Ten man Montrose caused one of the upsets of the first round of the League Cup on Saturday when they dumped derby rivals Arbroath.
The victory at a windy Gayfield Park was no more than Stuart Garden’s side deserved, having defended well in the first half against the wind before recovering from the harsh loss of midfielder Paul Watson against his former club with ten minutes of the second half gone.
This means that Montrose have come out on top at Gayfield in the sides’ last three cup meetings; two Scottish Cup replays and now this League Cup tie.
After last week’s disappointing opening to the season at Elgin, manager Stuart Garden made one change to his line up with new signing Lewis Bonar taking the place of Jamie Winter after his international clearance came through.
This saw Montrose line up with McKenzie in goal, Masson and McIntosh in full back positions with Wilson and Campbell in central defence. The midfield four was Webster, Watson, McCord and Johnston. Wood and Bonar were paired in attack for the first time.
On the bench for Montrose were Winter, Sturrock, Crawford, Gray and Sandy Wood.
Arbroath created the first opportunity when Linn sent over a corner kick but when the ball fell to Travis who blasted over the crossbar.
Arbroath had an escape in the third minute when a pass back from Keddie saw ‘keeper Morrison in no man’s land and the Arbroath number one had to race back to clear the ball from the line at the last minute.
Two minutes later Arbroath almost opened the scoring. Smith was fouled 30 yards out and Cook’s free kick was a peach. Thankfully for Montrose the ball rebounded off the crossbar with McKenzie beaten.
The first derby booking cane in the 10th minute when Bayne was yellow-carded for a late tackle on Wilson. Watson took the free kick but hit the ball too strongly and it sailed out of play.
The following minute a Linn corner kick for Arbroath caused a bit of panic in the Montrose box before Campbell cleared the danger.
A quickly taken free kick from Watson put Garry Wood in on goal but as he was on the point of shooting Travis got in a great tackle for Arbroath.
Montrose had their first real chance in the 22nd minute. Wilson headed a McCord corner across the face of the goal and when the ball was scrambled clear it fell kindly to Scott Johnston on the edge of the area who sent it over the crossbar.
Wilson was the first Montrose player to be booked in the 27th minute for a late tackle on Arbroath full back Hamilton.
Hamilton himself picked up a yellow card five minutes later for a late challenge on McCord. Referee Muir allowing play to continue before booking the Arbroath left back.
Arbroath won a free kick in a dangerous position in the 37th minute when Linn was fouled by Watson. Cook swung in a dangerous left footed free kick but McKenzie did well to hold on to the ball.
Seconds later good play down the left from Johnston saw him link up well with debutant Bonar. The big striker cut inside his marker but could only drag his shot wide.
Half-time: Arbroath 0, Montrose 0.
Arbroath started the second period with the conditions around Gayfield getting worse as a stronger wind whipped in off the North Sea, but Montrose had the elements in their favour.
Garry Wood used the wind in his favour in the 48th minute when he picked up the ball on the edge of the box but his shot was weak and Morrison gathered well.
Masson against his home town team was having a battle with Bobby Linn down the right and the Montrose full back picked up a booking for a tackle that left Linn in a crumpled heap against the hoardings.
Disaster struck Montrose in the 57th minute when they were reduced to 10 men. Watson appeared to go into a fair 50-50 challenge with Linn. The Arbroath player went down in a heap and referee Muir immediately flashed a red card at the Montrose midfielder.
Manager Garden re-organised his line-up, dropping captain G. Wood back into midfield with Bonar playing up front on his own.
Five minutes later Arbroath had another good opportunity from a free kick after Cook was fouled but Montrose dealt with the free kick and McIntosh cleared.
In the 67th minute Montrose made their first change, bringing on Winter in place of Bonar. The switch allowing G. Wood to move back up front.
Johnston was fouled by Banjo giving Montrose a free kick in a good position. McCord curled the ball in and won Montrose a corner which he took. His kick was cleared out to Winter but his effort was blocked.
In the 71st minute Montrose had a let off when Arbroath came within a whisker of opening the scoring. Bayne got free inside the area and fired in a low shot which was heading for the bottom corner until star man McIntosh managed to get back and somehow hook the ball off the line.
Arbroath made their first change when they brought on Yao for Cook.
The Gable Endies opened the scoring in spectacular style with 14 minutes remaining. ROSS McCORD picked the ball up on the stand touchline, cut inside a defender and from 25 yards, using the wind, he curled home a brilliant shot into the top corner with Morrison beaten all ends up.
Three minutes later a McCord hand ball gave the home side a chance to whip a free kick into the box taken by Yao. Travis got in a header but it was easily held by McKenzie.
With eight minutes left Arbroath brought on player/manager Paul Sheerin in place of Banjo as they tried to find the equalising goal, Sheerin taking up a position in the middle of the park.
Arbroath’s Travis became the next player to be booked for yet another late tackle on McCord.
After all the great defending with 10 men, potential disaster struck with the clock showing 90 minutes. Referee Muir pointed to the penalty spot after he adjudged Wilson to have pushed Hamilton when he made a vain attempt to get on the end of an over-hit Yao cross. Webster was booked for his protests and Linn stepped up to take the kick but justice was done when ‘keeper McKenzie dived full length to tip his effort wide.
Despite over five minutes of injury time Arbroath could only manage one more real effort. Wilson fouled Linn on the touchline but Montrose dealt with Yao’s free kick to move into round two of the League Cup for the second season in a row by knocking out a seeded side.
The Gable Endies players went off to warm applause from a very healthy away support.
Montrose: McKenzie, Masson, McIntosh, Wilson, Campbell, McCord, Webster, Watson, G. Wood, Bonar (Winter), Johnston. Subs not used: Sturrock, Crawford, Gray, S. Wood.
Action from Saturday’s magnificent League Cup victory over Arbroath. Staff Photographer