Cowdenbeath 0 Montrose 3
On a drizzly wet night in a moderate breeze the Montrose bandwagon rolled into Central Park determined to take all three points home and return to the top of League 2. There were however eleven Cowdenbeath players equally determined to snaffle the points for other reasons so the Montrose mindset and attitude had to be right.
Stewart Petrie opted to start with the same line up as in the previous game at Stirling and why not after such a convincing win that day. Fleming in goal, a back three of Allan, Dillon, Bolochoweckyj with wing backs Ballantyne and Steeves. Central midfield had Milne, Masson and Redman again dominating proceedings adding support to Templeman and Rennie up front. On the bench were Millar, Fotheringham, Fraser, Johnston, Webster, Ross Campbell and Paul Watson.
Cowdenbeath had ex Mo player David Cox up front and the indefatigable Bryan Gilfillan at centre back but with Sheerin and Buchanan up front the Mo squad knew that any lapse in concentration would likely be punished. Referee was Kevin Graham.
A crowd of 378 was boosted by over 100 travelling Mo fans which is incredible for a wet midweek night with alternative key games on TV as well. Full credit to those travelling fans of which the evergreen Hamish excelled.
Montrose kicked with the wind and rain first half and the opening exchanges were 50/50 until the visitors started to take control. A free kick sailed over the bar for Montrose then keeper Fleming had to make a double save from a Cowdenbeath corner. The home side had the ball in the net soon after but the offside flag was already raised. Gary Bollan the ‘Blue Brazil’ manager was lectured by the referee soon afterwards for something or other midway through the first half but it was Montrose who looked more composed and threatening. Wing backs Steeves and Ballantyne revelled in the time and space down the flanks and Ballantyne was stopped in his tracks when Swann completely took him out but no card was shown. Rennie was similarly dealt with moments later but the free kicks came to nothing. The pressure had to tell however and in the 26th minute Terry Masson knocked the ball through for LEWIS MILNE to run on to and he smashed it across the home keeper McGurn to make it 1-0. Cowden roared back but without getting enough bodies forward to capitalise on long through balls. After a few more corners to Montrose and a long-range effort from Cowden the half time whistle blew at 1-0 to Montrose.
Kicking against the wind in the second half Montrose could control the flight of the ball easier but had to be mindful of long range wind assisted Cowden efforts. A second Montrose goal was essential to settle the game (and to soothe the nerves of us in the away crowd). That second goal was not long in coming as keeper McGurn spilled a cross into the path of the lurking MARTIN RENNIE who gratefully prodded it home to make it 2-0 in the 47th minute. Cowden were desperate to make something happen in their favour but the way David Cox went about it resulted in being yellow carded for pulling Masson back when otherwise clear away. Stewart Petrie slowed and settled the game down in the 52nd minute by replacing Rennie with the fresh legs and endless running of Craig Johnston against his old club. Cowden responded by removing Cox with Muirhead coming on in his place. Montrose were now well in control and more goals looked likely. CJ lashed a shot a fraction too high then was fouled on the edge of the penalty area when about to shoot. It didn’t matter as LEWIS MILNE did what he does best and smashed the free kick over the wall and into the bottom right hand corner for 3-0 to the Mo. That was after 60 minutes and remarkably his seventh goal in the last three games.
Fraser Mullen became the second Cowden booking after a late midfield tackle then Montrose made another change with Fraser coming on for Templeman after 65 minutes and soon after Graham Webster came on for Terry Masson who once again had put in a great midfield shift. Cammy Ballantyne then saw yellow on the far side of the field for what looked to be dissent. He had been harshly dealt with several times and it looked as if he’d had enough. The offending tackler got away with only giving a free kick away. Moving into the last fifteen minutes Montrose were comfortably passing the ball around and restricted Cowdenbeath to a single long range shot though Muirhead should have done better with one which bounced nicely for him but his effort was weak and collected easily by Fleming, thank you very much.
Good stuff from the entire Montrose squad all of whom did their bit especially Sean Dillon at the back but Man of the Match has to go to Lewis Milne for yet another goal scoring masterclass. Final score 3-0 to the once again table topping Montrose. On to the Berwick game next – three to go but still focussing on one at a time and rightly so.
Team Lineups & Stats
Tuesday 10th April 2018
|7||David Cox (s54)
||2||Terry Masson (s70)
||23||Martin Rennie (s52)
||10||Chris Templeman (s65)
||17||Jamie Redman (c)
||9||Gary Fraser (s65)
|18||Cameron Muirhead (s54)
||16||Craig Johnston (s52)
||7||Graham Webster (s70)
|17||Blair Penman (GK)
|1||Jordan Millar (GK)
David Doig, Colin Whyte
Montrose - Lewis Milne (26, 60), Martin Rennie (47)
Cowdenbeath - David Cox (50), Fraser Mullen (62)
Montrose - Terry Masson (61), Cammy Ballantyne (76)