Scottish Professional Football League
Saturday 9th August 2014
Montrose 4 East Stirlingshire 1
Montrose Football Club got the new season off to a great start when they defeated East Stirlingshire at Links Park on Saturday in their opening League 2 fixture.
After a slow start to the match Montrose got the first goal just after the half hour mark through centre half Alan Campbell and this seemed to settle George Shields men and after that there was going to be only one winner.
Three second half goals saw to that with the only disappointment being the red card dished out to midfielder Ross McCord for two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.
Unfortunately due to the postponement of their league match against Clyde by the SPFL to allow BBC Alba to show Rangers v Clyde in the Petrofac Cup, Montrose won’t be able to follow up this result with a good performance at Brooadwood on Saturday.
After the defeat to Falkirk last weekend in the League Cup Montrose showed two changes to their line up with Declan O’Kane coming in to make his debut and Paul Harkins his full debut. They replaced Day and Bell who dropped to the bench.
Montrose lined up in a 4 – 3- 1- 2 formation with McKenzie in goal with Masson and Graham in full back roles. O’Kane and Campbell teamed up in central defence for the first time. The midfield three was O’Cord, Robb and Watson. With Harkins sitting in front of the front two of Johnston and Wood.
On the bench for Montrose was Deasley, Day, Cavanagh, O’Neil, Wilson, Bell and McCafferty.
It was East Stirlingshire who got the new league season underway at Links Park but it was Montrose who created the first opportunity in the third minute when Harkins laid the ball off to Ross McCord who shot wide from twenty yards out.
With seven minutes gone Shire won the first corner kick of the match through Wright’s deflected cross off Campbell. Shepherd’s corner kick was flicked on by Wright to David Greenhill who effort was deflected over the bar. From Shepherd’s second corner kick Bolochoweckwj over head effort was gathered by McKenzie.
Three minutes later McCord’s corner kick just required a touch from Campbell but the centre half completely missed the ball.
New signing Declan O’Kane picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon when he tripped then held back Wight as the Shire dangerman threatened to break clear. Thankfully for the Gable Endies O’Kane was able to clear Wight’s low free kick.
In the 23rd minute Montrose were forced into a change when Steven Robb was forced off injured and he was replaced by Stephen O’Neil.
Five minutes later Bolochoweckwj held back Johnston giving Montrose a free kick in a wide area. Watson’s kick when into the danger area before it bounced around the six yard box only for Ross Graham to fire well over the crossbar.
The half came to life finally in the 35th minute when Montrose opened the scoring with their first league goal of the season. Paul Watson fired over a free kick from the right Shire’s Townsley knocked the ball off his own player and the ball fell kindly to ALAN CAMPBELL who knocked the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal for in two seasons.
Montrose carved out one more opening in the first half when O’Neil found Graham who laid the ball off into the path of Watson whose low shot was blocked.
The home side were straight into the attack at the start of the second half when Harkins waltzed his way through the Shire rearguard but he couldn’t get the ball under control at the last moment and the East Stirlingshire defence managed to clear.
In the 48th minute Montrose doubled their lead with a great goal Scott Johnston went on a lung bursting run from his own half and made his way into the box before he slipped the ball wide to right back TERRY MASSON who turned inside his marker before curling a beauty into the top left hand corner of the goal from just inside the penalty area.
Montrose’s tails were up and three minutes later they had another opportunity when Harkins was fouled by Gilmour. Watson stepped up to take the set play but he could only fire his low 35 yarder wide of goal.
East Stirlingshire made their first switch in the 54th minute when they brought on William Vidler for Jay Doyle.
Two minutes later McCord won Montrose a free kick which he took himself but Garry Wood’s header was cleared by the home defence.
Stephen O’Neil who had livened up the Montrose midfield since he had come on then gathered a Harkins corner only to shoot wide of Barnard’s goal.
The visitors made their second change of the afternoon in the 57th minute when Paul McMullan the ex Elgin City defender came onto replace Lloyd Kinnaird.
Six minutes later Montrose made a second switch with Stephen Day coming on for the impressive Paul Harkins.
Montrose thought they had scored a third goal in the 65th minute when after good play down the left between Day and Graham saw the latter’s cross being stabbed into the roof of the net by Scott Johnston only for the assistant to signal for offside.
Alan Campbell had a let off in the 69th minute when he sliced a cross from Shepherd over the crossbar and just away to safety.
The Gable Endies sealed the three points the following minute. Johnston slipped a great pass down the left to Stephen Day he turn played it back to Johnston who was now inside the box and before he was tackled he managed to play the ball back to captain GARRY WOOD who blasted a low effort into the bottom corner.
East Stirlingshire made their final change two minutes later when Martyn Shields came on to replace Graeme McGregor.
The Shire had a rare chance in the following minute a corner from Shepherd found Greene but he could only head wide of McKenzie’s goal.
In the 78th minute Ross McCord picked up a booking for a trip on Wright as he threatened to break clear. Thankfully for Montrose his free kick was too strong and went out of play.
Just two minutes after receiving his yellow card McCord was sent off by referee Irvine for receiving a second booking, his time for what the referee saw as a deliberate hand ball, although the ball did appear to hit his shoulder.
In the 83rd minute East Stirlingshire scored a consolation strike through their best player MAX WRIGHT the number nine took a knock on from Vidlar and slid the ball through the legs of the outrushing McKenzie from inside the box.
Stephen Day had caused problems since his arrival and after another run he found Wood who made some space before getting in a shot which was saved only as far as Johnston whose cross was blocked.
In the final minute of the ninety Wright tested McKenzie again from 35 yards out but the Montrose keeper was equal to the task.
In the first minute of the stoppage time Montrose were awarded a penalty kick after Day was sent flying inside the area by Bolochoweckwj who was rightly booked by Irvine who firstly appeared a free kick. But after a slight delay Irvine then pointed to the spot on the advice of his far side assistant. It was the correct call as the foul was clearly inside the box. After calm had been restored GARRY WOOD stepped up to blast home his second goal of the afternoon and Montrose’s fourth of the afternoon to seal the impressive victory.