Stirling Albion 2 Montrose 0
Montrose Football Club lost their second away match of the season at the hands of Stirling Albion at Forthbank Stadium on Saturday.
The Gable Endies matched Stirling Albion throughout the match and certainly had the better of the first half but again their inability to put the ball in the net cost them in the end. Paul Hegarty’s side have managed only six goals in nine games this season and it is something that they have to address soon especially with the transfer window shutting at the end of the month.
After the cup disaster against Turriff United in midweek Montrose made five changes to their line up with Jordan Millar, Greg Pascazio, Michael Bolochoweckyj, Paul Watson and Gary Fraser returning to the side at the expense of Fleming, Willox, Steeves, Ferguson and Templeman.
Montrose lined up with Millar in goal with Pascazio and Iain Campbell in the full back roles with Anderson and Bolochoweckyj in central defence. Masson and Watson were in the middle of the park with McWalter and Webster on the flanks. Fraser and Ross Campbell were in attack.
On the bench for Montrose were Ferguson, Lennie, Willox, Milne, McLeod, Harwood and Fleming.
Paul Watson had the first effort on the Stirling Albion goal in the fourth minute but his low effort went into the arms of keeper Chris Smith.
In the following minute Gary Fraser was fouled in a wide area, Iain Campbell whipped in the free kick and his brother Ross saw his head flick go wide of goal.
Montrose’s Michael Bolochoweckyj picked up the first booking of the match in the 12th minute for a late tackle in the middle of the park.
Three minutes later McMillan was warned for a tackle from behind on Fraser. Masson played in the free kick but the home side were able to clear the danger.
Seconds later Ross Campbell headed the ball down into the path of his striker partner Fraser but his low shot was saved by keeper Smith.
Montrose were denied a great opportunity to score in the 20th minute. McWalter was fouled by Scott Davidson only for the ball to spin straight into the path of Ross Campbell who was clean through but referee Ross called back play for the free kick and booked McQue for his troubles.
In the 25th minute Montrose won a free kick in a great position when Bolochoweckyj was fouled on the edge of the box. Unfortunately Iain Campbell’s free kick hit the Stirling Albion wall.
Webster then set up Watson’s but again his shot was straight at keeper Chris Smith.
Stirling Albion had their first chance of the match with 31 minutes gone when Anderson fouled Henderson. Fortunately for Montrose Sean Dickson smacked his free kick into the Gable Endies wall.
Montrose wasted a good opportunity two minutes later Ross Campbell sent over a great cross from the right but the unmarked Webster could only bullet his header over the crossbar from a great position.
With six minutes of the half remaining Stirling Albion played some lovely one touch football to carve out an opening but top goalscorer Blair Henderson could only fire into the arms of Jordan Millar from close range.
The half ending with two more bookings for the home side with Jack McQue booked for dissent and Ross McMillan for another late tackle on Kieran McWalter.
Montrose had a good chance in the opening seconds of the second half when Campbell found Watson but he just couldn’t turn and get a shot away.
In the 49th minute Graham Webster went on a strong run from midfield only to curl his effort over the crossbar from outside the box.
Two minutes later Stirling Albion’s McQue sent a dipping volley over the Montrose crossbar.
With ten minutes of the second half gone Stirling Albion made a change with Moses Olanrewagu replacing McQue.
Stirling Albion opened the scoring in the 58th minute when a pass forward took a deflection off Bolochoweckyj and went straight into the path of DARREN SMITH who slipped the ball past Millar into the net. Smith must love playing against Montrose having scored two hat tricks against the Gable Endies last season.
Paul Watson became the second Montrose player to be booked in the 62nd minute for a crunching tackle on Forsyth.
Pascazio then won the ball and sent captain Campbell clear but with players waiting in the box he fired straight into the arms of keeper Smith.
Stirling Albion midfielder Olanrewagu then raced along the bye line to set up Smith but his shot was well saved by Millar.
Stirling Albion then made another change with Ferns replacing Henderson.
Gary Fraser became the third Montrose player to be booked for a challenge on Ross McMillan.
In the 79th minute Bolochoweckyj then set up Ross Campbell with a shooting opportunity as Montrose tried to grab an equaliser but he shot straight at keeper Smith.
Two minutes later the home side forced a corner kick taken by Hodge but McMillan rose up to head wide of goal.
In the 83rd minute Montrose made a change with Ross Lennie replacing Pascazio.
Ross Campbell became the fourth Montrose player to be booked after he showed dissent to referee Gavin Ross.
With five minutes remaining Montrose made a double substitution with McWalter and Fraser being replaced by Ferguson and Milne.
A long throw in from Ross Campbell caused danger in the home box but Declan Milne just couldn’t force the ball home.
With Montrose pushing forward in search of an equaliser Stirling Albion punished them on a lightening quick counter attack which saw MARK McKENZIE find the top corner from twenty five yards out with Millar well beaten. McKenzie saw yellow for taking his shirt off in celebration to equal up the booking tally at four a piece in what wasn’t a dirty match.