Eight-man Queens extend lead at head of the table

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SECOND Division leaders Queen of the South finished with only eight men against visitors Stenhousemuir, but still managed to extend their lead by holding out for a 2-2 draw.

The Doonhamers led after only two minutes through Mark Durnan but were down to ten by half time after Derek Young was dismissed for a late challenge on Greg Ross. Nicky Clark extended their lead but Stenhousemuir got a foothold when John Gemmell pulled a goal back with 22 minutes left.

Brown Ferguson levelled with a penalty three minutes later but the Dumfries men were reduced to nine when Kevin Holt picked up a second booking. The nine became eight when Chris Higgins went off to have treatment on a head cut and, when he was not allowed to return, player/manager Allan Johnston was red carded for his comments to whistler Bobby Madden.

Johnston said, “We were still creating chances with ten men, so I am disappointed we did not win. I am not sure if the referee will view them both as dismissals when he sees them again.”

Stenhousemuir boss Martyn Corrigan said, “I am pleased we came back from two goals down but disappointed we did not win against the ten and then nine men.”

Queens’ lead is now seven points as second placed Forfar went down 3-0 to hosts East Fife who had Bob Malcolm and Brian McNaughton in charge for the first time due to manager Gordon Durie’s illness. The Loons lost Martyn Fotheringham to an early red card. David Muir put the Fifers ahead before half-time with Scott Smith and Paul McManus adding late counters.

Brechin defeated visitors Stranraer 3-0 through Andy Jackson (2) and David McKenna. Third-placed Alloa Athletic beat Ayr United 1-0 thanks to Ben Gordon’s winner right on half-time. Albion Rovers overcame Arbroath 4-0 at Cliftonhill where David Crawford opened and closed the scoring with Steven Howarth and Tony Stevenson, from the penalty spot, netting in between.