Montrose 3 Arbroath 2Montrose completed their pre-season campaign with a hard-fought victory over League 1 champions Arbroath.
Both clubs fielded strong teams ahead of the Betfred Cup ties scheduled for the following Saturday. Montrose were the first to test the opposition backline, Terry Masson crossing to Blair Lyons, the Arbroath defence managing to scramble the ball to safety.
A mistake from Abroath’s Robert Wilson almost caused calamity for the visitors, the defender’s scuffed clearance falling to Lyons in the box, but his shot was charged down and he could only fire over the crossbar.
Montrose skipper Paul Watson came close in the 11th minute, bulleting a header over the crossbar from six yards out from an Iain Campbell free kick wide on the left.
Josh Skelly also came close to getting his name on the score sheet, but his shot was deflected into visiting goalkeeper Derek Gaston’s hands after a run and cut-back from Lyons.
Skelly should have done better when unmarked at the back post in the 20th minute, but his header from Webster’s cross was weak and easily held by Gaston.
Montrose broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. Skelly’s corner into the box was headed on by Watson, the ball landing at Sean Dillon’s feet. The defender had time to pick out ANDREW STEEVES at the back post, the full back heading past Gaston.
Allan Fleming was called into action in the Montrose goal in the 30th minute, acrobatically tipping a Michael McKenna header to safety.
Montrose took full advantage of their escape, and doubled their advantage three minutes later. Lyons reached the Arbroath bye-line before passing to Skelly, who teed up GRAHAM WEBSTER to side foot into the net.
The final chance of the first half fell to Matty Allan, who shot wide from a corner.
Montrose started the second half in positive fashion, Skelly having a shot blocked on the line by Gaston, and Masson having a diving header tipped wide of the post.
At the other end, Fleming was forced into a low stop to deny Bobby Linn’s shot from the edge of the box, and also held a shot from Arbroath substitute Greig Spence.
The Montrose goalkeeper, facing competition for a starting spot from new signing Aaron Lennox, denied Omar Kader from point blank range in the 60th minute.
Montrose pulled three goals clear in the 65th minute, LEWIS MILNE controlling the ball and taking it into the Arbroath box before calmly finishing.
The goal seemed to spur Arbroath into a belated fightback, and the Red Lichties grabbed two goals in quick succession.
Substitute COLIN HAMILTON scored Arbroath’s first, heading in from a Linn free kick in the 78th minute. The second came just a minute later, trialist GAVIN RITCHIE’s shot from 20 yards out taking a deflection off Liam Callaghan to beat Fleming.
Arbroath pushed forward in search of an equaliser, O’Brien heading wide from a corner.
Terry Masson passed up an opportunity to add a fourth goal for Montrose in the 90th minute, shooting inches wide from the edge of the box.
Team Lineups & StatsPre-season Friendly
Tuesday 9th July 2019
|1||Allan Fleming||21||Derek Gaston
|2||Cammy Ballantyne (s45)
||33||Ciaran Brain (T) (s45)
|3||Andrew Steeves (s57)
||35||Robert Wilson (s45)
|8||Paul Watson (c)
|18||Iain Campbell (s15)
||7||David Gold (s45)
||12||Omar Kader (s67)
|24||Josh Skelly (s61)
||8||Michael McKenna (s45)
||10||Gavin Swankie (s67)
|19||Liam Callaghan (s57)
||14||Greig Spence (s45)
|4||Matty Allan (s15)
||9||Steven Doris (s45)
|11||Lewis Milne (s45)
||5||Thomas O'Brien (s45)
|9||Martin Rennie (s85)
||32||Jamie MacKenzie (s67) (T)
|10||Russell McLean (s61) (s85)
||34||Gavin Ritchie (s67)
|21||Aaron Lennox (GK)||.||James Murphy (T) (s45)
|1||Darren Jamieson (GK)
Jordan Stokoe, Gordon McCabe
Montrose - Andrew Steeves (27), Graham Webster (32), Lewis Milne (66)
Arbroath - Colin Hamilton (78), Gavin Ritchie (80)
Montrose - Andrew Steeves (56), Blair Lyons (81)
Arbroath - Jason Thomson (89), James Murphy (90)