Montrose 2 Elgin City 0
Montrose Football Club made it three home wins out of three without the loss of a goal as they brushed aside Elgin City at Links Park on Saturday to move back into third spot in the table one point behind Annan Athletic and Berwick Rangers the two sides to have beaten them this season.
After a slow start against Jim Weir’s side Montrose moved up a gear after Graham Webster’s opening goal and once Gary Fraser had added a deserved second goal there was only going to be one winner. In the three league games played at Links Park this season Montrose have scored seven times without the loss of a goal.
They must now look to take this form into Saturday away match at Stirling Albion as they look to pick up their first away points of the season.
Paul Hegarty’s new look side have a great desire about them to not lose matches. They appear organised, fit and work as a team. Everyone knows what they are to be doing and they all carry out these instructions with a great passion. Long may it continue.
Injuries ruled out keeper Jordan Millar and captain Paul Watson for the match and they were replaced by Ross Salmon and Gavin Malin making his debut after signing on loan from neighbours Forfar Athletic at the start of the season.
There was a familiar face in the Montrose dug out with former player Sandy Wood listed as a trialist substitute in the absence of Millar. He had previously been with Cove Rangers last season.
Montrose’s recent good form had certainly caught the imagination of the home supporter with an impressive 584 fans inside the ground at kick off time, some 120 up on the previous home match against Clyde.
Montrose had an early opportunity in the match after Campbell had been fouled by McHardy. McCord fired in the free kick to the back post, Fraser managed to get away a shot but it went wide of goal.
Elgin City won a corner kick in the fourth minute after Pascazio put in a great saving tackle on Gunn inside the box. From McLean’s corner kick Salmon did well to punch clear under pressure.
In the 12th minute Webster gave away a foul in a dangerous position for Montrose but McLeod was flagged offside when he got on the end of Moore’s free kick.
Three minutes later the same player got on the end of a Daniel Moore cross but this time he bulleted over a header from some ten yards out.
The Gable Endies had a rare opening in the 21st minute when a mistake by Duff allowed Fraser to win the ball and find Webster but his shot from twenty yards out went straight at the keeper.
Three minutes later a great run up the wing from full back Ferguson saw him put over a great cross to Campbell but unfortunately he couldn’t control the cross and the chance was gone.
Ross McCord was next to have a go for Montrose on the half hour mark when he gathered a Johnston throw in only to send a looping thirty yard lob over the crossbar.
Craig Gunn was then fouled by Malin but McLean fired the free kick well over the Montrose crossbar.
It was Montrose who opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Johnston won the corner kick and it was Ross McCord who curled in a low dangerous ball which GRAHAM WEBSTER headed into the net at the far post after cleverly tuning his marker at the near post. It was the midfielder’s third goal in three games.
Montrose started to put more pressure on the visitors defence and Johnston played the ball back to Steeves and his cross was again headed over by captain Ross Campbell.
With a minute of the half remaining Ferguson, Campbell and Webster linked up well on the right flank and from the letters cross Scott Johnston’s header was well blocked. From McCord’s corner the ball fell to debutant Gavin Malin whose fierce drive was blocked.
The ball then found its way out to Webster who found Malin inside the box, this time the midfielder cut inside his marker but this time Mark Hurst denied him a debut goal with a great save.
Elgin City started the second half on the front foot and a long throw in from Cooper found its way into the Montrose box, Moore hooked in a shot but Salmon got down to his left to pull off a fine stop,
The first booking of the match arrived in the 50th minute when Jamie Duff was shown a yellow card by referee Barry Cook for holding back Gary Fraser.
Two minutes later Graham Webster picked up a booking after he tried to punch a corner kick from McCord into the net.
Montrose scored a second goal on the hour mark. Campbell found Ross McCord in the middle of the park and he sent over a great pass which saw GARY FRASER beat the offside trap and he ran into the box drew out keeper Mark Hurst and calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net for his fourth goal of the season to send Links Park wild.
The visitors immediately made a change and took off Mark Nicolson and replaced him with Connor McLaren.
But it was Montrose who kept up the pressure and created the next opening a long throw in from Andrew Steeves found Fraser in space but this time the striker volleyed wide of goal.
The visitors couldn’t match the runs of Fraser and Matthew Cooper was the next Elgin City player to be carded again for a foul on the Montrose number nine.
Montrose nearly added a third goal seconds later. Pascazio cleverly dummied a corner kick from McCord and it found Fraser whose effort was deflected wide for a corner kick.
Two minutes later Ross Salmon did well to hold onto a header from McHardy after he got on the end of a Craig Gunn corner kick.
In the 85th minute Elgin City made a final change with Halsmann replacing Daniel Moore.
Ross Salmon keep the Montrose goal in tact with four minutes remaining with a great point blank range save from a shot from Brian Cameron inside the six yard box.
A classic counter attack involving McCord and man of the match Gary Fraser almost brought about a third Montrose goal in the 87th minute. The pair played a one two up the right flank before Fraser found Gavin Malin who sent a twenty yard screamer just wide of the far post.