Saturday, September 29, 2012

Season 2012/2013: Match 6: Montrose 1 Edinburgh City 3 (William Hill Scottish Cup Second Round)

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,
Then I went to see Montrose play -
Oh I wish it was still yesterday.

Early draft of the lyrics for The Beatles' Yesterday, by Paul McCartney, 1965

Last week, Montrose matched the 2010/2011 Scottish Premier League champions during the first half at Ibrox, before Rangers' better fitness paid off in the second half.

Today Montrose were a miserable side to watch, with absolutely no redeeming features to their play at all.

They barely strung two passes together all afternoon. There was a lack of penentration (behave), with Scott Johnston and Jamie Winter on the bench. Jonathan Crawford, having removed his Screech-like hair, suffered from a Samson-like loss of power, while Terry Masson was unusually ineffective alongside him in midfield.

The tried and tested useless and obvious tactic of punting the ball long to Garry Wood was on show again today, and it got Montrose precisely nowhere. Leighton McIntosh looks as though he may never even have heard of football before, let alone played it.

Montrose were cuffed by the East of Scotland league team today, second to every ball and reduced to half-arsed, long-range shots. The defence was regularly posted missing and David Crawford demonstrated no confidence at all in goals.

Crawford was just one of the players at fault when Edinburgh opened the scoring in the eleventh minute, tipping the ball back into play from a shot when he would have done better to tip it out for a corner. But his was just one of the errors, Masson having given the ball away in midfield and all four defenders standing watching while Robbie Ross poked the ball into the net.

Montrose scrambled an undeserved equaliser two minutes into first half injury time, Paul Lunan heading in from a David Gray corner.

Montrose actually enjoyed a brief period of decent play midway through the second half, but that period of decent play produced no goals, and the home side quickly reverted to type.

Edinburgh City moved back in front 13 minutes from the end, Ross heading in from a Ryan Wilson cross. And they completed the scoring six minutes later when Scott Fusco poked home from a corner.

There were no highlights from Montrose. This was as bad as I've seen them for a while. None of the players looked like scoring, even when actually scoring. The defence was dire, with Lunan and former Aberdeen centre back (anyone who has seen Aberdeen playing football over the past 20 years will be hearing alarm bells now) Phil McGuire struggling to do anything useful. Although when 3-1 down, they did start dicking about at the back, turning back on themselves and playing the ball back to Crawford.

The fullbacks were marginally better, but struggled to string find any of their own players with the passes. Of the starting line-up, only the wingers looked vaguely useful, threatening with the odd run (Young) and making some decent crosses (Gray).

Johnston should have started instead of McIntosh, and we can hope that Jamie Winter's fitness and dietary needs will allow him to make the starting line-up in place of Jonathan Crawford soon. Although Terry Masson was shite today as well, so removing either from the starting eleven is acceptable.

I've rarely felt as positive about Montrose as I did after 45 minutes last week. I've rarely felt as negative as I did for the full 90 today.

One 'highlight' was seeing an Edinburgh City player receive a volleyed ball in the testicles from a range of about five yards. It's never funny when it happens to you, but it never ceases to amuse those around you. The boy went down like he'd been shot, and nothing the Edinburgh City physio could do was ever going to fix it.

Man of the Match: Only two players in contention here. None of the Montrose players were good, but David Gray and Lloyd Young were the least shit. I'll go with Gray, who set up Lunan's goal with a corner, not long after Young had sent a free kick into orbit.

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