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East Fife 0 Montrose 2

Only one change in the starting line-up with Chris Antoniazzi in for Craig Johnston as referee Chris Graham got the game started in very wet conditions. The Mo fans attended in their masses and that sort of support clearly means a lot to the players who proceeded to give them what they wanted.

It was East Fife who firstly showed their intent as they got forward in numbers as Montrose defended two early corners before Blair Lyons broke at pace down the left and was only thwarted by a last-ditch tackle as he homed in on keeper Scott Gallagher. It was a signal to the Fifers that Montrose also had attacking intent but early on they were not quite on their usual game – but that was about to change as the first half progressed and they started to dictate play.

Steeves, Ballantyne, Lyons and Webster all worked the ball down the flanks and Webby was unlucky not to score as his shot was deflected for the first corner from which Masson tried his luck but another corner resulted in Steeves heading over the bar.

East Fife were still getting forward in numbers so there was defending to do as well as Dillon and Allan protected Allan Fleming who scarcely put a foot wrong all afternoon.

Then the opening Montrose wanted as Webster latched onto a clearance from Dillon and arrowed into the Fifers box before rifling his shot into the top corner from 20 yards to make in 1-0 on 20 minutes.

East Fife might have thought it against the run of play at that stage but this Montrose side are always a threat and from that point on they started to dictate more of the game whilst mindful of the need to settle down to their own style and rhythm. That they did as half-time approached though both Webster and Lyons might well have added to the score.

No changes to either side for the start of the second half as the expected surge forward for the equaliser by East Fife was dealt with as before. Terry Masson was yellow carded for a challenge on keeper Gallagher then the ever dangerous Webster had another effort which was narrowly over the top.

Montrose were certainly creating chances now both down the centre and both flanks. On 60 minutes the Mo fans sensed another goal as Blair Lyons wriggled into the box but pulled his shot inches wide. Meanwhile Allan Fleming had some tidying up to do at the other end but coped impeccably as a couple of half chances fell to East Fife.

On 70 minutes Kerr Waddell came on for Antoniazzi to tighten the grip in defence and shortly afterwards Liam Callaghan replaced Lewis Milne, such is the strength in depth of this Montrose squad. The clock was winding down as East Fife seemed to run out of ideas so they too made changes on 75 minutes with Sean Brown and Andrew Osel-Bonso brought into the action.

Blair Lyons was harshly yellow carded as the keeper took a quick free kick which hit Lyons as he moved away with no intention of charging it down. East Fife also had a player yellow carded for a bad tackle so cue another Montrose change with Masson who had already been booked, was replaced by Paul Watson.

As the game headed towards the 80th minute Montrose kept the ball well down the field and away from danger – except of course from themselves because a Lyons surge along the left touch line resulted in a pull back to a rampaging Cammy Ballantyne who gleefully crashed it into the net to make it 2-0 to Montrose.

An all-round professional performance by Montrose and such that it was hard to single anyone out for Man of the Match but it goes to Allan Fleming who deserves praise for another fine commanding clean sheet which sees the Mo sit proudly top of League 1 today.

If there was a MOTM apart from the players however it would undoubtedly go to the massed Montrose fans who got behind their team – it makes such a difference when they are there with the indefatigable Hamish in full voice as usual.

Report by Steve Doyle

Team Lineups & Stats

cinch League 1

Saturday 21st August 2021



1  Scott Gallacher
1  Allan Fleming
12  Scott Mercer
2  Cammy Ballantyne
5  Ross Dunlop
3  Andrew Steeves
3  Chris Higgins
14  Seán Dillon
8  Pat Slattery
4  Matty Allan
2  Aaron Dunsmore
6  Terry Masson (c) (s78)
19  Daniel Higgins
7  Graham Webster
6  Connor McManus
12  Chris Antoniazzi (s67)
10  Kevin Smith (c) (s75)
10  Lewis Milne (s69)
9  Kyle Connell (s45+1)
15  Mark Whatley
14  Liam Watt (s75)
11  Blair Lyons
17  Aaron Steele
8  Paul Watson (s78)
18  Liam Newton
19  Liam Callaghan (s69)
20  Andrew Osei-Bonsu (s75)
16  Craig Johnston
7  Danny Denholm
17  Aidan Quinn
16  Jamie Semple (45+1)
5  Kerr Waddell (s67)
15  Sean Brown (s75)
22  Craig Brown
21  Liam Campbell
21  Aaron Lennox

Chris Graham

Assistant Referees:
Craig Ferguson, David Milton

Montrose - Graham Webser (29), Cammy Ballantyne (77)

Yellow Cards:
East Fife - Chris Higgins (37), Connor McManus (78)
Montrose - Tery Masson (49), Blair Lyons (73)

Red Cards:



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