Saturday, October 25, 2014

Season 2013/2014: Match 3: Montrose 1 Arbroath 5 (The Scottish Professional Football League Two)

Deja fucking vu.

A fortnight between encounters, half an hour less of play, two more goals, one fewer goalkeeper by the end of the match.

Despite the scoreline, Montrose were better today than they were a fortnight ago, although they could have played all day and struggled to score from open play.

Arbroath passed up a fair few chances as well, but they did manage to score five. One was a penalty after Lucas Birnstingl was sent off for a late foul on Paul McManus. Having used their three substitutions already, Montrose put their biggest lump between the sticks, Garry Wood's first touch while wearing the keeper's gloves the unfortunate task of picking the penalty out of the net.

He shipped a second (and Arbroath's fifth) in stoppage time as McManus added his second.

Strangest goal of the afternoon came courtesy of former Montrose goalkeeper David Crawford. Div thumped a free kick from 10 yards outside his own box up the park, watching the ball bounce once and fly through Birnstingl's hands and into the net. The fact that the ball was moving in the wind when he took the kick was deemed irrelevant by both Crawford and referee Craig Charleston, but not by the Montrose bench, driven incandescent with rage.

Montrose's only goal came from the penalty spot, courtesy of a soft award when Scott Johnston decided to lie down in the box near Arbroath's Kevin Nicoll. Wood made no mistakes from the spot.

I can barely be bothered to analyse today's performance. Deasley looked livelier than I've seen him so far this season, and with better composure would have had a goal.

Leighton McIntosh came on as a sub and looked better than he has in at least two years, while Wood was typically tireless up front.

Defensively Montrose were a mess, leaving gaping holes at the back that Arbroath should have exploited much better than they did - Montrose could easily have been four goals down by half time.

There were few highlights today. The most entertainment I had was trying to decipher what the new Links Park stadium announcer was havering about - I'm sure at one point he boldly stated that Montrose fans should "come and see Willy, he has great tattoos and a bottle of wine, tickets just £12".

Which sounds like a better deal than watching Montrose get humped by Arbroath every second Saturday.

Man of the Match: Slim pickings from Montrose. I thought Bryan Deasley looked good, finishing excepted, but I appear to have been in the minority there. Ross McCord looked better than he has for a wee while, with a bit of bite and purpose to his play. Choosing between the two, I'd go for McCord.

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