Albion Rovers 3 Montrose 0
League leaders Albion Rovers proved to be too strong for Montrose Football Club on Saturday as Paul Hegarty’s side failed to build on their derby success over Arbroath the previous week.
The result leaves the Gable Endies five points behind second bottom Berwick Rangers whom they meet in a crucial fixture on Saturday at Links Park.
This was always going to be a difficult fixture on a heavy pitch as Montrose looked to contain their opponents for the opening half but once the home side going a fortunate opening goal close to half time there was only going to be one winner.
After the excellent home display against Arbroath manager Paul Hegarty was unable to field an unchanged line up. Terry Masson was ruled out through a one match ban and into the side came Adam Harwood.
Despite having Ewan Moyes available again after his two game ban it was an unchanged Montrose bench of Watson, O’Neil, Banjo, Harkins, Allan, Graham and goalkeeper John McCafferty.
Albion Rovers created the first opening of the match when Gary Fisher broke from midfield but he fired over from the edge of the box.
Ross Campbell then had Montrose’s first opening when he latched onto a through ball but he just couldn’t force the ball into the net. Keeper Parry was injured in blocking the ball but was able to continue after treatment.
Five minutes later play was held up again when Rovers Ross Davidson picked up an injury but play continued after he received treatment.
In the 18th minute a mistake from Harwood in clearing the ball saw McGuigan get in a cross but Ally Love sent his shot on the turn straight at McKenzie.
Montrose won a corner kick five minutes later. McCord fired over the ball but it was missed by Garry Wood at the far post.
The home side should have opened the scoring in the 27th minute a pass from Davidson split open the Montrose defence but thankfully Eddie Ferns drove his effort wide of the far post.
On the half hour mark only a saving tackle from Harwood stopped McGuigan latching onto a Ferns pass and finding himself through on only. The tackle from the on loan Dundee United youngster saw the ball go back into the arms of McKenzie.
Sixty seconds later a drive from Davidson was deflected wide for an Albion corner kick. Thankfully for Montrose McKenzie comfortably held onto Ally Love’s corner.
Montrose created a good opening in the 36th minute when a great turn from Scott Johnston took him up the left wing. His low cross was reached by Ross McCord but he only succeeded in lobbing the ball over the bar from the edge of the box.
The home side opening the scoring seven minutes before half time. Harwood gave possession to the home side after he wasted a free kick. Rovers raced up the park on the counter attack and with ALLY LOVE seemingly running out of room to shoot his shot took a wicked deflection off Andrews and looped over McKenzie and into the net for an unfortunate opener.
Three minutes later Marvin Andrews picked up the first booking of the afternoon for an off the ball incident inside the penalty area that only referee Ross appeared to spot.
Montrose won an early free kick when a run from Wood was halted by Rovers player manager Darren Young at the edge of the box. McCord’s free kick was headed back across goal by Andrews but Johnston handled as he tried to control the ball.
In the 47th minute another Gable Endies mistake was almost punished but thankfully Mark McGuigan hooked his shot wide of goal.
Five minutes later Montrose almost found an equaliser with their best move of the afternoon. Campbell played the ball wide to Johnston who in turn found the overlapping Steeves. The youngster hit the by-line and his cross found Campbell who headed over the bar from six yards out.
In the 58th minute Jonathan Crawford became the second Montrose booking of the afternoon after he held back McGuigan in another off the ball incident.
Two minutes later and the home side added a second killer goal. Ferns threatened to burst into the box and Ross McCord was left with little option but to bring him down outside the area. The Montrose wall didn’t appear to be lined up properly and ROSS DAVIDSON was able to almost pass the ball into the bottom corner.
Tempers started to boil over and after a mass melee appeared after Johnston caught a Rovers player on the touchline. Referee calmed things down by yellow carding both Johnston for the tackle and Ross Campbell for dissent.
The game was over for Montrose in the 63rd minute when the league leaders added goal number three. EDDIE FEARNS burst into the box and sent a screamer into the top corner with McKenzie helpless.
Paul Hegarty sensibily took off Scott Johnston and replaced him with Jordan Allan.
With twenty minutes left the home side took off Mark McGuigan and replaced him with ex Montrose man John Gamely.
Steeves then found Allan who was brought down on the edge of the area. Unfortunately for Montrose Ross McCord saw his free kick curl well over the crossbar.
Albion then made their second change of the afternoon with player boss Darren |Young being replaced by Chris Cadden.
At the same time Montrose brought on Paul Harkins for Ross Campbell.
Montrose had another opportunity with 15 minutes left when McCord volleyed wide from a cut back from Wood.
Two minutes later Montrose went even closer to a consolation goal. Graham Webster cut inside and raced into the box. His curling effort looked goal bound until it took a deflection off a home defender and deflected onto the crossbar and over.
Albion made a final change when Turnbull was replaced by Marc McKenzie. At the same time Stephen O’Neil came onto replace McCord.
In the 82nd minute Gary Fisher became the first home player to be booked for a trip on Graham Webster.
Two minutes later Wood and Webster linked up only for the latter to be brought down by Reid who was booked by referee Ross.
O’Neil’s free kick found its way to Webster and his low shot was held by Parry in the home goal.
In the final minute play there was another flare up after the home players didn’t like a challenge from Harkins on Reid. It was a fair tackle by the Montrose man and after the dust had settled Reid was helped from the park and the homeside’s goalscorer Ross Davidson booked, the eighth of the afternoon.
In the second minute of injury time Montrose won a corner kick when Crawford’s header from a Harwood cross was deflected wide. O’Neil’s corner found ex Albion Rovers man Marvin Andrews but he could only volley over the crossbar and the final chance was gone.