Fortress Links Park for Montrose as Gary Fraser and Graham Webster maintain perfect home record

Photo - Phoenix Photo Shop.
Photo - Phoenix Photo Shop.

Montrose made it three home wins out of three without the loss of a goal as they brushed aside Elgin City at Links Park on Saturday to move back into third spot.

The Gable Endies are just one point behind Annan Athletic and Berwick Rangers, the two sides to have beaten them this season.

After a slow start against Jim Weir’s side Montrose moved up a gear after Graham Webster’s opening goal and once Gary Fraser had added a deserved second goal there was only going to be one winner.

Paul Hegarty’s new look side have a great desire about them to not lose matches.

They appear organised, fit and work as a team.

Everyone knows what they are to be doing and they all carry out these instructions with a great passion - long may it continue.

Injuries ruled out keeper Jordan Millar and captain Paul Watson for the match and they were replaced by Ross Salmon and Gavin Malin, making his debut after signing on loan from neighbours Forfar Athletic.

There was a familiar face in the Montrose dug out with former player Sandy Wood listed as a trialist substitute in the absence of Millar. Montrose’s recent good form had certainly caught the imagination of the home supporter with an impressive 584 fans inside the ground at kick off time, some 120 up on the previous home match against Clyde.

The visitors were using their aerial presence to put Montrose under pressure and forced a series of corners but the home defence held out well.

In the 12th minute Webster gave away a foul in a dangerous position for Montrose but McLeod was flagged offside when he got on the end of Moore’s free kick.

Three minutes later the same player got on the end of a Daniel Moore cross but this time he bulleted over a header from some 10 yards out.

The Gable Endies had a rare opening in the 21st minute when a mistake by Duff allowed Fraser to win the ball and find Webster but his shot from 20 yards out went straight at the keeper.

Three minutes later a great run up the wing from full back Ferguson saw him put over a great cross to Campbell but unfortunately he couldn’t control the cross and the chance was gone.

A great cross from Andrew Steeves found Campbell unmarked inside the area and his header looped over the crossbar.

It was Montrose who opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Johnston won the corner kick and it was Ross McCord who curled in a low dangerous ball which Webster headed into the net at the far post after cleverly tuning his marker at the near post. It was the midfielder’s third goal in three games.

Montrose started to put more pressure on the visitors’ defence and Johnston played the ball back to Steeves but his cross was again headed over by captain Ross Campbell.

Elgin City started the second half on the front foot and a long throw in from Cooper found its way into the Montrose box, Moore hooked in a shot but Salmon got down to his left to pull off a fine stop,

The first booking of the match arrived in the 50th minute when Jamie Duff was shown a yellow card by referee Barry Cook for holding back Gary Fraser.

Two minutes later Graham Webster picked up a booking after he tried to punch a corner kick from McCord into the net.

Montrose scored a second goal on the hour mark.

Campbell found Ross McCord in the middle of the park and he sent over a great pass which saw Fraser beat the offside trap and he ran into the box, drew out keeper Mark Hurst, and calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net for his fourth goal of the season to send Links Park wild.

The visitors immediately made a change and took off Mark Nicolson and replaced him with Connor McLaren.

But it was Montrose who kept up the pressure and created the next opening; a long throw in from Andrew Steeves found Fraser in space but this time the striker volleyed wide of goal.

The visitors couldn’t match the runs of Fraser and Matthew Cooper was the next Elgin City player to be carded again for a foul on the Montrose number nine.

Montrose nearly added a third goal seconds later.

Pascazio cleverly dummied a corner kick from McCord and it found Fraser whose effort was deflected wide for a corner kick.

With 15 minutes remaining the visitors made a second change with Kyle McLeod being replaced by Robbie Bruce.

Two minutes later Ross Salmon did well to hold onto a header from McHardy after he got on the end of a Craig Gunn corner kick.

In the 85th minute Elgin City made a final change with Halsmann replacing Daniel Moore.

Ross Salmon keep the Montrose goal in tact with four minutes remaining with a great point blank range save from a shot from Brian Cameron inside the six yard box.

A classic counter attack involving McCord and man of the match Gary Fraser almost brought about a third Montrose goal in the 87th minute. The pair played a one two up the right flank before Fraser found Gavin Malin who sent a twenty yard screamer just wide of the far post.

MONTROSE: Salmon, Ferguson, Steeves, McCord, Pascazio, Allan, Johnston, Malin, Fraser, Campbell

ELGIN CITY: Hurst, Cooper, McPhee, McHardy, Duff, Nicolson (McLaren), McLean, Cameron, Gunn, McLeod (Bruce), Moore (Halsmann).