This was one of those matches that never really amounted to anything in terms of raising the excitement level in Palmerston today. Brechin set out their stall early on in the first half by taking enormous amounts of time to get the ball back into play and generally playing with very few men in front of the ball.
Queens were strangely out of sorts despite fielding a side that was closer to a first eleven than we have seen for a good few weeks now. In the end though it's the three points that matter and the Gary Wood goal with five minutes to go certainly lifted the spirits inside the ground.
The starting line up saw the return of Sean O'Connor, John Dodds and Paul Burns with Gary Wood taking a seat on the bench along with Brian McColligan whilst last weekend's trialist 'keeper Kris Robertson has left the club after failing to impress. The bench also saw a change with Paddy Atkinson taking the place of Paul Talbot.
The match started with Queens unusually attacking the Glasgow Street end of the ground. It was a relatively subdued start with Queens looking the more likely side and in particular Sean O'Connor looking to be on the end of everything that could be sent his way. The best chance of the opening quarter hour falling to Sean when he was put through by Bowser, managed to step round his marker and fire a shot toward goal only to see it blocked by another defender coming over to cover.
Brechin started to come more into the match and in the eighteenth minute Jablonski and Clark combined well on the left hand side of the box to set up a shooting chance, the effort though was blocked away by Bowser as far as the inrushing Charlie King who struck a low effort through daylight and just past the far post with Dodds at full stretch, but with the ball covered.
Big Sean was back to his terrifying best
Queens soon got themselves back on top and Eric Paton had a snapshot well collected by Hay in the visitors goal.
Andy Aitken is playing in a more attacking role than he has for some time as he made the left flank his own today, on thirty six minutes he floated over what was undoubtedly a cross which almost crept in over the 'keeper. However Hay in the Brechin goal did manage to tip it over but also landed awkwardly and injured himself in the process. For a moment or two it looked like Brechin would have to replace their second choice 'keeper with their third, however Hay recovered sufficiently to continue.
Queens press in the first half
The position of Lyle on the right and Burns on the left were swapped around with five minutes of the half remaining. Burns certainly looked much more effective and comfortable on the right.
The final action of the half saw Queens then Brechin go close - Queens first from a David Bagan effort from the edge of the box that was well saved by Hay again - Brechin next as an effort of the knee of McLeish made Dodds stretch to collect.
The second half started without any changes to the line up, but Queens almost opened the scoring with just a minute of the half gone, Sean O'Connor was persistent down the left and put across a superb ball to the back post that Derek Lyle got his head onto, however the angle was just too tight and the ball hit the side netting.
It was Derek Lyle again a few minutes later as he was played through following a great flowing movement between Bowser and Burke, however Lyle shot too early and missed the target.
David Bagan was next up as he too tried to beat the stuffy Brechin defence with a long range effort, however his effort also whizzed by the post.
Brechin then made a substitution as Chris Templeman was introduced and with almost his first touch he caused problems. Jim Thomson was beaten to the ball by the gangling striker who then turned JT and got goal side, he should have taken more time with his shot as his curling effort flew past the post with Dodds in close attendance.
John Connolly had seen enough and made his first substitution, Gary Wood for Derek Lyle with Alex Burke dropping back to the left side of midfield and Wood charging forward along side big Sean.
Queens were starting to take control again and a free kick on the left set up Sean O'Connor to beat his man and cross close to goal for Gary Wood to flick the ball into the arms of Hay from just a few yards out.
Brian McColligan was then introduced in place of Paul Burns.
Moments later the substitute scored. Queens won a corner on the left, Eric Paton took the first effort which was cut out, the ball then found its' way back to Paton and his second cross was met by the stooping head of Gary Wood who notched up his third goal in four games for the Doonhamers.
Queens then played out the match more defensively as Alex Burke was replaced by Derek Allan but with only seconds left Brechin substitute Colin Boylan almost snatched an equaliser as he got on the end of a goal clearance from Hay and struck his shot just over the top from twenty five yards.
The game finished to the relived cheers from the home support, Brechin were a useful side but we should have had enough about us to have the match wrapped up long before we did. Games against St.Johnstone and Falkirk in the next two weeks will be crucial in deciding whether we are contenders or survivors.