Queen of the South extended their lead at the top of the Second Division to six points as they defeated Stranraer by two goals to nil at Stair Park.
Gavin Reilly opened the scoring midway through the first half and Nicky Clark clinched the victory by seizing on a defensive error.
The match started terribly for Queen of the South as they conceded a penalty after just four minutes when a Queens defender was adjudged to have pulled back his marker inside the area. It was a blatant shirt-tug and it gave Stranraer the perfect chance to get off to a good start. Christopher Aitken stepped up and elected for power but he gave it too much and hammered it well over the crossbar.
It was a real let-off for the away side and they looked to put it behind them and got onto the front foot. Willie Gibson and Chris Mitchell were troubling the Stranraer defence with cross after cross cleared from inside the home box.
Queens first real chance came after twenty minutes as Chris Mitchell found space on the right wing and fed in a ball towards the run of Nicky Clark. The striker wasn?t able to connect with the ball however and David Mitchell in the Stranraer goal was able to save.
The home side were obviously chastened by their 6-2 hammering the week before and were defending deep whenever Queens looked to try and pass a way through. It was tough going for the away side but they finally managed to open the scoring after 28 minutes.
The goal came from some nice work from Derek Young on the right wing as he got past his marker before firing a low cross into the feet of Gavin Reilly. The striker looked to turn and hit it but didn?t catch the ball correctly and it rolled towards the goal. The Stranraer keeper was slow to react and wasn?t able to scramble the it clear and the ball ended up in the net. It was a soft goal but Queens were more than happy to take it.
Reilly slides it past the `keeper
Queens started to look stronger after the goal and almost doubled their lead from a wide free-kick. It was an orchestrated move as Willie Gibson pinged the delivery to the far post where Nicky Clark had peeled off his marker and got his head to the ball. His header went into the ground and bounced over the bar to the Stranraer fans? relief.
Stranraer managed a few efforts on goal before half-time but none worried Robinson enough to get his shorts dirty.
The second half began in scrappy fashion as the Doonhamers looked to control the play but again were struggling to play through the Stranraer defence. The home side on the other hand couldn?t get near the Queens box as their passing continually let them down.
Stranraer managed to create the first opportunity of the half though as Craig Malcolm sprinted clear of the defence and played the ball across the goalmouth where Love was waiting. Chris Mitchell managed to get in in front to scramble it clear.
Willie Gibson then attacked down the left and drew a foul from the Stranraer left-back. The same man stepped up and curled the free-kick into the side-netting as David Mitchell scrambled across the goal. It was a fine effort and looked to waken Queens up somewhat.
Reilly pressurises the home goalkeeper
Derek Lyle replaced Reilly and had a chance immediately after coming on. Dan Carmichael slipped between two defenders and raced into the box before cutting the ball back to the waiting Lyle. It must have been too early for him after coming on as he scuffed the ball well over the bar.
Into the final ten minutes and Stranraer were putting pressure on the away defence as substitute Max Wright sprang clear of the defence and readied himself for the shot but Kevin Holt recovered well to block and the danger passed.
The away side countered with shots of their own from Carmichael and Mitchell before the Stranraer defence gifted Queens the clincher. A poor touch from one of the centre-backs allowed Derek Lyle to win the ball before Nicky Clark raced onto the loose ball and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.
Nicky clinches it
The final whistle went shortly afterwards and Queens had racked up another victory to make it seven wins and one draw from eight games. The performance was far from the heights the team has reached earlier in the season but the result is all that matters.
Celebrations at the end