Paul Hartley’s Cove Rangers remain clear at the top of League One after 10-man Queen’s Park held out for a share of the spoils in blustery conditions at the Balmoral Stadium.
But, with Airdrieonians defeating Montrose in one of Saturday’s other matches, their lead has been cut to five points.
For the third meeting between the two teams this season, there was a sending off – this time for the visitors on-loan Liverpool player Luis Longstaff, who was dismissed after just 34 minutes following two yellow cards in quick succession for silly fouls.
Not unexpectedly, the home side dominated possession from then on in, creating several chances without really testing Queen’s keeper Calum Ferrie, whose handling was immaculate without him being forced to make too many difficult saves.
Harry Milne went close after half an hour for Cove, while Mitch Megginson wasn’t that far away two minutes before the break, forcing Ferrie into a fine stop.
Six minutes after the restart, Morgyn Neill headed over from close range and then a Megginson shot was deflected wide for one of the nine corners the home side forced in the 90 minutes.
Connor Scully was next to try his luck, but the long-serving midfielder’s shot from outside the area wasn’t as accurate as he would have liked.
The best chance for Cove came when substitute Rory McAllister was played in late on, but the top scorer fired over the bar, while Milne, deservedly awarded the sponsor’s man of the match accolade, came close on another couple of occasions.
Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley said: “We need to give them (Queen’s Park) credit for defending in numbers, but that final bit of quality just didn’t happen for us.
“It is frustrating, but this is what happens at this stage of the season.”
Man-of-the-match Milne added: “It does feel like two points dropped to be perfectly honest as we had so much of the ball, particularly after the sending off.
“We can’t be too hard on ourselves, though, and if someone had
said at the start of the season that we’d be five points clear in mid-February, we’ve have bitten their hand off.
“And we have another chance to consolidate this weekend when we face Falkirk here at Balmoral.”
Cove’s new on-loan signing Kai Fotheringham came on for the last quarter of an hour, replacing Blair Yule, as Cove went for broke.
While it was never a dirty game, in addition to Lonsgtaff’s red, Charlie Fox, Jack Thomson and substitute Jai Quitongo all received yellow cards for Queen’s, as did Cove Rangers trio Mark Reynolds, Fraser Fyvie and Rory McAllister.