Berwick Rangers v Montrose
Shielfield Park, Berwick Upon Tweed
Saturday 24th February 2018
Kick Off 3.00pm
League 2 Table 2017/18
Montrose have signed midfielder Jamie Clarke on a one and a half year deal. The 33 year old has committed himself to the Gable Endies until the end of next season after being released by Angus neighbours Arbroath.
Manager Paul Hegarty wasted no time in snapping up the Englishman, who will provide much needed experience and cover to a midfield that has been decimated by injury for much of the season.
Terry Masson has only just returned to the side after a lengthy lay off and Club Captain Paul Watson and Ross McCord are still sidelined.
Thrown straight into action at the weekend, Jamie made a dream start, scoring on his debut and helping the Mighty Mo come from behind to defeat Clyde.
Clarke began his career at Mansfield Town in 2002 in the then Third Division. After spells at Rochdale and Boston United, Jamie joined League Two outfit Grimbsy Town in 2007, making 74 appearances in three seasons.
Four years in the Conference League followed before Jamie moved to Thailand in 2012 to coach at the Traidhos Football Academy in Chiang Mai.
Moving to Scotland last summer Clarke signed for Arbroath and has made 15 appearances for Todd Lumsden’s side this season.
Montrose FC have secured the services of St Johnstone youngster Aaron Comrie on loan until the end of the season.
The 18 year old right back was initially signed on a short term emergency loan in December to help Manager Paul Hegarty cope with a number of key players being out injured.
Thrown straight into the first team, Aaron made his debut on December 15th against Annan at Links Park and helped the Mighty Mo earn their first point in six games.
Having played in every game since, the Saints full back went one better last Saturday when, playing in a re-shuffled midfield he popped up six minutes from time to score the winner against East Stirling.
Picking up the ball wide right, he cut inside and from the edge of the box curled a left foot effort into the far away top corner, leaving the keeper helpless and earning the Gable Endies their 900th win in SFL/SPFL history.
Assistant Manager John Holt congratulated Aaron on his loan extension and said he was delighted with how well the youngster had settled in and looked forward to seeing him develop even further over the coming months.
Mo were involved in a six-goal thriller last weekend as they came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 against Annan at Galabank. It was a confidence booster and it helps erase the memory of the 7-0 defeat against Stirling Albion on the previous Tuesday.
Young St Johnstone loanee Aaron Comrie was delighted with the application and spirit his teammates showed on the day to gain the point.
He said: ”First half, I’d say we were the better team and probably unlucky not to go in more than one ahead. Second half, they came out firing, scored three goals and in the last ten minutes we scored two late goals that earned us a good point.”
When asked if the Stirling Albion game was playing on his mind at 3-1 down, he said:
“No, I wouldn’t say so. We have a good group of boys, everyone has got good character, and we have showed a lot in recent weeks except last Tuesday, obviously. But we never looked as if were going to take another battering.”
The young right-back feels he has gained a lot from his loan spell so far and was delighted to get the winner last month against East Stirling.
“It [the loan deal] has been a good experience for me. Previous to this, I was just playing 20s football and it’s a lot slower than first-team level. The highlight of my time so far has been scoring the goal against East Stirling.”
Elgin come to Links Park today having lost 2-0 on their previous visit this season. However, Comrie feels like the team can take confidence from last weekend into the game as they bid to get back to winning ways.
“We are at home and Elgin are doing well just now, but there are certain question marks over their away form, so hopefully we can make it difficult for them and if we do that then we can take it from there and look to win the game.”
Mo currently sit in 8th place with 29 points, and the 19-year-old wants to make sure there is no chance of finishing in the relegation play-off and believes that if they can put a run of victories together, there is no reason why they cannot be a candidate for the promotion play-offs.
“I think the main priority is to stay away from the relegation zone, but I also think that we have to look up the way. We’ve been on a good run except last Tuesday, and I think we’ve matched the total points from last season already. If we can carry on the momentum we had before Stirling, I don’t think the play-offs are out of our reach.”
The defender then went on to praise two of the senior members of the squad. He explained how much they have helped him during his loan spell and how they are role models for everyone in and around the club.
“Ross Campbell takes on a lot of responsibility and helps the young boys a lot. Paul Watson, the captain, does the same and he’s encouraged me and has been a big help to me personally.”
Comrie isn’t looking beyond the end of the season just yet, but he admitted that he hopes his loan spell will help him break into his parent club’s first team as he bids to win a new contract at the Perth club.
“My contract is up at the end of the season at St Johnstone, so my priority is to do well with Montrose and do well when I play in the 20s games and hopefully that will help me get another contract. My feet are on the ground just now and I will see what I can do.”
English born Alex began his professional career in 2011 with Hayes & Yeading FC and spent four seasons in the Conference with clubs such as Maidstone United and Farnborough. The 23 year old spent last season with Southern Football League outfit Hanwell Town before signing for Falkirk last October.
He played in goals against Fraserburgh in the Scottish Cup in November and has made the bench on 11 occasions since, most recently in the Bairns Cup defeat to Dundee last week. With boss Peter Houston adding to his goalkeeping cover recently with the signing of Deniz Dogan Mehmet, Alex became available for a short term loan.
Montrose FC have signed youngster Neil Martyniuk on a Development loan from St Johnstone FC until the end of the season.
With Matty Allan’s season coming to an abrupt end last week through injury, manager Paul Hegarty has once again moved quickly to replace the centre half.
Neil started his professional career in the Hibernian youth system in 2012. Following a short loan spell at the end of last season with Berwick Rangers, the 19 year old joined St Johnstone in July.
The Edinburgh born centre half is sure to settle in quickly at Links Park as he will be in the company of fellow St Johnstone loanees Jordan Millar (goalkeeper) and Aaron Comrie (fullback).
Paul said, “We are grateful to Alec Cleland and everyone at McDiarmid Park for their ongoing support. The Saints U20 team is doing really well this season and we are benefiting hugely with the form and confidence we are seeing from Jordan and Aaron. I look forward to seeing Neil develop in the same way as he steps up to League Two.
Jahmel Howlett Mundle
Manager Paul Hegarty moved quickly following his sides Scottish Cup Replay on Tuesday night that not only resulted in a shock defeat to Lothian Thistle, but also seen three key players, Ross McCord, Terry Masson and Andrew Steeves incredibly all leave the field with similar knee injuries.
Jahmel joined the Tynecastle club in the summer from Crystal Palace where he had spent the previous nine years. The 18 year old commanding central defender played a part in Hearts’ pre-season preparations in Ireland and is looking to challenge for a first-team jersey. Currently playing in the Jambo’s U20’s, the Englishman is described as having a number of key strengths, such as leadership, aerial ability, positioning and aggressiveness.