Montrose 1 Forfar Athletic 4
Both teams went into the game knowing that a 90 minute win would give them a chance of making progress in this season’s Betfred Cup. Both Managers made five changes from their previous games however so it appears both were still experimenting with an eye on the first League 1 game in two week’s time.
For Montrose it was Lennox, Ballantyne, Steeves, Dillon, new signing Waddell, Callaghan, Masson, Cregg, Rennie, Skelly and Webster with Allan, Watson, Milne, Lyons, McLean, Ross Campbell and Fleming on the bench. For Forfar there was no John Baird this year and no Dylan Easton up front. Referee was Craig Napier and a crowd of 611 watched the game start having endured a heavy downpour of rain on the way into the ground, such that the normal turnstiles were not useable.
Forfar started brightly with Coupe looking lively down the left but it was Montrose who looked more threatening in the first 15 minutes. They took the lead in 9 minutes when Terry Masson latched on to a mix up between Forfar defenders and goalkeeper. As he attempted to slide the ball into the empty net he was brought down for a penalty which JOSH SKELLY hammered home to make it 1-0. Puzzling that a red card was not shown as it was a foul on a player who had a clear scoring opportunity.
Skelly had another chance a minute later but his free kick was held under the bar by McCallum. Yet another chance fell to Skelly as great work from Masson and Rennie set him up with just the keeper to beat from close range but again the keeper did his job.
Aaron Lennox looked to have damaged his hand and was replaced by Allan Fleming on 15 minutes but it was Montrose again who should have increased their lead. Firstly another good midfield passing movement ended with Skelly volleying wide when well placed then Masson raced clear but he was also denied by McCallum.
Then the whole game changed. Forfar rode their luck early on but were now getting into their stride. It took a stroke of luck to give them their equaliser when Montrose conceded a soft and very avoidable penalty with a push in the back. DALE HILSON tucked it away to make it 1-1 after 25 minutes.
Montrose had not made the most of their early pressure and were going to regret that but even so they had two more good chances before the break. Masson was again brought down just 20 yards out and Rennie’s superb free kick was brilliantly kept out by McCallum who had kept his team in it up to that point. Then Andrew Steeves powered his way through the middle of the park but when you thought a shot was a good idea he laid it off and the chance was gone.
Just before half time Fleming was wrong footed by a deflection which flew inches wide but from the resultant corner came drama and aggro around the ground. The flighted corner kick was deflected away for another corner and the referee immediately blew for half-time at 1-1 and started to walk off the pitch – but, not as far as the far side linesman was concerned. He felt there was a Montrose hand which pushed it out for a corner so back strode referee Napier to consult and a second Forfar penalty was awarded which DALE HILSON again converted to make it 2-1 to Forfar. Then the half-time whistle was blown a second time. Just when you think you’ve seen everything in football something else weird comes along!
Montrose went into half-time clearly annoyed by the decision and they never really got into any sort of gear in the second half which Forfar dominated. No personnel changes were made although Blair Lyons came on for Kerr Waddell after 52 minutes which meant a shuffle of the back four with Steeves in the middle alongside Dillon, Ballantyne moving to the left and Webster dropping back to right back. It certainly affected the way Montrose played as from that point on Forfar dominated both possession and territory.
A third Forfar goal came in 56 minutes when centre back MICHAEL TRAVIS scored with an unchallenged header from a Ross Forbes free kick in a well worked routine. At 3-1 there looked no way back for Montrose whose play became disjointed and somewhat frantic. Manager Stewart Petrie was yellow carded on the bench and a while later Coach Fotheringham was red carded from the bench after annoying a linesman. Callaghan was also yellow carded for a late challenge as was Webster.
Ross Campbell came on for Skelly and Forfar also made their last two changes.
A fourth goal looked likely with Forfar dominating aerial battles and again it was MICHAEL TRAVIS who got on the end of another Forbes free kick to beat Fleming and make it 4-1 after 71 minutes, same routine as before.
Late in the game both sides could have added to the score with Rennie hitting a great shot which was pushed out for a corner but the resultant kick went across the box with no takers. At the other end Forfar also had chances though the last piece of action produced a yellow card for Hilson for a foul on Dillon which referee Napier spotted that time.
After a bright start it was a very disappointing second half for Montrose who lost their shape, lost their discipline at times and ultimately lost the game. Still work to do but we move on to Brechin next game to put matters back in order, hopefully.
Team Lineups & Stats
Saturday 20th July 2019
|21||Aaron Lennox (s18)||1||Marc McCallum|
|2||Cammy Ballantyne||2||Jamie Bain (s76)|
|3||Anderew Steeves||3||Sean Burns|
|14||Seán Dillon||4||Mark Docherty|
|5||Kerr Waddell (s54)||5||Michael Travis|
|19||Liam Callaghan||6||Scott Robertson (s72)|
|6||Terry Masson||7||Connor Coupe (s65)|
|22||Patrick Cregg||8||Gary Irvine|
|9||Martin Rennie||9||Dale Hilson|
|24||Josh Skelly (s65)||10||Callum Tapping|
|7||Graham Webster||11||Jordan Kirkpatrick|
|4||Matty Allan||12||Ross Forbes (s65)|
|8||Paul Watson||14||Ross Meechan (s76)|
|11||Lewis Milne||15||Andy Jackson (s72)|
|20||Blair Lyons (s54)||16||Matthew Aitken|
|10||Russell McLean||18||Murray MacKintosh|
|15||Ross Campbell (s65)||19||Darren Whyte|
|1||Allan Fleming (GK) (s18)||21||Samm McGuff (GK)|
Calum Spence, Jonathan Bell
Montrose - Josh Skelly (9)
Forfar Athletic - Dale Hilson (25pen, 45+2pen), Michael Travis (56, 71)
Montrose - Liam Callaghan (67), Graham Webster (78)
Forfar Athletic - Jamie Bain (8), Dale Hilson (90+2)