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MONTROSE held Inverness Caledonian Thistle to a goalless draw at Links Park in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final, keeping their promotion hopes alive ahead of the second leg four days later.

Montrose caused brief panic in the second minute when Michael Gardyne’s free kick dropped in front of Sean Dillon, but Remi Savage booted the ball to safety before the veteran centre back could pull the trigger on a shot.

Blair Lyons has a weak shot from a volley easily held by Mark Ridgers two minutes later, while Graham Webster had another held from the edge of the box in the fifth minute.

Webster was denied by a tremendous reflex save from Ridgers in the 10th minute after Lyons and Brown connected well in the box, the latter laying the ball off for a fierce low shot from the Montrose winger. Caley managed to scramble the ball away from a goalmouth melee from the corner that followed.

Montrose were denied again in the 30th minute when Kane Hester’s shot deflected into Ridgers’ hands.

Inverness came close with their first real chance of the first half, Louis Longstaff’s shot from outside the box flying just wide of Cammy Gill’s post.

Samson Lawal was denied the opening goal in the first minute of stoppage time, his fierce shot from the edge of the box dropping over Gill before crashing back off the crossbar.

Billy McKay passed up the first chance of the second half, shooting wide of the post from the edge of the box in the 48th minute.

Gill did well to hold a low shot from Alexander Samuel in the 54th minute.

Blair Lyon came close to opening the score in the 58th minute, hitting a shot on the turn, only for the ball to bobble wide of Ridgers’ goal.

Luke Graham hit the target with a header from a Gardyne free kick in the 68th minute, but Ridgers easily held the ball. At the other end, Gill did well to hold a Lawal shot at the second attempt.

Webster had a low shot held in the 71st minute, and Aidan Quinn nodded wide from a Gardyne free kick two minutes later.

Blair Lyons curled a shot high over the crossbar in the 88th minute.

Attendance: 1,043

Report by Mark Rae

Pic by Pheonix Photography

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