Forfar West End 3 Montrose Roselea 1
Roselea travelled to Strathmore Park, Forfar on Saturday to meet old acquaintances West End for the first time in three years following the one-year abeyance of the Forfar side last season.
The clubs have had many ding-dong encounters over the years and this McBookie.com North Division match was expected to be the same, with both sides having taken maximum points from their opening league games.
Roselea travelled with a host of problems on the personnel front. Out was the injured Ryan Taylor with Danny Ross, Jo Reoch, Michael Cruickshank and Stewart Fletcher missing for a variety of reasons. On the plus side, Ross Mcleod returned between the sticks.
Roselea started well and forced a couple of early corners that West End did not deal with very well. However, they survived the early onslaught and took the lead in the third minute. The ‘keeper threw the ball to their left back and his long ball was picked up by COX who drove on and slid it under the advancing Mcleod.
There was a further blow for Roselea when Calum Watson had to leave the field after a heavy challenge from Garrick on seven minutes. He was replaced by Chris Milne.
Roselea had another couple of chances and again it was corners that were giving West End trouble. Whyte went close with a header in 10 minutes then on 15 minutes Rae played a short ball to Riach who sent in a dangerous cross that Allan just failed to get a touch on.
Roselea had a let off in 20 minutes when this time Mcleod failed to connect fully with a punch on a corner. Although Black headed goalwards a foul had already been called.
West End’s centre half was lucky not to be carded for a bad foul on Collier in 24 minutes.
Roselea had a let-off on the half-hour mark when Scott knocked home from close range after the ball was struck across the goalmouth but was correctly given offside.
In 37 minutes a flighted Kennedy free kick was knocked down by Anderson and Rae shot just over the bar. Two minutes later another Kennedy free kick was headed towards the corner of the net but the home ‘keeper saved well.
On 42 minutes Anderson tried a cross field pass but found a man in blue. Garrick drifted forward and headed just over with Roselea failing to track back.
Half-time: Forfar West End 1, Montrose Roselea 0.
Roselea had yet another chance from a set piece five minutes into the second half when another great ball from Kennedy was headed back across goal by Collier and Whyte was agonisingly close to getting the smallest of touches that would have sent the ball into the net.
Roselea fell further behind in the 58th minute. Roselea claimed offside against Darren SCOTT who checked inside and fired the ball against Allan. He could do little to prevent the ball hitting his hand and it seemed to be off target. Scott tucked the penalty away to the ‘keeper’s right hand side with Mcleod’s despairing dive a valiant effort to save.
Roselea plugged away and Collier came close again, hitting a shot on the spin which was blocked on the line.
Roselea player-manager Ralph Brand replaced Riach with 20 minutes remaining and was soon involved by challenging the ‘keeper who dropped the ball at the feet of Collier, who again saw his shot cleared off the line.
Roselea finally got the goal their play deserved although it came very late. Brand flicked on a ball played into the box and Paul WHYTE finished well from close range.
Roselea threw everything forward and as so often happens suffered a reversal. The ball broke to SCOTT just over the half-way line. He took off, driving into the box, and capped a great win for the home side.
Roselea: Mcleod, P. Taylor, Whyte, Collier, Allan, Urquhart, Rae, Anderson, Milne, Kennedy, Watson. Subs: Riach, Brand and Craig.
Referee: Mike Roncone.
This was a sore one for Roselea to take and with an already depleted squad the loss of Calum Watson early on made things harder.
The home side were well organised but Roselea matched them all over the park. Perhaps the added experience of Garrick and Tinley in midfield was the main difference between the teams.
Roselea will need to regroup before an equally tough game at East Craigie on Saturday.