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MONTROSE started their competitive season with a hard-fought but well-deserved win over Premier League side St. Mirren in the Viaplay Cup.

The visitors were the first side to record a shot on target, Alexander Gogic’s low shot easily held by Cammy Gill in the Montrose goal.

St. Mirren came close again in the sixth minute, Mikael Mandron heading over from Conor McMenamin’s cross from wide on the left.

Montrose’s first half chance came in the 16th minute when Ryan Williamson controlled a cross in the box, but he dragged his shot wide of Zach Hemming’s post.

Kane Hester, making his competitive debut for Montrose, could have put the home side ahead a moment later, but he snatched at his shot when clear through on goal.

Hester was denied again on the half hour mark, his low shot from Rory McAllister’s cross blocked and deflected wide for a corner at the near post.

Gill did well to deny St. Mirren twice in quick succession in the 39th minute, blocking a driven shot from McMenamin, then reacting quickly to parry the ball from the same player’s follow-up.

Montrose started the second half by pressing St. Mirren back into their own box, Hester coming close with a hooked shot that looped over Hemming and out for a goal kick.

St. Mirren also came close early in the second half, Declan Gallagher having a shot blocked by Sean Dillon in the 55th minute.

Montrose took the lead in the 58th minute when Matheus Machado, introduced as a first half substitute for the injured Andrew Steeves, burst forward into the box. He danced through two challenges before tapping the ball to Hester. 

Montrose’s record signing dipped his shoulder as if to shoot, but instead rolled the ball to Rory McALLISTER, who curled a shot into the top corner.

St. Mirren attempted an immediate comeback, Gallagher blasting the ball over Gill’s crossbar from inside the box.

Hester tried his luck from 20 yards out in the 62nd minute, but his shot curled wide of Hemming’s post.

St. Mirren came close again twice in the 65th minute, Ryan Strain driving a shot across the face of goal that referee Willie Collum deemed to have taken a deflection off a Montrose player on its way out. Gill did well to smother a point blank shot from Alex Greive from the corner that followed.

Gill and Dillon combined well to deny St. Mirren in the 76th minute, Gill palming a McMenamin shot into the air at full stretch, Dillon covering to head the ball over the crossbar to safety with Olutoysi Olusanya closing in on goal.

St. Mirren piled the pressure on as they sought a late equaliser, Greive slamming a free kick into the wall from the edge of the box deep into injury time, but Montrose held firm to pick up three points from their opening match of the campaign.

Attendance: 1,618

Report by Mark Rae

Pic by Phoenix Photography 

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