Saturday, July 26, 2014

Season 2013/2014: Match 1: Montrose 0 Peterhead 3 (The Petrofac Cup Round 1)

The last time I saw Montrose beat Peterhead was in November 2012. Since then, they've lost Martin Boyle and Jamie Winter, and have lost 6-0 to Peterhead at Links Park.

Using the well-honed skill and judgement that comes with the territory of being an amateur pundit, I today predicted that Montrose would not win their first competitive match of the season.

The reasons for this prediction included:

1) Montrose's lack of a real goalscorer - Garry Wood is a striker who rarely strikes, and Bryan Deasley seems to have forgotten he ever was one. Scott Johnston runs a lot but seems to forget what he was trying to do when he gets where he was going.

2) Montrose continue to play Alan Campbell and his arthritic knees at centre back, while Paul Watson has polished his game down to a solid core of wandering around, shouting at his team-mates and trying audacious long-distance shots.

3) Peterhead are, though it pains me to say it, a very good side (when speaking comparatively alongside the rest of the scrapings in the bottom two levels of the SPFL barrel).

4) Montrose are pish.

Even the previously unbreakable lucky charm of Little Jocklette was unable to counteract the Rory McAllister effect, daughter dear seeing Montrose lose for the first time, in her fourth visit to the North Sea Nou Camp.

Peterhead took the lead in the fifth minute, Andy Rodgers' header dropping inside the far post from a James Stevenson corner, despite Ross Graham's best efforts to Riverdance it to safety.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 17th minute when McAllister broke into a light jog which saw him race clear of the Montrose defence, before he slipped a low shot into McKenzie's net.

They completed the scoring before the half hour mark, Rodgers cutting the ball back for Stevenson to sidefoot home.

Having all but lost the match already, Montrose were further hindered when referee Colin Steven showed Graham Webster a red card for allowing Peterhead's Jamie Redman to smash into him with a sliding challenge.

He was joined in the Montrose dressing room by Garry Wood early in the second half, the Montrose skipper adjudged to have committed a professional foul on McAllister, although there looked to be little or no contact between the two.

If Webster and Wood thought they were having a bad afternoon, it probably got a whole lot worse when they were joined by Big Mad Lee Wilkie, the raging assistant manager banished to the dressing room lest he forcibly remove assistant referee Joseph Lawson's head from his shoulders. One would imagine that was an uncomfortable 45 minutes for the red-carded players.

After the second red, there was little action on which to report - Peterhead pissed about with the ball in their own half, occasionally gave Rory McAllister a chance to make Campbell look like a fud, and fired a few long distance shots at Stuart McKenzie just to check he wasn't sleeping.

And that was that. Three goals conceded, none scored, two men sent off and suspended.

Welcome to the new season...

Man of the Match: Slim pickings from Montrose. Without Stuart McKenzie in goals, it could have been a lot worse, so we'll go for him.