xQueen’s Park 1-1 Stirling Albion
Stirling hit back to earn a point at a rain-lashed Hampden and make it five games without defeat.
Lewis Hawke gave the Spiders the lead but a fantastic strike from Darren Smith levelled the scores before half-time and that’s the way it finished, for a repeat of the result on our last visit to the National Stadium in April 2016.
Queen’s Park ended the game with 10 men after centre-half Gerry McLauchlan picked up two bookings in the closing minutes but it was too late to make a difference.
Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz named the same team that had beaten Elgin City 5-2 the previous week, with Lee Hamilton and Mark Stewart still on the injury list. Queen’s Park came into the game on a run of four straight defeats but had knocked us out of the Scottish Cup in October.
The home side took the lead in 15 minutes when former Alloa winger Adam Martin picked out Hawke and the big striker beat Cammy Binnie with a clever back-heel.
We struggled to respond and Queen’s Park, who included Alan Gow as a trialist, were on top and looking comfortable until we equalised out of nothing in 37 minutes. Binnie’s clearance was flicked on by Dylan Mackin and Smith beat keeper Jordan Hart with a brilliant lob from 20 yards.
Smith came close to putting us ahead early in the second period when he got clear of the defence and rounded Hart but his effort hit the side netting. Gow and Hawke had chances at the other end as we secured our third successive away draw despite a below-par performance.
Next up is a home game against bottom club Albion Rovers, who beat us 3-0 when the teams met in Coatbridge at the end of September.
Queen’s Park: Hart, Grant, Summers, McKernon, McLauchlan, Magee, Martin (Mortimer 85) Roberts, Hawke, Gow (Moore 78) McLean (East 59).
Subs (not used): Peters, Kindlan, Osadolor, McDougall.
Scorer: Hawke 15
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Hughes, Banner, Marr, Jardine (Thomson 74) Docherty, Mackin, Smith (MacDonald 83) McLaughlin.
Subs (not used): Horne, Moon, Rutkiewicz, Miller, Ferrie.
Scorer: Smith 37
Referee: Graham Beaton