Falkirk 2 Montrose 0
It was great to be back in action again but even before a ball was kicked the good news for Mo fans was to see Terry Masson back in the starting line up after such a long absence through injury. He took his place in midfield and played in typical Terry style as if he’d never been away. He was joined in midfield by Mochrie and Cammy F who were in front of a back four of Cammy B, Waddell, Dillon and Steeves with Lennox in goal. Up front were Webster and McLean with Milne just in behind.
Referee Gavin Duncan got the game started in fine conditions but quite windy at times. Both teams started the game quietly and clearly wanted to give nothing away whilst getting any lay off rustiness out of the system.
It was five minutes before even a serious attack was mounted but the resultant corner to Falkirk caused no problems to Lennox who collected easily. Keena was first to try a shot on goal but Lennox pushed it away for another corner which unfortunately led to the telling first goal.
The ball was swung in from the right but away from Lennox this time and not defended well as the first header crashed back off the face of the bar. Mark Durnan was first to react and made no mistake with the second header to make it 1-0 on 12 minutes.
A set back for Montrose but as the rest of the first half progressed they certainly had plenty of possession though without a telling cutting edge. Steeves was creative down the left but had no takers for his cross and Mochrie jinked his way across the 18yard line to create a chance for Masson who skied his shot from a good position. That was on 20 minutes as Montrose were very much in the game with Mochrie worrying the Falkirk defence with his close control yet the end product just eluded Montrose.
Webster had a great chance on 34 minutes with a lob which beat keeper Mutch but landed on the roof of the net.
At the back Waddell was looking solid along with the rest of the back four but Montrose still had to create more up front. Before half time Cammy F saw yellow for a late tackle as Montrose frustratingly could not find a telling opening to make their good approach play and possession count. At least two corners were won but neither created any danger as referee Duncan blew for half time at 1-0 to Falkirk.
No changes to either side to start the second half as Falkirk looked to settle on their one goal lead. Dillon was next to see a yellow card for something off camera as the referee ran a long way to brandish it. Montrose were in fact having the lions share of possession now with Mochrie in the thick of it. A shot was blocked by an outstretched leg before McLean was harshly booked as he tripped over the Falkirk lad on the ground but there appeared to be no intent.
On 65 minutes Manager Stewart Petrie made a triple substitution both to change formation and sensibly to not only give others more pitch time after a long lay-off but also to protect others such as young loanee Chris Mochrie. The other two who came off were Webster and Milne who were both having quiet games by their standards.
Montrose went three at the back when Quinn came on as Cammy B and Steeves ventured forward in wing back roles. The other two who came on were Cochrane and Johnston. Almost immediately Montrose had their best chance of the game as a corner was whipped in from the right and broke kindly for McLean but his snap shot although hit with venom through a ruck of players unfortunately landed right in keeper Mutch’s midriff and safety.
More Montrose pressure ended with Falkirk making a double change as Keena and Fotheringham came off and Francis and Dowds came on and Montrose made two more as well with Rennie and Watson replacing Waddell and Cammy F.
Falkirk although not creating golden chances were always a threat with Morrison dangerous down the right flank and Cammy B did well to block a cross as Francis was in space behind him. Into the 80th minute as Montrose stepped up the pace but still lacked that finishing touch despite committing men forward. Telfer came on for Leitch as Falkirk wound down the clock but there was time for Paul Watson to try his luck from 30 yards without success.
The dangerous Calumn Morrison at speed down the right finished off a 2-0 win for Falkirk in stoppage time with a strong shot from 18 yards which sped into the bottom corner – and game over. Referee Duncan thought so as well and blew for full time shortly afterwards.
Falkirk deserved their win in a well contested game as they took their chances but Montrose competed well and of course, it was great to have Terry back and in his old style as well. Hopefully there are no injury after effects as games now come thick and fast in what’s left of this unusual season.
Report by Steve Doyle
Team Lineups & Stats
SPFL League 1
Saturday 20th March 2021
|1|| Robbie Mutch
||21|| Aaron Lennox
|3|| Paul Dixon
||2|| Cammy Ballantyne
|4|| Ben Hall
||3|| Andrew Steeves (c)
|5|| Mark Durnan
||20|| Chris Mochrie (s65)
|6|| Gary Millar (c)
||15|| Kerr Waddell (s79)
|8|| Blair Alston
||14|| Seán Dillon
|9|| Aidan Keena (s74)
||7|| Graham Webster
|14|| Morgaro Gomis
||6|| Terry Masson (s65)
|17|| Robbie Leitch (s83)
||10|| Russell McLean
|24|| Kai Fotheringham (s74)
||11|| Lewis Milne (s65)
|38|| Calumn Morrison
||22|| Cammy F Ballantyne (s79)
|25|| Jay Cantley (GK)
||17|| Aiden Quinn (s65)
|10|| Anton Dowds (s74)
||8|| Paul Watson (s79)
|15|| Lewis Neilson
||12|| Harry Cochrane (s65)
|16|| Akeel Francis (s74)
||19|| Liam Callaghan
|18|| Conor Sammon
||16|| Craig Johnston (s65)
|19||Euan Deveney||9|| Lewis Hawke
|21|| Charlie Telfer (s83)
||23|| Martin Rennie (s79)
|72||Kyle McClelland||15|| Ross Campbell
|99||Lee Millar||1|| Allan Fleming (GK)
Alastair Mather, Kevin McElhinney
Falkirk - Mark Durnan (12), Callumn Morrison (90)
Montrose - Cammy F Ballantyne (37), Seán Dillon (48), Russell McLean (54)