Saturday, August 25, 2012

Season 2012/2013: Match 4: Montrose 0 Annan Athletic 0 (Irn-Bru SFL Division Three)

The last time a Montrose match ended goalless, some reptiles were beginning to develop fur and shy away from egg-laying in favour of giving birth to live young; Rangers were an SPL side on the verge of an xth consecutive league title; Martin Boyle wasn't playing for Dundee; and Dougie Cameron had a full head of hair.

Perhaps the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are cantering towards us as 2012 enters its back half - maybe the Mayans had it right after all, and we've only got a few more months to live. Either that or the planets are aligning and some crazy shit is about to go down (I understand that is yoof speak for "something is about to happen").

Whatever is happening, Montrose and Annan - a pair of sides you can generally rely on to rattle in a goal or nine - drew a collective blank today.

If the end of the world is approaching, I don't think today's match will be one of the moments that will flash before my eyes at the moment of apocalypse - one of those unforgettable occasions to live long in the memory.

Only 267 folk could be arsed to turn up for today's 'clash', Montrose's population having conceded defeat now that the one lifeform that they could previously regard as a footballer has departed to do football somewhere else.

Now that we are in the Post-Boyle (PB) era, Montrose are going to struggle to find goals, given that Scott Johnston is an angry and excitable, but ultimately goal-free, human/Woody Woodpecker hybrid, and Garry Wood is what is euphemistically known as a 'target man' (ie a striker who doesn't, emmm, strike).

Lloyd Young, having taken it upon himself to score goals over the past few weeks, decided to have a rest today, which would have been perfectly acceptable had Stuart Garden not selected him in midfield.

Leighton McIntosh came off the Montrose bench late on, bringing with him an air of intrigue, rumours of an ability to score, but unfortunately not his shooting boots.

In fact, Montrose's closest attempt of the match came in injury time from the unlikely airborne source of Alan Campbell. Launching himself through the air, the arthritic centre back contected with a peach a volley that came back off the crossbar, McIntosh poking the rebound out for a goal kick.

Truth be told, Montrose would have been worth a win today, with a combative performance that only occasionally flirted with the "let's pump it up the park and see if that works" routine that has dogged them over the past five matches/months/years/decades.

With a bit more luck, or a Martin Boyle-shaped presence in attack (or even a Paul Tosh-shaped lump up front), Montrose would have got the win.

So, the weeks Montrose score goals, they concede them with merry abandon. The week they keep a clean sheet, they couldn't score in Vegas with a prince in tow.

Winter is coming...

Man of the Match: The churlish part of me wants to nominate Annan goalkeeper Alex Mitchell, who secured a point for the visitors with some excellent saves. David Crawford, his Montrose counterpart while Saaaaaaandy Wood gets his beak fixed, was also a strong contender, marshalling his defence well. Speaking of the defence, the whole back four looked good, and kept Annan at bay throughout. None of the Montrose midfield shone especially brightly, although David Gray had his moments. And the strikers worked hard but ultimately came away empty-handed. Over the course of the match, I'd nominate Stephen McNally as having had the strongest 90 minutes, driving forward from right back without leaving acres of space behind him.

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