Montrose 2 Stirling Albion 2
Stewart Petrie's unbeaten start to his managerial career continued on Christmas Eve with a draw against Stirling Albion at Links Park.
Having recorded two consecutive wins under the new manager, Montrose were keen to maintain their momentum. They opened the match in lively fashion, Ryan Ferguson crossing from the left wing to the right and finding Graham Webster, who smashed his shot across the face of goal.
Chris Templeman could have put Montrose ahead in the12th minute, but could only head over from Cammy Balantyne's cross.
Stirling Albion's first chance fell to Darren Smith, but his shot was easily held by Montrose goalkeeper Jordan Millar.
Callum MacDonald almost inadvertently put the visitors ahead in the 13th minute when Michael Bolochoweckyj's tackle deflected into his path, forcing Millar into a diving save.
Ferguson's through ball in the 20th minute released Templeman, but his shot was blocked by Albion keeper Cameron Binnie.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute when Dylan Bikey sent a low ball across goal from the left wing. ANDREW STEEVES was running in at the back post and the ball cannoned off his legs and into the bottom corner of the net.
Stirling could have gone two goals ahead five minutes later. Balantyne's attempted crossfield pass to Steeves was intercepted by Callum Morrison, and the Albion man raced forward. But with only Millar to beat, he shot wide.
Templeman passed up another goalscoring opportunity in the 37th minute, heading wide from Watson's free kick to the back post.
Darren Smith should have doubled Stirling Albion's advantage five minutes before half time when he collected Bikey's pass in the box. But despite being unmarked and with the goal at his mercy, he could only blast wide of the target.
Montrose came close to levelling the scores twice in the moments before half time, Watson having a fierce drive tipped over the crossbar, then the goalkeeper called into action to deny Gary Fraser.
The home side started the second half in positive fashion, Watson seeing a 30-yard shot held by Binnie.
But they scored their equaliser just a minute later when Steeves crossed to the back post where the unmarked TERRY MASSON headed in.
It took just two more minutes for Montrose to move ahead with a well-worked set piece. Masson's crossed free kick was headed back across goal by Watson, finding the perfectly-placed GARY FRASER, who headed in.
Aiming to further capitalise on their momentum, Cammy Balantyne surged down the right and crossed the ball into the box. Gary Fraser looked to have scored his second goal, but the ball deflected off Binnie and onto the crossbar.
Stirling came back into the match as it drew towards a close, Ross McMillan heading wide from a Darren Petrie cross.
They equalised 10 minutes before the end when ROSS SMITH bulleted his header past Millar from Marc McKenzie's corner.
Both sides sought a winner in the final minutes of the match, Webster heading over from a Ferguson corner and both Fraser and Watson having shots held.
Stirling Albion's Angus Beith was shown a red card for dissent three minutes into stoppage time.