Queen's Park 1 Brechin City 1 - By John Hoey
18 March 2017
Queen's Park 1
Brechin City 1
Queens Park 1 Brechin City 1
Queens Park and Brechin City shared the spoils in a hard-fought and competitive encounter at Hampden Park.
City looks as if they would be leaving Hampden with all three points when Andy Jackson fired them into the lead with just six minutes remaining but the Spiders fought back to equalise on the stroke of full-time when Ryan McGeever powered a header past City keeper Graeme Smith.
City boss Darren Dods kept faith with the team that had defeated Airdrieonians by 3-0 on Tuesday night. Alan Trouten was on the bench but Willie Dyer failed a late fitness test and wasn't included in the squad.
The hosts threatened in the early stages with Jamie McKernon firing a 20 yard free-kick wide of Graeme Smith's left-hand post after just three minutes and a couple of minutes later a great clearance from home keeper William Muir sent Sean Burns away on the right touchline but the City defence mopped up the danger and cleared their lines. Queens then won a corner in the right and McKernon got his head to Burns's corner with Smith tipping the header over the bar.
City then began to ease their way gradually into the match and Gary Fusco saw his shot from 20 yards go well over the bar after ten minutes.
Queens then hit back with Burns collecting the ball wide on the right before cutting inside and firing in a shot which Smith saved easily.
City then had a half-chance on the half-hour mark when Liam Watt picked up the ball at the edge of the home penalty area before slipping it quickly to Ally Love whose first-time shot was easily held by Muir and good link up play within the Queens box between Watt and Jackson seven minutes later ended with the former's shot being blocked by the home defence.
The last opportunity of the half fell the Spiders way four minutes before the break when David Galt won the ball wide on the right and crossed across the face of the City box for Aiden McIlduff but his shot was blocked by Dougie Hill.
Queens came mightily close to breaking the deadlock within the first minute of the second-half when Galt beat Watt on the left touchline and whipped in a cross/cum shot which Smith was relieved to see go narrowly past the far post. City hit straight back though and Hill rose above the home defence to steer a header from a Watt corner just past the post.
Queens then broke quickly from defence to attack with Burns steering a left-foot drive just wide of Smith's right-hand post and seconds later Zanatta fired in a shot which was well over the bar.
It was then City's turn to hit on the counter-attack when they broke quickly with Chris O'Neil driving in a shot from the right edge of the Queens box which Muir dealt with competently but City came back again and Finn Graham was unlucky to see a close-range drive hit the side-netting after 56 minutes.
Great play from Burns at the edge of the City box a couple of minutes later saw him send an inviting pass into the heart of the City box but there were no takers with the City defence happy to boot the ball upfield but Queens surged forward again a minute later with Smith parrying away a Zanatta header and shortly afterwards Galt fired a drive into the side-netting.
Queens were having the bulk of pressure and possession at this stage but City were pushing forward when they could and Muir palmed away a shot from Finn Graham with just over twenty minutes remaining and Hill powered in a header from a Watt corner in the 72nd minute which was just wide of Muir's left-hand post.
However, City made the vital breakthrough with just seven minutes remaining when Jackson took advantage of hesitancy in the home defence to steer a close-range shot beyond Muir with the home players claiming that he was in an offside position.
Queens however, hit back and they salvaged a point when Ryan McGeever rose above the visitors defence to power home a header from a Burns corner.