Montrose Football Club secured their first victory since early December when they defeated manager-less Elgin City at Borough Briggs on Saturday.
It was a hard fought victory for the Gable Endies who built up a two goal lead only to throw it away before regaining the lead again.
After the defeat by Peterhead, manager Stuart Garden made three changes to his line up, out went Stephen McNally, the injured Luke Johnston and David Gray and into the side came Jonathan Crawford, last week’s goalscorer Terry Masson and Jamie Reid. This saw Montrose line up with ever present Stuart McKenzie in goal, Crawford and McIntosh in the full back positions, captain Garry Wood moved to central defence alongside Campbell. Webster was on the right with Reid on the left this allowed Masson and Watson to team up again in central midfield. Johnston and Deasley were in attack.
On the bench for Montrose were Gray, Bonar, McCord, Sturrock, Wilson and goalkeeping coach John McCafferty. The 29-year-old replaced Sandy Wood, who had joined Arbroath during the week. David Niven and Paul Kaczan were in charge of the home side after the sacking of ex-Montrose player/coach Ross Jack.
It was Elgin City who got the match underway in heavy underfoot conditions at Borough Briggs but Montrose had the first opportunity; Watson played the ball out wide to Jamie Reid and his cross was met by Terry Masson whose cross looped into the arms of home keeper Jellema.
Crawford slipped a pass down the right to Deasley who broke into the box and his cross found Reid, whose shot was blocked on the line, the ball then bobbled around the box before breaking to Graham WEBSTER on the edge of the box, who fired home.
Scott Johnston went on a great run from inside his own half, taking him to the edge of the Elgin City box where he cut the ball back for Terry Masson, who could only blast the ball over the crossbar.
Sixty seconds later, Montrose were awarded a free kick for a foul on Deasley. Deasley took the kick himself and found Johnston, who fired over a great cross, which again bobbled about the six yard area before an Elgin City player blocked Webster’s net bound volley on the goal-line.
Stuart McKenzie kept the scores level when he managed to kept out a Dennis Wyness shot at point blank range after he had connected with a Sutherland cross.
A minute later, Elgin City dangerman Shane Sutherland went on a great run up the right wing but McKenzie tipped his effort around the post before catching the corner kick from Craig Gunn.
Johnston gathered a throw out from McKenzie and raced up the park before he found Watson, who slipped the ball to Deasley on the edge of the area, his left footed shot looked bound for the top corner before Jellema somehow got his hand to the ball to tip it over the bar. Masson won the ball in midfield before racing forward and firing in a low shot, which was deflected into the arms of Jellema.
Elgin City wasted a good opportunity when Craig Gunn found himself onside but his shot was deflected wide by good Montrose defending. Gunn took the corner himself but ex-Gable Endie defender Sean Crighton headed over.
Deasley did some good play on the right, he fired in a cross, which Reid fired towards goals and Scott JOHNSTON stabbed out a foot to knock the ball home from six yards out to grab the goal his play deserved.
Dennis Wyness found himself through on goal with only McKenzie to beat, but the Montrose keeper pulled off another great stop to save his team mates.
Gunn’s corner kick caused Montrose problems with first Jamie Duff having a header blocked before a shot from McKenzie was cleared by the Gable Endies defence.
Montrose captain Garry Wood became the first player to be booked when he needlessly kicked the ball away after a free kick was given against him.
Montrose almost made it three a run; Graham Webster saw his shot blocked and when it came back to Masson 25 yards out his shot was tipped wide by Jellema. After the Reid’s corner came back to the Montrose midfielder he crossed for Campbell who headed at Jellema.
Half time: Montrose 2, Elgin City 0.
Montrose got the second half off to the worst possible start when Elgin City pulled a goal back. Sutherland beat McIntosh down the right and when he fired over a cross it fell to Jamie MASSON on the edge of the area and he fired home via the far post.
Montrose made change when Ricky McIntosh was forced off through injury and Colin Wilson came on in his place. Wilson went into central defence alongside Wood. Campbell moved to right back with Crawford switching to the left in an unfamiliar Montrose back four.
Montrose had a let off when Craig Gunn found himself onside with only McKenzie to beat; he rounded the keeper only to fire the ball off the post.
Mark Nicolson was booked after he held back Masson, as he threatened to break through the Elgin City back-line.
Jamie Reid’s corner kick caused problems in the home penalty area but a home defender managed to head clear from under the crossbar. In the next minute, Webster won a free kick after Crighton committed a foul. Jellema punched Deasley’s free kick straight to Reid but his shot was blocked.
Masson the second Montrose player to be yellow carded for a foul on his namesake Jamie.
Elgin City were reduced to 10 men when their captain Mark Nicolson was shown a yellow card, followed by a red card for a late tackle on Campbell after the ball had gone. The red card didn’t seem to cause the home side any problems, as they equalised two minutes later after a great piece of skill from Shane SUTHERLAND took him clear of Crawford and he drilled the ball into the net from the edge of the box.
Elgin City brought on Paul Harkins in place of Wyness. Within sixty seconds, Harkins was booked for a foul on Deasley after the Montrose striker played a great one two with Reid. Elgin City were made to pay for the foul, as from the free kick some 30 yards out, Paul WATSON fired home a brilliant shot into the corner of the net for Montrose’s third goal of the afternoon.
Elgin City went close to equalising but Jamie Duff could only head Harkins’ corner over the crossbar. Elgin City made another change when Ross McKinnon came on for McKenzie. Harkins then sent a 30 yard effort over the crossbar as the home side searched for an equaliser.
Montrose almost scored a fourth goal with two minutes remaining when Johnston and Deasley linked up but he found himself with only Jellema to beat, he somehow dragged his shot wide.
Montrose: McKenzie, Crawford, McIntosh (Wilson), Campbell, Wood, Masson, Webster, Watson, Johnston, Deasley, Reid Subs not used – Gray, Bonar, McCord, Sturrock and McCafferty.