MONTROSE succumbed to a home defeat against Peterhead on Saturday, mainly in part to a tremendous performance from visiting goalkeeper Paul Jarvie.
Jarvie kept Montrose at bay for most of the match, with only a second half Martin Boyle strike blotting his copybook. Boyle’s goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation strike, the Gable Endies having conceded goals to Graham Webster in the first half and David Ross and Martin Bavidge in the space of two second half minutes.
Montrose, missing the suspended Stephen McNally and the injured Paul Lunan, lined up with Sean Crighton, Dougie Cameron, Alan Campbell and Jonathan Smart in front of goalkeeper Michael Andrews. Lloyd Young and David McGowan were selected on the wings, flanking central midfielders Terry Masson and Jamie Winter. Garry Wood dropped to the bench, with Scott Johnston and Martin Boyle up front.
The home side started the first half with a strong wind at their backs, and the sought to take advantage early on, Winter smashing a free kick against the crossbar in the second minute. Dougie Cameron also tried his luck in the opening minutes, shooting over from 25 yards out.
Jamie Winter’s long-range shooting continually tested Jarvie in the Blue Toon goal, the former Inverurie man having to be alert to a bouncing shot 10 minutes in.
Boyle should have put Montrose ahead a minute later, but stumbled as he attempted to connect with Cameron’s square ball across the box, failed to connect and could only watch as the ball rolled to safety.
It was Jarvie who denied Boyle 60 seconds later, the ‘keeper making a diving save from the striker’s low shot. Both Boyle and Smart had shots blocked in the minutes that followed.
A neat Gable Endies’ move could have put the home side ahead in the 25th minute, Johnston slipping the ball in to McGowan after a pacy run down the right, but McGowan’s shot was tipped wide by Jarvie.
The let-off proved all important, with Peterhead opening the scoring with their next attack. WEBSTER, receiving the ball on the edge of the box, saw his first shot blocked by Smart, but reacted first to smash the rebound into the bottom corner.
Peterhead should have gone two ahead seven minutes later, McAllister beating the Montrose offside trap to home in on goal. With only Andrews to beat, the former Brechin man shot straight at the goalkeeper.
A two-minute spell shortly after the break effectively ended the match as a contest.
David ROSS grabbed Peterhead’s second goal when he poked the ball over the line after Martin Bavidge’s header had been blocked.
BAVIDGE himself then added the third, sending a sweet lob over Andrews’ head from the right-hand side of the box.
Montrose were quick to get back on the attack, Winter having a 30-yard shot tipped wide from a neat Masson-Young free kick combination.
Pressure from the home side continued, Boyle having a half volley tipped over before Winter had three shots blocked in quick succession.
That pressure finally paid off shortly after the hour mark when BOYLE controlled a long pass into the box from Winter, knocked the ball around Jarvie and fired into the empty net.
Although the goal appeared to rejuvenate Montrose, their subsequent pressure failed to pay off, with few clear chances created. Peterhead did well to soak up the attacks, frustrating Montrose by slowing play down and playing a short passing game.
With the final whistle approaching, Montrose were denied a second goal when Smart’s header from a Winter corner was cleared off the line by Ross Smith.
Montrose: Andrews, Crighton (Crawford 78), Cameron, Campbell, Smart, Masson, Young, Winter, Boyle, Johnston, McGowan (G Wood 57). Unused substitutes: Brown, Gordon and S Wood.
Peterhead: Jarvie, Donald (Sharp 46), McBain, Smith, MacDonald, Tully, Webster (Wyness 78), Redman, McAllister (Ross 42), Bavidge, Strachan. Unused substitutes: Davidson and Jellema.