Raith Rovers stretched to four matches their unbeaten run at home since the arrival of manager John Hughes, but saw themselves dragged still closer to an increasingly congested Championship relegation battle.
On-loan Rangers youngster Ryan Hardie warmed up for duty with the Scotland Under-21s this week with a calm finish after just nine minutes as he sidestepped a defender before rolling his shot beneath Lee Robinson.
But the game’s only other moment of note ensured Queen of the South maintained their three-point lead over their hosts.
Stephen Dobbie’s curling, dipping free-kick was adjudged to have crossed the line, despite the protests of the home side at the time, and it left Ayr United as the biggest winners as Rovers in seventh were dragged to within just two points of the relegation play-off spot.
“It’s going to be like that between now and the end of the season,” insisted Hughes.
“But that’s where somebody has to step up with a wee bit of magic.”