Queens lost their first game of the season at New Douglas Park to begin the new campaign with a perfectly symmetrical win, draw and defeat.
It was the home side who had the better of the first half, while Queens had plenty of possession in deep areas, it was Hamilton who created the better chances. They went close with a free header at the front post which went just wide, Dowie had to make a last ditch block on the edge of the box, the wall did its job to deflect the ball over from a free kick after Holt had fouled 25 yards from goal and McShane went just wide with a shot on the turn before Queens really got into the opposition box. A deep cross from McKenna looked to be falling to the head of Carmichael, but Cuthbert did well to tip the ball behind for a corner. Durnan made a run to the near post and was picked out perfectly by Mitchells corner, but the big defender saw his header blaze over the bar.
Durnan heads over in the first half
That was temporary respite as Hamilton continued to create chances. Antell saved well from a MacKinnon shot from about 20 yards and the Queens defence had to scramble the ball clear from the resulting corner. Another ball into the box caused problems but Holt was on hand to clear the knock back from inside the six yard box.
Then the goal came. MacKinnon picked up the ball wide right and cut inside past McGuffie, who tried his best to make a tackle. As the other Queens players stood off, the ex-Ayr loanee, took a speculative shot from 20 yards out. It was heading towards Antells right before a wicked deflection off Durnan totally wrong footed the keeper and the ball ended up in the net for a deserved half time Hamilton lead.
Mackinnon turns to celebrate his deflected goal
HT - Hamilton 1 Queens 0
The second half started much the same as the first - Queens again had to scramble the ball clear from a Hamilton corner and McShane saw his shot blocked before yet another scramble from the resultant corner.
Carmichael then created a chance at the other end. He got clear of the Hamilton defence and got to the bye line, before picking out Burns on the penalty spot, but the diminutive midfielders header went harmlessly over the bar.
Queens then made two substitutions which would swing the balance of the game. Young and Reilly came on for Russell and McGuffie which saw a switch to 4-4-2 - McKenna and Young took up the centre of midfield with Carmichael wide left, Burns wide right and Reilly joining Lyle up front.
The changes almost brought about an immediate equaliser. A deep cross fell to McKenna who, rather than go for goal, played the ball back across goal. It looked to be going harmlessly out but Lyle somehow managed to get to it and not only keep it in but bring out a very good save from Cuthbert at his near post.
Cuthbert was also called into action shortly after. He fumbled a fairly routine high ball into the box and had to be sharp to get to it before Burns who was very close to either getting to the ball or win his side a penalty.
Captain Burns almost wins the ball or a penalty
It wasnt all Queens though as, up the other end, McShane saw another shot blocked inside the box.
Queens came close again though, again it was a set piece that provided a chance. Burns and Mitchell colided going for the ball, but it was the midfield man who got up quickest. He was first to the ball, this time ahead of a Hamilton defender who brought him down. Mitchell picked out another great Durnan run but this time his header came back off the post. Agonisingly close.
The pressure for an equaliser continued as the ball pin-balled around the Hamilton box, but no one could get a clear shot away and in the end it fizzled out for a goal kick. Then Reilly made space in the box with a sublime first touch which took him away from the defender and through on Cuthbert. To be fair, the Hamilton keeper was off his line quickly to close down the space. Reilly chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper, as he dived, but could only steer it wide of the post.
It was to be the last chance for an equaliser as Hamilton extended their lead a little against the run of play. Some neat passing down the right saw them work the ball wide and when it was squared across the box, Ryan had the easiest task to pass the ball into an empty net, having drifted in behind Durnan.
A simple tap in for the Accies second
MacKinnon then tried to extend Hamiltons lead with a long range effort that looped just over.
Dowie had a chance to pull one back for Queens, but he vollyed well over the bar.
FT - Hamilton 2 Queens 0
So, a frustrating day for Queens. A better first half performance might have seen them take something from the game and it took a little bit of luck, with the deflection, for Hamilton to take the lead. However, Hamilton were easily the best team Queens have faced so far this season.