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Montrose 1 Cove Rangers 0

An incredibly important game for both teams as Montrose simply had to win to finish in the top five and not only avoid the play-off lottery of the bottom five but also to have a chance to finish once again in a promotion play-off position having finished in fifth place in the first scheduled 18 games. For our friends at Cove Rangers a win could have seen them pip Falkirk at the top but even now they can still win League 1 over the next four deciding games.

Despite the importance of the game whilst it was played in a very competitive manner it was also played in a good spirit by these two clubs who know each other very well and indeed will meet again later this month at Links Park in a top five game.

Referee was Scott Lambie who controlled things well to let play flow. Montrose made only one change to their starting line up with Cammy F coming in for Paul Watson. A relatively slow cagey start to the game and for Cove Fraser Fyvie was at the heart of things but Montrose looked sharp and determined yet when Cove were in possession, they got men forward in numbers. Fleming wasn’t troubled by a couple of long-range efforts and then some good interchange play by Montrose deserved a better outcome but the end product didn’t materialise.

Mochrie was his usual threat when in possession but keeper McKenzie pushed out his 20-yard shot and sent his team on the counter attack where they should have opened the scoring on 13 minutes but Connor Smith shot hopelessly wide from a good close position. It was a let off for Montrose and Cove would later regret it as the first and only goal of the game came 3 minutes later. Liam Callaghan swung in a corner from the right and although the ball appeared to take a deflection it ended in the net and he deserved to be credited with it.

So at 1-0 to the Mo with only 16 minutes gone there was still a lot of defending to be done. Cove had slightly more possession but without carving out more chances and Montrose worried them at the other end with McLean playing a good holding game and Mochrie along with Callaghan in advanced roles well in support. Cammy B was also a threat charging down the right, as he does and with Steeves doing likewise on the left it meant Cove could not push men forward without themselves being caught out at the back. Half-time approached as Cove upped the game but long-range efforts were off target and the one which wasn’t was gathered by Fleming. 1-0 to the Mo at the break.

For the second half Masson came on to shore up midfield with Mochrie going off probably much to the relief of Cove Rangers. McAllister had a good chance for Cove but put his header wide then a great cross from the right saw no takers as Fleming ushered it out for a goal kick.

The pressure period was survived and on 66 minutes both sides made substitutions. For Montrose Callaghan (who had a very good game) was replaced by the guile of Webster who thus maintained his record of appearances in every league game this season. Cove made a triple change with McIntosh, Livingstone and Seb Ross on to replace McAllister, Logan and Smith as they tried to change the course of play.

On 70 minutes a tasty looking cross from the right by Cove found no takers as the ball whistled across the Montrose six-yard box then a 20-yard shot flew wide of the post. Another change forced on Cove through injury to Scott Ross saw him replaced by Watson as the game moved into the last 10 minutes. Another dangerous moment for Montrose as the ball bobbled around in the middle of the goal area before it was hoofed clear by Cammy F.

On 83 minutes Montrose broke up play with Cochrane being replaced by Antoniazzi but play was end to end again. A Montrose free kick from 25 yards was wasted as Cove went swiftly down the other and a 30 yarder went high and wide. Again Cove came back in the next move and Fleming did his job when at full stretch he saved a hard hit shot from the left whilst the follow shot went wide. Steeves was booked for kicking the ball away.

Into the 90th minute and a long ball found McLean lurking on the halfway line. He controlled it well, beat Strachan and went for goal only to be felled by Strachan who was red carded for the offence. The resultant free kick might well have gone to the corner flag you would think but instead the ball was given away and found danger man Mitch Megginson but a timely tackle saved the day. Megginson in fact was injured and Cove replaced him with Hanratty but within seconds the final whistle was blown.

Montrose won 1-0 and thus finished in the top five shake up and will play the first of four extra games away at Airdrieonians on Tuesday 27th April. That is followed by Cove Rangers at home on Thursday 29th April, then Falkirk away on Saturday 1st May and Partick Thistle at home on Tuesday 4th May.

No time for sitting around with that schedule – bring it on!

Report by Steve Doyle



Team Lineups & Stats

SPFL League 1

Tuesday 20th April 2021


1  Allan Fleming
1  Stuart McKenzie
2  Cammy Ballantyne
4  Connor Scully
3  Andrew Steeves (c)
5  Scott Ross
19  Liam Callaghan (s67)
6  Ryan Strachan
17  Aidan Quinn
8  Blair Yule
14  Seán Dillon
9  Mitch Megginson (c) (90+3)
12  Harry Cochrane (s83)
13  Rory McAllister (s67)
11  Lewis Milne
20  Ross Graham
10  Russell McLean (90+1)
22  Connor Smith (s67)
20  Chris Mochrie (s46)
24  Fraser Fyvie
22  Cammy F Ballantyne
25  Cammy Logan (s67)
4  Matty Allan
7  Brogue Watson (s78)
6  Terry Masson (s46)
11  Leighton McIntosh (s67)
5  Chris Antoniazzi (s83)
12  Daniel Higgins
24  Robie McGale
14  Adam Livingstone (s67)
7  Graham Webster (s67)
16  Seb Ross (s67) (s78)
15  Ross Campbell (90+1)
26  Kieran Ngwenya
16  Craig Johnston
27  Kevin Hanratty (90+3)
23  Martin Rennie
21  Balint Demus (GK)
21  Allan Fleming (GK)

Scott Lambie

Assistant Referees:
Andrew McWilliam, Jonathan Bell

Montrose - Fraser Fyvie (15og)

Yellow Cards:
Montrose - Andrew Steeves (67)
Cove Rangers - Mitch Megginson (40)

Red Cards:
Cove Rangers - Ryan Strachan (90)



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