Elgin City 2 Montrose 2
Montrose Football Club came back from behind twice to secure what could be a valuable point as they drew with Elgin City at Borough Briggs on Saturday, a side with the best home record in the league. The ground is also where Montrose lost their only away fixture of the season back in September.
The result kept Stewart Petrie’s side six points clear at the top of the table after second placed Peterhead could only draw at home to Berwick Rangers.
After the home victory over Stenhousemuir the previous week Montrose again shuffled the pack with four changes to the line up. In came Watson, Callaghan, Fraser and Redman for the injured Allan the ill Milne there were also returns to the side for last week’s goalscorer Redman as well as striker Gary Fraser.
On a muddy an uneven pitch Montrose lined up with Fleming in goal, Bolochoweckyj, Dillon and Watson in central defence. Steeves and Webster were in the wing back roles with Redman and Callaghan either side of Masson in midfield. Fraser rejoined Templeman in attack.
Rennie, McLaren, Hay, Johnston, Fotheringham and Ross Campbell listed as a trialist after the expiry of his contract along with goalkeeper Jordan Millar on the bench.
It was the home side who opend the scoring in the eighth minute when BRIAN CAMERON let fire from 25 yards out, Allan Fleming seemed to have things covered but the ball somehow ended up in the net. It was the first goal the Gable Endies had conceded on their travels since Cowdenbeath scored on November 4th.
Montrose tried to hit back and won a free kick in a dangerous position when Fraser was fouled. Callaghan swung the ball into the box but it missed everyone and the chance was gone.
In the 15th minute Montrose won another free kick near the touchline when Fraser was again fouled. Callaghan this time found Dillon at the back post with his cross, he headed across goal only for Masson’s shot to be deflected over the bar. From Callaghan’s corner kick Templeman headed over from a good position.
Five minutes later ex Montrose player Jordan Allan went on a surging run from defence but Fleming held his shot.
Elgin City had another opportunity with 25 minutes gone when goalscorer Cameron turned inside the box but he flashed his shot wide of the far post.
Gary Fraser picked up the first booking of the match the following minute when caught Allan in the middle of the park.
Ali Sutherland then cut in from the left wing and blasted well over the Montrose crossbar.
Montrose got the equaliser in the 40th minute when they forced a couple of corner kicks. The second corner by Masson was cleared back to the Montrose midfielder and his cross found GARY FRASER at the back post and he sent a looping header over Long into the net for his seventh goal of the season. A delighted Fraser and his team-mates celebrated with the excellent Montrose support behind the goal.
In first half stoppage time Montrose almost snatched the lead. Webster did well to speed past his marker on the right and fired over a perfect cross which was just missed by the inrushing Callaghan at the back post.
In the 50th minute Masson was fouled by Cameron on the right hand side of the park. Callaghan sent over the free kick the ball was cleared as far as Redman but he was unable to get in a shot.
Elgin City regained the lead in the 56th minute, Montrose had three opportunities to clear the ball and failed and from the third opportunity Cameron crossed low from the right and CHRIS McLeish was on hand to fire low into the net at the back post.
In the 62nd minute Webster picked up a second Montrose yellow card for a trip on Allan. Webster was then substituted for Craig Johnston before Elgin City took the free kick which Reilly sent wide of goal.
Three minutes later Elgin City brought on Byrne for Smith.
Andrew Steeves then picked up a third Montrose booking this time for dissent after Montrose failed to be awarded a free kick.
With fifteen minutes remaining Thomas Reilly became the first Elgin City player booked this time for a foul on Fraser, who had taken up a position on the right hand side of the park.
Montrose then made a substitution before the free kick could be taken, and it was certainly and inspired one when Martin Rennie came on to replace Chris Templeman.
Callaghan swung over the free kick from the right, Bolochoweckyj headed the ball back across goal and MARTIN RENNIE was on hand to head the ball home for his first goal for the club with his first touch of the ball.
With ten minutes remaining Elgin City made another switch with Daryl McHardy coming on for goalscorer McLeish.
Montrose were looking for the winning goal and Rennie almost found himself through on goal before the ball fell to Bolochoweckyj who saw his shot blocked.
In the 85th minute Terry Masson had a shooting opportunity for Montrose but he blasted his volley high and wide of goal.
Both sides then made a couple of changes with Elgin City bringing on Ferguson for Sutherland before Montrose made a late switch with Connor McLaren replacing Fraser.
Elgin City almost won the match in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Montrose gave away the ball in midfield and the home side raced forward. The ball found its way to Brian Cameron and with only Fleming to beat the keeper got something on it before Steeves blocked the ball on the line and cleared it to safety. Montrose cleared the resultant corner and from the second from Reilly Fleming somehow managed to pull off and wonderful point blank range save from a header from Stephen Bronsky to give Montrose a valuable point.
Team Lineups & Stats
Saturday 17th February 2018
||8||Paul Watson (c)
|6||Jon Paul McGovern (c)
|7||Scott Smith (s65)
||7||Graham Webster (s63)
|9||Chris McLeish (s79)
||9||Gary Fraser (s89)
||10||Chris Templeman (s74)
|11||Ali Sutherland (s88)
||23||Martin Rennie (s74)
|14||Calum Ferguson (s88)
||22||Connor McLaren (s89)
|15||Darryl McHardy (s79)
|16||Declan Byrne (s65)
|17||Jake Thomson||16||Craig Johnston (s63)
|18||Owen Loveland||6||Martyn Fotheringham
|21||Mark Waters (GK)||1||Jordan Millar (GK)
Dougie Potter, Calum Doyle
Elgin City - Brian Cameron (9), Craig McLeish (75)
Montrose - Gary Fraser (41), Martin Rennie (75)
Elgin City - Jordan Allan (74)
Montrose - Gary Fraser (27), Graham Webster (62), Andrew Steeves (68)