Clyde 3 Montrose 3
Montrose Football Club found themselves within ten seconds of securing their place in League 2 for next season at Clyde on Saturday until they conceded a disputed penalty in the third minute of stoppage time which was duly converted.
With bottom side East Stirlingshire drawing at home to Berwick Rangers all three points would have put Montrose twelve clear with four matches remaining and with a far superior goal difference - as it was Linton’s late penalty meant that Paul Hegarty’s side will have to wait a little bit longer.
It was cruel luck on a Montrose side who had battled back from going 2- 1 behind to take an injury time winning lead but unfortunately another defensive lapse cost them victory.
It was an entertaining ninety minutes of football between the sides with the draw meaning that second top Clyde have only managed to beat Montrose once this season. It was a vast improvement on the previous weeks shambolic ninety minutes against Annan Athletic.
After the Annan Athletic defeat Montrose made two changes with Neil Martynuik and the injured Chris Templeman being replaced by Greg Pascazio and Graham Webster.
Montrose created an early opening when Pascazio played a great pass down the right to Mallagaray whose cross was controlled inside the area by Webster but he couldn’t get the ball down quick enough before he committed a foul.
Montrose then gave away a soft corner when Steeves headed behind under no pressure. Linton’s corner was cleared by Steeves but only as far as Linton whose cross picked out Kirkpatrick who fired wide.
In the fifth minute Webster played the ball wide to Gary Fraser who picked out Campbell inside the area but he headed wide.
The Gable Endies opened the scoring in the 11 minute. This time it was Fraser who feed Webster on the right and his cross was missed by Campbell at the near post but not by ADRIAN MALLAGARAY at the back, and the winger swept the ball home for the opener.
Three minutes later a mistake by Clarke gave the ball away to Gormley and he set up McGovern who curled an effort over the Montrose bar.
Montrose passed up a great chance to score again in the 16th minute when a mistake by Chris Smith allowed Fraser to lob Gibson but his effort lacked pace and a defender got back to clear.
The Gable Endies were made to pay for this when Clyde equalised with their next attack. Pascazio headed a clearance straight into the path of JORDAN KIRKPATRICK and he rifled an effort low into the bottom corner.
With 25 minutes gone Clyde had another good opportunity when Gormley knocked the ball down to Kirkpatrick and he fired an effort wide of Millar’s far post.
Clyde defender Ross Millen picked up the first booking of the afternoon for yet another foul on Gary Fraser.
Ex Montrose favourite Marvin Andrews then fouled Campbell giving the Gable Endies a free kick in a wide area. Clarke’s free kick into the box found Mallagaray but he could only head past the post.
With ten minutes of the half remaining Mallagaray went on a mazy run before he found Webster he cut inside his marker but could only drag his shot wide of the near post.
Montrose had another great chance to regain the lead with three minutes of the half remaining. A mistake by Smith saw the ball find Webster and he played the perfect pass through to Gary Fraser with only the keeper to beat but he couldn’t get the ball under control and a great chance was passed up.
Montrose captain Ross Campbell picked up a needless booking with two minutes of the half remaining for kicking the ball away after a foul was given against him.
Mallagaray had the final chance of the half for Montrose but his shot from a Clarke free kick was blocked.
The second half started slowly and it wasn’t until the 55th minute that Montrose created an opening when Masson, Webster and Fraser linked up before a soft foul was given against Fraser for a challenge on Millen.
Clyde then won a free kick in a dangerous are when Clarke brought down Millen but Kirkpatrick could only fire well over the crossbar.
On the hour mark Clyde gaffer Barry Ferguson made a double switch with Scott McMann and Sean Higgins coming on in place of Jon Paul McGovern and Scott McLaughlin.
McMann had a quick introduction to the match when he was sent flying by a crunching tackle by Comrie who was rightly booked. Thankfully for Montrose Kirkpatrick sent the free kick miles over the crossbar.
Disaster struck Montrose in the 66th minute when Clyde regained the lead with a goal that came about from another Gable Endies defensive clanger. A harmless ball into the back post was left by Clarke, Pascazio and Steeves to each other and as the trio watched SCOTT DURIE nipped in on their blind side to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
Eight minutes later and Montrose were back in the match as Clyde themselves served up a defensive howler of their own. Campbell crossed the ball from the right and Andrew Steeves got into the box looking to make amends for the earlier error and he smashed in a shot which keeper Gibson could only palm up and over his head. The ball appeared to be in the net as Masson challenged Gibson with both ending up in the net but played continued and as Clyde’s McMann failed to clear their lines TERRY MASSON was on hand to fire low into the net as the home players looked for a foul that never came.
Montrose now had the bit between their teeth and Steeves went on another mazy run from the left and his cross found Campbell whose header was deflected wide for a corner kick. Mallagaray’s corner kick found Pascazio who headed straight at Gibson
Clyde made their final change in the 78th minute when ex Gable Endie John Gemmell replaced Ross Millen.
Fraser then took on Marvin Andrews for pace on the right flank and found Mallagaray who offloaded the ball to Webster and his cross come shot hit the headed of Masson and ended up just wide of the far post.
With five minutes left a Mallagaray cross dropped to Masson on the edge of the Clyde box and he fired a low effort straight into the arms of Gibson.
Montrose then made a change with Declan Milne coming on to replace Kieran McWalter.
Montrose almost gifted Clyde the winning goal with another defensive mix up which included players passing back across their own goal line before the ball was put behind for a corner kick.
Linton’s corner kick was met by Marvin Andrews but thankfully he headed wide of goal.
Montrose regained the lead in the first minute of stoppage time when an lighting break split open the home defence. Campbell won the ball on the right and played a pass through to Mallagaray and his perfectly weighted through ball found GARY FRASER and he sent a first time shot into the net from 20 yards out to send the Montrose players and fans into major celebrations. The strikers 18th goal of the season.
Unfortunately all that hard work was undone with ten seconds remaining when a hopeful punt into the box by Durie from the flank wasn’t defended properly by Jamie Clarke and he appeared to push over Gemmell, it was soft but referee Kirkland awarded Clyde a penalty kick. Although Jordan Millar guessed the correct way he couldn’t keep out SCOTT LINTON’S spot kick and the points were shared in dramatic circumstances.