Beaten - but a long way from disgraced

Dunfermline Athletic 5,

Montrose 3

MONTROSE FC missed out on a money-spinning Scottish Cup fifth round tie against Aberdeen when beaten by First Division Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday.

The Gable Endies were far from disgraced in the replay at East End Park but their best chance of success had probably come in the home tie at Links Park 10 days earlier when a last minute strike from Paul Tosh gave them a 2 – 2 draw.

There will not be many teams who will score three at East End Park this season and not win.

After the 2-0 victory over Albion Rovers in the league Montrose made one change with Pope returning after a league suspension to replace Crighton. Midfielder Milligan was listed as substitute goalkeeper after Capstick injured his hamstring in the warm up.

Montrose were cheered on by a healthy away support of over 200.

In the second minute a cross from home captain McCann was met by the unmarked Thomson who should have done better than head over from 10 yards out.

The home side kept up the pressure and in the fifth minute Callum Woods ran unchallenged in to the Montrose box but shot wide.

Pressure paid off for Dunfermline who opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Gibson crossed from the right and KIRK found himself unmarked in the six yard box to bullet a header past Sandy Wood.

Player manager Steven Tweed was injured and was forced to come off with a hamstring injury. Sean Crighton took his place at the centre of the Montrose defence.

Four minutes later the visitors won a free kick after Woods fouled Sinclair. But the free kick was wasted as Masson curled the ball into the arms of Smith.

The visitors wasted another opportunity when referee Allan finally awarded Montrose a free kick after McGregor pushed Tosh again. Cameron wasted the free kick.

With 28 minutes gone McNally played in Tosh on the right hand side of the box but the striker’s cross was missed by both Nicky Smith and Douglas Cameron.

Montrose won a free kick in the 34th minute when Ross McCord was fouled in the centre circle when the free kick was played into the box the on loan Dundee United midfielder hit a miss hit shot straight at Dunfermline Athletic goalkeeper Chris Smith.

Two minutes later, the Pars had a real scare when a Douglas Cameron cross fizzed across the penalty area and required a touch but neither Pope nor Campbell could supply.

Montrose paid for the miss as Dunfermline raced up the park and scored a killer second goal. The ball seemed to be moving as ‘keeper Smith played a goal kick out to Gibson but play was allowed to continue and the winger raced up the pitch and fired in a shot that Wood touched onto the crossbar only for McDOUGALL to be on hand to bundle the ball over with what appeared to be his arm.

There was a sensational start to the second half with Montrose pulling a goal back in the 47th minute. A McNally throw in into the box was hooked on by Tosh to McCord and his powerful shot was beaten away by keeper Smith but only as far as his team-mate Callum WOODS who headed the ball into his own net.

However, a minute later Dunfermline re-established their two-goal cushion. David GRAHAM got free down the left wing and he hit what looked like a cross but it looped over Sandy Wood and ended up in the net.

Dunfermline kept up the pressure and made it four in the 52nd minute. Gibson fed McCann on the left. He played a measured ball back to GRAHAM inside the box. He fired low past Wood.

The Pars made a change in the 57th minute when Nick Phinn came on to replace Gary Mason.

A minute later and Alex Keddie came the first booking when he sliced down Terry Masson.

With an hour gone Montrose made their second change of the afternoon when Martin Boyle came on up front to replace Nicky Smith.

Graham was then sent clean through on goal in the 63rd minute only to be sliced down by Stephen McNally giving the home side a penalty kick. The referee booked McNally and GIBSON stepped up to send Wood the wrong way from the spot for Dunfermline’s fifth goal of the evening.

Two minutes later Graham’s free kick hit off McCord and landed at the feet of Gibson but he could only fire the ball over the crossbar.

In the 63rd minute Dunfermline Athletic made their final two changes, taking off Gibson and Kirk and replacing them with Clark, scorer at Links Park and Willis.

In the next minute Montrose made their final switch of the match with McCord who had been a pre match doubt being replaced by Hegarty.

A 73rd minute Hegarty pass to Boyle saw Montrose win a throw in. McNally took it and found Hegarty inside the area. He flicked over a cross and top scorer PAUL TOSH did well to arch backwards to get his head to the ball and find the bottom corner past Smith.

In the 79th minute a pass from Masson played in Hegarty in a wide right position but his cross was deflected out for what was a fruitless corner from Cameron.

Montrose kept up the pressure and hit Dunfermline Athletic with a third goal with four minutes left. Masson played in a great pass which put Boyle through on goal with only the ‘keeper to beat. He raced from goal and brought the Montrose youngster crashing. Referee Allan pointed to the spot and sent off Smith. Captain McCann went in goal but TOSH easily fired home his 15th of the season and his fourth of the tie.

Montrose: Wood 7, McNally 7, Pope 7, Campbell 8, Tweed 2 (Crighton), Cameron 8, McCord 6 (Hegarty), Masson 8, Tosh 8, Smith 6 (Boyle), Sinclair 8. Substitutes – Thomson and Milligan (GK)