Montrose 1 Stirling Albion 3
Montrose Football Club’s poor run of form continued as they lost their fifth match in a row at the hands of Stirling Albion on Saturday.
Once they lost a poor early goal there looked to be only one winner as Stirling Albion’s experienced side added a further two goals through hat trick hero Darren Smith to record a straight forward away victory.
Montrose pulled back a late consolation goal through Spanish midfielder Adrian Mallagaray but it only put a better reflection on the scoreline.
Paul Hegarty must look to put his injury hit squad back on tracks when they face league leaders Annan Athletic at Links Park on Tuesday in a re-arranged league fixture.
After the display against East Stirling three weeks previous Montrose made four changes to their line up in came goalkeeper Jordan Millar, Ryan Kenneth, Kyle McLeod and Adrian Mallagaray and out of the side went on loan pair Jahmal Howlett Mundle and Jesse Curran, goalkeeper Ross Salmon and Gavin Malin.
For McLeod it was a starting debut for his home town side.
It was a reshuffled line up with Millar in goal with Pascazio and Kenneth in full back positions. Captain Ross Campbell was in an unfamiliar centre half role alongside Allan. Johnston and Webster were in central midfield with Ferguson and Mallagaray on the flanks. Fraser and McLeod teamed up in attack.
On the bench for Montrose were Reoch, Malin, Harwood, Milne, Reid, Hester and goalkeeper Sandy Wood.
For the first time in many years since the days of the Masson brothers, Ally Ferrie and Ronnie Massie there was three Montrose based players in the squad in Kyle McLeod, Jordan Reoch and Montrose Academy pupil Lloyd Hester.
In the third minute Kyle McLeod was fouled on the far side, Mallagaray whipped over the free kick but it missed everyone and went out for a bye kick.
Johnston then fouled Robertson giving the visitors a free kick which Forsyth played wide to Dickson and this time his cross went out of play.
Montrose had their first chance of the match in the 9th minute when Graham Webster picked the ball up but he fired a low effort straight into the arms of Chris Smith.
It was Stirling Albion who opened the scoring the following minute. Sean Dickson cut open the home defence with one pass and DARREN SMITH slipped the ball home past Millar despite his best efforts to keep it out.
Montrose had a great chance to equalise four minutes later Kyle McLeod with a great reverse pass put Gary Fraser through on goal with only keeper Smith to beat but the normally deadly striker fired wide of the far post when it looked easier to score.
In the 18th minute a Stirling Albion corner kick from Smith founded Robertson in the box but he headed past the post.
The visitors had another good chance in the 23rd minute when Webster fouled Doris. Ex Gable Endie Doris took the free kick from 25 yards out, it took a deflection off the home wall and went out for a fruitless corner kick.
On the half hour mark David Verlaque of Stirling Albion picked up the first booking of the afternoon when he was caught out by a quick turn by Adrian Mallagaray. Matty Allan fired over the free kick but Webster just couldn’t connect at the far post.
A good passing move from Montrose saw Ryan Ferguson win a corner kick with seven minutes of the half remaining. Mallagaray again took the kick but Montrose were out of luck as Stirling Albion cleared their lines.
With five minutes of the half remaining Stirling Albion almost had a second of the afternoon when Willie Robertson saw his first shot blocked and his second cleared off the line by Matty Allan.
On the stroke of half time a great run up the left by Rain Kenneth brought Montrose a corner kick which Stirling Albion again cleared.
It was Stirling Albion who got the second half under way and forced the first chance when Mark Lamont fired in a shot which Jordan Millar held.
Four minutes into the second half Stirling Albion grabbed their second goal of the afternoon after a mistake by Montrose. Webster gave away the ball in the middle of the park and one pass put DARREN SMITH away and he was able to run through and blast the ball past Millar at the near post.
In the following minute Scott Johnston became the first Montrose player to be booked after a late challenge.
In the 65th minute Stirling Albion’s DARREN SMITH was able to complete his hat trick when Millar came out of his area to clear the ball but he didn’t get their in time and in the mix up the ball hit off the striker and rolled into the empty net.
Two minutes later debutant Kyle McLeod who played well was taken off and replaced by Declan Milne. At the same time Stirling Albion took off Robertson and brought on ex Scotland internationalist Craig Beattie.
Milne was fouled McGeachie winning Montrose a free kick which Kenneth took, Mallagaray headed across goal but found no takers.
Declan Milne then showed some great skill played a one two with Ferguson only to blast his shot over from a good position.
Paul Hegarty then made his second change of the afternoon with ten minutes left when Gavin Malin came on to replace Ferguson.
The following minute Stirling Albion brought on Lee Hamilton for Verlaque.
Montrose got a consolation goal in the 82nd minute. It was Graham Webster who did the spade work down the right and he cut inside into the box finding ADRIAN MALLAGARAY who cut inside his marker and curled a delightful left footed shot into the corner of the net for his second goal in two home matches.
Craig Beattie then blasted a shot out of the park for Stirling Albion two minutes later when he was in a good position.
With five minutes of the match remaining Stirling Albion made the final change of the match when Sandy Cunningham replaced Lamont.
It was the substitute who had the final opportunity of the game but he could only send a cross from Smith over the crossbar at the far post.