By Euan Wood

Two second half goals guided Queen’s Park to a comfortable 2-0 Scottish League One victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Cove Rangers on Flag Day.

Simon Murray netted a spectacular opener before Bob McHugh’s effort was spilled by Cove goalkeeper Kyle Gourlay to give Laurie Ellis’ side the three points as they unfurled their League Two champions flag after winning that title last season. Queen’s move into the top three while Cove fall to ninth.

Queens Park v St Mirren - Betfred Cup

McHugh netted for Queen’s Park. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Cove were reduced to 10-men on the stroke of half-time. Fraser Fyvie was given his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Charlie Fox, which caught the defender high on the ankle, leaving referee Calum Scott with no option but to brandish the straight red card.

The hosts opened the scoring minutes into the second half. A skillful turn by Murray earned him a free kick at the edge of the box. The striker stepped up and fired his effort past Gourlay into the top-left corner to give Queen’s the advantage over 10-man Cove.

Minutes later Queen’s Park had doubled their lead. A poor clearance from Gourlay reached McHugh at the edge of the box. The striker’s curling effort was then spilled by Gourlay, putting the hosts in total control. Cove tried to salvage a late comeback but the second half damage was too difficult to overcome. Here are the three things we learned.

Hamilton Academical v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Gourlay had a moment to forget. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Fyvie sees Red

The key turning point in the match was Fyvie’s red card on the stroke of half-time. Both sides were evenly-matched with Cove having arguably the better of the chances in the first half. However, Fyvie’s red left Cove struggling and the hosts took full advantage.

A classic from Murray

It was a spectacular opener from the former Hibs talisman. Murray superbly placed his free kick past Gourlay and into the top corner. In what is another vital year for Queen’s Park as a full-time club, Murray will certainly be a key player.

Unfortunate moment

Cove Rangers goalkeeper Gourlay won’t look back on this game with fondness, in particular the second Queen’s goal. Initially he gifted McHugh the goalscoring chance with a poor clearance before spilling the effort into his own net. The young shot stopper did redeem himself in the second half with several key saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

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