Gable Endies fightback just falls short of a point

Dismay as Jonathon's Crawford's goal is disallowed - it could have made all the difference

Dismay as Jonathon's Crawford's goal is disallowed - it could have made all the difference

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MONTROSE 2, ELGIN CITY 3

Ex-manager Jim Weir came back to haunt Montrose on Saturday, when his new side Elgin City recorded their first win since August and their first away win of the season against Montrose at Links Park.

The Gable Endies were never at the races in the first half and could easily have been further behind than the two goals that the visitors had scored.

Thankfully, Montrose improved in the second period and could have taken something from the match but they gave away another soft goal before they grabbed a consolation through Ross McCord.

The result leaves Montrose four points ahead of Elgin City, in third bottom spot, with the visitors having two home matches in hand.

The Gable Endies have it all to do and things don’t get any easier with the visit to Gayfield Park on Saturday to face local rivals in what could be an entertaining local New Year derby against Arbroath.

After picking a deserved point at Coatbridge, George Shields made one change to his line-up with Garry Wood returning from suspension to take the place of Scott Johnston.

Montrose received an early warning from visitors Elgin City, when McPhee sent over a cross from the right, which found the head of Sutherland, but McKenzie was able to reach up and tip the ball over.

And the visitors opened the scoring in 14 minutes. Campbell slipped and this allowed Shane Sutherland to race through on goal and fire in an effort which rebounded off the post with McKenzie beaten. The home defence failed to react and DENNIS WYNESS was on hand to knock the ball home from six yards out.

Five minutes later, Elgin could have made it two. A cross-cum-shot, from an on-loan St Johnstone winger, was pushed out by McKenzie straight into the path of Cameron, who knocked wide when it seemed easier to score.

Worse was to follow for Montrose in 23 minutes, when Elgin City scored again. Montrose lost possession from a throw-in, inside the Elgin half, and one pass split open the home defence. Shane Sutherland whipped over a cross which rebounded off ROSS GRAHAM and into the net for an unfortunate own goal.

Ross McCord became the first booking of the afternoon when he kicked the ball off the head of Archie McPhee after conceding a free-kick.

On the half hour mark, George Shields’ men had a good chance to get back into the match when Watson was fouled on the edge of the box despite Wood having retained possession inside the Elgin City box. Referee Irvine called back play and Watson fired his free-kick, from 25 yards out, wide of goal.

Montrose were forced into making a change, with three minutes of the half remaining, with Scott Johnston replacing Leighton McIntosh who had been injured in an earlier tackle by Nicholson.

Half-time: Montrose 0, Elgin City 2.

Montrose got themselves back into the match five minutes into the second half. McCord took a pass from Masson before being brought down on the edge of the area. Watson’s free-kick was tipped wide for a corner, taken by McCord. Travis headed the ball back across goal and GARRY WOOD found himself totally unmarked six yards out and he was able to lash the ball into the roof of the net.

A long kick from McKenzie put Johnston through on goal but an Elgin player was able to get a touch to the ball to put it out for a fruitless corner kick.

Elgin City suffered a blow when Shane Sutherland had to leave the field on a stretcher, after a strong tackle by Campbell. After a five-minute delay, he was replaced by Craig Gunn.

In 68 minutes, Montrose made a second change, bringing on Stephen Day for Bryan Deasley.

Elgin City then made a change, sending on Graeme Beveridge for Wyness.

With five minutes left, Montrose were inches away from a deserved equaliser. Crawford laid the ball off to Paul Watson and his shot was destined for the top corner until Michael Fraser got across his goal to tip the ball wide. Unfortunately for Montrose, they wasted the corner kick from McCord.

Jim Weir’s men made another change, when they brought on Daniel Moore for Thomson.

Despite all the pressure it was Elgin City who sealed victory with another soft goal with two minutes left. After clearing a corner from Moore, it came back to the same player and he set up CRAIG GUNN whose soft shot managed to find its way into the bottom corner, as it rolled under the feet of two Montrose defenders.

In 90 minutes, Montrose finally got a second goal a little bit too late. ROSS McCORD was flattened on the edge of the area and he got up to curl a beautiful free-kick into the bottom corner, for his first goal of the season.

Despite five minutes of stoppage time, Montrose couldn’t find an equaliser with the only pieces of action being bookings for the Elgin City pair of Mark Nicolson, for a foul on Day, and Daniel Moore, for time wasting.

MONTROSE : McKenzie, Crawford, Graham, Travis, Campbell, Watson, McIntosh (Johnston), McCord, Wood, Masson, Deasley (Day) Subs not used – O’Neil, Harwood, Cavanagh, Harkins and McGovern.