Sunday, May 06, 2012

Season 2011/2012: Match 22: Montrose 5 Clyde 0 (Irn-Bru Division Three)

This is The End...beautiful friend, The End...

(I'm writing this through a semi-hungover fog, so apologies for inconsistencies, errors, poor spelling, lack of grammar and general shitness).

Last season I made it to 21 matches, this season it was 22, thanks in part to work trips to the big smoke.

At least this season it ended on a high, unlike last year when a few hardy souls watched several Montrose players end their careers in a 4-0 Hampden hiding.

One year on, a few Montrose players, and possibly the manager, called time on their Links Park days with a resounding stroll in the sunshine against a woeful Clyde side.

Martin Boyle blasted his way to the Ginger Boot with a hat-trick, Terry Masson grabbed a goal with a cracking drive and even Alan Campbell got on the scoresheet with a header.

The strangest thing about the match wasn't the centre back getting on the scoresheet then managing to reach his own half in time for the restart, but the choice of pre-match music, which seemed to be a dance compilation from 1993. Brilliantly, it included Technohead's "I Want To Be A Hippy" (I want to be a hippy and I want to get stoned on mari - marijuana).

The local football club advocating the use of Class C drugs? It might take the edge off the performances of Messrs Smart and Cameron anyway...

...except Jonathan Smart didn't even make the team, relegated to the bench alongside Scott Johnston, with Jamie Winter missing out through injury.

The substitutes took part in an impromptu penalty shoot-out at half time, Johnston demonstrating a decent ability between the sticks. And if the players had shown as much effort in the preceding 35 matches of the season as they did during that kick-about, maybe yesterday's match wouldn't have been a chase for eighth place in the league...

Frustratingly, Montrose saved their best performance of the season for the last day of the season, absolutely ripping Clyde to pieces. All of the players selected played well, and there was a drive, hunger and most notably, an assurance that has been missing all too often this season.

Hopefully the core of the side sticks together for next season's push further up the table. I'd definitely like to see Winter, Boyle, Masson, McNally, Young, Lunan, Johnston and both Woods hang around, not to mention Dougie Cameron and Alan Campbell if they can play like they did yesterday more often.

From bottom of the table last season to eighth this year - Montrose are on the up...

If Ray Farningham, as expected, does leave to return to Dundee as assistant manager, I'd be keen to see Stuart Garden move into the hotseat. Otherwise, maybe Ralph Brand would be worth a punt?

Man of the Match: Inevitably, on the day he made sure of the top goalscorer award and scooped six trophies at the end of season bash, Martin Boyle is man of the match. A tremendous hat-trick, including a rare header, if yesterday proves to be Boyler's last match in a Montrose shirt, he went out on a high. He was the first among equals though, with the whole side deserving of praise, particularly Stephen McNally, Lloyd Young and Terry Masson.

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