Elgin City 4 Montrose 1
Montrose returned from up north on Saturday without any points, bottom of League 2 and still without a Manager.
After the cup defeat at the hands of Queen’s Park, Montrose made three changes to their line up with Ballantyne, Watson and Templeman replacing Anderson, McWalter and the injured Court.
With injuries to the squad caretaker boss John Holt listed 16 year old Montrose Academy pupil and Montrose Under 17 player Kieran Thomson on the bench for the first time
Determined to improve on their heavy 5-0 home defeat to Elgin in October, pre-match plans went out the window after just 5 minutes when Montrose were reduced to 10 men.
A tackle from Masson, more full blooded than malicious saw the ref reach for his back pocket and the afternoons task took on a completely different feel.
The Borough Briggs outfit tried to capitalise on their man advantage and full back Stewart cut in from the right and fired a left footed shot over the bar.
But it was the visitors who took control of the match and a positive run from Steeves brought a free kick 30 yards from goal. Watson's delivery was cleared for a corner, from which Ferguson crossed from the right for Bolochoweckyj, whose glancing header drifted just wide of the left hand post.
Having looked so vulnerable to Elgin corners at Links Park, the Gable Endies defence stood firm and restricted the home side to long range efforts.
However, after 30 mins the home side started to take the upper hand and a good one two on the edge of the box forced Bolochoweckyj into a last ditch challenge to prevent Cameron getting his shot off.
Minutes later, with Bolochoweckyj beaten 18 yards from goal, it was fellow centre half MacDonald who came to his rescue with a great block.
The home side continued to grow in confidence and 10 mins from the break a long range effort from McPhee was deflected over the bar and from the corner Webster cleared a goalward header off the line.
So with the first half ending all square, the visitors were clearly the happier side and the scoreline was a fair reflection of the play.
Montrose started the second half brightly and had a sniff of a penalty when on 50 mins, Fraser nipped in front of his man to meet a Ferguson cross, but the contact made by the defender was just not enough to warrant a spot kick.
From there the home side mounted a sustained period of pressure that began with a Montrose free kick. Watson's under hit cross allowed Elgin to break and Ferguson was forced to commit a foul 35 yards from his own goal, collecting a yellow card in the process.
The free kick was cleared for a corner, from which Fleming made a strange save. Back peddling towards his far post the keeper flapped the cross out for a corner, with many in the ground thinking he had palmed it into his own net.
From the corner, Watson put the ball behind at the far post and in clearing this corner Webster was adjudged to have committed a foul right on the edge of the box.
The deadlock was broken from the set piece, but not before Bolochoweckyj was booked for failing to retreat fast enough. Although Fleming saved the first strike, the ball was only half cleared and found its way to Captain McPhee, who fired home from close range.
With their tails up, Elgin went for what would surely be a killer second goal and Sutherland played a one, two on the edge of the box and Fleming had to look alert to dive full stretch and tip the shot past the post.
Far from retreating, Holt was still keen to salvage something from the game and made a bolt move of going 3 at the back and reverting to 2 upfront. However, the resulting space in the right full back area was soon exploited by Elgin with a long ball from the centre half picking out the wide man and his first time cross was poked home by McLeish, again from close range, finishing off a good move.
Minutes later the goal scorer was replaced by Gunn and soon after any thoughts of a heroic comeback were well and truly buried as the home side scored a third.
McPhee stepped out from the back with the ball and picked out Sutherland, 20 yards from goal. Shifting the ball from his right, the striker curled a left foot shot beyond the out stretched keeper.
Montrose made a double change with Watson and Ferguson making way for Ross Campbell and McWalter and Elgin's Dodd was replaced by ex-Montrose man Jamie Reid.
Montrose deserved something for their efforts and with 10 mins left Bolochoweckyj fired home a Webster corner to make the score more respectable given the circumstances.
The nearest the visitors came to giving the 586 fans reason to start biting their nails was when McWalter fired a shot from 20 yards but it was saved comfortably by Mackay.
A late spell of pressure from the home side saw McPhee release a long range effort that rose over the bar and Gunn was denied when his firm header was tipped over by Fleming.
The visitors had clearly put a shift in, having played with a man less for 85 mins and they were undone once more with only minutes remaining on the clock.
Good work down the right saw Steeves beaten for pace to the byline and the low cross was tapped home by Cameron.
With Edinburgh City winning at Arbroath, Montrose find themselves propping up the table once more, a situation that the soon to be appointed new manager will have to address with some urgency.