Sunday, December 21, 2008

Season 2008/2009: Match 14: Montrose v Albion Rovers

Last week, I suggested that if Montrose's results didn't improve, caretaker manager David Hannah would find his tenure would be very short.
In the seven days that passed between that game against Cowdenbeath and yesterday's match with Albion Rovers, Hannah fell on his sword, having won four and lost four of his eight matches in charge.
Director of football Kenny Black, father of Montrose's best player Stephen Black, took charge of the first team yesterday, and the team looked solid and dangerous.
That was for the first five minutes at least, as it took winger and top goalscorer Kevin Bradley only six minutes to receive a straight red card for kicking out at his marker. It was the second red card a Montrose player has received for that same offence in the space of two weeks.
The curious thing about Bradley's sending off was that it came with Montrose having ben awarded a free kick for a foul by the Albion Rovers left back.
So, once Bradley had completed his trudge of shame across the pitch and down the tunnel, Stephen Black whipped the ball into the box and on-loan striker Calum Smith lashed it into the net on the half volley.
In the space of 30 seconds, Montrose had been reduced to ten men and had taken the lead.
From then on, Montrose actually looked quite assured in possession, forcing Albion to rely on shots from long range to test goalkeeper Greg Kelly.
But in the second half, tired legs and the numerical disadvantage cost Montrose, who succumbed to an equaliser in the 56th minute and a beautifully-taken winner from Bobby Barr four minutes later.
I've always liked watching Albion Rovers, not because they play like Barcelona (they don't) or because I've got an emotional or geographic tie to them (I don't), but because their strips always remind me of Melchester Rovers.
Albion certainly don't have a Roy Race figure leading them towards glory, and I think a full-strength Montrose side would have crushed them yesterday. But Rovers do have what passes for a celebrity fan in the Irn Bru Scottish League Division Three, with stand-up comedian (one of the funniest men in Scotland and a club director) Pat Rollink watching from the stand as Albion moved to within five points of their hosts.
Hopefully, the latest change in leadership will be enough to rejuvenate the Links Park side. There were enough good signs on show yesterday to suggest that a run of good results is just around the corner.

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