Queen's Park 0 Annan Athletic 1
QUEEN'S PARK boss Gardner Speirs cut a frustrated figure as the
Spiders' play-off hopes took a dent against top-four rivals Annan.
Not normally one for criticising match officials, Speirs couldn't help but wonder how rookie ref Paul Robertson had failed to spot a blatant handball by Annan's Steven Sloan in his own penalty area with just three minutes remaining.
Speirs was honest enough to admit that decision was not the reason why his side lost the match. But who knows how crucial a baring it could have come the end of the season?
By that point in the match the Spiders were trailing 1-0 and throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at Annan, who had never before won at the National Stadium.
Their lead arrived just quarter of an hour in when Martin McBride's headed clearance failed to clear the box and Steven Sloan sclaffed a left foot shot past a despairing Adam Strain.
Queen's had been sloppy in the first half but started the second period with verve as they pinned the visitors back for long spells.
Davie Anderson in midfield was once again in impressive form and his probing of the Annan defence brought a succession of corners for the home side.
Martin McBride's delivery from set pieces has been a key feature of the Spiders' season and from two flag kicks he caused real panic in the Annan defence.
Darryl Meggat met both with his head but was thwarted on each occasion - the first time by keeper Summersgill and then by the crossbar.
Michael Daly then had a great opportunity to level when he was played in by Anderson. But the striker rushed his shot and made it easy for Summersgill.
Ricky Little then tested the big keeper twice within a minute but both times Summersgill was equal to the task.
With just three minutes left on the clock the Hampden fans' frustration hit boiling point when referee Robertson missed a blatant hand ball by goalscorer Sloan deep inside his own penalty box.
It was the be the last real chance of salvaging a point for the Spiders who must now get back to winning ways on Tuesday night when Montrose visit.
Frustrated boss Speirs said: "It is not our style to criticise referees and he is not the reason we lost this game however I thought it was a penalty."
Turning his attention to Tuesday's meeting with the Gable Endies, Speirs added: "I've asked the boys to play the game at the pace we want to, not let our opponents set the tempo. Annan slowed it down which didn't suit us and we didn't get going again."