Hopes of a play-off place were already over for the Gable Endies before Saturday’s clash against Clyde but a lacklustre performance ensured they had no chance of climbing higher up the League Two table on the day.
First half goals in the space of five minutes from strikers Michael Daly and Stefan McCluskey ensured that the visitors all but have a play-off place themselves.
They now just require a point from next weekend’s home match with Albion Rovers to secure it.
Stand-in boss George Shields made three changes from the previous week’s 1-1 draw against Queen’s Park with Colin Wilson making a start in central defence. Youngster Kieran Sturrock picked up only his second start for the club while Graham Webster was also named in the starting 11. David Gray and Lewis Bonar were dropped to the bench with Paul Watson absent from the squad due to a one match ban.
Montrose lined up with McKenzie in goal with Crawford and McIntosh in full-back positions with Wilson and Campbell in central defence. Webster and McCord were in central defence with Johnston and Deasley on the flanks. Captain Garry Wood teamed up with Sturrock in attack.
The Montrose bench consisted of Duguid, Bell, Masson, Gray, Bonar and making his first appearance in the first team squad Kyle McLeod, the 17-year-old Montrose Academy pupil being rewarded for his goalscoring form with the Under-17 side. John McCafferty was the back up goalkeeper
With Clyde still having the all-important fourth play-off spot to fight for Jim Duffy’s side started off strongly while Montrose seemed to fail to get off the starting blocks.
A foul by Stuart McColm on Scot Johnston in the fifth minute saw a free kick awarded to the home side that failed to come to anything.
Free kicks followed for the visitors in the next two minutes when Alan Campbell and Bryan Deasley fouled Michael Daly and David Marsh respectively.
Despite their floundering start it was the home side that had the first opportunity to open the scoring when Kieran Sturrock sent his shot from the centre of the box sailing past the right post.
A Clyde corner in the 11th minute fell to Scott Ferguson who his right-footed drive from the edge of the box was blocked by the home defence. Another Ferguson attempt seconds later was parried to safety by home ‘keeper Stuart McKenzie.
But inevitably the visitors finally found the net 20 minutes in when MICHAEL DALY latched onto a Stefan McCluskey cross and neatly slotted the ball past the home ‘keeper into the bottom right corner of the net.
In the 25th minute Colin Wilson brought down STEFAN McCLUSKEY in the box who then stepped up to convert the penalty with a well-taken shot into the centre of the goal to make it 2-0.
With just under 10 minutes of the half left to go Ross McCord tried his luck for Montrose but his shot from just outside the box was caught well by the visiting ‘keeper.
Half-time: Montrose 0, Clyde 2.
Montrose still failed to find a spark as the second half got under way and again it was Clyde who had the first of the chances to score, but Stuart McKenzie did well to block the McCluskey shot.
Just after the restart Ross McCord became the first Montrose booking of the afternoon.
In the 55th minute an uncharacteristically quiet Bryan Deasley had his first real opportunity of the game only to see the ball just miss the right hand post. Five minutes later Montrose looked like they were starting to fight
back with another McCord attempt who was unlucky to see his shot blocked by the ‘keeper.
Sturrock was replaced by Terry Masson in the 62nd minute as Shields made his first substitution.
Two minutes later Masson picked up a booking for a foul on Scullion.
With just over 20 minutes to go another Deasley attempt came close to making it 2-1 but again he was unfortunate to see another miss.
Clyde made their first and only substitution of the game when Giuseppe Capuano replaced Ferguson.
Scott Johnston and Ricky McIntosh were booked yellow carded as frustrations got the better of the Montrose players.
In the remaining ten minutes Garry Wood sent the ball high over the net in an attempt that seemed to sum up the home sides fortunes for the day. Then just before the final whistle Webster sent the ball into the ‘keepers arms for the result to remain 2-0 in favour of the visitors.
Montrose: McKenzie, Crawford, McIntosh, Wilson, Campbell, McCord, Johnston, Webster, Wood Sturrock (Masson 63), Deasley. Subs not used - Duguid, Bell, Gray, Bonar, McLeod and McCafferty.