Saturday, October 22, 2011

Season 2011/2012: Match 7: Montrose 2 Clyde 1 (William Hill Scottish Cup Second Round)

Before today, I'd seen Montrose play Clyde twice since the almost-weegie club were relegated at the end of the 2009/2010 season.

Montrose had scored 11 and conceded two goals in those two matches, so they definitely had the upperhand going into today's match.

The home side was missing Stephen McNally through suspension today, and Jamie "Fat Steven Gerrard" Winter was relegated to the bench.

Clyde looked much improved from last season, and they deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute, John Neil nipping between two dozing Montrose defenders to nod the ball into the net from Liam Cusack's cross.

But their advantage lasted only five minutes, visiting goalkeeper John Charles Hutchison palming Scott Johnston's shot into the path of Paul Lunan. The midfielder took a touch before curling a sublime 22-yard shot over the goalkeeper and into the net.

What proved to be the winning goal came in the 50th minute, Montrose hitting Clyde on the counter attack. A long ball from the back was controlled by Dougie Cameron, the left back/midfielder/captain/consumer of pastry products sending a perfectly-weighted through ball to Sean Pierce. The youngster carried the ball into the box before sending a perfect shot with the outside of his boot off the inside of the post.

Clyde weren't dead and buried though, and had plenty of chances to equalise and win the match. Cusack even managed to scoop a shot over the bar from four yards out, which is an achievement of sorts.

The match ended in controversy, with Clyde claiming that Jonathan Smart had handled the ball when clearing a corner. The referee awarded a corner, but the reactions of the Clyde players certainly suggested they were adamant it was a foul. At the final whistle, Smart was confronted by several of the visiting players, and his reaction seemed to suggest that he knew he'd got away with it.

Tough tits if you're a Clyde player or fan basically.

So Montrose march into the third round. And hopefully onto a fourth round clash with Rangers....

Man of the Match: I've been his biggest critic; he genuinely has been shit for most of his time in a Montrose shirt; he's a master of rubbish throw-ins; he likes the odd lasagne or four; he has a head like a knee. But today Dougie Cameron was reliable in defence, passed assertively, encouraged his team-mates and set up the winning goal (then celebrated like he'd scored it). It was cold at the football today. I think hell may be freezing over.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What The World Is Waiting For

...This IS the one we're waiting for.

Although I've been saying for 15-odd years that I never want The Stone Roses to reform (and posted about it here almost five years ago), I now have tickets to see them in Manchester next June. I haven't stopped shaking with excitement since 9.35am.

Please. Pleeeeeaaaaaaaase - let it be good.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Season 2011/2012: Match 6: Montrose 2 Peterhead 1 (Irn-Bru Division Three)

Before I start this report, I should remind both of my readers that I am legally obliged under Article 7, Clause 2 of the SFL Reporting Act (August 2011) to refer to Peterhead as "Big-spending Peterhead" at least once in my article.

However, plans to add an additional sub-clause to the effect that I must also refer to them as "the high-flying Balmoor side" were shelved roughly two games into the season.

Because you can't always buy success in football. Especially if your idea of success is paying Rory McAllister £600 a week to play against the assorted brickies, plumbers and astronauts who populate Irn-Bru Division Three.

Montrose's random assortment of part-timers gave one of their best team performances of the season today, working hard for each other, tracking back diligently, pushing forward en mass and generally getting stuck in all over the pitch.

Today wasn't a performance marked by extraordinary individual turns - this was a collective effort, and a collective "fuck you" to those who had them written off before the season, and this match, kicked off.

Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeterheeeeeeeeeeeid actually took the lead in this match, and it was McAllister's close control and neat finish that put them ahead after 12 minutes.

Both sides had chances during the remainder of the first half, and if Peterhead had scored it would have been a long way back for Montrose.

But the home side didn't stumble and didn't panic. They just kept on playing, although there were too many instances of them resorting to route one football, which demonstrably doesn't suit their attackers.

The equaliser, when it came, was as a result of a strong run from Sean Pierce, a constant threat to the Peterhead backline. His square ball outfoxed all of the visiting defenders, but was perfectly weighted for Terry Masson to slam the ball home.

After the break, both sides sought a winner, but the match began to tilt in Montrose's favour. The winner, when it came, was again the result of Pierce's persistance, the youngster chasing down visiting goalkeeper Paul Jarvie. The keeper panicked, failed to bring the ball under control, and Pierce dinked the ball into Martin Boyle's path, leaving him to poke into the empty net.

Too often we've seen Montrose collapse after taking the lead, in fact it happened in their most recent home match against Annan. But today they stuck it out, kept the ball and kept Peterhead at bay.

A great result for Montrose, and one that could be a kickstart to their season. They're now on nine points, six off the play-offs, while Peterhead are only one ahead of East Stirlingshire at the foot of the table.

I don't care too much for money, 'cos money can't buy me love....

Man of the Match: This was a collective performance, and everyone played their part. Particularly good were Terry Masson, who gave a commanding performance in the middle of the park; Stephen McNally, playing wide right and a constant driving force; Jonathan Smart, managing not to get sent off and leading the back line in the way we've heard he is capable for the first time; and Martin Boyle, whose pace again could have been his opponents' undoing, but who should have had a hat-trick today. Even Kneeheid Cameron was a force for good today, proving particularly dangerous from set pieces. But overall, the most important player was Sean Pierce, creating both goals and generally giving a tireless performance that bamboozled Peterhead's defence.