Queen’s Park will play Raith Rovers in the third round of the Scottish Cup on November 24 as we lost at this stage for the second year in a row.
Mark Roberts’ side looked to be cruising to victory thanks to first-half goals from Lewis Hawke and a Jason Marr OG but Dom Docherty pulled one back and Jordan Allan saw a stoppage-time penalty saved by Jordan Hart to deny us a Hampden replay on October 30.
We had beaten the Spiders 1-0 at Forthbank in League 2 on September 15 but have now lost four games on the trot and our poor first-half display ultimately cost us the chance of progressing.
Darren Barr was again in interim charge of the team but had to do without Darren Smith, Peter MacDonald, Lee Hamilton, Kyle Banner and Calum Ferrie. There was a debut from the bench for young striker Scott Miller, who replaced the injured Mark Stewart late in the first half.
Queen’s Park were the brighter team almost from the start and deserved their 25th-minute lead, which came when Hawke headed home a Jamie McKernon corner from inside the six-yard box. Skipper Ross McGeachie had a decent chance to equalise when the ball broke to him following a corner but he couldn’t keep his shot down.
We conceded a second goal just before half-time and it was another bad one to lose. Shoddy defending saw the ball end up in the net – it was credited to Queen’s Park centre-half Gerry McLauchlan but looked like it was the unfortunate Marr who diverted it over the line.
Albion were better in the second half and a great pass from Docherty released Neil McLaughlin but the on-loan Motherwell man could only hit the side netting. Two minutes later the roles were reversed and Docherty scored with a header after being picked out by McLaughlin.
The visitors were content to defend their narrow advantage but were rocked in the 93rd minute when referee David Munro awarded a penalty for handball, which seemed a harsh call. Allan, who scored from the spot at Elgin last month, stepped up but Hart dived to his left to make the save.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Marr, Horne, Moon (Thomson 75), McLaughlin, Jardine, McLaren, Stewart (Miller 43), Docherty. Subs (not used): Law (GK), Hughes, Barr.
Goal: Docherty 61
Queen’s Park: Hart, Grant, Summers, McKernon, McLauchlan, McLaren, East (Mortimer 81), Roberts, Hawke (Osadolor 90), Peters (Moore 66), McLean. Subs (not used): Anderson (GK), Fotheringham, Lachlan, Miller.
Goals: Hawke 25, Marr og 42
Referee: David Munro