An uninspiring goalless draw was of little benefit to either of these sides who have fallen five points adrift of the play-off positions.
Allan Johnston, the Dunfermline manager, expressed his frustration when he said: “It wasn’t the result we wanted. I thought we were the better team again today. It’s been the case too often recently that we are the better team and don’t secure the three points.
“We need to go on a run if we want to make the top four and turn draws into wins.”
Dunfermline were the first to threaten with Declan McManus, pictured, stinging the palms of Jack Leighfield from 25 yards, before James Craigen wildly blazed a volley over the bar from inside the area.
Pars captain Nicky Clark, deployed at the tip of a midfield diamond, might have opened the scoring against his former club just before the break. A floated corner found the unmarked striker but the angle proved too tight for Clark to tap home.
Queens, bitterly disappointing in the first half, were on the front foot immediately after the interval and Lyndon Dykes’ driven shot forced Lee Robinson into a smart save. From the resulting corner, Dominic Thomas found Connor Murray unmarked in the area but the diminutive winger headed wide.
The game was crying out for a spark to bring it to life and Clark almost provided that in the 74th minute when his rasping shot from 25 yards was tipped over the bar.
Queens’ talisman Stephen Dobbie, a peripheral figure for most of the game, had his opportunity to grab the winner but the 24-goal striker’s low effort was gathered by Robinson at the second attempt.
As the game entered the closing stages, there was a moment of real controversy when McManus was hauled down by Kyle Jacobs when clean through on goal.
Somehow referee Don Robertson only brandished a yellow card before Leighfield made a smart low save from Craigen’s deflected free-kick.
Johnston added: “The referee told me that they had a defender covering but he was a couple of yards behind and it was a clear sending off.”
Queen of the South manager Gary Naysmith said: “It’s a disappointing result. First half, our use of the ball wasn’t good enough and we made the wrong decisions. I don’t think either side deserved to win the game and a point doesn’t really help either team.”