The Reds Youth team travelled to Palmerston Park for a final dress rehearsal before they launch their FA Youth Cup programme on Sunday.
And in an entertaining game that had a bit of everything, they narrowly lost to the Dumfries outfit after conceding a late decider.
Reds, under the guidance of Lee McCullough and Conor Cooke, were at their best in the first half giving a good account of themselves. But they became a bit ragged after the interval and, instead of obtaining a morale boosting win, lost by the odd goal in three.
A bright opening was rewarded with the first goal after fifteen minutes with Thomas Downes sliding the ball home after Caine Winter created the opening. Downes had two more opportunities, the first effort narrowly clearing the bar and the second bringing a fine save out of Mark Thompson.
Queens were back on terms in the thirty-third minute with Lewis Downey netting a fine individual effort. He broke through, lobbed the ball over the advancing Scott Paden-Gale and, once round the Reds’ ‘keeper, rolled the ball into an unguarded net.
The young Reds should have turned round protecting a lead but it remained all square after they squandered a forty-second minute penalty. Milo Cooke was making good progress inside the area but was tripped and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Cooke took the penalty himself but saw his shot saved by Thompson.
Efficient in all they did in the first half, Reds became sloppy in the second and the home side dominated for long spells.
Some desperate defending, two clearances off the line and a brilliant point-blank save from Paden-Gale kept Workington in the game but they got caught out defensively seven minutes from the end.
Downey got ahead of his marker in the box to convert a low cross from the right, securing victory for the hosts.
It was a good competitive game, feisty at times and just the workout needed ahead of Reds’ FA Youth Cup tie at Pickering Town at the weekend.
Team: Scott Paden-Gale, Hayden Percival, Lewis Moore, Evan Stephenson, Zach Martin, Caine Winter, Aaron Williams, Zach Lester, Milo Cooke, Hayden Rae, Thomas Downes. Substitutes – Robbie Wilson and Luke Whitehead (both used).