East Fife’s large band of travelling away fans were let down badly on Saturday by their side’s no-show at the Excelsior Stadium.
Despite misfiring at home, those fans could have been forgiven for heading to the temporary home of Queen’s Park with a sense of optimism, given the Fifers have saved their best form for matches away from Bayview this term.
This includes impressive wins at Arbroath and Montrose, but, in truth, those feats never looked like being replicated at the weekend.
The visitors started the better of the two sides and could have taken the lead just five minutes into the game when Ross McPherson burst in on Jordan Millar’s goal, only to find the ‘keeper equal to his effort.
Gary Naysmith had called on his side to build on what was an impressive performance, despite defeat, just a few days earlier against Rangers in the Petrofac Training Cup quarter finals.
The league is the club’s bread and butter and, as fine as the battling Gers performance was to watch, all of that would gladly have been traded in for three points at the weekend.
But it was Queen’s who were to break the deadlock when Fife centre half Jonathan Page brought down Shaun Fraser.
Fraser himself took the spot kick and sent his effort into Millar’s top corner.
To be fair to the hosts, they are an incredibly well organised side and, after taking their lead, hauled bodies behind the ball to stop East Fife getting an early reply.
The Fifers were completely unable to break down the stubborn Queen’s.
Ross Campbell had a half chance for Naysmith’s men but his strike was cleared.
Queen’s had a little less trouble breaking down East Fife and they were two goals up before the break.
Ciaran McElroy picked the ball up on the edge of the Fife penalty box, worked some space for himself and fired past the helpless Millar.
The Fifers simply looked deflated as Queen’s remained on the hunt for more goals.
A slick passing move down the Fife flank resulted in the ball being floated across to Fraser who headed off the post.
But it only delayed the inevitable and the third goal wasn’t along in arriving.
A Darren Millar free-kick was swung in from the wing and caught a deflection before making its way past sub ‘keeper Allan Fleming.
East Fife went on to have a decent spell late in the game in the final stages as Queen’s were content with their afternoon’s work and protected their advantage.