Montrose 1 East Fife 0
Not content with sitting atop League 2 last season, Montrose have carried on their winning ways into the new season and already sit on top of League Cup Group B courtesy of a couple of 1-0 wins. Saturday’s win away at Championship side Falkirk was impressive enough and that was followed up by another solid performance against established League 1 side East Fife who were a bit of a bogey side when we last played each other in league games.
Stewart Petrie made several changes to his starting line up, firstly to give more pitch time to his squad players but also because of a couple of early season knocks and twinges. For instance Liam Callaghan has had to sit out the last two games having taken a heavy knock to his calf muscle against Cove Rangers and young Martin Rennie got a nasty ‘dead leg’ in the final moments of the game at Falkirk. Into the side came Jordan Millar in goal for some game time and the changed back line had an unfamiliar shape to it. Bolo was on the right but not as an attacking wing back – well he wouldn’t be, would he? In front of him was Ryan Ferguson bombing up and down that flank. The rest of the back line was Dillon, Iain Campbell and Steeves. Through the middle were Masson, Fotheringham and Cavanagh with Ross Campbell and Josh Skelly up front. No place for Jamie Redman who was also rested after coming off at half time at Falkirk. On the bench were Fleming, Allan, MacFarlane, Watson and Johnston.
East Fife also made changes to the side which had an impressive draw away at St Johnstone a few days ago but they still had plenty of pace and experience in Jonny Court up front with Pat Slattery, Craig Thomson and Scott McBride in support.
Referee was Kevin Graham who handled the game well and let it flow naturally.
The first half had East Fife moving the ball around well but without creating any major problems for Sean Dillon and his entourage at the back. Montrose plugged away with their experimental formation though you wondered where a goal might come from. It didn’t, from either side in a first half which, whilst entertaining still resulted in a 0-0 stalemate.
For the second half Montrose made one change with Craig Johnston coming on up front for Josh Skelly who had a useful 45 minutes pitch time at Manager Petrie nurses him back to full fitness. It wasn’t long before what proved to be the decisive goal came along. In the 56th minute Ross Campbell weaved his way into the box and fed young DANNY CAVANAGH who made no mistake from 15 yards hitting a daisy cutter into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 to the MO.
Then the 60 minute substitutions came along with Fifers boss Darren Young bringing on Dowds for Slattery and Smith for Court. Montrose responded bringing on Paul Watson for Ferguson to shore up midfield. It was a telling move for Montrose who had the lead and aimed to keep it in what was destined to be a low scoring game. Matty Allan then came on for Fotheringham to give the back line a more familiar look and make it even harder for East Fife to make headway.
East Fife huffed and puffed and their final throw of the dice was by bringing on Chris Kane for full back Aaron Dunsmore but they only created a single golden opportunity when in stoppage time a header was sent high over the bar when a goal looked more likely.
In summary it was a faultless performance in goal by Jordan Millar but the stand out for Montrose was the progression made by young Danny Cavanagh. Not only did he score the decisive goal which itself will have done him the world of good but his all-round performance has come on in leaps and bounds. His second half against Cove Rangers in my view started it all as he did what he does best. That has carried on and he now looks a very decent addition to the Mo squad. Everyone else did their job well against East Fife but a special mention for Ross Campbell who played the full 90 minutes and his energy levels were impressive. Mind you I still don’t know how he didn’t score late on after he rounded the keeper – what happened?
Well done to the whole squad as we now roll on to St Johnstone next – and all of a sudden it now looks an even bigger game than we thought it might be.
Team Lineups & Stats
Tuesday 17th July 2018
|11||Ryan Ferguson (s62)
||2||Aaron Dunsmore (s84)
|3||Andrew Steeves||5||Ross Dunlop
|5||Michael Bolochoweckyj||6||Craig Watson
|14||Seán Dillon||16||Daryl Meggat
|18||Iain Campbell||17||Ross Davidson
|2||Terry Masson||14||Liam Watt
|24||Josh Skelly (s45)
||8||Pat Slattery (s64)
|6||Martyn Fotheringham (s74)
||9||Jonny Court (s65)
|20||Ross Campbell||11||Scott McBride
|1||Allan Fleming||21||Mickey Couser
|4||Matty Allan (s74)
||4||Chris Kane (s84)
|23||Stuart McFarlane||20||Kyle Bell
|8||Paul Watson (s62)
||10||Kevin Smith (s65)
|16||Craig Johnston (s45)
||15||Anton Dowds (s64)
Anthony Cooper, Willie Ferguson
Montrose - Danny Cavanagh (56)