Exciting fare at Links Park - and there’s more to come!

Montrose Football Club and league leaders Arbroath have it all to do again on Saturday after they shared four goals in an end-to-end William Hill Scottish Cup second round tie at Gayfield Park.

The replay means the sides will play each other three times in October.

The Montrose line-up showed four changes to the side that lost heavily to East Fife the week before. Out went Birstingl, Masson, the suspended McIntosh and O’Neil. Back came Stuart McKenzie, Craig Bell, Graham Webster and Scott Johnston.

The Gable Endies had gone to physically match their opponents and in a surprise move captain Garry Wood, despite being listed as number nine, played in central defence.

Montrose carved out the first opportunity when Paul Watson gathered the ball on the edge of the area and his netbound 20-yarder was finger-tipped over. McCord’s corner found Crawford but he could only head wide.

The home side opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Simon Murray was the danger man again as he was allowed space at the edge of the area to fire in a shot which rebounded off McKenzie’s post and PAUL McMANUS netted the rebound from six yards.

Montrose tried to hit back and two minutes later Wood was inches away from connecting with a McCord corner inside the six-yard box.

With 10 minutes gone a header from Johnston put Deasley in down the right but he fired well past the far post.

In the 15th minute the cup tie was back on. Deasley won a free kick on the right. Ross McCord curled over an inch-perfect kick and GARRY WOOD was on hand in the six-yard box to head home his fifth of the season.

Murray was proving a handful for Montrose and in the 20th minute Campbell tangled with him but the ball found its way back to McKenzie.

After getting themselves back in the match Montrose shot themselves in the foot by gifting a goal in the 24th minute. Some slack play on the touchline gave the ball to the home side and Stewart played a pass to ADAM HUNTER who fired a low 25-yarder into the bottom corner.

Play was held up when Crawford and McBride clashed heads after the home player missed the ball at the back post but both continued after treatment.

In the 33rd minute Deasley was tripped by Ali El-Zubaidi giving Montrose a free kick some 35 yards out. McCord’s free kick fell perfectly to Deasley inside the six-yard box and the striker looked certain to score until and Arbroath leg got in the way.

Arbroath almost punished Montrose again with four minutes remaining, After losing possession near the corner flag while attacking, the home side raced clear and one pass put Bobby Linn clear but the ex-Dundee man shot wide of the post.

Montrose restarted the second half in pleasant conditions but the home side who had the first real chance when Linn’s cross found Murray but he could only head up and into the arms of McKenzie.

The first booking of the match came in the 57th minute to Montrose captain Garry Wood. He was penalised for a late tackle despite the flag being raised for offside against Simon Murray. Thankfully for Montrose no damage came of 
Hunter’s free kick.

The Gable Endies made a change before play resumed with Stephen Day coming on the left hand side to replace Craig Bell.

Gayfield erupted once again in the 63rd minute when Montrose found an equaliser. Wood was pushed near the touchline and PAUL WATSON produced more free kick magic by firing into the roof of the net at Crawford’s near post, with John Crawford claiming he had headed the ball into the net.

Montrose had the bit between their teeth and three minutes later a great run and cross from Bryan Easley was deflected out for a corner. McCord’s kick was cleared by the home defence.

Jonathan Crawford became the second booking of the afternoon for another late tackle after the ball had gone.

The home side made their first change in the 73rd minute bringing on Kevin Buchan for goalscorer Paul McManus.

Arbroath won a corner and played it short for Bobby Linn who raced into the box only to see his effort being tipped over by McKenzie.

The home side’s centre half Ali El-Zubaidi picked up a yellow card with 10 minutes remaining when he blocked the path of Ross McCord. It was to be McCord’s last involvement in the match and he and Graham Webster were replaced by Stephen O’Neil and Paul Harkins. Arbroath brought on Michael Travis for Scott McBride. Travis had only been on the park for a couple of minutes when he was booked for a foul on Stephen Day.

The game was starting to get stretched as both sides were going for it and with four minutes left a slip from O’Neil let in Simon Murray for a great chance, but the youngster took a fresh air swipe at the ball and the chance was wasted.

The bookings continued and Arbroath’s Craig Johnstone was next in over-fussy referee Nick Walsh’s book for a foul on Bryan Deasley.

Paul Watson took the free kick which appeared to be heading in until Crawford sprang to his left to tip the ball over the bar.

A chance for Montrose to win came in the final second. Graham played a great pass up the left wing, Deasley flicked the ball on and Stephen Day raced clear unmarked into the box but with only Crawford to beat he fired straight at the keeper.

The final action of a pulsating Angus derby cup clash came in stoppage time when Scott Johnston was booked for a tackle on 
the touchline.

Montrose: McKenzie, Crawford, Bell (Day), Graham, Campbell, McCord (O’Neil), Webster (Harkins), Watson, Wood, Deasley, Johnston. Subs – Robb, O’Kane, Cavanagh, Birnstingl