Last updated : 10 April 2005 By Footymad Previewer

The visitors should have gone ahead in the sixth minute. Saints' keeper, Craig Hinchcliffe, failed to field a free-kick cleanly and the ball fell to David McNiven just four yards out, but the striker blasted the ball against the underside of the bar.

That miss was sorely regretted 12 minutes later. Simon Lappin's cross for St Mirren reached Hugh Murray who, in turn, returned the ball for the stretching John Baird to deceive Richie Barnard with a looping header.

Two minutes later Lappin was given too much room down the left and he had time to measure his cross for Murray to score with a spectacular rising volley from the corner of the box.

In a bizarre turn of events, Queens lost keeper Barnard after half an hour with a facial injury which required five stitches and his replacement, Colin Scott, was carried off with a ruptured thigh muscle 12 minutes later.

Hinchcliffe, nevertheless, had to be at his best to turn aside a volley from McNiven at his near post after a clever Stephen Payne run and cross, David Craig having taken over in goal.

Queens took the game to sluggish Saints after the break and Eric Paton was most unfortunate when his fine shot from 20 yards cannoned off the bar, but the home side netted in stoppage time when Mark Reilly rifled a drive beyond the gallant Craig high into the net after a corner was only partially cleared.