Montrose 0 Ross County 1
MONTROSE suffered an undeserved defeat at the hands of holders Ross County in the League Cup.
The Gable Endies had matched their Premier League opponents until the 86th minute, when Brian GRAHAM tripped over Michael Bolochoweckyj's trailing leg in the box. The fouled player dispatched the penalty low to goalkeeper Jordan Millar's left.
It was a hard blow for Montrose to take, as they looked to have done enough to take at least a point from their opening group game in the new-look League Cup. Under the new format, they would then have taken part in a penalty shoot-out for a bonus point.
As well as Bolochoweckyj making his debut, Montrose welcomed Chris Hegarty back to the club, manager Paul's son starting at right back.
The home side could have taken a shock early lead against the Dingwall side when Gary Fraser was sent clear through on goal in the fifth minute, but he fired his shot wide of the post from the edge of the box.
At the other end, Jonathan Franks sent a half volley wide from six yards out, Martin Woods' acrobatic bicycle kick flew wide and Alex Schalk had a low shot held.
Ian McShane and Liam Boyce both came close the 23rd minute as County piled on the pressure, but robust defending and excellent goalkeeping from Millar kept the scoresheet blank.
Chris Templeman could have opened the scoring six minutes before half time, but could only shoot into the side netting, while Gary Fraser ended the first half by sending a free kick narrowly over the crossbar.
The Montrose strikers both came close just after the break, Templeman having a shot blocked and Fraser unable to fire the rebound home. The let-off allowed County to break fast, but their quick move ended with a shot clattering off the post to safety.
A slack headed passback from Greg Pascazio in the 51st minute should have seen County take the lead, but Schalk was unable to capitalise, sending his lob over both Millar and the crossbar.
Paul Watson was unlucky to see his dipping free kick held on the line by visiting goalkeeper Fox in the 53rd minute.
Ross County had a goal disallowed just after the hour mark, the linesman adjudging scorer Chris Robertson to have been offside when heading home from a corner.
County had two further chances to take the lead before winning their penalty, Jonathan Franks having a low shot held and Millar tipping the ball over the bar from a Craig Curran header.
Having taken the lead, County could have gone further ahead late on, Martin Woods seeing his free kick tipped over and Curran shooting wide from 30 yards out.