Montrose v East Fife
Links Park Stadium, Montrose
Tuesday 17th July 2018
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Final League 2 Table 2017/18
Falkirk 0 Montrose 1
An away day at a Championship club might not have seemed ideal for Montrose in their build up to the new League 1 season but the Mo certainly rose to the occasion and put in a very solid performance at the Falkirk Stadium. Over 1000 spectators including around 150 to 200 from Montrose watched the game take place on a hot, energy sapping afternoon.
Montrose lined up with Allan Fleming in goal with a back five of Matty Allan, Michael Bolochoweckyj, Sean Dillon, Iain Campbell and Andy Steeves. Across midfield were Terry Masson, Paul Watson and Jamie Redman with Craig Johnston and Martin Rennie up front. On the bench were Martin Fotheringham, Ryan Ferguson, Stuart McFarlane, Danny Cavanagh, Ross Campbell, Jordan Millar and Josh Skelly.
Falkirk had made 12 new signings over the summer so it was an unrecognisable squad – and it showed as they struggled all afternoon to put together or at least finish off any promising moves.
Referee Graham Beaton made his mark early on by booking Paul Watson for a late tackle after only two minutes but the free kick came to nothing. Mo then took the early game to their Championship hosts and won a corner wide left but Campbell’s kick was easily cleared. Then Bolo had a shot saved and in the next foray forward Johnston was caught offside. Falkirk survived that early ten minutes and started to come more into it and a promising attack came to an abrupt end when the attacker lost control of the ball. Shortly afterwards Montrose had a let off as a cracking Falkirk shot came back off the crossbar and to safety.
It was Montrose who broke the deadlock however. Firstly Johnston had a chance but failed to pull the trigger and the ball was cleared. Only cleared as far as Redman however and he slotted a great ball down the throat of the Falkirk back line for MARTIN RENNIE to run on to and fire an unstoppable shot past keeper Leo Fasan – 1-0 to the Mo after 19 minutes. On the balance of play you have to say it was deserved. Johnston had another chance moments later but it was scrambled away before Bolo went down injured whilst cleaning up a Falkirk attack and allowing Fleming to collect the ball. There followed predictably a period of intense Falkirk pressure but Montrose coped well with Fleming not in the mood to let anything past him. Falkirk’s Ruben Sammut looked dangerous each time he got the ball. He was fast and he was everywhere but Dillon and company held the line although the ball did finally travel past Fleming but Dennon Lewis was clearly offside.
As half time approached Dillon and Fleming had a mix up but Bolo was on hand to shepherd the loose ball away for a goal kick. 1-0 to the Mo, 45 minutes to go.
For the start of the second half Jamie Redman was replaced by Danny Cavanagh who slotted in to the same attacking midfield role and did very well there. Indeed it was Cavanagh who almost put Montrose another goal up as his 20 yard shot fizzed past Fasan’s left hand post – just. Falkirk were awoken and fired up now and had the ball in the net again but that too was ruled out for offside. Falkirk were leaving gaps down the flanks however and both Steeves and Masson crashed shots in but both were saved. Falkirk huffed and puffed without causing any great alarm until Manager Paul Harley decided enough was enough and started the substitutions merry go round on the hour mark. Off came Lewis and on came Dan Turner. Montrose responded with Johnston off and Ross Campbell on.
Dillon came to the rescue when cutting out a dangerous through ball to set up a Montrose raid at the other end which was hacked away to safety. The second Falkirk sub was Kevin O’Hara coming on for Dylan Macklin after 70 minutes with Manager Stewart Petrie responding by bringing off Watson and putting on the speedy Ryan Ferguson to stretch Falkirk down the right hand side. Fergy almost made an instant impact as his shot was saved on the line and pushed out for a corner which was headed clear with Masson flashing the rebound just wide.
Fleming earned his keep with a few more efficient saves as Mo wound down the clock by making a desperate Falkirk side shoot from distance. The nearest they came was in the 90th minute when Fleming had to move smartly to whip the ball off the toe of the oncoming attacker. Falkirk spent stoppage time encamped in the Montrose half and along the way managed to pick up a yellow card but the final chance went high and wide into the empty stand behind Fleming’s goalmouth.
A 95th minute scare was when Rennie went down injured but picked up in time to rejoice as the full time whistle went to signal a deserved 1-0 win for the Mo who top Group B for a few days – at least. A very solid performance indeed albeit against a poor looking Falkirk side but a win’s a win.
Team Lineup & Stats
Saturday 14th July 2018
|3||Jordan McGhee (s70)
||8||Paul Watson (s71)
|9||Dennon Lewis (s61)
|10||Tom Owen Evans
||16||Craig Johnston (s66)
||17||Jamie Redman (s45)
|21||Dylan Mackin (s70)
|31||Robbie Mutch (GK)
||11||Ryan Ferguson (s71)
|11||Dimitris Froxylias (s70)
||15||Danny Cavanagh (s45)
|16||Dan Turner (s61)
||20||Ross Campbell (s66)
|20||Kevin O'Hara (s70)
||21||Jordan Millar (GK)
Graeme Stewart, Gary Logan
Montrose - Martin Rennie (19)
Falkirk - Jordan McGhee (40)
Montrose - Paul Watson (2)
Montrose 3 Cove Rangers 2
A game of two halves which saw us eventually overcome a determined Highland League outfit on another warm afternoon.
Cove took the lead early on when from a corner, Allan headed Milne’s effort off the line but Masson’s follow up shot ricocheted off Steeves and passed Fleming.
We should have got back on level terms when a poor McKenzie clearance fell to Fotheringham but he was unable to beat the big keeper from a narrow angle.
The visitors made it 2 when, despite looking well offside, McManus ran clear to coolly slot past Fleming.
Before the break it should have been 3 when following a good move Park had the chance to finish from 10 yards but his soft effort was easily saved by Fleming.
We looked a lot brighter in the second half and soon reduced the deficit when a Steeves cross could only be parried by McKenzie with the ball falling into the path of Redman who couldn’t miss from 4 yards out.
Minutes later the game was all square when a fabulous long ball from Allan found Cavanagh in the box and his deft touch and overhead kick beat the keeper but came back off the post. Thankfully, a sharp Rennie was on hand to bury the rebound.
Midway through the half we got the winner when a Rennie free kick from 25 yards deflected off the wall passed the helpless keeper.
Both sides had chances towards the death but we held on to bring our pre-season to a winning end.
Next week the serious stuff starts with a trip to Falkirk in the BETFRED Cup.
Team Lineups & StatsPre season Friendly
Saturday 7th July 2018
|15||Danny Cavanagh (Trialist)
|14||Seán Dillon||14||Eric Watson
|20||Stuart MacFarlane (Trialist)
Scott Leslie, Jack Bell
Montrose - Jamie Redman, Martin Rennie (2)
Cove Rangers- Jamie Masson (2)
Montrose 0 Peterhead 1
And so the summer comes to an official end with the first pre-season friendly. We played a lot of decent, controlled football and created enough chances to win the game, but were undone by a clinical finish from Rory McAllister with 15 mins remaining.
Our first chance was created following good link up between Rennie and Ferguson which led to trialist Cavanagh shooting straight at Fleming.
Soon after great work along the line by Steeves saw his cross go right across goal to Ferguson, who cut back for Cavanagh to blast over from 12 yards.
Ferguson was in good form and he next teed up Campbell to poke wide from close range.
The visitors first threatened when after half an hour McAllister put a 35 yard free kick over the bar.
Early in the second half a Steeves run to the byeline and cutback led to a goalmouth scramble with Fleming twice denying Rennie.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Stewart Petrie made five changes and before they had a chance to settle, the deadlock was broken when McAllister finished neatly from just inside box.
Webster came closest to drawing us level when he first curled an effort just wide from outside the box and then at the death he met a great cross from Steeves, but his header from six yards went just over the bar.
We continue our preparation on Tuesday night with an away match at Alloa with a 7:30pm kick off.
Team Lineups & StatsPre-season Friendly
Saturday 30th June 2018
|14||Seán Dillon||4||Cameron Eadie
Calum Spence, Chris Phillips
Peterhead - Rory McAllister (75)
Alloa Athletic 3 Montrose 0
Our second pre-season game last night was a decent work out against a well organised Championship side that simply had more to offer in front of goal.
Despite the very warm weather, we started brightly and had two great goal bound efforts inside the first two minutes. Firstly, Rennie did well with a long ball down the right, he cut in but fired his shot wide but it took a deflection.
From the resultant corner Bolo rattled the post with his header from close range and Alloa scrambled it away quickly down to the other end where they could have scored but a header went high and wide.
After 25 mins Alloa took the lead when a great through ball down the middle was not cut out and Greg Spence picked his spot to make it 1-0. A few minutes later it was 2-0 when Alan Trouten latched on to another defence splitting pass to lob Fleming.
We continued to plug away and a Webster shot was parried for a corner which was over hit by Campbell but a minute later Campbell did better with another corner which Rennie did well to get to but the whistle had gone anyway for a foul.
As half time approached it became 3-0 following a defensive mix up when the loose ball was inevitably poked home. Just before half time unusually for a friendly game a yellow card was shown to Iain Campbell for using industrial language to the referee.
The second half saw Alloa content to play the ball around and to our credit we did likewise but without that vital threat up front. Rennie had two headers and looked sure to score but various bits of the keeper’s body kept it out.
Then came a moment unwanted by either side. In a 50/50 tussle Paddy Cregg was told by the referee to leave the field following what he interpreted to be a stamp or similar. Was it a stamp or did he stumble/fall over the Alloa player? Either way, going down to 10 men on a hot pre-season night was not what Montrose wanted and frankly neither did Alloa.
Naturally this changed the game, which fizzled out with both teams making changes and playing ‘keep ball’.
Our pre-season schedule comes to an end on Saturday as we welcome Cove Rangers to Links Park, KO 3pm.
Report from Steve Doyle