Saturday, January 19, 2013

Season 2012/2013: Match 13: Montrose 1 Clyde 1 (Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Division Three)

Weather: Montrose had some today. Other places apparently had more. 12-year-old referee with no testicles decides at 10am that match will go ahead. 32-year-old men with testicles would rather keep them warm at home but decide to brave Arctic conditions and concrete shed nonetheless.

Crowd: Is 336 people officially a crowd? Or is it just a gathering? What is the collective name for a gathering of Montrose fans? A delusion? What's the collective name for a smattering of Clyde fans? A resignation?

Goalkeepers: Sandy Wood flapped like a flappy thing today. Stephen McNally didn't, pulling off a fine one-handed save on the line in the seventh minute. Unfortunately he's a right back, not a keeper. Referee Robertson, unlike McNally, made no mistakes with this one. Red card, penalty kick, Clyde goal from John Sweeney. Montrose prepare for 83 minutes with 10 men...

...but Montrose survive Clyde having most of the first half play, despite Sandy Wood channeling the ghost of Ramiro Gonzalez ("YAGSHEMASH! REGARDS!") with a goalkeepering performance that incorporates the Can-Can and an impromptu game of crab football.

After the break: Much better from Montrose, who dominate the second half despite being a McNally short. Stuart Garden resists the temptation to tinker with his team, hoping to pick up the Oscar for "Most Addams Family Substitutes Bench" by having Lee Wilkie, Paul Lunan, Phil McGuire and David Crawford sit in a row for 90 minutes.

A nifty combination of neat passing and spawny deflections sees angry woodpecker Scott Johnston equalise on the hour mark. Leighton McIntosh and Paul Watson also have chances as Montrose run their piss-poor visitors close.

What It All Means: Verbal Kint is really Keyser Söze. Sorry, wrong drama. It means Montrose are still third in Division Three (or second in the league of teams not spending £10,000 a week on strikers), and will remain so unless Peeeeeeeeeterheeeeeeeeeeeid wallop Rangers at Balmoor tomorrow.

If they remain in third place until the end of the season, they will get a play-off place to see which of the SFL's proposed divisions they play in during season 2013/2014. The Elite League of 19 teams, splitting after three matches with a round robin decider? The Championship Select of eight teams, splitting after 14 rounds of fixtures, with the the top and bottom sides meeting at Hampden in a meaningless challenge match? Or Serie 12, made up of the remaining 57.7 amateur, semi-pro and pub teams, who nobody gives a fuck about?

It's all too exciting.

Man of the Match: Terry Masson. Sent to right back after less than 10 minutes, kept Montrose's momentum up despite being out of position. Pushed close by Paul Watson, David Gray and Ricky McIntosh.

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