Arbroath claimed what could prove to be an invaluable three points as they scrap for their Championship survival while Queen’s Park could live to rue this one getting away from them.

The league leaders dominated much of this game, particularly in the opening period, but could not find a way past a resolute defensive display from their visitors. Arbroath ruthlessly exploited a Stephen Eze mistake in the latter stages of the game, allowing substitute Dale Hilson to net the only goal of the game and lift Dick Campbell’s side up to eighth in the table.

Queen’s Park, though, scorned the chance to open up what would have been a seven point gap at the top, albeit that Dundee still have a game in hand to play. Their four-point lead looks significantly more precarious as they look to sustain their promotion ambitions.

In what was a fairly frenetic start to the game, Arbroath’s Sean Adarkwa drew an effort narrowly wide in the opening minutes  after Michael McKenna had slipped him through although Queen’s Park did not take long to impose themselves on the encounter.


Owen Coyle’s side have pace and creativity within their ranks - they currently are the most prolific team in the Championship - and their sleekness of movement caused Arbroath problems.  Indeed, it was only due to the industrial performance of Gayfield goalkeeper Derek Gaston that the score remained goalless as he denied the hosts throughout the opening period.

He had a little help from the woodwork too; Dom Thomas clipped the crossbar with an effort from just outside the box, a move that had come just after Queen’s Park had posted notice of their attacking intentions when Louis Longridge had cut a low and inviting ball across the six-yard box that Connor Shields just missed connecting with at the back post.

Shields was denied again when he dinked an effort over Gaston but Lewis Banks was swift with his recovery to clear the danger. Certainly, however, it set a tone for an opening period in which Queen’s enjoyed the bulk of possession and were the more menacing of the two teams without being able to find any tangible reward for their efforts. 

Thomas thought he had found it just before the interval when his deflected effort brought forth an acrobatic one-handed save from Gaston after Shields’ initial effort had been parried by the keeper on the cusp of the interval.

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Queen’s Park looked to pick up where they left off after the break as they continued to probe for openings. As they grew increasingly frustrated, however, they ran the risk of allowing their play to become more ragged as evidenced when Longridge took aim with a wild effort from distance that was never likely to trouble Gaston.

At the other end Arbroath offered a reminder of their own threat when Scott Stewart’s cutback to Adarkwa forced Malachi Boateng to head clear an effort that looked to have gone beyond the reach of Queen’s Park goalkeeper Calum Ferrie. It was a portent of what was to come.

Eze might have done better with a Thomas corner as he headed over before Coyle rang the changes as he looked to find a way past a stubborn Arbroath defence. Patrick Jarrett and Jake Davidson were introduced to the fray as Longridge and Euan Henderson made way.

It almost brought forth the elusive opening goal. Shields collected from Grant Savoury but Tam O’Brien got back to make the tackle.

Savoury was left kicking himself moments later when Jarrett picked him out at the back post but as he slid in, his effort was blocked this time by Lewis Banks.


It was Arbroath, though, who shocked their hosts with the goal to break the deadlock with Eze’s mistake coming at a cost. The defender dithered on the ball to allow the Arbroath substitute to nick in and dispossess him before keeping his composure to calmly slot the ball beyond the reach of Ferrie.

Queen’s Park tried to force their way back into the game with a couple of last gasp chances but Arbraoth held onto the points in what could prove to be a pivotal night in the Championship.