Saturday, March 29, 2014

Season 2013/2014: Match 12: Montrose 0 Elgin City 3 (Scottish Professional Football League Two)

Optimism and positivity tend to be in short supply in the stand, cow-shed and storm-ravaged terracing of Links Park, but today Montrose largely ditched their "launch it into the wind and see what happens" approach to the beautiful game and opted instead for slick passing and the creation of scores of chances.

They could have gone in at the break leading by four or five goals had it not been for some good saves from visiting goalkeeper John Gibson, some unlucky/poor finishing from Paul Watson, Scott Johnston and David Gray, and Bryan Deasley's inexplicably poor final balls.

Potentially four or five goals ahead at the break, but drawing 0-0 when Mat Northcroft blew for half time. Those of you aware of Montrose's recent history know where this is heading, don't you?

Montrose were still the better side in the second half, Campbell and Watson both coming close and Terry Masson shooting wide when it looked easier to score,

But it took only eight minutes for Elgin to score, Shane Sutherland (who was an international-class striker in Football Manager 2012) robbing Jonathan Crawford and poking the ball under Stuart McKenzie.

Two more goals followed, both scored by substitute Adam McLeod, and both after Montrose corners were cleared by long punts from the Elgin defenders.

So despite dominating the match, playing some attractive attacking football, regularly winning the ball and forcing Elgin into errors, Montrose contrived to lose 3-0 at home to the team second bottom of Scotland's lowest professional league.

Optimism and positivity tend to be in short supply...

Man of the Match: When Montrose were playing well today, they were as good as I've seen them all season - breaking fast, constantly pressing and looking for openings. Paul Watson and Terry Masson were the driving forces in the middle of the park, while David Gray created several chances and Bryan Deasley's work rate was second to none.

Leading them all by example was Scott Johnston, the youngster up front with Gray and a repeated threat to the Elgin defence. He seems to have bulked up recently, adding a previously unknown physical aspect to his play, as well as developing his final ball to be more effective.

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