Saturday, November 17, 2012

Season 2012/2013: Match 9: Montrose 1 Queen's Park 1 (Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division Three)

While I long ago gave up hope of a professional football career (although I do still believe that I might get a game for Montrose some day), I can occasionally be persuaded to don multiple layers of battle armour, lather myself in Deep Heat and drag my decaying carcass onto a football pitch.

Today was one of those days, as Montrose FC Supporters' Club took on their counterparts from Queen's Park. Shoehorned into a three-man defence, I managed not to make any catastrophic errors, departing the pitch for the first time with the home side 1-0 up.

By the time my I rolled back onto the park we were 4-1 down, the match finally ending in a 7-2 defeat that makes the 'real' Montrose FC look competent.

So it was with stiff legs and a skreeved arse - it would seem that grass can burn just as badly as the Brillo pad surface at Links Park - that I plonked myself in the stand at the Wellington Street Wembley hoping that, if nothing else, Montrose would concede fewer goals than their fanclub.

Sandy Wood was back in goal, having served his suspension after his sending off against Elgin two weeks earlier. Terry Masson made the bench, with Jamie Winter and Dougie Cameron lookalike Monty The Mole leading the home side out.

Montrose hit the ground running, Lloyd Young opening the scoring after just 40 seconds when Queen's Park were unable to clear from a corner. The ball bobbled around the box, finally falling for the midfielder to lash a shot into the roof of the net.

From then on, it was an open and even encounter, Montrose looking dangerous down the flanks while Queen's Park threatened mostly from corners.

It goes without saying that the refereeing would have disgraced  a pub league - in fact, the official at our bounce match in the morning was better than the one in charge at Links Park. The standside linesman also seemed to take leave of his senses at one point, squaring up to Lee Wilkie, a course of action not recommended to those who like to keep all of their body parts joined together.

Anyway, Queen's Park's main defensive tactic appeared to be "Kick Garry Wood. Hard." It was mildly succesful, although repeatedly kicking a wardrobe in the freezing cold can't be the most rewarding way to spend your afternoon.

But it took Queen's Park 79 minutes of their trench warfare - and the introduction of Montrose's semi-professional irritant Terry Masson - to pick up their solitary booking.

By that time they'd levelled the scores, thanks to a sublime goal from Paul Gallacher. The midfielder cut inside Scott Johnston, dipped his shoulder as he jinked through a second challenge and curled a sweet left-foot shot over and around Wood from 22 yards out.

Montrose knew that a win would take them above the visitors and into the uncharted territory of the playoff places, and they took the match to their opponents. What resulted was 20 minutes of fast end-to-end football in which both sides created plenty of chances but failed to capitalise. Masson came close with a volley, while Wood was agonisingly close with a flicked header.

A draw was probably a fair result, although Montrose could have edged it with a bit more luck. A year ago they'd have been pumped, so the progress continues.

Which is more than can be said for the footballing career of one G. Jock of Montrose...

Man of the Match: Another solid team performance from Montrose today. Jamie Winter looked disciplined in his role as captain, although he lacked some of the outrageous spark we've come to expect. Garry Wood was tireless up front in the face of a war of attrition, while Lloyd Young was equally active. For me, Ricky McIntosh was the stand-out performer, the left back keeping things under control at the back while also managing to push forward and involve himself in Montrose's attacks.


Anonymous said...

McIntosh was left back was he not?

Groanin' Jock said...

Aye, that's right - the perils of writing gibberish match reports at midnight...I've edited the post now.