Arbroath 3 Montrose 1
Scottish Football League
Saturday 30th August 2014
Montrose Football Club’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by derby neighbours Arbroath at Gayfield Park on Saturday in a match watched by a healthy crowd of over 1100.
The Gable Endies had their early chances didn’t take them and in the end Alan Moore’s side were worthy winners in the first derby of the season. It was defensive errors that cost George Shields men although it did appear that the home side were certainly more up for the fixture than their visitors.
Bryan Deasley missed a sitter in the opening ten minutes and once Arbroath hit a quick double it was an uphill struggle for Montrose that they couldn’t recover from.
The victory took Arbroath six points clear of Montrose although the Gable Endies still have a game in hand due to the postponement of their away fixture against Clyde.
After the home victory over Annan Athletic, Montrose made three changes to their line up Alan Campbell was injured, Scott Johnston was unavailable and missed his first game for over a season and Stephen Day dropped to the bench.
Into the Montrose side came Jonathan Crawford, Steven Robb and Bryan Deasley. For Crawford and Deasley it was their first starts of the season.
The Arbroath line up contained ex Montrose keeper David Crawford and Simon Murray son of ex Montrose legend Gary was on the bench. Murray who turned downa return to Links Park in the summer had previously been on Montrose’s book a few years previous and had made one substitute appearance at Hampden Park.
The Gable Endies lined up with McKenzie in goal with Masson and Graham in the full back roles. Crawford and O’Kane teamed up in central defence for the first time. O’Neil and Deasley were in the wide midfield roles with Robb and Watson in the middle. Wood and Harkins were in attack.
On the bench for Montrose were Day, Webster, McCord, Bell, Wilson, Cavanagh and McCafferty.
It was Montrose who got the first derby match of the season underway with the Gayfield Park wind in their favour in what was their first away fixture of the season.
Arbroath created the first opening in the second minute when McManus crossed from the left but thankfully for Montrose they managed to block the shot from Buchan and clear the danger.
In the third minute Montrose won their first corner kick which was taken by Stephen O’Neil. His low cross was missed at the front post by Deasley before Watson took a fresh air shot and the chance was gone.
Montrose were defending a high line and they were almost caught out with five minutes gone. A long kick out from Crawford was missed by the Montrose defence putting Kevin Buchan through on goal but with only McKenzie to beat he lobbed the ball over the crossbar.
The Gable Endies had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring in the seventh minute a Harkins pass wide to the left put Bryan Deasley through on goal with only Crawford to beat but the striker fired his effort straight at the goalkeeper when it seemed easier to score.
Montrose had another chance to score in the in the 13th minute when Harkins again did the spade work setting up Garry Wood but from the edge of the box he fired over the crossbar.
Despite the pressure it was the home side who fired the derby into life when they opened the scoring in the 14th minute. With the Montrose defence claiming offside BOBBY LINN was allowed to collect a McManus pass and he calmly rounded Stuart McKenzie and stroked the ball into the empty net. Linn promptly celebrated his goal in front of the Montrose support and he was quiet rightly booked by referee Alan Newlands.
Montrose tried to hit back and Paul Harkins raced into the box before being tackled inside the area for a corner unfortunately O’Neil wasted the corner kick.
Arbroath went further ahead in 22nd minute after Montrose gave away a needless free kick in a wide area after Declan O’Kane fouled Paul McManus who was going nowhere. Scott McBride curled in the free kick and KEVIN BUCHAN was on hand to fire into the net from point bank range in side the six yard box.
Montrose then won a free kick after Deasley was fouled. Paul Watson tried to use the wind to his favour but he didn’t get enough on it and the chance was blocked by the home defence.
Home keeper David Crawford was injured inside the box but he was able to continue after treatment.
Paul McManus could have made things worse for Montrose on the half hour mark when he raced clear on the left but thankfully he drilled the ball past the far post.
In the 34th minute Montrose should have pulled a goal back. Harkins was again the provider when he raced into the box and laid the ball back to Terry Masson but he could only blast the ball over the crossbar.
With five minutes of the half remaining Montrose had another good chance when Stephen O’Neil slide a pass into the box but the wind was too strong and it raced away from Garry Wood who was yellow carded for his challenge on David Crawford.
After two different spells of treatment Crawford decided that he had had enough for the afternoon due to his injury and was replaced by Scott Morrison.
In stoppage time Harkins laid the ball off into the path of Steven Robb on the edge of the area but his shot was too strong and sailed over the crossbar.
Declan O’Kane became the second Montrose player to be booked in first half stoppage time for a trip on Scott McBride.
Montrose looked to hit back right at the start of the second half and Robb passed the ball to Harkins who slide the ball through to Wood who turned and blasted a shot over the bar.
The Gable Endies came even closer sixty seconds later. Bryan Deasley was fouled by Whately just outside the box and it was Stephen O’Neil who stepped up to take the free kick. His effort beat the wall but hit the post.
Montrose were keeping up the pressure and Paul Watson was next to have a go when he curled inside the area only to fire an effort wide of the post.
In the 53rd minute Montrose had another good opportunity Watson found Deasley wide on the left and his first time volleyed cross fell to Wood inside the six yard area but he just couldn’t force the ball home at close range and it went out for a corner kick.
In the 61st minute Arbroath made a change bringing on ex Montrose player Simon Murray for Kevin Buchan.
The change had an immediate effect and within sixty seconds the youngster had made it three. O’Kane dived into a tackle on the half way line and it gave the youngster all the time he needed and SIMON MURRAY raced into the box rounded McKenzie and blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
Montrose immediately made a change with Graham Webster replacing Steven Robb.
Webster had a great chance seconds after coming on, he latched onto an O’Neil free kick at the back post but he somehow knocked the ball over the bar from close range.
In the 65th minute Arbroath’s Scott McBride raced into the box but Declan O’Kane got in the saving tackle for Montrose.
George Shields then made his second change from Montrose bringing on Stephen Day for Bryan Deasley.
In the 73rd minute Craig Johnstone handled a ball to stop Webster getting away. Surprisingly he wasn’t booked. O’Neil took the free kick and Stephen Day stabbed a shot into the arms of Morrison.
Montrose made their final change in the 77th minute when Danny Cavanagh replaced Paul Harkins.
McKenzie then headed a clearance straight too Simon Murray’s path but thankfully for the Montrose goalkeeper his shot from 30 yards just cleared the crossbar.
With ten minutes remaining Arbroath made their third change of the Arbroath when Jack Smith replaced Paul McManus.
Montrose grabbed a consolation goal in the 82nd minute. Stephen Day got clear on the left and his cross was missed by Arbroath goalkeeper Scott Morrison and Graham Webster came in at the far post to bullet home a header for his first goal of the season.
Stephen O’Neil became the third Montrose player to be booked for a late tackle on Jack Smith.
Montrose had claims for a penalty waved away with a minute remaining when Stephen Day was tripped inside the area after he latched onto a Webster cross but the flag was already up for offside.
Despite their best efforts Montrose couldn’t force another goal and their afternoon was summed up in the second minute of stoppage when Declan O’Kane needlessly took Simon Murray out of the game and received a straight red card to end a miserable day for him, his team-mates and Gable Endie supporters.