Ross County 1 Queen of the South 1

Last updated : 23 April 2005 By Footymad Previewer

Ross County and Queen of the South fought out a dour end of season draw with both goals coming in the first half at Victoria Park.

County forced an early corner and John Rankin's deflected shot ended up in the arms of Queen's keeper Richard Barnard. At the other end, David McNiven tried his luck from outside the box, but he dragged his shot well wide of goal.

But the home side were well on top, and after a Sean Kilgannon shot was blocked Don Cowie hit the side netting.

The home side made the breakthrough in the 12th minute when a long ball from John Robertson caught out the Queen's defence and Steve McGarry nipped in between Chris Carr and Richard Barnard to lift the ball into the empty net.

But County were shocked in the 19th minute when McNiven spotted Colin Stewart off his line, and lobbed the keeper from 40 yards.

Jim Thompson headed just wide of Stewart's left-hand post as Queen mounted a rare attack, but it was mostly County and Rankin should have restored the lead when Kilgannon laid the ball on for him, but his effort was smothered by Barnard.

Queen's full-back Tom English flashed one just past Stewart's right-hand post at the start of the second half. County responded and a curling ball in from Alex Burke was just missed by Rankin as he came in at the back post.

The Doonhammers squandered a great chance to go in front in the 53rd minute when Thompson knocked down a Steven Payne corner, but Gary Wood failed to connect from six yards.

The game was dying on its feet but County's Steven McGarry kept trying to finish in front of goal, and he came close on a couple of occasions but flashed his headers wide of target.

Rankin came closer still when he fired a free kick inches over the top in the 77th minute, and a couple of minutes later he struck the underside of the crossbar with another fierce shot.