Martin the hero in terrible conditions
QUEENSTT............................... 0 DUNFERMLINET................... 0
Queens racked up their fifth league game in a row unbeaten in appalling conditions.
The players bravely battled the freezing rain and wind which saw just 74 Dunfermline fans head down the M74 for the encounter after amber weather warnings forced supporter buses to be cancelled from the kingdom of Fife for safety reasons.
Pars dominated for most of the match and Doonhamers keeper Alan Martin scooped the sponsors’ man of the match award plus the Standard’s nomination too.
But, ironically, Queens came closest to scoring in the opening sparring when Pars keeper Lee Robinson raced out of goal, mis-cued his attempted clearance and the ball spun towards Adam Frizzell in midfield. He cracked a first time effort into the air but the ball sailed a few yards past the unguarded goal as Robinson scampered back.
Three minutes later Pars skipper Lee Ashcroft went down under a challenge from Gary Harkins. He yelled for a penalty but referee Steven Kirkland ignored his claim.
Queens keeper Martin pulled off a fine save in 15 minutes to flip the ball over from Joe Thomson’s fierce, rising shot from the edge of the box.
Then Pars carved out a decent chance when Faissal El Bakhtouai whipped a glorious, angled shot across the face of goal and only inches beyond the left post just before the half hour.
Next up for the Fifers was Kallum Higginbotham who drove in an angled shot which Martin did well to smother at his near post.
Queens replied with a move engineered by Gary Harkins on the far side with an inviting free kick which picked out Callum Semple a minute before the interval but his neat, glancing header slipped past the target.
Former Queens keeper Robinson came out for the second half with a woolly jumper and waterproof under his top while also wearing a snoody on his head to combat the conditions.
Queens manufactured the first chance but Lyndon Dykes rammed his shot wide in 50 minutes.
However, Pars maintained their domination and Aidan Keena had a couple of opportunities with Martin doing well to turn a near post shot around for a corner then cracking a piledriver narrowly wide of the right upright.
Robinson was virtually redundant for most of the second period and spent most of his time running up and down inside his penalty area and beyond just to beat the biting wind and rain.
Meanwhile, his glove rival Martin and Jordan Marshall earned glowing praise from manager Gary Naymsith as the best Queens players and he also dished out credit to Michael Doyle who was shoved into midfield.
But Naysmith, who meticulously studies footage of their games, admitted this was one to forget and insisted he would blank the recording.
Marked man Josh Todd is tracked by his Dunfermline opponent in the pouring rain