Clyde 2, Montrose 0
MONTROSE Football Club brought a difficult week after the departure of Steven Tweed to an end when they lost at the hands of bottom of the table Clyde at Broadwood Stadium on Saturday. The result brought the Bully Wee to within six points of the Gable Endies.
Ray Farningham and Stuart Garden must now look to bring the winning mentality back to a side that is now low on confidence after losing their last four games.
Montrose were facing an away match against Queen’s Park last night (Tuesday) before meeting Elgin City at home on Saturday.
After the poor performance against East Stirlingshire on Tuesday night the Gable Endies made three changes to their line-up. Into the side came Alan Campbell after suspension, Conor Thomson (a late replacement for Gordon Pope who injured himself in the warm up) and Daryl Nicol for his first match start this year. Out went Chris Hegarty, Gordon Pope and top scorer Paul Tosh.
Montrose lined up with Gonzalez in goal and McNally and Sinclair in full back roles. The midfield three consisted of Cameron, Crawford and McCord, with Thomson on the left flank and Nicol on the right. Boyle was the lone striker.
Tosh was on the bench alongside Masson, Hegarty, Milligan and goalkeeper Wood.
The visitors had the first opportunity of the match in the opening minute when Martin Boyle beat his marker on the right and whipped in a cross that Ross McCord couldn’t quite reach at the far post.
In the third minute on-loan St Mirren winger Jamie McCluskey twisted and turned inside the Montrose box and shot over Gonzalez’s bar from a tight angle.
McCluskey was causing Montrose problems and two minutes later he ran unchallenged through the middle and let fly from 25 yards out, only for his shot to hit of the top of the crossbar and go behind to safety.
The first booking of the match arrived in the eighth minute when Stephen McNally mistimed his challenged on Marc McCusker has he broke down the left wing. The Montrose captain was shown the yellow card by referee Euan Anderson.
From Gramovic’s free kick the ball broke back to Finlayson who shot straight at Gonzalez.
In the 15th minute a long ball out of defence from Aaron Sinclair found Martin Boyle inside the area, he controlled the ball turned and made space for a shot which went into the arms of Halliwell.
Four minutes later Clyde opened the scoring. A long range effort from 35 yards from McCluskey hit the post and rebounded off the back of Gonzalez and spun back into the path of JOHN STEWART who had the easiest of tap ins from a yard out to give Clyde the lead.
With 21 minutes gone Alan Campbell fouled Stewart outside the box but Patrick Scullion curled the free kick well over the crossbar.
The following minute Aaron Sinclair went on a great solo run and beat a few players before firing in an effort from 25 yards out which Halliwell did well to block. The ball came to Nicol but he couldn’t find Boyle with his cross.
In the 25th minute Nicol was sliced down by Finlayson who was only warned by the referee when he should have clearly been booked. From Cameron’s free kick Montrose won a corner kick.
McCord’s first corner was blocked and the ball came back out to him but again Clyde cleared his shot.
Daryl Nicol and Martin Boyle then played a give and go before the former was flattened by Iain Gray who was quite rightly booked. Cameron swung his free kick over to the far post and Sinclair hooked the ball back into the penalty area for Martin Boyle whose overhead kick flew over the crossbar.
With five minutes of the half remaining, the Gable Endies carved out another good opportunity when they used the width of the pitch well. McCord played a crossfield ball to McNally who broke clear on the right and his cross turned into a shot and clipped the crossbar before going behind for another fruitless corner kick.
On the stroke of half-time Clyde came close again when Marc McCusker’s shot on the turn went behind for a corner kick.
The Bully Wee should have scored a second goal in the 47th minute when dangerman McCusker found himself through on goal with only Gonzalez to beat but the goalkeeper did well to make a great save. The rebound couldn’t be forced home by McCluskey but the flag was already up against him.
Three minutes later Nicol won another corner kick but again McCord’s effort was poor and Clyde broke up the park. Thankfully for Montrose, Aleksandrs Gramovics blasted the ball high and wide over the bar.
In the 52nd minute Daryl Nicol was booked by the referee for diving on the edge of the area after beating to players. The assistant immediately signalled for a Montrose free kick but after consulting his assistant, the grade two referee Anderson still decided to stick with his decision.
Two minutes later McCusker ran down the left and sent over a cross which John Stewart hooked well over the crossbar.
With almost an hour gone a Nicol cross fell to Ross McCord but he sent his 20-yard effort over the crossbar.
Montrose then made a change on the hour mark when Conor Thomson was take off and replaced by Paul Tosh.
Montrose kept up the pressure and came close again in the 62nd minute. Boyle won the corner kick which Cameron swung over it found Alan Campbell at the near post and his header went inches wide of the near post with Halliwell well beaten.
It was end to end stuff as both sides continued to search for a goal. Clyde were next to have a go in the 65th minute when top goalscorer Marc McCusker turned on the edge of the area and got in another shot but Gonzalez got in a great save and touched the ball around the post.
In the 66th minute the home side made their first change bringing on John Sweeney for Gramovics.
Sixty seconds later Stephen McNally crossed into the box for Paul Tosh and the striker lobbed the ball inches over the crossbar with Halliwell beaten.
The Gable Endies had another great chance to equalise in the 70th minute. A McNally run won a corner kick which was swung in by Cameron, Paul Tosh headed the ball across goal and in the scramble Jonathan Crawford’s header hit off the post and went behind.
Montrose won another corner kick in the 74th minute through Sinclair. McCord played a short corner with Cameron before running into the box. This low cross was cleared back to Paul Tosh whose shot was held by Halliwell.
In the next minute Clyde made a change bringing on Willie Sawyers for John Stewart at the same time Montrose brought on Fraser Milligan for Daryl Nicol.
Sawyers were quickly into the action and chipped the ball over the Montrose crossbar.
Disaster struck Montrose again when the Bully Wee sealed all three points in the 81st minute. McCusker was allowed to get in a cross from the left and substitute WILLIE SAWYERS rose above the visitors’ defence to head the ball home.
Montrose didn’t give up and Boyle stuck out a foot to send the ball goalwards and he was inches away in finding the inrushing McCord before Halliwell gathered the ball.
With five minutes remaining Fraser Milligan got free inside the box but with team-mates inside the box he chose to shoot straight at ‘keeper Halliwell.
In the final minute of the match Paul Tosh laid the ball off into the path of McCord but he shot at the keeper from 20 yards.
Despite the scoreline this was a good Montrose performance with the young guns of McCord, Sinclair, Nicol and Boyle all catching the eye.
Montrose: Gonzalez, McNally, Cameron, Crighton, Campbell, Thomson (Tosh), McCord, Crawford, Boyle, Nicol (Milligan), Sinclair. Substitutes – Masson, Hegarty and Wood.