Goalfest at Galabank sets Mo up for play-off final with Brora

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Montrose ended the regular season with a defeat at Annan Athletic in a remarkable seven-goal thriller.

The Gable Endies fought back from 3-1 down to level at 3-3, only to lose to late headed goal.

With Brora Rangers winning the first ever Pyramid Play-off semi-final at home to Edinburgh City on penalties, all roads lead north next Saturday as Montrose head to Dudgeon Park looking to protect their league status in one of the biggest matches in the club’s history.

The second leg takes place the following weekend at Links Park.

The home side had the first opportunity when Josh Todd gathered a cross from Andrew Mitchell only to fire his effort wide of goal.

In the next minute Moyes didn’t clear the ball properly and Ogan hooked the ball straight into the arms of McKenzie.

Annan were using the elements in their favour and in the eighth minute, Weatherston gathered a corner from Mitchell and his shot on the turn was saved by McKenzie.

Athletic won a free kick in a dangerous position when Moyes fouled Todd, but thankfully for Montrose the free kick from Peter Weatherston hit the wall before being cleared.

Three minutes later Montrose almost opened the scoring; Scott Johnston floated over a near post corner which was met by the head of Graham Webster but his effort was cleared off the line.

Montrose were made to made to pay for this miss as Annan Athletic opened the scoring two minutes later.

Peter Weatherson gathered a delightful through ball by Todd and was able to lash the ball past McKenzie from what looked like an offside position.

Montrose tried to hit back and in the 20th minute Garry Wood collected a pass from McCord and his 20 yard effort was tipped over the bar by Michel in spectacular style.

Montrose found themselves two goals down in the 22nd minute; Johnston failed to clear his lines and Tosh pounced and slipped the ball through to Weatherson who fired in his second of the afternoon and 22nd goal of a prolific season.

The Gable Endies were looking to get back into the match and in the 32nd minute Johnston feed McCord near the corner flag and the midfielder slipped a pass to Webster who’s first time shot was again tipped over the bar by Alex Mitchell.

In the 43rd minute Webster laid the ball off to Ross McCord who ran into the home box only to see his low shot be tipped wide for a corner.

It was Annan who the first chance of the second half with dangerman Weatherson volleying wide from close range.

Montrose got themselves back into the match in the 60th minute when they pulled a goal back.

Graham Webster got himself free on the right and his deep cross was knocked back across goal by Campbell to Wood who rifled home his 12th goal of the season from close range.

The Gable Endies had the bit between their teeth but Annan scored again in the 65th minute with a goal out of nothing.

Keeper Mitchell launched a clearance up the wing which Weatherson chased and he cut the ball back into the path of Junior Ogen who sent a low effort into the bottom corner, with Graham unable to cut out the danger.

Montrose almost pulled another goal back in the 70th minute; McCord’s corner kick was headed back across goal by Campbell and in the goalmouth scramble, Declan Milne just couldn’t force the ball home from close range.

Montrose scored their second goal of the match 10 minutes later though.

Another Webster cross caused danger and the ball hit off a defender and looped up into the air; McIntosh got in a header as he challenged keeper Mitchell and it hit Ross Campbell and went into the net.

Campbell pulled the visitors level shortly after with a volleyed effort.

But with five minutes of the game remaining Annan Athletic scored the winning goal in the seven goal thriller. Andrew Mitchell crossed deep to the back post and with McKenzie failing to come for the ball and it was left for Martin McNiff to out-jump Cameron and head in the winner.

The Mo now travel to Brora’s Dudgeon Park on Saturday for the first leg of the crucial pyramid play-off.

Montrose: McKenzie, Cameron, Steeves, McCord (Masson), Moyes (Graham), Watson, S. Johnston (McIntosh), Webster, Wood, Milne, R. Campbell Subs not used – Banjo, C. Johnston, O’Neil, McCafferty