ON A sodden Broomfield pitch on Sunday, Montrose played host to the league leaders, Fairmuir, from Dundee.
Montrose started well with Matthew Davis giving the visiting ‘keeper a fright in the third minute. That was to prove a rehearsal for the first goal two minutes later, when Morgan Smith released MATTHEW DAVIS to leave the ‘keeper helpless. In the first 15 minutes the homesters’ domination continued, with shots from Connor Mitchell, Darren Forbes and Smith.
In the 18th minute, Scott Coull drove down the left touchline. His cross hit the post and FORBES pounced to finish the job for the second goal. Montrose pressure continued with a shot by Coull over the bar.
Only in the 24th minute did Fairmuir test Cameron Glennie for the first time. A minute later the visitors scored from a good movement, despite Glennie’s dive.
A Fairmuir player was yellow-carded for manhandling Glennie to grab the ball from his hands. In the 30th minute the Fairmuir manager received a yellow card for bad language towards the referee.
Half-time: Montrose 2, Fairmuir 1.
After the interval, Montrose could not find the same fluidity. Fairmuir levelled from a corner headed home by their number nine. Before being substituted, Smith hit a free kick which kissed the top bar. Davis also had a near miss when he shot wide from a Forbes pass.
In the 48th minute, a cross from the left was fumbled by Glennie and the Fairmuir number nine took advantage to give his side the lead. Six minutes later, a penalty was awarded against Montrose for a hard defensive tackle. Cameron was powerless to save it.
When the visiting number nine lobbed Glennie for his hat-trick in the 58th minute, Montrose began to feel the game was beyond them. Late tackles by Ryan Mather and Davis earned yellow cards. David Craig almost reduced the deficit but the Fairmuir ‘keeper saved on the line.
Beaten on the day by a better team, this was Montrose’s first home defeat since they started to play 11-a-side league matches. Injuries could be blamed but a more realistic and honest diagnosis is that Montrose were second-best on this occasion. Alas, some unfortunate Dundonian language from the Fairmuir touch-line marred a good challenge between two of the best teams in the league.