Montrose 2 Annan Athletic 1
Another narrow and hard fought victory under the floodlights tonight that takes us back level at the top on points ahead of a pivotal showdown on Saturday.
We got off to a sharp start and Fraser almost latched onto a short header back to Mitchell by Horne.
Fotheringham then delivered a dangerous cross into the box but Bolochoweckyj’s shot was blocked at the back post.
We came closer when a Templeman knock down found Fraser on the edge of the box, who twisted and turned with his back to goal before turning and firing just wide.
The visitors took almost half an hour to threaten when a tantalising cross from Sinnamon just eluded Roberts in front of goal.
Lifted by that chance, an even better one followed when we got caught on the counter attack and with a 4 v 2 overload Henderson was played in on goal but Dillon recovered to make a perfectly timed last ditch challenge to clear the danger.
We reasserted ourselves and after a prolonged spell of pressure Mitchell was forced to come and punch a cross off the head of Redman and then Fraser tried a delicate chip from the edge of the box that landed on the top of the net.
Annan responded with a speculative effort by Omar from 35 yards but we ended the half strongly and took a deserved lead.
First a Milne free kick from the left was too just too high for both Mitchell and then Templeman but moments later another set piece from the other flank saw Watson deliver an in swinging cross to the far post that was just the right height for Templeman to head home.
The second half was only minutes old when the visitors drew level. Another counter attack ended with Henderson making a run to the byline and cutting the ball back for Roberts to net from the middle of the goal.
We responded well and from a Milne corner, Templeman’s goal bound header was cleared off the line.
Nerves took hold for a while, which encouraged the Galabank side and when Swinglehurst’s long range shot took a wicked deflection, the Mo faithful held their breath as they watched the ball bounce past the helpless Fleming but thankfully also past the post.
Moments later we took control again and scored what proved to be the winner. From the second phase of a free kick into the box, Fraser latched onto the lose ball and showed great skill to sell a dummy on the byline before dinking a deft cross to the far post that left Mitchell helpless and big Templeman with an easy headed finish for his eight of the season.
The visitors almost hit back immediately when Roberts flashed a header just wide.
Fraser did his utmost to gift his strike partner a hat trick when he chased down a through ball and cut it back but from 16 yards Templeman skied his effort.
Nerves returned again towards the final whistle and having been denied in the first half, Henderson was again thwarted when just about to pull the trigger by a great last ditch tackle by Watson.
A great 3 points given events elsewhere which sets up Saturdays match against Peterhead as a true top of the table clash.
Team Lineups & Stats
Tuesday 13th March 2018
||3||James Creaney (s79)
|24||Lewis Milne (s88)
|6||Martyn Fotheringham (s62)
||8||Ryan Sinnamon (s72)
||9||Aidan Smith (s65)
|10||Chris Templeman (s75)
|16||Craig Johnston (s75)
|19||Liam Callaghan (s62)
||16||Conor O'Keefe (s72)
||18||Pater Watson (s79)
||19||Ben Armour (s65)
Gordon Crawford, Ross Hardie
Montrose - Chris Templeman (40, 64)
Annan Athletic - Scott Roberts (48)
Montrose - Martyn Fotheringham (49), Terry Masson (84)
Annan Athletic - Steven swinglehurst (78), Scott Hooper (90+3)