Montrose Roselea 1
ROSELEA headed to Downfield Park on Saturday desperate to get back on the rails following their disappointing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Forfar Albion the previous weekend.
Downfield were the new leaders and were four points ahead of Roselea although the visitors had two games in hand, so it made the importance of the match so much greater.
The visitors’ absentee woes eased slightly with Calum Rae returning from holiday and David Craig also available after injury. James Collier is still one week away from fitness and joined long term absentees Paul Whyte and Colin Kennedy on the sidelines.
Roselea shuffled their side slightly with David Craig, Calum Rae and Gavin Reid coming in from the previous week’s line-up.
The Montrose side were shooting up the Downfield brae in the first half on a pitch which had been rolled twice after taking hammering the previous week against Blairgowrie.
The visitors were first on the attack and Aitken swivelled past his marker winning a corner with claims that he had been held back.
Rae swung in a dangerous corner that flashed across the goalmouth and was touched behind for another corner.
Roselea had another chance in 12 minutes when Craig sent in a near post free kick which Watson flicked just behind.
In 15 minutes Downfield took the lead with a brilliant goal. Colquhoun got too tight to SCOTT and the striker unleashed a stunning 25-yard strike over the stranded McLeod and into the top corner of the net.
Roselea almost got back on level terms after a great turn and volley by Aitken in the box. Thain somehow managed to get a strong hand to it and turn the ball over the bar for a corner.
Roselea were forced into a change in 32 minutes with Fotheringham replaced the injured Miller.
In 35 minutes Downfield doubled their advantage and again it was a long ball that caused the problem. SCOTT chased down the ball and the advancing McLeod missed his clearance giving Scott the easiest of tasks to slot home despite the efforts of Colquhoun.
In 40 minutes Downfield came close again, this time a curling McDonald free kick went just wide of the post.
Half-time: Downfield 2, Montrose Roselea 0.
The second half started with the homesters’ Scott picking up where he left off, latching onto a McDonald crossfield pass before shooting narrowly wide.
The third goal of the match was going to be crucial and, despite some good Roselea pressure, it was the Spiders who stretched their lead in 62 minutes. A low free kick from McDonald could not be held and the ball was bundled home from close range by TRENT.
Hood replaced Aitken in 64 minutes as Roselea looked for a lifeline to get back in the game.
Gavin Reid had a good effort from 25 yards just go wide of the target in 66 minutes.
Roselea made their final change in 68 minutes with Riach going on for Watson.
It was not Roselea’s day again and they had further misery when Hood struck a great first-time shot from a Rae cross only to see it hit the stanchion before bouncing on the line and out.
Roselea’s persistence finally paid off when RIACH headed home a Rae corner from close range in 78 minutes.
Two minutes later, with Roselea searching for a second, Hood almost played Riach in but a great tackle diverted the ball behind for a corner. Rae’s flag kick was headed home at the near post, but the referee had awarded a foul on the ‘keeper.
Roselea kept battling away in the final 10 minutes but could not find any more chinks in the Downfield defence and the match ended with more disappointment for the Lea.
More pain for Roselea as their current run of poor form continues although it was a far better showing from the team.
In terms of the league table it was a massive game but all is not lost and there is a long way to go in a league in which teams are taking points from each other.
Downfield are now seven points ahead although Roselea and the chasing pack have games in hand. With the injury list shortening competition for places will be hotting up in the coming weeks. They get an early chance to make up some lost ground when Arbroath Vics are the visitors to Broomfield Park on Saturday (March 12) with a 2.15pm kick-off.