Ladbrokes Championship: Queen of the South 0 Dunfermline 0: 15/12/18

Weather warnings peppered the morning news and that caused many Pars fans to heed the advice and not travel to a rain soaked and freezing cold Palmerston Park.

Manager Allan Johnston made two changes from the side defeated the previous Saturday at Partick. Tom Beadling and Kallum Higginbotham came into the starting eleven to take the places of James Craigen and Robbie Muirhead.

Queens gaffer Gary Naysmith was able to welcome back the influential Gary Harkins, the soon to be departing for Vancouver, David Norman dropping out to make way. Neither manager had a full complement on the bench.

Dunfermline could rightly claim that they dominated this match and were unlucky not to find a winner from their many chances and greater possession.

Queens came closest to scoring in the opening exchanges when Pars keeper Lee Robinson raced out of goal but his ninth minute clearance spun towards Adam Frizzell in midfield. He cracked a first time effort into the air, but the ball sailed a few yards past the unguarded goal as Robinson tracked back.

Three minutes later Pars captain Lee Ashcroft went down under a challenge from Gary Harkiins. He yelled for a penalty but referee Steven Kirkland ignored his claim.

Former Queens player Joe Thomson was first to test the home keeper Alan Martin with a right footed shot from 35 yards out but the keeper held the 15th minute effort.
Two minutes later Beadling saw his header saved in the bottom left and then when Kyle Jacobs conceded a corner Danny Devine met the cross but directed his header over the bar.

Pars carved out a decent chance when Faissal El Bakhtouai whipped a glorious angled shot across the face of goal and just inches beyond the left post just before the half hour. Then from outside the Queens box, Thomson sent a 33rd minute shot high and just four minutes later Higginbotham was on target with his low effort but Martin did well to smother at his near post.
Queens hit back with a teasing free kick from Gary Harkins on the far side which picked out Callum Semple a minute before the interval but his neat, glancing header slipped past the target.
No goals in this fixture on both occasions last season and at the break there was still deadlock between the sides. The first half stats showed 62% possession for the visitors, six corners to Queens nil and seven shots to their hosts two.

Half Time: Queen of the South 0 Dunfermline 0

The second half faced a real battle against the elements but Queens manufactured the first chance but Harkins rammed his shot wide left in 50 minutes. Dykes was next to get a chance but he sent his shot from outside of the box wide left as well.

For the Fifers El Bakhtaoui sent a 57th minute shot over the bar before he was substituted by Myles Hippolyte midway through the half.

The Pars kept up their domination and Aidan Keena had a couple of opportunities with Martin doing well to turn a near post shot around for a corner then cracking a piledriver narrowly wide of the right upright.

Dykes was high with a late shot and the Pars had to settle for a point when with many more shots at goal than their opponents, they would feel that they should have secured three points.

It was to be a day when every one of the five Ladbrokes Championship matches ended up all square, so as far as the table went nothing changed.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Alan Martin: Scott Mercer, Jordan Marshall, Callum Fordyce, Michael Doyle, Callum Semple, Kyle Jacobs, Gary Harkins (Connor Murray 80), Josh Todd, Adam Frizzell (David Norman 60), Lyndon Dykes.
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Stirling, Daniel Irving, Jack Leighfield (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Dykes (80)

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: James Vincent: Kallum Higginbotham, Tom Beadling, Joe Thomson: Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Myles Hippolyte 67), Aidan Keena.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, James Craigen, Mark Durnan, Stuart Morrison, Cammy Gill (GK)

REFEREE: Steven Kirkland

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (home) v Ayr United, Saturday 22nd December 2018

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