Queen’s Park 1 Raith Rovers 1

Queen’s Park were held 1-1 by Raith Rovers at Ochilview with Connor Shields’ fine goal cancelled out by William Akio’s finish on the rebound with the draw moving Owen Coyle’s side two points clear in top spot in the Championship

There were two changes in the Spiders starting line-up with Marcel Oakley dropping out through a knock and Jake Davidson coming in to start in the right sided wing-back’s place. The other alteration was Pat Jarrett earning a place in attack from the first whistle with Josh McPake moving to the substitutes’ bench.

The in-form visitors listed former Queen’s players Ross Millen and Aidan Connolly as starters with Connor McBride, who had a spell in Black and White Hoops last season, a replacement.

Raith were bright straight from the kick-off and it took a solid challenge from Lee Kilday to halt Dylan Easton after sixty seconds.

The Kirkcaldy men continued to push and Jake Davidson had to move sharply to his left to make a clearance after the heart of the home defence had been penetrated.

Referee Napier produced a yellow card after four minutes with Charlie Fox going into the book for pulling Easton back.

The Queen’s rear-guard stood firm from the dead ball and actually turned defence into attack with Jarrett getting in-behind the Raith defence however his cross to the back post found no takers.

With ten minutes gone a fine spell of passing and possession from the Spiders finally gave Dom Thomas a glimpse of goal. The wide-man’s shot was blocked however the hosts regained possession and another fine passing move resulted in Thomas slipping a pass to Jarrett however it was just overhit and the visitors goal remained intact.

In the following minute Thomas deftly rolled a cross out of the reach of Jamie MacDonald from right to left however no team-mate could apply a finishing touch and the danger was over.

With 13 minutes played Calum Ferrie showed that he was at his alert best as a snap-shot from Scott Brown arrowed towards his goal with the shot-stopper well placed to push the effort away.

Shields burst into life shortly afterwards with a jinking run and cut-back however Connolly stepped in to end the danger.

On 18 minutes Grant Savoury copied Raith’s Brown with a well struck shot from distance with MacDonald perfectly placed to keep his goal intact.

Four minutes later Esmael Goncalves worked his way along the home side’s 18 yard-line before firing for goal with Ferrie dropping down to his right to save with the striker foiled again by Ferrie after he beat Charlie Fox in a race for the ball from a throw-in.

Midway through the half another fine passing move from Queen’s created a chance with Tommy Robson sticking out a boot to meet a Thomas cross however an offside flag was raised before contact was made.

Ferrie was equal to a low drive from Easton on 32 minutes with the Stark’s Player frustrated again three minutes later when a charge into the home box was ended by Malachi Boateng who stuck out a toe and won the ball.

Five minutes from the interval Thomas charged through three tackles before picking out the over-lapping Davidson who won a corner that Fox nodded down to Jack Thomson however he was unable to get a shot away.

Raith raced to the other end and Easton slipped a pass wide to Goncalves who teed up Brown with a chipped pass with Ferrie pleased to see his first-time effort fizz wide of goal with the first half ending goalless.

A sliding Stanton appealed for a penalty within a minute of the restart however within seconds Davidson was booked for clipping Goncalves 25 yards out with Connolly sending the resultant free-kick curling wide.

The first goal of the game came on 51 minutes and it came for the Spiders as Thomas swung over a cross from the right and SHIELDS took a touch with his back to goal before spinning on the spot and sending a left foot shot into the corner.

Queen’s looked to add a second quickly and Savoury hit a 20 yarder that looked set to sneak in following a deflection however MacDonald stretched to save.

On the hour mark Davidson flicked the ball past his own goal with his thigh after Millen had whipped over a dangerous cross.

Kilday led a breakaway on 63 minutes with Shields picking up a pass from the defender before slipping in Savoury however a solid slide-tackle from Tom Lang ended the danger.

Raith’s Brown tried his luck from distance again four minutes later with his 20-yarder bending and dipping in front of Ferrie who did well to beat the shot away.

Raith forced another corner a minute later that Thomas hacked away and his clearance reached substitute McPake who bore down on the visitors’ goal before having a shot charged down.

Kirkcaldy replacement Akio forced Kilday into a sliced clearance with 15 minutes left and from the resultant corner Raith were awarded a spot-kick.

Easton’s initial cross was blocked however when he lobbed the ball back in Ryan Nolan crashed to the ground with Davidson in close attendance with whistler Napier convinced he had seen enough to award the penalty.

Ferrie made a fine stop from Akio’s effort from 12 yards however he was powerless as the striker thumped home the rebound to tie the score at 1-1.

Thomas was tripped at the edge of the visitors box on 80 minutes however his flighted free-kick evaded everyone with Raith’s Akio heading over at the other end three minutes later.

Queen’s Park pressed until the end however they could not grab a late winner and the points were shared.

Queen’s Park: Calum Ferrie, Jake Davidson, Lee Kilday, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Jack Thomson (Louis Longridge 79’), Malachi Boateng, Dom Thomas (Aaron Healy 84’), Grant Savoury, Pat Jarret (Josh McPake 61’), Connor Shields.

Subs not used: Jacques Heraghty (G/k), Euan Henderson, , Cameron Bruce, Callum Biggar, , Lewis Reid, Stephen Eze.

Raith Rovers: Jamie MacDonald, Liam Dick, Ross Millen, Ryan Nolan, Brad Spencer, Aidan Connolly (Scott McGill 90’), Tom Lang, Sam Stanton, Scott Brown, Dylan Easton (Connor McBride 82’), Esmael Gonçalves (William Akio 59’)

Subs not used: Robbie Thomson (G/k), Kieran Ngwenya, , Greig Young, Adam Masson.

Referee: Craig Napier

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