Elgin City 1 Montrose 1
Montrose Football Club confirmed their league two status for next season with a precious first point of the season from Elgin City at Borough Briggs on Saturday. The point was no more than Stewart Petrie’s side deserved after a commanding second half performance which could have easily have given them all three points if it hadn’t been for a great late save in the second half.
The result kept Montrose still four points off a play-off place and with four matches and 12 points still up for grabs it’s still all to play for the Gable Endies as they target victory over Forfar Athletic on Saturday.
After the 3 – 0 win over Edinburgh City, Stewart Petrie made two changes to his line up with Kieran McWalter replacing the unavailable Terry Masson in midfield and Matty Smith preferred to Kerr Hay, with Smith playing upfront and Fraser moving to the left flank.
There was a very healthy travelling support inside Borough Briggs as the match got underway.
Montrose had a good chance in the opening five minutes when Webster was fouled near the corner flag by McHardy. Watson swung in a dangerous free kick which just required a touch as it flew across the goal but it was just missed by Templeman.
It was the home side who opened the scoring in the tenth minute the first time Montrose had conceded a goal in three matches. A corner from Moore was properly cleared and when the ball was hooked back across goal BRIAN CAMERON was on hand to stab the ball home from close range.
Four minutes later the Gable Endies broke up field from an Elgin City corner and won a flag kick of their own through Smith. After the ball broke around the box Webster was able to fire in a shot straight at keeper Waters.
Chris Templeman picked up a yellow card in the 16th minute after referee Millar decided that he had committed a number of silly fouls in the space of a few minutes.
Just short of the half hour mark Kieran McWalter shot low into the arms of Waters in a rare Montrose attack.
Allan Fleming kept Montrose in the match seconds later when a cross from MacPhee found its way to Nicolson on the edge of the box but he somehow kept the effort out with his legs.
Fleming was at it again with ten minutes of the half remaining with another great effort to this time stop Reilly from adding to Elgin’s goal tally from six yards out.
With two minutes of the half remaining Michael Bolochoweckyj picked up another booking for a solid but what looked fair tackle on Daniel Moore. Mark Nicholson of the home side was also booked for his part in the aftermaths from the tackle.
Stewart Petrie made a change for Montrose at the start of the second half with Dylan Thomas coming on to replace Kieran McWalter.
Montrose were immediately on the attack as they looked to get back into the match and quickly won a free kick and then a corner kick but on both occasions the home side cleared from Webster.
In the 55th minute Montrose opened up the home defence and David Brownlie sliced a clearance over his own crossbar trying to clear. Watson took the Montrose corner kick but Waters was able to hold.
The Montrose pressure paid off when they deservedly equalised on the hour mark. Gary Fraser did all the spadework on the left hand side of the box and his cross was headed home perfectly by CHRIS TEMPLMAN for his eighth goal of the season.
Fleming kept Montrose in the game two minutes later with a great tip over from a Bolochoweckyj sliced clearance which was heading for the top corner.
With seventy minutes gone Matty Smith saw his run brought to an end giving Montrose a free kick in a dangerous position but Watson could only smash his free kick into the home wall.
Templeman then went close again for Montrose but his shot went straight into the arms of Waters.
Elgin City had a rare opportunity in the 73rd minute when substitute Craig Gunn caught a free kick from Moore at the back post but blazed over the crossbar.
With fifteen minutes remaining Montrose brought on Kerr Hay for Graham Webster.
Andrew Steeves then gathered a corner from Thomas but his shot was blocked
With five minutes of the match remaining Paul Watson got on the end of a Thomas corner kick but could only head wide of goal.
Montrose almost grabbed what would have been a deserved winning goal seconds later. Watson played a great ball down the right to Smith he outpaced his opponent before squaring a perfect ball to Kerr Hay who met the ball on the volley, it looked a goal all the way until Waters somehow managed to deflect it wide with an outstretched football. It was a let off as the keeper clearly knew nothing about it.
Kerr Hay had one last effort to win it for Montrose but his overhead kick from a throw in was straight at keeper Waters.