Frustrating draw at Blairgowrie for Roselea

ROSELEA headed to face old foes Blairgowrie in search of a win to keep them in the title race following last Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Violet. With Downfield one point ahead a victory was a must to keep the pressure on.

Paul Whyte joined Callum Rae on the sidelines with an ankle knock and Craig Watson was unavailable due to work commitments.

The weatherman was spot on as heavy rain began to fall, however, it did help to moisten a very hard and bumpy surface.

Roselea started the game well and Fotheringham had a left-foot shot from the edge of the box that went just wide of the post in five minutes.

Blairgowrie were playing a high line in an attempt to catch Roselea offside and Hood broke this in 10 minutes, but his cross was cut out by the Blair’ ‘keeper.

Roselea forced the first save of the match when a Collier flick on was played back to Urquhart by Kennedy and his shot was turned behind for a corner.

Blairgowrie broke in 13 minutes and Axworthy’s cross had to be turned behind for a corner by Craig with a striker waiting to pounce. The home side had the next chance and almost took the lead in 26 minutes. Ross McLeod was expecting a free kick to be floated into the box but was surprised when a shot came in and he managed to scramble and push the ball onto the bar before it was cleared to safety.

Urquhart was booked for kicking the ball away in 36 minutes. Then Brash came close with a header for Blair but McLeod held well.

Four minutes later McLeod had to deal with two dangerous Blairgowrie corners by punching them away.

Half-time: Blairgowrie 0, Montrose Roselea 0.

Roselea started the second half with Ryan Strachan on for Robert Urquhart who was on a booking and removed as a precaution.

Brash got his head to another corner in 46 minutes, but again McLeod was equal to the task.

Roselea almost took the lead when Hood surprised everyone by cutting inside and sending in a 30-yard shot which went just over the bar from a difficult position.

Roselea were looking hungry and Collier won a free kick on the right-hand side about six feet from the touchline. Strachan sent in a deep inswinging ball which Colquhoun got his head to and somehow the ball stayed out after a combination of the post, the ‘keeper and a defender managed to scramble it clear.

In 57 minutes Blairgowrie had the ball in the net but Duncan was ruled offside when he picked up Brash’s flick on.

Mark Fotheringham connected with a McLeod clearance in 63 minutes, but the home ‘keeper got his foot to the ball and cleared. A minute later Fotheringham then broke the offside trap again and found himself one on one with the ‘keeper who pulled off an excellent save as he tried to round him.

Roselea were on top and it seemed like only a matter of time before they scored. Next to try was Kennedy who broke clear on the right and despite an excellent first touch with his chest, he elected to shoot high into the near post when a cross goal effort may have reaped better rewards.

In 70 minutes Kennedy again broke on the right and cut the ball back to Hood but his left-foot shot was to weak to trouble the ‘keeper.

Blairgowrie had a chance in 77 minutes when their substitute latched on to a long ball but McLeod got down well to save.

Three minutes later, the hard working Collier won a ball in the left-hand corner and after drawing the ‘keeper he hit his shot into the side-netting when it looked sure to go in. Kennedy was then one on one with the ‘keeper again but again he was thwarted by the home number one. A minute later Kennedy was in again and this time managed to get past the keeper but ran the ball out of play.

Roselea were well on top as they searched for the all important breakthrough. In 84 minutes Aitken again sprung the offside trap but he hit his shot straight at the advancing keeper.

Three minutes later, with Roselea pushing, the Blair substitute should have scored but elected to back-heel to find a team-mate only to find Lea defender Reoch who cleared. The ball fell to Hood at the other end and he cut in and his mishit cross appeared to catch the ‘keeper out but he somehow managed to get back and tip the ball over the bar.

In 89 minutes Collier collected a throw in before turning his marker and his goalbound left-foot shot was tipped over by the brilliant home ‘keeper.

This was an infuriating day for Roselea who deserved more out of the game than the scoreline suggests. A combination of great goalkeeping, bad finishing and bad luck frustrated them.

With the three other sides all winning this makes Roselea’s chances of winning the league much slimmer.

Next up will be the visit of ASC to Broomfield tonight (Wednesday, April 27) with a 6.45pm kick-off followed by a crunch match away to North End on Saturday (April 30) with a 2.30pm kick off.