Gary Naysmith expressed pride despite watching his East Fife side fall to their first defeat of 2015.
A deflected effort was all that separated the Fifers from a Queen’s Park side who have been among the title contenders all season and Naysmith said: “I thought the players were excellent and the effort put in particularly in the second half was outstanding.
“I have said a few times this season that Queen’s Park are the best footballing team in this league and we restricted them to very few chances.
“I am proud of the way we went about things and whilst I hate losing that is the way to lose. We started the game slowly but grew into it and we deserved something from the game.”
The game’s only goal came after 11 minutes when a neat passing move from the hosts gave Ciaran McElroy a shooting chance at the edge of the box. The Fifers’ day was probably best summed up when his mishit effort took a deflection and looped past Allan Fleming who was caught flat-footed.
Jonathan Page was denied an equaliser when his powerful header from a corner was pushed away by home goalkeeper Willie Muir before the Bayview men were reduced to ten men.
Nathan Austin moved from the high of scoring four times at Elgin in midweek to picking up a needless red card. The striker, who was booked for a foul midway through the first half, was walking a tightrope when he first conceded a further two fouls and then angrily slammed the ball into the ground after not being awarded a penalty.
However, two minutes from half time he committed one indiscretion too many when he fouled Gavin Mitchell and was dismissed.
Naysmith said: “It was a red card. We had hoped to get him in at half-time and get him calmed down or taken off. I have not been too hard on him as he has been in great form and he knows that he has let his team-mates down.”
Despite their handicap, Naysmith’s side had the better of the second half with their set pieces a constant threat. It looked like Page had grabbed a deserved equaliser with 15 minutes to go when he dived to head home a free kick but an assistant’s flag cut short the celebrations.
The Bayview boss added: “Our players are adamant that Jonathan’s goal was onside so it was not our afternoon.”
Defender Page said: “I did not think I was offside and it was only when I heard Allan Walker starting to moan I knew something was up.
“Their goalkeeper made a good save from me as well. A few things went against us but it is done now and time to look forward.”