Sunday, January 09, 2011

Season 2010/2011: Match 11: Montrose v Dunfermline Athletic

Montrose really are one of the most perplexing sides in Scottish football.

Last week they were torn apart by Arbroath, losing five goals and two men at home in the Angus derby.

Yesterday they took the lead against full time opponents Dunfermline, failed to collapse as had been predicted and were unlucky to lose an equaliser.

It looked as though they were heading out of the Scottish Cup when Dunfermline went ahead with 10 minutes remaining, but Paul Tosh slammed home an injury time equaliser to book a replay at East End Park.

Before the match, I thought Montrose would lose at least six goals. But they played well, limiting Dunfermline to long range efforts and attempts from corners.

When they took the lead, it was well deserved, Tosh racing onto a through ball before turning the ball into the bottom corner. They then defended excellently until 17 minutes from the end, and Sandy Wood was unlucky to be beaten by Patrick Clarke's long range effort.

Montrose heads could have gone down when Andy Kirk was quickest to react when David Graham's free kick clattered off the far post to poke the ball over the line.

But Tosh sent the Montrose fans home happy, taking a touch outside the box after Stephen McNally's long throw had been cleared and thumping the ball into the roof of the net.

Steven Tweed had probably his best game in a Montrose shirt, leading the line with authority. Sandy Wood was desperately unlucky with both goals. Ross McCord was combative and creative in midfield. And Paul Tosh showed the younger and supposedly better strikers on the park how to be an effective target man, constantly creating space for himself and others around him.

If Montrose could play like that every week, they'd be romping Division Three. But they don't, and recent league performances have been barely deserving of mid-table mediocrity.

Maybe the times they are a'changing....

Man of the Match: For generally making a nuisance of himself, for running around non-stop despite his advancing years and for two great finishes to keep Montrose in the cup, it can only been Paul Tosh.

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