TWO wins on the bounce have propelled Queen’s Park up to second spot in the league.
The Spiders are now seven points behind leaders Alloa.
On Saturday, Owen Ronald’s first senior goal gave his team a vital 3-2 victory over Stranraer at Hampden, where David Murray’s brace had earlier helped them twice come from behind.
The game started slowly and it took David Anderson’s strong sliding challenge to liven the 637 crowd.
On 16 minutes, Anderson’s chip found Craig Smith, whose effort was parried by Blues ‘keeper Ryan Marshall, with Murray unable to scramble in the rebound.
Out of nothing, Stranraer took a 24th minute lead. Craig Malcolm negotiated his way round two Queen’s challenges and curled a shot high into the far corner of Neil Parry’s net from 22 yards.
Gardner Speirs’ men came close to equalising after build-up play from Paul McGinn and Jamie Longworth ended with Ian Watt’s left-foot strike from 12 yards shaving the post.
Queen’s leveller arrived on 33 minutes.
Anderson turned his defender cleverly in the box and supplied a tasty cross for Murray to head back across Marshall into the net.
But Stranraer restored their lead on 42 minutes. Chris Aitken wrong-footed Anderson and send a shot goalward, but Parry misjudged the bounce and it nestled in the bottom corner.
Smirry rain dampened opening exchanges in the second half, Parry atoning for his earlier mishap by denying Steven Noble.
On 61 minutes Watt provided an injection of pace and skill, breaking down the right only for Smith to miscontrol the cut-back.
The Spiders’ equaliser came on 63 minutes, Smith threading a pass for Murray to delicately lift the ball over the onrushing goalie.
Marshall scuffed a 67th minute goal-kick, with Smith intercepting it 30 yards out before being fouled by Blues’ defender Frank McKeown.
In keeping with last man rules, referee Andrew Dallas showed McKeown the red card.
A Longworth strike was well saved by Marshall on 79 minutes, and Tony Quinn’s follow-up was diverted over.
The decisive goal came on 81 minutes.
Marshall stopped Quinn’s shot, but Ronald took one touch to control the loose ball before firing home a superb volley.
Ronald said: “I’m just trying to make an impact and show the boss what I’m capable of.”
Murray said: “It’s not often I score a header, so that’s one for the history books!”
Speirs said: “If we could be a wee bit more clinical and composed when we make chances earlier in games, then we would maybe give ourselves an easier ride.”
On Tuesday night, Jamie Longworth’s 89th minute goal gave Queen’s a 1-0 victory at Montrose.
This weekend Queen’s take on fourth-placed Elgin at Borough Briggs.