Ayo Obileye and Rhys McCabe were sent off by referee Greg Aitken during the Doonhamers’ 3-2 home defeat to Championship basement boys Alloa Athletic last Saturday.
Both decisions were questionable – which led to Johnston getting sent off too – and after the Palmerston Park side lodged their appeals, the red card offences were downgraded to yellow cards on Wednesday morning.
This means both Obileye and McCabe are now available for Queens’ clash at Greenock Morton on Saturday.
The Queens boss welcomed the decision but believes it played a major part in their defeat to the Wasps.
Johnston said: “It’s good to see a bit of common sense but it’s obviously frustrating in a sense as well. Big Ayo got sent off just before half time and that probably changes the game. With Rhys’ sending off, the Alloa player is actually on his back when he was trying to take a throw-in.
“There were a lot of strange and poor decisions on Saturday, including the Alloa penalty which I thought was soft and the late challenge on Dapo Mebude which was more like a rugby tackle.
“It’s frustrating when that happens but it saves both Ayo and Rhys getting banned from the next two games, so we’re delighted about that.
“I thought both sending offs weren’t red card offences at the time. The players believed it wasn’t, even the Alloa players said they weren’t reds.”
He added: “I’m still going to be banned for the Morton game. It was a reaction to Rhys getting a wrongful sending off in the first place. You can maybe see why I was a wee bit irate about the decision.”
The manager hopes to have midfielder Joe McKee and forward Stephen Dobbie back for Queens’ trip to Cappielow. However, Johnston confirmed that Dan Pybus and Isaiah Jones won’t be available for selection.
He said: “Izzy Jones has been for a scan and we’re hoping he’ll be able to come back for a couple of games near the end of the season. He’s a top-quality player so fingers crossed.”
Meanwhile, attacker Euan East celebrated his first league goal for the Dumfries side against Alloa. The 20-year-old nodded home a superb Connor Shields cross and hopes there’s more to come in the next few weeks.
East said: “It’s great to get off the mark with a league goal, I’ve had a few assists but it’s good to get a goal. It was tough not to take the three points but on a personal level I’m delighted to get my first league goal for the club.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club, it’s my first season in the Championship coming from League Two. I think I’ve adapted well and I hope I can get a few more goals to help the team move up the table.”
Queens are fifth in the Championship with seven league matches remaining.