Saturday, May 07, 2011

Season 2010/2011: Match 21: Queen's Park v Montrose

It may be over.

Barring an unforeseen (and unforeseeable) venture to a match over the next couple of weeks, today was probably the last match I'll attend this season.

It may even be the last Montrose away match I'll attend for a long while, given that my first-born - Laudrup McCoist Hateley Durrant Gascoigne Rae - is mere weeks from arrival and is likely to monopolise my free time for a long, long time.

(That name is only a working title - I may still go with Hegarty McNally Gonzalez Crighton McCord Tosh Boyle Rae. Or Lennon if it's a boy [after John, not Neil or Danny].)

Anyway, today was my first time on a Montrose supporters' bus, my first time in the Queen's Park social club and my first time at Hampden when the stadium hasn't been in use for a cup semi-final, cup final, Scotland match or concert.

It's a strange experience being in a sub-1000 crowd in a stadium designed to hold 52,000 (a text from Montrose's own Argentine-obsessed roving reporter asking me to "save her a seat" raised a smile).

Montrose had nothing to play for today, having already secured(?) eighth place in Division Three. But Queen's Park (we're amateurs, honest - we don't pay our players, just give them £100 expenses a week) were looking to guarantee a promotion play-off place.

Some of Montrose's early movement looked vaguely decent, but once Queen's took the lead in the 27th minute, there was never going to be any doubt of the result.

Jamie Longforth ultimately scored a hat-trick and Ian Watt also got on the scoresheet as Queen's put four past The Incredible Flying Gonzo, playing what was probably his last game for Montrose. His larger-than-life personality will be missed around the club, but his abilities as a goalkeeper have been called into question too often since he arrived earlier this year.

Today marked the end of the Montrose careers of a few of the players, most notably Hugh Davidson, who skippered the team for the last time before retiring. His final match ended in near-heartbreaking fashion, limping off after just 20 minutes.

He was replaced by Chris Hegarty, another player likely to be on the way out of Links Park. Along with Gonzalez, Hegs had the good grace to come across to the noisy travelling support at the end of the match and give away his shirt. Gonzo went one better, also handing across his shorts (after ensuring that the roving reporter had received the goalkeeper's jersey and a kiss).

Montrose's only real high point came with Terry Masson's goal, the midfielder picking the ball up far from goal, striding in towards goal and lashing an unstoppable shot into the net.

Aside from that, my personal highlight was hearing a small girl shout, out of nowhere: "Heggy's gonnae get you" - a chant that sounds infinitely more chilling when uttered by an innocent child than by a bunch of blokes old enough to know better.

And so it ends here. Next year's team will look vastly different to this year's incarnation, and will hopefully carry some of the better recent form into the new campaign. From tenth to eighth this season - hopefully from eighth to sixth next year....

Man of the Match: No outstanding candidates - it can't be any of the back five in a match when we conceded four. Masson's superb strike and general work rate make him my final man of the match of the season.


Mike Smith said...

I'm smirking at the thought of you calling your child Lennon! What happened to last week's Montrose report? I was there to see Shire capitulate early on - rather like Hearts at Ibrox yesterday...

Groanin' Jock said...

I wasn't at last week's match Mike, I was on holiday on the west coast.

I didn't know you were so dedicated that you followed the Shire around the country - let me know if you're coming to any of the matches next season and we can grab a pint.

Sarah said...

Always with the taking the mick! :P You know what I meant lol.

Mike Smith said...

Sure will, Jock. I was at Links Park in the company of an Aberdeen/Montrose fan who I hadn't seen for some time so that was my excuse for going up. Consumed several pints in The Market Arms afterwards...Hope all is going well for you and Mrs Wife - not long now!