Queen of the South were dumped out of the Scottish Cup after a Fourth Round Replay with St Mirren ended in a 3-0 defeat in Paisley.
The original tie had ended in a 2-2 draw with Queens putting in one of their best performances of the season but the Doonhamers could not replicate that as despite putting the Premiership side under severe pressure in the second half they could not find a way past the Buddies` backline.
Queens did start the match brightly though as Dan Carmichael found some space on the right wing but over-hit his cross with Russell lurking at the back post. This half chance in the 2nd minute was the only real piece of action in the first 15 minutes before St Mirren took control of the game.
Carmichael rounds Grainger
Kenny McLean stung the palms of Zander Clark with a fierce effort from range before Gary Harkins struck the opening goal on 18 minutes. John McGinn sent in a cross from the left finding Steven Thompson free at the back post who nodded across for Gary Harkins to bundle the ball into the goal. It was poor defending from Queens as they allowed St Mirren`s two dangermen far too much space inside the area.
With the lead and a confidence boost the home side began to dominate the game as Harkins tried an audacious long range lob from 40 yards but with Zander Clark scurrying backwards the ball flew a yard over the crossbar. Clark made a save from a Kenny McLean effort before Harkins created another chance for himself as he drove at the Queens defence before opening up his body to curl the ball into the far corner but sent the ball well wide.
Queens were yet to make any headway in the contest and rarely threatened the home goal and again had their goalkeeper to thank as he pushed a looping John McGinn header wide of his far post after 39 minutes.
It was not until the 41st minute before the away side managed a shot at goal and almost made it count as Derek Lyle followed up Dan Carmichael`s dangerous cross with a half-volley that skimmed off the top of the crossbar.
Both Russell and Lyle wait for the cross
After a poor first half display Queens had it all to do to get back into the cup tie and obviously the manager`s words during the break had made some effect as the Doonhamers pushed the home side back for large parts of the half.
The first chance came straight from the kick off as Stephen McKenna burst past Jim Goodwin to find Carmichael in the right-hand channel. The winger got his head up to find Iain Russell inside the area but he could only fire the ball over the crossbar.
Then on 56 minutes Queens struck the goal-frame again through Iain Russell as the striker ran at the St Mirren defence before cracking a long range effort toward goal. The ball clipped a defender and looped over the stranded Marian Kello but onto the crossbar.
McKenna then sent a header wide from Mark Durnan`s set up following a corner before Lyle stretched on 62 minutes but could not get enough on Ian McShane`s free-kick delivery at the far post as Queens continued to threaten an equaliser.
Durnan nods down but Lyle just couldn`t connect
The home side had struggled to produce any sort of attacking move in the second period but began to work their way back into the game as they forced the Queens defence to defend a number of corners.
Conor Newton had an effort from an angle saved by Clark before the Premiership side extended their lead after 72 minutes through Steven Thompson.
The home side could thank lady luck as Marc McAusland`s attempted shot was mis-hit before deflecting off Kevin Holt and into the path of Thompson who beat Clark from close range. It was a tough one to take for Queens as their play in the second period had deserved more.
St Mirren almost snatched another counter-attack goal as Thompson played in John McGinn but Zander Clark raced out to meet the midfielder and did well to block, forcing the ball wide of the goal.
Derek Lyle then had a gilt-edged chance to halve the deficit as Dan Carmichael`s cut back found the Queens striker with time to pick his spot from 18 yards but saw his effort blocked by Darren McGregor.
Queens started to chase the game going into the last ten minutes as Mark Durnan was thrown forward as a makeshift striker but the gamble backfired immediately as they were caught short at the back giving substitute Sean Kelly the chance to fire past Clark from the edge of the area with just four minutes remaining.
The goal capped a miserable night for Queens that could so easily have gone the other way as a series of missed chances added to some misfortune at the back gave the Premiership side a comfortable-looking three-nil scoreline.