Saturday, September 17, 2011

Season 2011/2012: Match 4: Montrose 2 Annan Athletic 3 (Irn-Bru Division Three)

Those of you who regularly venture down this dead-end road at the far-flung rear-end of the worldwide interweb will be aware that on the past two occasions that I have seen Montrose "play" "football", they have conceded 12 goals (that's 12 goals total. Not 12 goals in each match. They're not that terrible. Yet.).

In each of those matches, they've had a right royal hiding. But today's defeat (for it was a defeat, if the scoreline in the title of this post didn't give it away) was a different affair.

Montrose were great in the first half. Slick passing ON THE ACTUAL GROUND AND EVERYTHING and fast running from Martin Boyle saw them take the lead in the 14th minute.

OK, OK, they were pegged back almost immediately when they left a great lumbering centreback completely unmarked at the back post.

But they didn't panic, didn't resort to the casual brutality and long balls that have become their trademark - they just kept on passing the ball.

This seemed like a brave new world, one that had come about as a result of water on their collective brains due to the Angus monsoon season starting roughly 20 minutes before kick-off.

In fact, Montrose were so good in the first half that they actually went in for their shared half time orange (one segment each, Dougie Cameron gets the biggest bit) in front, wee Martin Boyle's whippetesque pace carrying him into the box to poke home a second just a minute before the whistle.

All good so far....

....then came the second half. Annan had decided that enough was enough, and spent the majority of the second period squeezing Montrose back into the their own half. But Montrose sat it out well. The slick passing may have been cast aside, but they coped well with constant pressure, and Annan didn't create much in the way of chances.

Until six minutes before time, when they lumped the ball into the box for the same centreback, again left unmarked, to slam a shot into the net.

Still, a draw is a draw, a point is a point, and when you play for Montrose a home draw is like winning the lottery.

Except Montrose went into panic mode, and Annan added a winner barely seconds short of the full time whistle.

Some attempts have been made to blame the referee for the defeat, and while he was guilty of a few odd decisions, none of them cost Montrose the match. They did that themselves through poor concentration.

There were a lot of positives today. Martin Boyle had the best game I've seen him play, the team playing to his strengths and capitalising on his pace. He also seems to be making progress towards adding a killer instinct to his game, which was previously marked by a lot of pace but an occasional lack of composure. Two goals today tell their own story.

Jamie Winter was a creative hub for Montrose. He may have picked up the nickname Sixpence for his tendency to seek the Hollywood pass everytime, but his passing ability is miles ahead of that of his team mates. He's also built like a rhino, and it's good to see a bit of muscle/gristle/flab/big bones in the middle of the park for a change.

Speaking of muscle/gristle/flab/big bones, Dougie Cameron appeared to be captaining the side today despite Stephen MaccaMaccaReyna McNally playing at right back. I'm not sure why, but then I'm one of Kneeheid Cameron's biggest critics. He actually had a decent afternoon today, with some thunderous tackling and a few decent passes. It also helped that he was out of harm's way far out on the left wing, somewhere where he can do less damage to the home side than usual.

Steven Masterton, formerly of Clyde, played as a trialist in central midfield, and he looked like a worthwhile capture if he's available permanently, working well alongside Winter and combing well with Jonathan Crawford and Boyle.

Most of the team would get pass marks based on today's performance. I can't think of any major disasters, although the defence should have been marking better at set pieces, as it was poor awareness at dead balls that cost us all three goals and all three points today.

Still, onwards and upwards....well, downwards if we keep getting no points, but you know what I mean.

Man of the match: A good all-round team performance, with a few stand-out performers, but it could only be Martin Boyle for an eye-catching display up front. If he continues to develop at the rate he has over the past year, he may not be a Montrose player for long.


FishHawk said...

"Groanin' Jock" has been included in this weeks A Sunday Drive. I hope this helps to attract even more new visitors here.

kenfitlike said...

Hi Jock

the Aberdeen Dunfermline game has been switched to Friday night - which frees me up to make the trip to Montrose v Peterhead a week on Saturday.

Could be a gigantic Battle of the Shite-Uns!

Groanin' Jock said...

Aye, what's happened to big-spending Peeeeterheeeed, who were going to romp the division?!

If you're down for it, a quick pint in the Market Arms, Picture House or Legion might be on the cards.