It was a frustrating afternoon in Dumfries as Queen of the South and Dunfermline played out a goalless draw.
Gary Naysmith’s men had only lost 3 matched in all competitions this term while the Pars were hoping to avoid a third successive defeat.
Derek Lyle returned to the 18-man squad after missing out last weekend against Montrose but on-loan St Johnstone forward Chris Kane missed out through injury.
Callum Morris, Ryan Williamson and Fraser Aird returned from international duty to boost Allan Johnston’s squad as Joe Cardle, Michael Paton and David Hopkirk remained out injured. Dean Shiels began a 2-game suspension after his dismissal last weekend against Falkirk.
Queens’ top scorer Stephen Dobbie had the first chance of the encounter early on but his left footed shot went over the bar.
Dunfermline’s only chance of the first half was through a Nicky Clark effort but his attempt at goal from close range hit the side netting.
Lyndon Dykes, James McFadden and Dobbie again had efforts at goal as the hone side dominated proceedings.
Both sides would have hoped for better in the second half, and it was a more even contest in the second forty-five.
Industrious winger Kallum Higginbotham had the first shot at goal in the second half but his right-footed effort dribbled wide of Alan Martin’s goal, with the ex-Dumbarton goalkeeper still waiting for his first save of the contest.
He was, however, forced to work just moments later when 17-year-old Callum Smith curled an effort from the left of the box to the top right corner but the keeper was able to gather.
Then, from the next attack, the ball fell to Fordyce at the bank post but the former Dunfermline captain couldn’t capitalise on a great opportunity as the full-back prodded an effort at goal from 10 yards out but it was straight down the throat of Sean Murdoch.
Ryan Williamson caused problems down the right and when he swung in a teasing ball it looked like the opener would come through Declan McManus but the striker somehow missed from within the 6-yard box. It looked as if the ball was cleared by a defender as McManus stooped low but referee Stephen Finnie gave a goal kick.
Both sides pushed for the opener, which would surely be the winner, but it wasn’t to come.
Lee Ashcroft had a header cleared off the line before Dykes fired a left-footed shot into the arms of Murdoch.
The match ends the first quarter in the SPFL Ladbrokes Championship for both sides. The Pars will be the happier of the two sides I am sure with a marked improvement on last season’s opening quarter while Queens will rue another draw in a frustrating start to the season for the men from Palmerston Park.
Queen of the South
1. Alan Martin
4. Callum Fordyce
15. Jason Kerr
5. Darren Brownlie
3. Jordan Marshall
17. Connor Murray (Andy Stirling 76′)
14. Kyle Jacobs
8. John Rankin (Captain) (Callum Tapping 87′)
16. James McFadden (Derek Lyle 72′)
11. Stephen Dobbie
25. Lyndon Dykes
20. Jack Leightfield (GK)
2. Shaun Rooney
6. Callum Tapping
7. Andy Stirling
9. Derek Lyle
18. Ross Fergusson
24. Scott Mercer
1. Sean Murdoch
2. Ryan Williamson
5. Callum Morris (Captain)
6. Lee Ashcroft
14. Jason Talbot
7. Kallum Higginbotham
13. Aaron Splaine
8. Nat Wedderburn
23. Callum Smith
9. Declan McManus
10. Nicky Clark
20. Cammy Gill (GK)
3. Lewis Martin
4. Jean-Yves M’Voto
16. Andy Ryan
17. Fraser Aird
18. Conner Duthie
19. Scott Lochhead
Revere; Stephen Finnie