Saturday, September 25, 2010

Season 2010/2011: Match 4: Montrose v Clyde

Every so often, you get a football game that defies all logic.

Montrose were the worst team in the Scottish Football League last season. Not only did they finish bottom of the bottom division, but they really were awful for most of the season.

Clyde also had a poor season and found themselves relegated from the Second Division.

In theory, a relegated team should be able to assert itself as one of the top sides in its new division the following season. But Clyde haven't been able to do that, and today's match at Links Park was between the two sides propping up all of Scotland's 'professional' teams.

Not so much clash of the titans as clash of the tits, today's match had ineptitude written all over it before kick-off.

The opening spell of the first half mostly involved Clyde attacking and Montrose defending in their usual haphazard style. Little of note happened until midway through the first half when Clyde's Graham Girvan chopped down Aaron Sinclair on the edge of the box as the young winger was bearing down on goal. The Clyde man was shown a straight red card, but Ross McCord thumped the resultant free kick against the crossbar.

Having a numerical advantage should have counted in Montrose's favour, but those of us who subject ourselves to Links Park on a frequent basis know better than to assume Montrose are capable of making the best of any given situation.

But even the pessimists amongst us were given cause to look on the bright side just two minutes after Girvan's red card when he was joined in the early bath by Ross McMillan.

In one of the strangest episodes I've ever seen in football, McMillan hacked down Paul Tosh as the striker was preparing to shoot from near the penalty spot. Referee Des Roache initially booked Tosh for diving and awarded Clyde a free kick, but after consulting with his linesman decided to rescind the yellow card, show McMillan a red and award a penalty.

Tosh slammed the ball into the bottom corner and Montrose never looked back. McCord added a second with a header 10 minutes later to given Montrose a two-goal lead at the break.

With a two-goal and two-man advantage, Montrose were clearly going to have to implode in fairly spectacular fashion to come away from the match empty-handed. For once, they didn't, and spent the second half ripping into Clyde with clearly gleeful abandon.

Conor Thomson scored a deflected third, his shot looping over John Charles Hutchison's head and over the line. Tosh finished his hat-trick with two goals in as many minutes just after the hour mark, poking home a Watson free kick and slamming a Hegarty corner into the net from inside the box.

Martin Boyle, introduced as a substitute 30 seconds earlier, raced into the box in the 70th minute and cracked a low shot into the goal, then McCord scored an audacious goal in the 72nd minute, picking up the ball on the edge of the area and sending a bullet shot across the box and into the top corner.

Clyde did score a consolation goal in the 81st minute, Neil McGowan scoring a weak header where Montrose goalkeeper Scott Bennett should have done better.

Montrose completed the rout when they scored their eighth in the 83rd minute, Watson blasting a 40-yard shot into the top corner.

So, Montrose 8 (EIGHT) Clyde 1. Montrose move off the bottom of the table and Clyde reach a new low (both on and off the park).

The early sendings off obviously changed the game immeasurably, but Montrose played well while Clyde were horrendous. Their players were guilty all too often of standing and watching as Montrose passed around them, and at least three of the goals could have been prevented by players being alert enough to close down attackers (or mark Montrose's centre forward).

Perhaps most surprisingly, Chris Hegarty didn't pick up even a booking in a match that saw two red cards and six yellows.

Man of the Match: Plenty of candidates in the Montrose ranks. Ross McCord was an attacking livewire throughout and was unlucky not to score a hat-trick. Aaron Sinclair's pace caused problems in the Clyde ranks, particularly after the red cards. Stephen McNally had a great game in central midfield. But the obvious recipient is Paul Tosh, who banged in a hat-trick with composure from the spot and two well taken striker's goals.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Worthy of comment Jock. I've been supporting Dumbarton for forty years and I've seen them score seven twice and six on a few occasions. I have never seen them score eight.

Enjoy the moment....