Saturday, October 16, 2010

Season 2010/2011: Match 6: Montrose v Berwick Rangers

Four games unbeaten? Can someone please tell me what's happened to the real Montrose FC?

Yet again today, Montrose practically failed to turn up for the first half of this match. But unlike last week, they didn't find themselves 3-0 down early in the second half.

Berwick are a good side to watch - their passing was fast and neat and with more composure in the final third they could have had a strong lead at half time.

But Montrose were only 1-0 down at half time, and that was enough to give some hope.

Berwick's goal was well deserved, Darren Gribben bursting clear of the defence, waltzing round Scott Bennett in the Montrose goal and shooting into the empty net.

When Martin Boyle was introduced as a replacement for the injured Conor Thomson five minutes before the break, it changed Montrose's game plan. Boyle has pace to burn and was a constant thorn in Berwick's side.

The second half was far more even than the first, and both sides had chances to win it. In a surprise change to the line-ups before the match kicked off, referee Paul Robertson appeared to have been replaced with a 12-year-old boy. He didn't have a good game, making erratic bookings, calling play back unnecessarily and waving play on to no advantage at others.

He missed a clear penalty when Ross McCord was felled in the box in the 68th minute, but made the right call 11 minutes later when Sinclair was pulled down by Guy Kerr. Paul Tosh made no mistakes from the penalty spot, shooting low past former Montrose keeper Mark Peat.

All in all, a draw was a fair result. Hugh Davidson made his return from injury when he was introduced as a substitute in the 54th minute, his introduction perhaps a means of preventing Chris Hegarty picking up a yellow card in a match littered with bookings. But the returning skipper didn't make it to the end of the game, appearing to knacker his previously knackered collar bone while committing a late foul. He didn't look anywhere near match sharpness while on the park and must now be a massive doubt for next week's Scottish Cup derby clash with Arbroath.

Man of the Match: Not a game littered with outstanding individual performances, but Martin Boyle was a constant threat after coming on in the 39th minute. His lightning pace makes him a tough proposition for any defender and on another day could have had a few goals.

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