Annan Athletic 3 Montrose 4
After a bit of a yawn of a 0-0 draw in the first game the incentive for both sides in this replay was a home tie against Dundee United – and how that changed the scenario. For Montrose it was the chance of a large crowd at Links Park to raise much needed revenue and for Annan it would halt the run of five successive away ties in the competition and also boost attendances at Galabank. How that was important is demonstrated by the crowd of only 205 for this replay on a cold, wet, windy night when there were other attractions on TV.
Montrose made lots of changes from Saturday and the line up was Fleming in goal with Harrington, Dillon, Iain Campbell and Steeves across the back. Midfield was very different with lots of experience to cope with and out-compete the Annan engine room. In came Paul Watson, Martyn Fotheringham and Jamie Redman to partner Paddy Cregg and Terry Masson. Rennie was the target man up front.
Masson in fact played well forward rather than midfield and his presence alongside Rennie was crucial, so too was the support from the more experienced midfield. This was a cup tie, not a league game and as Saturday demonstrated the cup game needed a different approach especially against a stuffy, well organised Annan side.
It was fast and furious from the start with Annan showing their intentions were much different from Saturday. Annan had two quick corners and lots of early pressure which Montrose coped with before coming to terms with a very different opposition to what they might have expected. Ryan Harrington was first to set his sights on Alex Mitchell’s goal area but the 25 yard shot fizzed just over the top. More Annan pressure followed but it was Montrose who took the lead against the run of play. A ball down the left saw Masson chase it down and his cross was handled in the box and referee David Lowe rightly pointed to the penalty spot. Martin Rennie sent Mitchell the wrong way to make it 1-0 to Montrose.
If Annan were shell shocked to have gone behind they made matters worse for themselves by conceding a free kick, and yellow card, just outside the box but although Iain Campbell’s kick went just wide that was not the end of the matter. From the resultant goal kick the ball found its way to Martyn Fotheringham some 30 yards out and he hit a superb volley high over the stranded Mitchell and into the net to make it 2-0 to Montrose after only 23 minutes. Annan appeals for offside were waived away.
It was Montrose who now had the upper hand against a dispirited Annan side and the scoreline moved to 3-0 in the 29th minute. A corner on the right was prodded goalwards by Rennie and parried out by Mitchell but the quick thinking Paul Watson picked up the second ball and headed it home.
The Montrose fans were very vocal by now – all 15 of them, 12 of whom travelled from the north-east and 3 from Angloland. More was to come as Andy Steeves latched on to and charged down an Annan clearance and hammered home a fourth Montrose goal after just 33 minutes to make it 4-0. The remaining minutes to half-time were seen out comfortably.
Annan made three changes for the second half and signalled their all out attack intentions. The ‘alamo’ style they adopted was dealt with well by Montrose who kept their shape. Paddy Cregg was replaced by Liam Callaghan on 53 minutes and the clock ticked on to the hour mark. Shortly afterwards Redman and Fotheringham came off for Cavanagh and Antoniazzi.
An Annan fan got up and headed off home muttering it was ‘all over.’ He didn’t know what we Mo fans know – Montrose just don’t do ‘easy.’ In the 63rd minute Annan were awarded a penalty, and it was a penalty no question. Aidan Smith converted it and all of a sudden it was game on. A couple of yellow cards were flashed (Watson for Montrose) after a bout of handbags in midfield then Fotheringham was replaced by Antoniazzi on 69 minutes. Andy Steeves was next to see yellow for dissent as Annan took a corner kick which led to a flurry of activity in the six yard box. It was finally cleared out wide only to be swung straight back in and Aidan Smith smartly turned it into the net to make it 4-2.
It was a very well taken goal. Ten minutes to go plus stoppage time and Montrose were suddenly on the rack. Climatically it wasn’t raining but Allan Fleming must have thought it was as by now as shots were raining in on his goal area from all directions. It was the ‘alamo’ and the ‘charge of the light brigade’ rolled into one!
Such pressure paid off for Annan again as they pulled it back to 4-3 in the 85th minute when Ayrton Sonkur forced it in at the umpteenth attempt. Still 5 minutes plus stoppage to go but Martin Rennie had the chance to calm our nerves. He was stationed on the halfway line watching events in our six yard box but there to pick up a long clearance. That came perfectly for him as from just inside his own half he raced clear. Mitchell advanced, Rennie delayed his shot and the ball deflected for a corner. That was it surely? Not a bit of it.
Referee Lowe must have fancied extra time because the ‘alamo’ continued for a few more minutes until even he had enough a blew the final whistle.
Not a game for the purists but a typical cup game, quite unlike league fare which can be approached differently. For Montrose Sean Dillon was outstanding. Watson, Fotheringham and Cregg made midfield look more solid and Masson in a free ranging attacking role made a difference. 4-3 final score to the Mo – Phew!
Team Lineups & Stats
William Hill Scottish Cup
Third Round Replay
Tuesday 27th November 2018
||22||Patrick Cregg (s52)
|10||Scott Roberts (s45)
||6||Martyn Fotheringham (s67)
|11||Tony Wallace (s45)
||17||Jamie Redman (s45)|
|12||Jonny Jamieson (GK)
||15||Danny Cavanagh (s45)|
||19||Liam Callaghan (s52)
|16||Tommy Muir (s45)
||20|| Chris Antoniazzi (s67)
|18||Kyle Bradley (s45)
||21||Jordan Millar (GK)|
Paul O'Neill, Steven Traynor
Annan Athletic - Aidan Smith (61pen, 79), Ayrton Sonkur (84)
Montrose - Martin Rennie (19pen), Martyn Fotheringham (23), Paul Watson (25), Andrew Steeves (30)
Annan Athletic - Scott Hooper (21), Owen Moxon (67)
Montrose - Paul Watson (67), Andrew Steeves (73)