with the first half ending goalless.
Two minutes into the restart Savoury turned defence into attack with a 50-yard dash much to the delight of the noisy visiting support with Ayr eventually getting back in numbers to halt the attacker’s progress.
Skipper Tommy Robson stood strong to block a back-post cross that had reached Mitchell-Lawson on 53 minutes with Thomas clearing the danger before being fouled.
Three minutes later a lightning raid from Queen’s came close to breaking the deadlock as Williamson and Thomas combined to take the ball from the left wing and release Savoury on the right.
Savoury continued the charge before teeing up Shields on the 18 yard line with Albinson making another fine diving stop to keep out his drive.
The game went end to end on 63 minutes with Shields just failing to meet a Savoury cross in the Ayr six yard box and then Boateng blocking a shot from Daire O’Connor after Akinyemi’s pace had caused problems.
Substitute Euan Henderson found Thomas at the edge of the Ayr box with 20 minutes to go with the wide-man out of luck as he tried to drive a shot through a forest of legs.
Thomson’s race was run with 16 minutes left with Jake Davidson coming on in his place. A Boateng shot was deflected wide on 78 minutes and from the resultant corner Thomas hit the base of a home post before the ball bounced out.
Referee McLean allowed play to continue after it looked like Oakley had been fouled on the right. The ball was launched into the Queen’s box where Akinyemi wriggled to get space for a shot that Bannon kicked clear six yards out.
The play was soon back at the Ayr end and Thomas picked out Savoury who cut in from the right and fired for goal with a Ayr jersey getting in the way.
With four minutes left a Savoury corner was met by Bannon with his glancing header taking a slight touch as it rose and cleared the far post.
In injury time Boateng marshalled Akinyemi perfectly as the striker looked to turn on the spot and shoot with Ferrie scooping up the loose ball with the Honest Man off target with a last gasp header.
Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Marcel Oakley, Lee Kilday (Alex Bannon 44’), Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson (Jake Davidson 74’), Malachi Boateng, Dom Thomas, Scott Williamson (Euan Henderson 64’), Grant Savoury, Connor Shields.
Subs not used: Jacques Heraghty (G/k), Louis Longridge, Josh McPake, Lewis Moore, Aaron Healy, Patrick Jarrett.
Ayr United: Charlie Albinson, Patrick Reading, Sean McGinty, Frankie Musonda, Jordon Houston, Andy Murdoch, Reece McAlear (Chris Maguire 61’), Ben Dempsey (Paul Smith 89), Sam Ashford, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (Daire O’Connor 61’), Dipo Akinyemi.
Subs not used: Aidan McAdams, Dylan Watret, Carter Jenkins, Mark McKenzie, Michael Hewitt, , Fraser Bryden.
Referee: Steven McLean
Shots on Target 3
Fouls committed 8
Shots on Target 2
Fouls committed 12