Montrose 4 East Fife 1

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Montrose 3 Brora Rangers 0

Montrose fielded a strong line-up for this first Premier Sports Cup group game against Brora Rangers. After a stop/start pre-season warm up programme manager Stewart Petrie clearly felt that as well as giving valuable pitch time to his squad of players it was also time to get into a winning habit. What better opponents than Brora Rangers who themselves have been in the winning habit for a few years now.

Referee Dan McFarlane got the game underway in warm sunny conditions and Montrose took the game to Brora straight away. Blair Lyons had a chance in the second minute but good defending saved the day for the Cattachs. The next chance fell to Cammy Ballantyne following a great passing move from Montrose but keeper Joe Malin did well to block and stop the danger at the last gasp. Webster and Rennie both had half chances in the opening ten minutes before Brora settled properly into the game having survived that early onslaught.

Brora had two successive corners which might well have been costly for Montrose but instead the Mo swept play quickly to the other end and won a corner themselves.

Terry Masson it was who charged down the left and although his cross was short it still resulted in the first goal of the game on 20 minutes as MARTIN RENNIE side footed it in from a few yards out when Brora failed to clear their lines. At 1-0 to Montrose it was no less than they deserved on the balance of play and it became 2-0 in the 22nd minute as BLAIR LYONS wriggled his way through the Brora defence and scored at the second attempt from a few yards out.

Montrose continued to dictate the game and Malin saved his side from going further behind when making a great save from Webster on 30 minutes. Thereafter the game settled into a more balanced style with Brora settling into their own game plan but without the final touch as the half time whistle signalled a 2-0 lead for the Mo.

Manager Petrie made a sensible second half change with Matty Allan replacing Kerr Waddell not that the latter had done anything wrong but it was exactly what Matty Allan needed and he took full advantage of it by doing what he always does best – defending!
Webster soon after took a slight knock so taking sensible precautions again was replaced by Antoniazzi on 49 minutes to give him some needed the pitch time.

Time seemed to pass quickly in the second half as Montrose managed the game well but Brora reminded everyone that they were still very much in the game when Wallace broke through the middle and Fleming proved his worth when a Brora goal would certainly have made it more uncomfortable for Montrose on the hour mark. It was a wake-up call if that was needed as the Mo pushed for a third goal to settle matters.

Allan just failed to connect with a well hit corner whilst Ballantyne was abruptly stopped in his tracks by MacDonald who was promptly yellow carded. Rennie, making more of a nuisance of himself, went clattering down the left leaving defenders in his wake but the final cross was just short of an onrushing team-mate to tap it at the far post.

More Mo changes on 61 minutes as Masson was replaced by Craig Brown. Terry had done well but the change again was well timed and tactical. Brora also made a changes on 64 minutes as Andrew MacRae was replaced by Ali Sutherland and Tom Kelly replaced by Jordan MacRae.

Towards the last quarter of the game with Montrose still looking for the third goal and also still creating chances from some great flowing moves. Mark Whatley had been instrumental in much of that but was replaced by Paul Watson on 73 minutes who plays in his own no nonsense style. Lewis Milne replaced Liam Callaghan at the same time and Liam had reminded us that he can also be a good option in midfield by slotting in there effectively.

As the game entered the final 10minutes Brora reminded us that it was not over yet and there was still work to do. Sean Dillon did well to defend a dangerous Brora attack as did both Steeves and Ballantyne when a lapse could have made it a nervy finale. The third Mo goal was needed just in case and that was agreed by Paul Watson who tried his luck from 40 yards out but Blair Lyons had a more cultured idea of how to get that third goal. His idea was to weave his way into the Brora penalty area to be surrounded by defenders one of which would abruptly end his charge and sure enough it worked. Up stepped LEWIS MILNE to smash home the resultant penalty to make it 3-0 on 88 minutes.

Still time for Cammy Ballantyne to make a terrific charge down the right at such pace that nobody dare stand in his way, except keeper Joe Malin who was having none of it as he pushed it away at the foot of the post for a corner which came to nothing, so the final score was 3-0 to Montrose.

It was a good squad effort rather than a stand-out by any individual player and if Montrose can play with the same confidence against League 1 teams it augers well for the season ahead.
A special word for referee Dan McFarlane as too who did well overall and did not unleash a flurry of cards as others might have one.

Report any Steve Doyle\


MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Team Lineups & Stats



Premier Sports Cup
Group C


Saturday 26th June 2021


 
 

 

 
       
1  Allan Fleming
1  Joe Malin (c)
2  Cammy Ballantyne
2  John Pickles
3  Andrew Steeves
3  Colin Williamson
14   Seán Dillon
4  Millar Gamble
5  Kerr Waddell (s45)
5  Mark Nicolson
6  Terry Masson (c) (s61)
6  Dale Gillespie
7  Graham Webster (s49)
7  Tom Kelly (s65)
19  Liam Callaghan (s73)
8  Gregor MscDonald
23  Martin Rennie
9  Andrew Macrae (s64)
15  Mark Whatley (s73)
10  James Wallace
11  Blair Lyons
11  Ally MacDonald
       
22  Craig Brown (s61)
12  Jordan Macrae (s65)
4  Matty Allan (s45)
14  Ali Sutherland (s64)
8  Paul Watson (s73)
20  Jamie Stephen
10  Lewis Milne (s73)
   
12  Chris Antoniazzi (s49)
   
16  Craig Johnston    
21  Aaron Lennox    


Referee:
Dan McFarlane

Assistant Referees:
Stuart Hodge, Paul McIvinue

Goalscorers:
Montrose - Martin Rennie (20), Blair Lyons (22), Lewis Milne (88pen)

Yellow Cards:
Brora Rangers - Gregor MacDonald (59)

Red Cards:
None

Attendance:
231



 


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