Queens crash out of cup at East Fife
Although Queens were enjoying the bulk of the possession, they were finding it hard to break down a stuffy, well-organised defence in a home team which looked dangerous on the break.
With just over half an hour gone, Queens were almost punished as Scott Mercer was caught on the wrong side of Liam Watt. They did get away with that one but, as they failed to deal with the next effort a minute later, they paid the price when two former Queens players combined for the opener.
A first clearance was missed by Mercer before Michael Doyle’s poor ball out of the box fell to Pat Slattery who, in turn, found Kevin Smith. Twenty yards from goal, with the outside of his left foot, Smith sent the ball past Alan Martin into the top corner.
The goal gave them a boost and with Darren Young’s side on a run of six unbeaten games, they looked like a team full of confidence. With their tails up and further slack defending by Queens, Watt again and Aaron Dunsmore both had further chances but they only had the one-goal advantage at the interval.
After a delayed start to the second half due to a fire alarm within Bayview, Queens came out with more fight and should probably have had a penalty within minutes of the restart. The ball appeared to be handled inside the box but referee Barry Cook was having none of it and played on. With two players surrounding Stephen Dobbie, Daryll Meggatt blocked a shot from Lyndon Dykes.
And two minutes later, keeper Brett Long did well to save from Dobbie. Dykes pounced on the rebound and the ball eventually crossed the line but the ref believed Dykes had fouled Long in the process and a free kick was awarded rather than a goal.
At the other end, with Martin well outside his box, Smith tried a shot from distance and fortunately for Queens the keeper managed to retreat in time.
As Queens pushed forward in search of the equaliser, Dobbie’s right-foot drive was inches past before he created a chance for Dykes. The big Australian smashed the ball off the keeper when he should have scored.
It was not happening for Queens and, with just under 15 minutes of the game remaining, their hopes of making the quarter finals of the competition crashed the same as the water did against the nearby harbour wall when a mix-up between Martin and Callum Fordyce proved costly.
Fordyce tried to make amends and got back onto the line but he could not stop substitute Anton Dowds, who had been on the pitch for all of two minutes, smashing the ball into the net to double the home side’s lead.
On a poor day for Queens, Martin had to make further saves from Ross Davidson and Scott Agnew to keep it at two. East Fife: Long, Dunsmore, Dunlop, Watson, Slattery, Smith (Court 64), Agnew, Watt (Bell 88), Davidson, Megatt and Currie (Dowds 75). Subs not used: McDowall, Docherty, Thomson, McBride. Queens: Martin, Mercer (Fordyce 69), Marshall, Doyle, Stirling, Jacobs, Todd, Dobbie, Semple, Frizzell (Bell 60), Dykes. Subs not used: Leighfield, Murray, Norman.
Referee: Barry Cook. Attendance: 579.