Two goals in stoppage time by Annan Athletic meant it was a disappointing end to the year for Montrose Football Club, as they lost their Boxing Day clash with the Galabank Park side.
There was very little between the sides in the match with goalmouth action few and far between to warm up the festive crowd at Links Park Stadium.
Montrose didn’t take the chances that came their way and in the end they were made to pay by Jim Chapman’s side, who certainly enjoyed taking all three points back home after their long journey.
After the home defeat by Clyde, Montrose made three changes to their line up with Stephen McNally, Ricky McIntosh and the suspended Ross McCord places being taken by Craig Bell, Graham Webster and Garry Wood.
Montrose lined up with Stuart McKenzie in goal and Terry Masson at right back with Craig Bell at left back, Alan Campbell and Luke Johnston in central defence, Scott Johnston was on the right hand side of midfield with Reid on the left. Webster and Watson were in the middle of the park with Deasley and Wood once again up front.
With Crawford and Wilson still injured Montrose listed only five substitutes in Gray, Bonar, Sturrock, McIntosh and goalkeeper Sandy Wood.
Annan Athletic won an early free kick when Davidson was fouled by Webster. Ally Love floated the free kick into the box but McKenzie held onto the free kick easily. Garry Wood gathered a pass from Reid inside the box and he turned and rattled in a shot, which was held by Arthur in the visitor’s goal.
Montrose had a let off seconds later when Kenny McKay picked up a loss ball inside the box, but Campbell got back to clear his shot off the goal-line.
Kenny McKay was proving to be Annan Athletics’ dangerman and after a run he fired in a shot from outside the box, which Stuart McKenzie did well to block.
Annan were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Montrose box after referee Salmond gave a free kick for a hand ball by Reid. Thankfully the Montrose wall blocked the free kick before Ally Love blasted the follow up well over the bar from 30 yards out.
Scott Johnston went on a good run up the flank his cross was gathered by Garry Wood first time ten yards out and his net bound effort was well saved by Arthur.
Montrose went close to opening the scoring when Paul Watson received a pass from Wood and he turned before sending in a beautiful chip from twenty yards out which Arthur back peddled to tip over the cross bar. Two minutes later, Josh Todd turned outside the Montrose box and fired in a shot which McKenzie held.
Next to have a go at goal was Graham Webster who won the ball in midfield but sent his twenty yard effort wide of goal.
A cross from Annan Athletics’ Ally Love was met by the head of Martin McNiff who sent his effort over the crossbar.
Montrose did have the ball in the net when Craig Bell played a one two with Wood, before finding the top corner but the assistant’s flag was already up.
In the next minute, Montrose won a free kick when handball was given. Paul Watson floated over a free kick to the back post where Graham Webster lopped a header just wide of the far post.
With four minutes of the half remaining, Jamie Reid fired over a low dangerous cross but his effort found no takers. Annan Athletic had the final chance of the half but Scott Davidson sent a 25 yard effort well wide of goal.
Half time: Montrose 0, Annan Athletic 0.
Montrose went close to opening the scoring when Reid knocked the ball down into the path of Garry Wood and his lob from just outside the area was brilliantly tipped over the bar at full stretch by Arthur. Reid swung over the corner but Luke Johnston header was saved again by the visitor’s keeper.
The Gable Endies kept up the pressure and a cross from Craig Bell was headed down by Wood into the path of Reid who lashed the ball wide when it seemed easier to score.
Campbell gave away a needless corner kick but thankfully when Love’s corner came over the visitors were penalised for pushing in the box.
A mistake inside the Montrose box gave Josh Todd a shooting opportunity but he fired into the grateful arms of McKenzie.
On the hour mark, Garry Wood found Paul Watson on the edge of the box but he shot wide with Montrose claiming a corner kick.
Montrose made their first change of the match in the 68th minute when Ricky McIntosh was replaced by Jamie Reid.
Scott Johnston was having a good match down the right flank for Montrose and after another good run he crossed for Paul Watson but the midfielder could only volley over from 25 yards out.
Annan won a corner kick when Terry Masson chested out a cross from McKay. Love took the kick but Graham Webster got up to head the danger clear.
Scott Johnston tried to race clear with the ball but he was clattered into by Matty Flynn who was booked by Salmond.
With five minutes remaining, Montrose gave away another corner kick when Luke Johnston sliced a cross over the bar. Love took the kick and when the ball was knocked back into his path he blasted an effort over the crossbar.
In the next minute, Annan made a change when Jordan Moffat came on in place of Davidson.
On the ninety minute mark, Garry Wood had a good run and when he got in a shot at goal it was blocked by a visiting defender.
Just as the match looked set to end goal-less disaster struck Montrose as Annan Athletic grabbed a goal two minutes into stoppage time. The Montrose defence backed off substitute Jordan Moffat and allowed him to fire in a low cross which was knocked home by dangerman Kenny McKAY. The striker was delighted with the goal and took off his shirt and ran to the away dugout liked he’d just won the Word Cup! He was promptly booked by the referee.
If the Montrose fans thought that was bad enough, a second goal arrived in the fourth minute of stoppage time. McKay got free on the right and he cut the ball back from the byeline for Josh TODD to acrobatically hook the ball home and seal Montrose’s fate.
Montrose: McKenzie, Masson, Bell, Campbell, L. Johnston, Webster, S. Johnston, Watson, G. Wood, Deasley, Reid (McIntosh) Subs (not used): Gray, Bonar, Sturrock and S. Wood