Saturday, April 02, 2011

Season 2010/2011: Match 18: Montrose v Elgin City

The sun was shining today, and the summery weather seemed to inject Montrose with a bit of life.

This was the first time I've seen Montrose since Steven Tweed quit/flounced off in a huff.

Montrose were looking for their first win in six games, and by all accounts they've been decent but have just lacked the killer touch over the last few matches.

That was definitely obvious today, and the home side should have scored five or six today.

In the end they only got the one, but that was enough to take all three points.

It was a well-taken chance, Jonathan Crawford meeting Daryl Nicol's cross with a perfectly-placed header.

Both sides had chances, and today was the first time that I've actually believed that our Argentine mime artist Gonzo is a goalkeeper. He made some good stops and blocks, and even kicked with his right foot at least once.

In fact, Montrose generally looked quite good today. Aaron Sinclair had probably his best game of the season, playing at left back, although there were a few defensive slips from his team-mates.

Stephen McNally was his usual industrious self at right back, and the midfield was solid and fairly creative.

The front line of Nicol and Boyle was very lively throughout, and if Montrose were suffering from top goalscorer Paul Tosh's departure to Peterhead, they didn't show it.

Too many chances were passed up for this performance to be truly great, but a win is a win, and those have been few and far between at Links Park over the past two years.

Hopefully Ray Farningham will take the Montrose job permanently and will have a clear vision of how to take the side forwards.

Of the team that started today, I'd now keep Gonzalez, McNally, Davidson, Boyle and Nicol. Sinclair I would sell for the right price, even though he's a great player on his day. I'd keep most of the backline if they could eliminate the silly mistakes. But it would be end of the road for Dougie Cameron, who looks too sloppy in his passing and seems to make odd decisions too frequently.

Cameron passed up a glorious chance today, hammering a volley high and wide from six yards out when it looked easier to score.

Onwards and upwards for Montrose? Maybe. There were certainly green (or blue) shoots today anyway.

Man of the Match: This could easily have gone to one of a number of players. Gonzalez looked like a goalkeeper for the first time, and kept Montrose ahead with a lot of good saves. Hugh Davidson looked reliable in midfield, and Aaron Sinclair seems to have been rejuvenated by his move to left back. But today's key player was Daryl Nicol, who worked tirelessly (as did strike partner Martin Boyle), creating chances throughout and setting up Crawford's goal with a great run and cross.

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