Some things never change - as Ayr know to their cost.
Yet again, their old failing of being unable to defend set pieces came home to haunt them at shivering Palmerston.
The dagger blow proved a major turning point and there was no way back as a run of four games without defeat crashed to a halt.
Defeat plunged them to sixth place, a distance away from runaway Queens.
And boss Mark Roberts conceded afterwards that the full-time Dumfries men are uncatchable as they charge towards the flag.
Roberts admitted: “We have to stop giving away free-kicks. No one picked up Ryan McGuffie who had a free header.
“We were still in it at 1-0 but the second goal, which I felt was offside, killed it and you could see their confidence soaring.
“Queens are full-time, have a bigger budget and deserve to be where they are. They look like running away with this league.
“We weren’t good enough on the day, especially in the second half as we were well off the pace. In the first period we had a few chances and should have done better with them.”
Ally Brown made two early saves from Paul Burns as Queens looked for a flying start.
Ironically, Ayr had gone close to scoring before disaster struck. Michael Moffat skinned Chris Higgins and whipped in a shot which Lee Robinson saved well with one hand before Chris Mitchell mopped up.
Queens charged upfield and when Nicky Clark was fouled by Kyle McAusland, Mitchell fired in a great cross which Ryan McGuffie headed home from four yards.
Clark then headed inches over while Ally Brown had a fine save from Derek Young as Queens tried to build on their lead.
Darian Mackinnon made himself space before blasting over as Ayr looked for a response. Then Moffat raced through only to be foiled by Robinson’s legs.
Ayr forced a series of corners at the start of the second-half before being stung 10 minutes in when Clark tapped home his 16th goal of the season after Burns picked him out number two.
Burns headed high over from a Danny Carmichael cross as Queens chased a third.
The always busy Moffat, who drew his first blank in five games, carved a chance with a clever turn to play in Aaron Wyllie. But the teenager’s on target shot was blocked by Higgins.
David Sinclair fired a free-kick over as Ayr, with subs David Winters and Mark Shankland thrown on, tried in vain to fight back.