By Graeme McGill

It was the away team who dominated early proceedings in the Sunday afternoon encounter. Ex-Hibs frontman James Keatings was the first to probe the Queen’s backline after he made an ambitious overhead kick attempt but the ball was well wide of the mark.

Montrose kept the pressure on, defending resolutely and hunting the ball down in packs when they lost possession. The back four which included former Dundee United stalwart Sean Dillon, worked hard to limit chances for the opposition to blocked shots and shelling the box with wayward crosses.

Lee Kilday did come close to scoring an opening goal for Queen’s Park with a shot from outside the box but it sailed just inches over the crossbar.

Towards the end of the first half, Graham Webster created a fine chance for Montrose off of his own back as he beat his man and charged down the right-wing, he got his way into the Queen’s box but his low cross in front of goal evaded everyone.

Half time saw Mark Whately make way for Kerr Waddell for the visitors in the only half-time substitution.

Ten minutes into the second half Connor Smith latched onto a clever ball over the top, showed his composure by rounding the keeper and sliding the ball low into the far corner of the net. A sublime effort from the young man, putting Queens 1-0 up.

Queens came close to a quickfire second after Montrose keeper Aaron Lennox spilled the ball after initially gathering from a free-kick. Fortunately, however, Andrew Steeves cleared the danger and spared Lennox’s blushes.

Montrose certainly didn’t drop in terms of intensity but Queens really began to grow into the game following the opening goal with Simon Murray and Celtic Loanee Luca Connell both regularly dragging play into the final third.

Shortly after the hour mark, Cammy Ballantyne stunned everybody after he took the ball from the edge of the opposition area and after beating two Queens players with trickery and flair he slid the ball through to Lewis Milne who was waiting to pounce at the far post and level up proceedings.

The two sides battled each other for possession for the remainder of the ninety, both desperate to find a late winner but with Simon Murray heading wide in the 84th minute and Montrose unable to capitalise on some good play in the final third the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The spiders went into this encounter knowing that they had the chance to leapfrog promotion rivals Cove Rangers into first place and whilst they achieved that. You can’t help but feel they’ll be disappointed by not taking all three points.

Montrose meanwhile, were without a win in their last three games and that run has continued. Starman, Graham Webster did look threatening in flashes but he failed to add to his impressive goal tally.

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