MONTROSE Football Club ended their season at Hampden Park on Saturday by losing to Queen’s Park.
The victory ensured the home side a place in the play-offs and a match against Albion Rovers.
The scoreline slightly flattered Queen’s Park in the end with Montrose deserving more from the match it what was probably their poorest performance for a number of weeks.
Ray Farningham made three changes to the side that defeated East Stirlingshire the previous week with Jonathan Crawford, Gordon Pope and Martin Boyle, back from injury, replacing the injured Alan Campbell, Sean Crighton who was only one booking away from a suspension next season and the suspended Daryl Nicol.
Montrose lined up with Gonzalez in goal, McNally and Sinclair in full-back positions with Crawford and Pope teaming up in central defence for the first time. The midfield three was Terry Mason, Hugh Davidson and Douglas Cameron. Sean Pierce played through the middle with Martin Boyle and Ross McCord supporting.
On the Montrose bench were Chris Hegarty, Conor Thomson, Sean Crighton, youngster Simon Murray and goalkeeper Sandy Wood.
Montrose captain Hugh Davidson had announced his retirement from the game. He joined the club in January, 2006, from Arbroath.
There was a healthy contingent through from Montrose at Hampden Park for kick-off time.
The Gable Endies got the match under way in the rain and won a free kick when Cameron was fouled by Paul McGinn. Cameron took the kick himself but it was poor and the ball was easily cleared.
In the third minute a great turn from Queen’s Park’s Craig Smith put him through on goal but his effort was well saved by Ramiro Gonzalez playing his last match for visitors.
Davidson was injured after a nasty challenge in the middle of the park from Michael Daly.
In the 14th minute a great ball from Pierce put Martin Boyle through on goal and the youngster’s shot was tipped around the post by Adam Strain.
Davidson was still suffering from his injury and was forced to bring his final appearance, his 171st for Montrose, to an end in the 20th minute, limping off to be replaced by Chris Hegarty.
Gordon Pope had the next chance for Montrose in the following minute and his shot won the Gable Endies another corner kick. Cameron again took the kick and again the home defence cleared the danger.
In the 25th minute the visitors won a free kick in a dangerous position when McCord was fouled. Aaron Sinclair took the kick but he could only shoot into the arms of Adam Strain.
In the following minute the home side opened the scoring. With the Montrose defence posted missing, Martin McBride slid a ball across the face of the six-yard area and striker LONGWORTH was on hand to side-foot home into the roof of the net.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining Queen’s Park came so close to adding a second goal. Longworth again caused the problems but this time his netbound effort was clawed off the line by Gordon Pope.
And with five minutes to go to the break Montrose missed a real chance to equalise after a great move. Pierce played through an inch-perfect first time pass to Martin Boyle who was clean through on goal. The youngster was unselfish and squared to the unmarked Douglas Cameron, but from six yards out he managed to fire over the crossbar and the chance was wasted.
With 58 minutes gone Queen’s Park made sure of the victory with a second goal. It was three on three as Queen’s raced forward and Anderson sent a slide rule pass between the two centre halfs and LONGWORTH was on hand to guide the ball past Gonzalez from the edge of the box.
In the 61st minute Stephen McNally became the first booking the game for a solid challenge on Craig Smith.
Three minutes later Paul McGinn of the home side was booked for yet another strong challenge on Aaron Sinclair. McCord took the free kick but it went sailing over the crossbar.
Sinclair was in the wars again after a centre circle challenge which saw Giuseppe Capuano booked.
At the same time Montrose brought on Conor Thomson for Ross McCord.
In the 70th minute the visitors made their final change of the afternoon when Simon Murray, son of Links Park Legend, Gary, came on to replace Ross McCord for his first team debut. Simon had scored 11 times for the Under-19s during the course of the season.
Queens made their first change of the afternoon when Ian Watt replaced Craig Smith.
Three minutes later the home side had scored again. WATT picked up the ball outside the box and played a one-two with goal scorer Longworth before beating Gonzalez at his near post.
The home side made another change with 10 minutes remaining, with Paul Gallacher coming on to replace the experienced Andy Millen in central defence.
The afternoon got worse for the Gable Endies when Queen’s Park scored a fourth goal in the 82nd minute. Substitute Ian Watt crossed from the left and LONGWORTH got above the Montrose defence to bullet home a header into the bottom corner to complete his hat trick.
Longworth was then replaced, his afternoon’s work complete, to be replaced by Tony Quinn.
Montrose got some reward for their afternoon’s efforts when they pulled one back in the 86th minute with the best goal of the match. Thomson pulled in from the flank and with Murray making a run into the box he squared to TERRY MASSON who fired home a brilliant effort from some 30 yards out for his third goal in his last five matches.
Douglas Cameron was the second Montrose player to be booked, challenging Anderson.
Montrose almost pulled back a goal in stoppage time. Thomson crossed from the left and Simon Murray cut inside a defender only to see his shot blocked. The rebound came back to the youngster but his second effort flew over.
Referee Euan Anderson then brought proceedings to an end to another disappointing season for the Gable Endies and maybe also brought time on a number of players careers at Links Park.
Montrose: Gonzalez, McNally, Sinclair, Crawford, Pope, Cameron, Masson, Davidson (Hegarty), McCord (Murray), Pierce, Boyle (Thomson) Substitutes – Crighton and Wood.