NINE-MAN Queens failed to hold out and missed a chance to climb to fourth in the Championship, in a dramatic and ill-tempered clash at Cappielow.
Scorers: Morton - Campbell (85); Queen of the South - Russell (43)
Fans were allowed in free of charge, following the tragic death of Morton fan Andrew Kemp, who suffered a heart attack shortly after kick-off on Saturday. Before the start, fans paid tribute with a minute’s applause, and they donated generously on their way into the ground, with the proceeds going to the Inverclyde group of the St Andrew’s First Aid, a charity chosen by Mr Kemp’s family.
Morton had failed to beat Queen’s in their last five clashes, taking just a single point from the Dumfries side, but started in a determined mood and, in the first 30 seconds, came close when Barrie McKay fired over from 20 yards.
With just one goal in their last six games, Morton showed signs of a change in fortunes after three minutes when Garry O’Connor burst in from the right and his fierce drive was pushed wide by Queen’s goalkeeper Zander Clark. The ex-Hibs and Scotland star came even closer in the 15th minute when Scott Taggart dispossessed Michael Paton and sent O’Connor through on goal, but his angled drive crashed back off the far post.
Queen’s, with two wins in their last three away league matches, were determined to continue their impressive form on their travels, but suffered a blow after 24 minutes when on-loan goalkeeper Clark limped off with a groin strain, to be replaced by Jim Atkinson.
The Doonhamers were rarely seen as an attacking force and didn’t even manage a shot on target until the 30th minute when Michael Paton’s low 19-yard effort forced Morton goalkeeper Nicolas Caraux to dive to his right to save.
Two minutes from the interval and against the run of play, Queen’s went in front when Paton surged down the right and his cutback was bundled over the line by Iain Russell.
Queen’s were reduced to 10 men a minute later when Chris Higgins saw a straight red card for a deliberate handball. And they went down to nine five minutes after the restart when Russell saw red for a shocking two-footed lunge on James McCormack.
Morton threw everything into attack, but it took them until five minutes from time to grab a share of the points when Archie Campbell headed home a cross from the right by substitute Ben Sampayo.