STEVEN Tweed’s two-year reign as Montrose Football Club manager was brought to an end after this defeat on Saturday when he stood down from his player/manager position after the match.
Tweed started his Montrose career with a 3–0 home defeat to Annan Athletic and it ended after another defeat, again at the hands of Annan.
This match once again summed up his time at Links Park with his 10-man team again going down to a narrow defeat and giving away stupid goals which cost them dearly.
Montrose were more than a match for Annan Athletic and should have easily scored more than the one goal and they were certainly the better side once they were reduced to 10 men after Alan Campbell’s red card, but they just couldn’t find a way past home ‘keeper Craig Sumersgill.
With assistant Ray Farningham and coach Stuart Garden now in charge of the Gable Endies, they face an important couple of matches against East Stirling at home on Tuesday and Clyde away on Saturday - the two sides directly below them in the league table.
After the defeat by Albion Rovers Montrose made four changes to their line-up. In came Tweed, Chris Hegarty, for his first match since January 2, Martin Boyle and Aaron Sinclair. Out of the side went Sean Crighton, Conor Thomson, Ross McCord and Nicky Smith.
The Gable Endies lined up in a 5–3–2 formation with Gonzalez in goal and Tweed, Campbell and Pope in central defence. McNally was at right wing back with Sinclair on the left. This left a central midfield three of Cameron, Hegarty and Crawford. Tosh was joined in attack by Boyle.
On the bench for Montrose were Nicol, Thomson, McCord, Crighton and goalkeeper Sandy Wood.
Promotion-chasing Annan got the match under way with the Gable Endies shooting up the Galabank slope.
Montrose had a great opportunity to opening the scoring in the second minute. Martin Boyle ran down the right wing, turned inside his marker and ran along the touchline and cut the ball back to three in rushing team-mates. Unfortunately the ball went behind them but Cameron touched the ball back to Chris Hegarty whose shot was blocked.
In the fifth minute a Jardine corner caused problems in the box, but Peter Watson missed the ball at the far post.
With 12 minutes gone a pass from Ian Harty found ex-Montrose player David Cox running inside the area but he flashed the ball over Gonzalez’s crossbar.
Three minutes later another Annan Athletic corner caused danger inside the Montrose penalty box but Ramiro Gonzalez pulled off a great save and tipped a Muirhead header over the crossbar.
From the resultant corner, taken by Cox from the other side of the pitch, Bryan Gilfillan got in a header which the visiting defence managed to scramble away.
With 20 minutes gone Montrose opened the scoring. Hegarty was sent crashing to the ground after a tackle by Docherty. Dougie Cameron curled in a dangerous free kick to the near post and PAUL TOSH glanced a header over Summersgill and into the corner of the net for his 18th goal of the season.
Ramiro Gonzalez gave his fellow team-mates a heart in the mouth moment three minutes later when he dribbled passed not one but two Annan players inside his own box before clearing the ball up the park.
The home side had a good chance in the 28th minute when Sean O’Connor set up Gillfillan outside the area but the midfielder blasted the ball wide of the goal.
Ten minutes before the interval as the home side kept up the pressure ex-Montrose midfielder Mark Docherty had a low shot which went straight into the arms of Gonzalez.
Gordon Pope then kept the visitors’ lead intact when he blocked a shot from O’Connor on the edge of the box.
Cox again sent in a dangerous corner kick which Steven Tweed cleared for Montrose only for Tosh to give away a free kick some 30 yards from goal. Centre-half Aaron Muirhead took the free kick, but thankfully the ball landed on the roof of the Montrose net.
On the stroke of half-time Annan Athletic won another corner kick which was taken by Jardine. The ball reached Muirhead once again but he headed over the crossbar.
Within two minutes of the half starting Annan Athletic found the equaliser. With IAN HARTY looking suspiciously offside, the striker was allowed to carry on into the Montrose box and as Gonzalez came out the striker chipped the ball over his head and into the net.
The Gable Endies then won their first corner of the match in the next minute. Hegarty crossed in the box but Alan Campbell saw his header cleared off the line.
Worse was to follow for Montrose in the 51st minute when Annan Athletic were awarded a penalty kick and the Gable Endies were reduced to 10 men.
A cross ball wasn’t dealt with by the Montrose defence and Alan Campbell, lying horizontal on the goal line, blocked the ball with his hand. Referee Anthony Law flashed a red card at Campbell and IAN HARTY sent Gonzalez the wrong way from the penalty spot for his second goal of the afternoon.
Montrose reverted into a 4–3–2 formation with Cameron dropping back into left-back position.
Annan thought they had scored a third goal in the 55th minute when David Cox kicked the ball out of Gonzalez’s hands before netting, but a foul was quite rightly awarded against him. Chris Jardine was booked for disputing the decision.
Chris Hegarty was warned by referee Law for high feet against Jardine in the 57th minute.
Four minutes later, Tweed brought his Montrose career to an end when he was substituted for Sean Crighton. At the same time Annan Athletic made a switch when they brought on Graeme Bell for Steven Sloan.
Montrose had a great chance to equalise in the 65th minute. It was Martin Boyle who caused the problems with a great run up the right. He played the ball across the face of the goalmouth but the inrushing Sinclair couldn’t connect inside the six yard area.
Montrose had another good chance as the ten men continued to be the better side two minutes later. Hegarty found himself onside and his pass was deflected up into the path of Tosh whose shot was blocked by a home defender.
The homesters made another change in the 70th minute bringing on Bryan Felvus for Sean O’Conner.
Two minutes later Martin Boyle was shown a yellow card for controlling a pass with his hand.
With 15 minutes remaining Ian Harty almost completed his hat-trick when he picked up a pass from Mark Docherty, but managed to side-foot the ball past the post.
With 77 minutes gone Chris Jardine had another chance for Annan but he shot into the arms of Ramiro Gonzalez.
Montrose made another change, their second of the match, seconds later bringing on Ross McCord for Chris Hegarty.
With 10 minutes remaining of the match the 10 men had a great chance to equalise when a mistake by the home defence let in Paul Tosh with a clear run at the goal but his shot from 10 yards out was brilliantly tipped wide by Craig Summersgill and the chance was gone.
Cameron took the corner kick but the Annan Athletic defence managed to clear the ball after the ‘keeper flapped at the ball.
Tosh was then substituted for the last 10 minutes by Daryl Nicol.
With five minutes of the match left Stephen McNally was booked for holding back Cox has he looked set to break down the left flank.
A minute later Montrose won a free kick after Nicol was fouled. McCord’s cross was blocked for a throw-in. McNally launched a long throw in to the box which found McCord. He showed some great footwork before curling the ball around the far post.
Montrose had one last chance to grab a point but again McNally’s effort went around the far post and the chance was gone.
Montrose: Gonzalez, McNally, Cameron, Tweed (Crighton), Campbell, Pope, Hegarty (McCord), Crawford, Tosh (Nicol), Boyle, Sinclair. Substitutes – Thomson and Wood.