Montrose 2 Berwick Rangers 1
Montrose Football Club made it six points out of six from two important home matches in a row as they defeated Berwick Rangers for the second time this season.
After going behind early in the second half Stewart Petrie’s side showed great spirit and determination to come back to win partially due to the inspired introduction of substitute Chris Templeman close to the hour mark to record a good victory which took them into fifth spot in the table.
On a day of lashing rain Montrose were backed on by a fantastic crowd of 1222 no thanks to the efforts of the Links Park Community Trust who had invited their members along to the match. It made for a great atmosphere on the day.
After the victory over Cowdenbeath manager Petrie made four changes to his line up with Callum MacDonald, Terry Masson, Liam Callaghan and Ross Campbell replacing Anderson, Thomas, the suspended Matty Smith and Templeman.
There was also no place in the line up for last week’s goal hero Gary Fraser who had picked up a two match ban for celebrating the winning goal with the fans!
Two youngsters from the Under 17’s again featured on the substitute bench in Kieran Thomson and Stuart Bridgeford.
It was the visitors who created the first opportunity when Gary Phillips got clear inside the area but his shot although on target was well blocked by Ballantyne.
Montrose were given a great opportunity to open the scoring in the fifth minute when a Callaghan corner was headed down by MacDonald at the far post but from only a yard out Ross Campbell couldn’t quite force the ball into the net and Berwick managed to clear up field.
Berwick Rangers went close five minutes later when a Lavery corner kick wasn’t cleared properly and Kevin McKinlay seemed set to score but McWalter got back to clear off the line, as the Gable Endies lived dangerously.
In the 21st minute Michael McKenna went on a surging run through the middle of the home defence only to blast his effort well over the crossbar.
Liam Callaghan set pieces were the order of the first half for Montrose and from one in the 28th minute Callum MacDonald headed wide at the back post.
Two minutes later Kieran McWalter was fouled by Thomson giving Montrose another free kick in a good position on the right. Callaghan swung the ball over and Scullion headed over the bar. Masson’s corner was headed down by MacDonald but found no takers.
It was the home side who restarted the second half with conditions having worsend during the interval as driving rain and sleet lashed down on the park.
It was Montrose who had the early opportunity when Ferguson stabbed a pass across the park for Graham Webster who cut inside his marker only to blast his effort over the crossbar.
Five minutes into the second half and it was the visitors who opened the scoring Webster lost possession on the left and right back Euan Spark got the better of Ballantyne inside the box and he cut the ball back to MICHAEL McKENNA who was able to blast a low effort Millar and into the net.
Two minutes later Steven Notman picked up the first booking of the afternoon for a late tackle on Montrose captain Terry Masson.
Graham Webster then became the first Montrose player to be yellow carded for a foul on McKenna.
It the 58th minute Montrose made their first change of the afternoon and it proved to be and inspired one by manager Stewart Petrie, with Chris Templeman coming on to replace Ross Campbell.
Within two minutes Montrose had grabbed the equaliser in front of a packed dynamo. Terry Masson swung over the corner kick and in came CHRIS TEMPLEMAN to bullet home a header into the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season.
It was all Montrose now as they cranked up the pressure on their visitors and it paid off in the 70th minute when they took the lead. Templeman won the ball in his own half played the ball to Webster and his first time ball put RYAN FERGUSON in a race with Berwick Rangers central defender Martin, he was short with his pass back and this allowed the Montrose winger all the time in the world to slip the ball through the keepers leg and into the net. It was Ferguson’s first goal for the club at Links Park.
In the 72nd minutes Montrose made a second change when Gregor Anderson replaced Callaghan, this allowed Ballantyne to move to the right hand side of midfield with Anderson slotting into right back.
At the same time Berwick Rangers made a double switch with Murrell and Hamilton coming on for Martin and Thomson.
With six minutes left Berwick Rangers missed a good chance when a McKenna cross was fired over the crossbar at the back post by Scullion.
With four minutes remaining Berwick Rangers made their final change with Sam Perez replacing Greg Rutherford.
Pat Scullion picked up the third booking of the afternoon when he fouled Ferguson.
Montrose were now playing out time and McKinlay got yellow carded for a foul on Ballantyne near the corner flag.
The last action of the match came when Montrose made a final change with Dylan Thomas replacing Ferguson.