Annan Athletic - Montrose -
Montrose Football Club failed two build on their two excellent home victories when they went down to Annan Athletic at Galabank on Saturday.
The scoreline was close but Montrose never really recovered from the loss of two early goals and suffered as a consequence. The side didn’t play badly but their normally secure defence gave away three soft goals to hand Jim Chapman’s sides victory on a plate.
The Gable Endies cause wasn’t helped by the loss of three players captain Paul Watson, goalkeeper Jordan Millar and centre half Greg Pascazio all to injury during the match.
Paul Hegarty was able to name an unchanged line up after the victory over Clyde with the only change coming on the bench where Kyle McLeod replaced the unavailable trialist Adam McWilliam.
It was Montrose who created the first opening of the match Webster and Steeves lined up on the left before Fraser laid the ball back to Paul Watson and his low effort was held by Jordan Hart in the Annan Athletic goal.
In the fifth minute Montrose had another good opportunity when Fraser got clear on the left and his cross was perfect for Ross Campbell whose header was deflected over the crossbar. McCord took the corner low to Fraser but he blasted over the crossbar.
Three minutes later Smart Osadolor got Annan’s first shot on target from twenty yards out but Jordan Millar did well to hold his shot.
Annan Athletic weren’t do be denied and opened the scoring in the 10th minute slick passing opened up the Montrose defence and Flynn played the ball through for SMART OSADOLOR who calmly slipped the ball past Millar in the visitors goal.
Two minutes later McNiff played the ball into Josh Todd and he curled an effort straight into the arms of Millar.
Annan had the ball in the net again in the 16th minute when Montrose failed to get a couple of corners clear but thankfully for the Gable Endies the referee whistle had gone for a foul on Millar.
Montrose won a corner kick on the 20th minute which lead directly to the second Annan Athletic goal. After pin ball in the home box Ferguson shot was blocked by the Annan defence and with the Montrose right back caught out of position Steeves was left on his own with two breaking home players. Flynn played the ball wide to Osadolor and he was able to squire the ball back to MATTY FLYNN who knocked the ball home from close range.
Montrose made a change in the 23rd minute Paul Watson was clearly struggling with injury and was replaced by Terry Masson.
Five minutes later a Ferguson run up the flank saw him find Fraser and he laid the ball off to Masson who fired the ball into the arms of Hart.
On the half hour mark Ross McCord picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon for showing dissent after a disputed throw in.
The home side almost made in three in the 32nd minute but Peter Watson hit the crossbar with a header from Flynn’s corner kick.
Montrose almost went three down in the 47th minute Millar did well to push out a 20 yard free kick from Pater Weatherston and the ball fell kindly to McNiff at the back post but somehow Matty Allan managed to block his shot at the expense of a corner kick.
The Gable Endies got themselves back into the match in the 52nd minute. Scott Johnston fired over a right footed cross from the left wing and GRAHAM WEBSTER ghosted in at the back post to head home his second goal in a week via the underside of the crossbar.
Two minutes later Annan Athletic won another corner kick but Peter Weatherston headed over from Omar’s corner kick at the back post.
Three minutes later the same combination almost restored the home side’s two goal lead Omar crossed from the right and last season’s top scorer Weatherston bulleted over a header at the far post.
Sixty seconds later hesitation between Greg Pascazio and his goalkeeper Millar almost caused a third Annan Athletic goal but thankfully for Montrose Osadolor put the ball wide of the near post.
In the 58th minute play was held up for treatment to be received by Greg Pascazio and Annan’s Matty Flynn after a clash of heads. Both recovered after treatment.
Osadolor was the dangerman for the home side and he caught the ball on the angle and crashed an effort wide of Millar’s goal.
Masson then set up Webster as Montrose looked for the equaliser but from twenty five yards out he fired the ball well over the crossbar.
In the 70th minute Gary Fraser had his first real sight of goal when he latched onto a through ball but with only the keeper to beat he failed to control the ball and the chance was gone.
With 15 minutes remaining Montrose were forced to take off Greg Pascazio who was still suffering from his head knock and replace him with Jordan Reoch.
A low shot from Matty Flynn won the home side a corner kick and from Omar’s corner kick Osadolor’s header was cleared off the line by Allan. Jordan Millar was injured in the goalmouth action and he was unable to continue and his place in goal was taken by Ross Salmon.
Annan Athletic made sure of all three points in the 83rd minute when they grabbed a third goal. Josh Todd beat Steeves on the left the ball was whipped back across goal by Weatherston and SMART OSADOLOR was able to head the ball in from almost on the goal-line for his second of the afternoon.
Two minutes later Annan Athletic made a switch with McColm coming on to replace Flynn.
With three minutes remaining Montrose were awarded a free kick after Fraser was fouled by Watson. McCord whipped in the free kick only for Campbell to head wide at the far post.
Scott Johnston then became the second Montrose booking for a foul when it looked as though the free kick would go his way. Before referee Stevens could put his book away he booked Gary Fraser for dissent.
Osadolor became the first Annan Athletic booking of the match in the second minute of stoppage time after a tangle with Ferguson inside the Montrose box.
Montrose were given the opportunity to pull back another goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time when ROSS McCORD was tripped by Steven Sloan inside the box and the midfielder sent Hart the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The visitors had one final chance to grab what would have been an uninspected equaliser in the final action of the game but this time McCord was too high with his effort and it sailed over the crossbar.