PETERHEAD took full advantage of a flat Queen’s Park performance to win 1-0 at Hampden on Saturday.
The Blue Toon made their long journey back up north with all three points in the bag thanks to a fantastic Rory McAllister goal.
Queen’s had been warned about the 24-year-old’s threat as early as the fourth minute when he sent a stinging drive goalwards for Neil Parry to gather at the second attempt.
That was one of the few highlights in a drab opening period played out in front of only 441 fans.
The Spiders’ first sniff came on 12 minutes.
Ricky Little split Peterhead’s defence with an excellent pass for Paul McGinn to chase, but visiting goalkeeper Ray Jellema rushed out to avert the danger.
Soon after, Little returned to defensive duties, clearing well from Martin Bavidge’s whipped cross.
At times Peter Bradley went forward with menace for Queen’s.
On 18 minutes, he swung in a ball for Michael Daly to head narrowly over.
Then, on 29 minutes, a neat one-two with Owen Ronald allowed Bradley to charge into the box with pace, but he tried to square when going alone seemed the better option, and the chance disappeared.
The rest of the first half was largely lifeless.
An energetic Jamie Redman had a fine afternoon for the Blue Toon, going close early in the second half after being teed up by McAllister.
And it was the same two players who linked on 54 minutes to give Jim McInally’s men the lead.
Daly’s misplaced pass was pounced on by Redman, who burst forward with speed and played the ball to McAllister on the left-hand side.
To home fans’ horror, the striker turned inside to curl a beauty of a right-footer into the far corner of Parry’s goal from 25 yards. A superb effort.
Ian Watt’s low cross on 61 minutes almost let Daly atone for his earlier error, but the front-man could only turn the ball over.
Three minutes later McAllister’s free-kick forced Parry into a good save low to his left.
Howls of frustration from Queen’s Park supporters followed.
These nearly turned to cheers of celebration on 78 minutes when Craig Smith’s volley arrowed towards goal, but side-netting was its final destination.
Jamie Longworth shot over 60 seconds later and that was to be it in terms of clear-cut opportunities for Queen’s to equalise.
Gardner Speirs told ExtraSport: “From the start of the game we were pedestrian. There wasn’t a spark. I don’t know why because it’s not like us”.
Jim McInally said: “In the second half we were well worthy of winning the game and it was a terrific goal”.
This weekend Queen’s Park play East Stirlingshire at Hampden.