East Stirlingshire 3 Montrose 1
Montrose Football Club’s grim November form continued at Ochilview Park on Saturday when they crashed to a highly disappointing defeat to bottom of the table East Stirlingshire.
Coming hot on the heels of Tuesday night’s 6 – 1 defeat to Queen’s Park the Gable Endies were once again disappointing in defence and only really started to show anything like their true form once they were 3 goals down and by then it was too late.
Paul Hegarty’s side have now lost three times out of three in the month scoring three times added to the fact that they have lost 12 goals, three of their regulars to long term injuries and a defeat to non league Lothian Thistle it’s a month they will want to forget.
They must now look to get back to winning ways when Annan Athletic visit Montrose in two week’s time.
After the defeat to Queen’s Park manager Paul Hegarty was still unable to call on the services of Millar, Masson, Watson, McCord and Steeves due to injury but was still able to make two changes to his line up with Ryan Ferguson and Ross Campbell restored to the line up at the expense of Adam Harwood and Adrian Mallagaray.
The reshuffled line up saw Salmon in goal with Pascazio and Johnston in the full back roles. Allan and Howlett-Mundle were in central defence.
Ferguson and Webster took up the wide roles in midfield with Malin and Curran in the middle. Fraser and Campbell were in attack.
Ryan Kenneth made a welcome return on the bench were he was joined by Reoch, Mallagaray, Reid, Harwood, Mile and Butter.
There was a bitter feel to the day as Montrose got the match underway.
The home side won an early free kick when Pascazio fouled Shepherd. The ball was swung into the box but Salmon punched the ball clear.
In the tenth minute Montrose gave away a free kick in a similar position when Howlett- Mundle fouled Shepherd. Lloyd Kinnaird swung in a free kick to the Montrose box and with Salmon and his defenders once again getting into a muddle with a cross ball JORDAN CAIRNIE was able to get his head to the ball and it found its way into the Montrose net for the opener.
Montrose tried to hit back and a Ferguson cross found its way to Webster on the edge of the box but he could only shoot tamely into the arms of Dolan.
With 13 minutes gone the home sides Carnie was booked for a crunching tackle on Fraser.
Montrose’s on loan Hearts defender Jahmal Howlett-Mundle was then booked for a late tackle on Lloyd Kinnaird. The free kick was played wide to Kris Faulds but he could only fire wide of the Montrose goal.
Max Wright then had a half chance for the home side but he fired wide from the edge of the box.
Montrose created their best opportunity in the 28th minute when Jesse Curran sent a great cross to the far post but keeper Darren Dolan pulled off an excellent stop to keep out Graham Webster’s back post header.
Seven minutes later Montrose had another good opportunity. A great piece from Webster on the touchline saw him fire over a cross which found Gary Fraser who turned and fired in an effort which was heading in until it deflected off a home player and went out for a corner kick with the visitors claiming hand ball.
In the 38th minute Johnston fouled Wright wide on the touchline. Shepherd’s free kick was punched clear by Salmon and Andy Kay sent a volley screaming towards goal only for Salmon to tip his effort over.
Any half time team talk from manager Paul Hegarty went out of the window when Montrose went a second goal down within 30 seconds of the second half starting! Montrose immediately gave away possession from centre and this allowed Kris Faulds a free run up the left and when Salmon couldn’t deal with his cross ANDY KAY was on hand at the far post to drill the ball into the net.
Montrose tried to hit back immediately and a run from Webster saw him find Fraser but his shot was blocked by a home defender.
In the 50th minute both Ross Campbell and Graham Webster were both booked for dissent to the assistant referee when the ball had quite clearly gone out for a Gable Endies corner kick. Only referee Colin Stevens and his assistant failed to spot this.
Montrose made a change in the 55th minute bringing on Ryan Kenneth for a welcome return in place of Jesse Curran. Kenneth slotted in at left back with Johnston moving into midfield.
A Howlett-Mundle pass sent Webster racing down the right wing his cross found Ferguson whose shot was blocked only for Campbell to send the rebound over the crossbar.
The match was over as a contest in the 59th minute when the home side grabbed a third goal. Johnston lost possession with Montrose on the attack and the Shire hit the visitors on the counter attack with Faulds slipping the ball into the path of DAVID McKENNA who rounded Salmon to score.
Three minutes later Montrose made another change with Adrian Mallagaray coming on in place of Malin. Mallagaray went upfront with Campbell moving to the left wing.
Montrose’s best player on the day Graham Webster went on a great run up the middle of the park only to drag his shot past the far post.
In the 67th minute out of nothing Montrose pulled a goal back. Ferguson launched a deep cross into the box where Campbell headed the ball down into the path of top goalscorer GARY FRASER who volleyed home his tenth goal of the season from the edge of the box.
East Stirlingshire made their first change with Connor Greene replacing Andy Kay.
The home side were still looking for more goals and in the 70th minute Neil McCabe fired an effort over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
With ten minutes remaining Montrose made their final change with Declan Milne coming on for Ryan Ferguson.
At the same time Gary Fraser was booked by referee Stevens for what could only have been dissent.
With four minutes left East Stirlingshire withdrew Max Wright and replaced him with Ally Roy.
Roy was quickly into action and he forced Ross Salmon into a great save at his near post.
Chris Townsley became the next player to be booked for a solid tackle on Webster.
As play continued East Stirlingshire made a final change in stoppage time with Shepherd being replaced by Johnny Court.
In the third minute of stoppage time a corner from Mallagaray was headed down by Ross Campbell but he couldn’t find and takers and the change were once again gone.