Montrose 1 Clyde 1
Montrose Football Club made it into the play offs on Saturday after a 1 – 1 draw against Clyde at Links Park on Saturday in front of 1324 fans.
It took a goal from striker Chris Templeman with only eight minutes remaining to give Montrose the point they needed and with Elgin City failing to beat Cowdenbeath it was all they needed to retain fourth point in the league table and a two legged semi-final to come against ninth placed Peterhead in the coming week.
Full credit must be given to manager Stuart Petrie and his players who have dragged themselves from practically the bottom of the table at Christmas to a position of great pride for the town.
It’s now all to play for and nothing to lose for the Gable Endies.
After the heavy defeat to Annan Athletic, Montrose showed one change with the suspended Iain Campbell being replaced by Greg Pascazio.
Chances were few and far between in the early stages of the match but the visitors won a free kick when Allan fouled Gormley. McLaughlin floated a free kick into the box but Fleming got up well to hold the ball.
Three minutes later a defensive mistake from Montrose gave David Goodwillie a chance but he only managed to loft the ball over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.
Montrose had their first real opportunity in the 20th minute when Paul Watson sent a low effort wide of the far post.
In the following minute Chris Templeman made his away along the penalty area before firing in an effort which on loan Dundee keeper Kyle Gourlay got down to save.
In was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 26th minute. A cross from Jon Paul McGovern was met at the far post by DAVID GOODWILLIE, who clearly punched the ball into the net. Amazingly neither referee Graham Beaton nor his far side assistant spotted this blatant punch and the goal was allowed to stand. The Montrose players continued to dispute the decision and Kerr Hay was booked for taking his protests too far.
Clyde were continuing to use the wind to their advantage and Goodwillie turned on the edge of the box and curled an effort wide of goal.
Five minutes later a headed Montrose clearance fell into the path of Sean Higgins who volleyed over the crossbar.
In the 37th minute Jordan McMillan picked up a booking for Clyde for a tackle from behind on Templeman.
With five minutes of the half remaining Matty Smith made room for a shot at the edge of the box but fired the ball into the arms of Gourlay.
In the 52 minute Matty Smith became the second Montrose player to be booked for a late tackle on JP McGovern inside the penalty box.
Manager Stuart Petrie made a double change for Montrose with ten minutes of the second half gone with Graham Webster and Ryan Ferguson coming on to replace Terry Masson and Kerr Hay.
The third Montrose booking of the afternoon arrived two minutes later when Matty Allan pulled back Gormley.
Montrose started to put on the pressure as they searched for the equaliser and they claimed a penalty kick on the hour mark when Steeves cross appeared to be blocked but referee Beaton waved away their claims and pointed for a corner kick.
Gary Fraser then cut in from the wing and got himself inside the penalty area but his shot was blocked and went straight into the arms of Gourlay.
Montrose won a free kick when Waddell held back Ferguson. Before the kick could be taken Gormley and Watson were involved in an incident and both were booked.
In the 70th minute Graham Webster tested goalkeeper Gourlay once again but the youngster was up to the challenge and saved well.
Montrose played their last through of the dice in the 71st minute when Liam Callaghan came on to replace Gary Fraser.
It was all Montrose and next to have a go from just outside the box was Paul Watson after he was set up by Templeman but his twenty yard shot went straight into the arms of Gourlay.
With ten minutes remaining Templeman got his head on the end of a cross from Callaghan but he headed wide of the goal.
Links Park erupted in the 82nd minute when Montrose finally equalised. A shot from Webster was blocked for a corner kick which was taken by Callaghan. Templeman saw an effort blocked the ball came back out to Watson and his effort was cleared from the line. It fell to Matty Smith who smacked an effort off the post before the youngster showed great composure to set up CHRIS TEMPLEMAN who smashed the ball home to the delight of the “Dynamo” who by this stage were in full voice.
With news coming through that the Elgin City match remained goal-less that goal had now put Montrose back in a top four spot and all to play for.
Goodwillie almost silenced the home support with an overhead kick which flashed past the far post.
Templeman then hit an effort wide for Montrose as the home side chased a second goal.
With two minutes left substitute Ryan Ferguson had a chance for Montrose, a Callaghan cross was headed down by Webster but Ferguson could only head into the arms of Gourlay.
There was another controversial moment in stoppage time when Ballantyne appeared to have cut the ball back perfectly for Templeman to drive home for the winner but the far side linesman flagged for the ball going out of play.
News started to filter through that Elgin City had indeed been held at home by bottom club Cowdenbeath meaning that the point was enough to secure Montrose an end of season play off with Peterhead and the two sides played out time with a series of throw ins at the far side of the park before referee Beaton blew for full time. This sparked off scenes of joy in the terraces and stands as Montrose had clinched a place in the end of season play offs for the first time since 2007/08