Arbroath 2 Montrose 2Montrose Football Club came from behind to grab a valuable point in an end to end derby Angus derby match at Gayfield Park on Saturday. It was the first point George Shields side had taken off the league leaders this season and it was one that they certainly deserved.
Once Arbroath took a two goal lead at the start of the second half they looked dead and buried but they showed great character to grab two goals in three minutes to turn the match around. It was end to end for the last twenty minutes but neither side could find the winning goal with Arbroath even missing a penalty kick late in the match.
Montrose must now look to continue this form into next Saturday’s match against East Stirlingshire at Links Park and stop giving the opposition two goal leads.
There was a pre match surprise for Montrose fans with ex Rangers defender Marvin Andrews being listed in the Gable Endies starting eleven as a trialist one of five changes from the side defeated by Andrews previous club Elgin City the previous week. Out went Campbell, Travis, Deasley, McIntosh and Masson. Into the side along with Andrews came Harwood, Johnston, Harkins and Day.
Montrose lined up with McKenzie in goal and Crawford and Graham in their usual full back positions. Harwood and Andrews linked up in central defence. Johnston and Day were the wide midfielders with McCord and Watson in the middle of the park. Harkins supported Wood in attack.
On the bench were O’Neil, Deasley, Masson, Webster, Campbell, Cavanagh and McGovern.
It was Arbroath who got the match underway on a heavy looking Gayfield Park in front of a healthy crowd of nearly 1400.
Paul Watson had an early shot for Montrose but Wood was caught in an offside position.
Watson received an early injury but was able to continue after having his injured wrist strapped by physio Sarah Richardson.
In the 12th minute Arbroath were awarded a free kick after Lindsay was fouled. Linn played a short free kick to Simon Murray but he shot weakly into the arms of Stuart McKenzie.
Play continued to rage from end to end and seconds later Day cut inside and found Ross McCord but he could only lob well over the crossbar.
Arbroath were forced into making a change in the 16th minute when Jordan Lowdon was forced off injured after he came off worse in an aerial challenge with Marvin Andrews. On loan St Johnstone winger Dylan Easton came on in his place.
With 19 minutes gone Day and Graham linked up on the left for Montrose with the full backs cross going across the face of the goal only to find no takers inside the six yard area.
Sixty seconds later Easton tested McKenzie but the goalkeeper dealt comfortably with his effort from the edge of the box.
In the 24th minute Paul Harkins raced on the right flank for Montrose and fired over a cross which was met by the head of Stephen Day but his header was off target and didn’t trouble McCallum in the home goal.
Four minutes later Montrose had a let off when Dylan Easton cut inside the box and fired in an effort which rebounded off the base of the post.
Ricky Little became the first booking of the afternoon after he tripped Stephen Day on the edge of the box. McCord stepped up to take the free kick but he could only fire his effort wide of the far post.
Arbroath won a free kick of their own in the 34th minute when Johnston fouled Hunter on the edge of the box. Bobby Linn took the free kick but could only hit the Montrose wall.
In the 37th minute Ross McCord won a corner kick which he took himself. The ball reached Marvin Andrews at the back post but he could only head straight at McCallum in the home goal.
In the following minute Bobby Linn sent over a perfect cross which was met by the inrushing Murray but when it seemed easier to score Arbroath’s top scorer could only head wide of the far post.
Montrose had a great chance of their own seconds later after a good move. Wood saw his cross headed down by Johnston the ball fell on a plate for McCord but he was leaning backwards and his shot cleared the bar.
Despite having equal amount of pressure Montrose fell behind to and Arbroath goal with three minutes of the first half to go. The Gable Endies failed to deal with an Arbroath corner kick and the ball fell kindly to ADAM HUNTER and he drilled the ball home into the postage stamp bottom corner with McKenzie unable to reach it.
In stoppage time McKenzie kept Montrose in the match with a near post save to keep out a shot from Easton.
Dangerman Easton had Arbroath’s first chance of the second half when he ran past Johnston only to toe poke the ball wide of goal.
In the 50th minute Andrews missed his first header of the match for Montrose and Bobby Linn managed to run onto the ball but his shot was blocked for a fruitless corner kick.
In the 54th minute Arbroath scored a second goal. The ball was cleared out of defence and SIMON MURRAY was able to outpace Adam Harwood go round keeper Stuart McKenzie and fire into the net from an acute angle.
Five minutes later Wood won Montrose a corner kick. Ross McCord once again took the corner kick but Marvin Andrews headed well wide of goal.
Just past the hour mark and great pass from Murray put McManus through on goal but McKenzie was able to race out from goal to make a great stop.
Five minutes later Arbroath had another good opportunity when a Linn corner fell kindly to Murray at the back post but he didn’t show any composure and blasted the ball at the angle well wide of goal.
Montrose got themselves back into the match in the 70th minute a great chipped pass but Paul Harkins clear inside the area and his low drilled cross was turned into his own net by Arbroath centre half SCOTT McBRIDE.
George Shields immediately made a change with Terry Masson coming on to replace Harkins.
Paul McManus then became the second home player to be booked for a trip on McCord.
Montrose equalised out of nothing in the 73rd minute. Ross McCord floated over a corner kick which Andrews headed down and STEPHEN DAY turned to blast the ball home from six yards out before celebrating with the away support. The celebrations saw him being booked by referee Northcroft.
Arbroath then won a free kick in a wide position but McKenzie was able to punch clear from Easton’s effort.
Montrose raced up the field and should have gone ahead seconds later. Wood found Day inside the box and he cut the ball back to the unmarked Masson who looked set to score but from ten yards out his effort rebounded off a home player and the chance was gone.
An up and under from Jonathan Crawford caught out the home defence but Day could only fire wide from the edge of the area.
Seconds later Arbroath were given a wonderful opportunity to regain the lead when they were awarded a penalty kick after Harwood fouled Easton inside the box. Referee Northcroft booked Harwood before Paul McManus stepped up to take the penalty, stuttered with his kick and blasted the ball over the crossbar much to the relief and delight of the away support.
Two minutes later Marvin Andrews got his head on the end of a McCord corner only to see McCallum block his effort for another corner kick.
Garry Wood was lucky only to see yellow after he crudely took Easton out of the game after the winger threatened to get clear in an Arbroath breakaway. Linn wasted the home free kick.
Play raged from end to end and Montrose had another chance from a free kick which Watson took. The ball was headed back across goal by Andrews but Adam Harwood could only send his header into the arms of McCallum.
As play raced on Paul Watson became the forth Montrose player to be booked for another late tackle on Linn.
In the 88th minute Adam Hunter let fly from the edge of the area but his shot was deflected wide. Easton then had another shot deflected wide as the league leaders kept up the pressure.
From another Hunter corner the ball fell to Arbroath captain Nicoll at the far post but he could only blast well over the bar.
Terry Masson became the fifth Montrose player to be booked for a challenge on Easton in the first minute of stoppage time.
It was Montrose who had the final two effort of the match with Wood setting up Johnston and he just couldn’t find the net before from a Montrose corner the ball fell to Masson but his shot was blocked close to the line by his own team-mate Scott Johnston as the points were shared in a rip roaring Angus derby.