East Fife 3 Montrose 0
Scottish Professional Football League
Saturday 6th December 2014
Montrose Football Club failed to build on Tuesday night’s moral boosting victory over Berwick Rangers when they lost heavily to East Fife on Saturday.
This was a ground that Montrose have never faired at well in the past and after a good first half it looked as though they could take something from the match.
But they conceded a late first half goal and once that had happened their was going to be only one winner.
Montrose still only remain three points off a play off spot but this is more due to the dog eat dog situation in the league rather than any good Montrose performances.
George Shields side now face four tricky matches that could make or break their season with home visits by Queen’s Park and Elgin City and visits to Arbroath and Albion Rovers.
After the victory over Berwick Rangers , Montrose kept an unchanged line up but their were three changes on the bench out went trialist Steven Milne, Steven Robb and Kieran Sturrock and into the side came Polish signing Leszek Nowosielski after his clearance had come through, Alan Campbell returning after injury and Danny Cavanagh.
East Fife hadn’t been having a good season and had won only two home matches but had beaten Montrose 4 – 0 at Links Park in September.
In the third minute East Fife created their first chance of the match but Ross Brown saw his shot blocked by a Montrose defender.
Two minutes later Bryan Deasley went on a great run up the left flank but his cross went straight into the arms of keeper Allan Fleming.
Ross Campbell then won a corner kick off Wood. Smith swung over the kick but no one could make contact with the head flick on by Allan Walker.
Montrose won a free kick by the corner flag in the 23rd minute when Deasley was fouled. McCord swung over the free kick but keeper Fleming held easily under no challenge.
Two minutes later the Methil side won a free kick just outside the box when Wood held back Campbell. Thankfully for Montrose Scott Smith blasted his free kick low into the Montrose wall.
The Gable Endies had their first opening in the 28th minute when a pass from McCord broke to Paul Watson who let fly from 30 yards out only for Fleming to push his effort to the side.
Captain Garry Wood then broke out of defence and tried his luck from 25 yards out only to see his shot go wide of the far post.
Ross McCord picked up the first booking of the afternoon when he fouled Ross Campbell.
Smith took the resultant free kick but the ball was again cleared by the Montrose defence.
With five minutes of a largely uninspiring left Terry Masson went on a great run for Montrose and as the gap opened up in front of him he fired wide from 25 yards when he could have continued with his run.
Two minutes later as Montrose continued to press forward Johnston and Deasley worked a one two on the edge of the East Fife box and when the ball came back to the Montrose number 11 he appeared to be in a perfect position to score but he could only lash widely over the crossbar from ten yards out.
With one minute of the first half remaining disaster struck Montrose when East Fife opened the scoring with a totally avoidable goal. East Fife caught out Montrose with a quickly taken throw in. Smith crossed deep into the box and with Wood and Crawford going for the same ball in the air it fell kindly for ROSS CAMPBELL who took his time before firing past McKenzie.
Montrose came out fighting at the start of the second half and a good passing move saw the ball being played wide to Deasley his cross broke to Masson but he just couldn’t a shot in at goal.
In the 48th minute Montrose should have equalised. Ross McCord won a corner kick which he took himself the ball landed perfectly for Jonathan Crawford but the centre half could only head over when it seemed easier to score.
East Fife made a switch in the 55th minute when they took off the injured Scott Smith and replaced him with Jon McShane.
East Fife’s Lewis Barr was then booked for a foul on Bryan Deasley as Montrose continued their search for the equaliser.
On the hour mark Garry Wood was outpaced by East Fife striker Kevin Smith down the right but his near post shot was tipped around the post by McKenzie. From Fraser Mullen’s corner kick Jon McShane headed the ball across the goal and as the Montrose defence watched KEVIN SMITH was on hand to bullet home a close range header.
Four minutes later substitute Jon McShane was booked for a dive in a blatant effort to win a free kick for his side.
Leighton McIntosh then laid off a great pass to Ross McCord but he only succeeded in firing over the East Fife crossbar and another chance had gone.
In the 67th minute Montrose made their first change of the match giving a debut to Polish under 20 midfielder Leszek Nowosielski who came on for Terry Masson.
Montrose made a further change in the 73rd minute when Danny Cavanagh came on for Scott Johnston.
Montrose kept up the corner count but couldn’t find the back of the net. The next to have a go was Paul Watson but his shot was saved Fleming.
With eight minutes left Montrose made their third and final switch with Stephen Day replacing Bryan Deasley.
Three minutes later the crime count continued with East Fife’s Mullen and Montrose’s Jonathan Crawford booked after a flare up on the far side of the pitch.
Seconds later the home side replaced goalscorer Ross Campbell with Alan Cook.
The salt was rubbed into the Montrose wounds in the final minute of the match when Stuart McKenzie flattened Kevin Smith inside the box as the two contested a high ball to give East Fife a penalty kick. Thankfully for Montrose referee Grant Irvine saw fit to only yellow card the Montrose goalkeeper but JON McSHANE handed out the final action of the game despatching the penalty kick with McKenzie going the wrong way.