Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Season 2011/2012: Match 1: Montrose 1 Raith Rovers 0 (Friendly)

The title of this post is slightly misleading.

Although I'm counting this as the first match I've been to this season, I actually saw the first 20 minutes of Montrose's encounter with Stenhousemuir a week earlier, before husband and father duties called me away.

In the 20 minutes I saw of that match, Montrose looked lively, and Martin Boyle scored a well-taken goal. They ended up winning that match 2-0, and by all accounts played well

So it was with optimism that I took my seat in the Links Park press gallery (the seats at the back of the stand) for their encounter with Division One side Raith Rovers. Raith finished 10 points behind champions Dunfermline last season, so should really be significantly better than Montrose, who at their worst are one of the least capable sides in Scottish football.

But Montrose have a new steel about them under Ray Farningham. A few of last season's old guard have moved on, and there are some new faces looking to carry Montrose to new heights.

Former Arbroath winger David DiMilta was named in the starting line-up. He's a nippy wee bugger, but he runs in a very comical fashion that brings to mind a football sprite from a late 1980s ZX Spectrum game.

Jamie Winters played in central midfield as a trialist. All I can remember of his performance is that he looks like a fat Steven Gerrard. This is not intended as a compliment.

Several Montrose fans have been raving about the performances of new signing Jonathan Smart. I thought he had a disastrous first half against Raith, allowing their strikers in too often, leaving Sandy Wood unprotected. The keeper, thankfully restored to the starting line-up now that Argentine mime artist Ramiro "The Incredible Flying Gonzo" Gonzalez has left, had a great game, pulling off a series of flying saves to deny Raith the goal their build-up play deserved.

Montrose grew into the match as it wore on, and they took a well-deserved lead through Martin Boyle, the youngster knocking home a rebound after Jonathan Crawford's shot had been saved. It seems obvious even at this early stage that the key to any Montrose success this season will be utilising Boyle's pace. If he can add an extra degree of composure to his game, then perhaps we can dare to dream....

Man of the Match: It's between Sandy Wood for his first half saves and Martin Boyle for his livewire performance up front. Sandy gets the nod this week though, as without him Montrose would have been skelped.


Anonymous said...

'husband and FATHER duties'

golly gosh has the happy event already occured?

congratulations, manly handshake, passes cigar from breast pocket and dircts you to the nearest bar for celebrations.

you'll be that in that 'other world' of blissfully walking on air combined with bleary eyed-sleeplessness.

Groanin' Jock said...

Yeah, she's five weeks old now. Growing fast. And still likes to wake up at 4am....