Montrose Football Club failed to make it two home wins on the bounce, as they went down at the hands of Queen’s Park at a frosty Links Park on Saturday.
It was the visitors’ ninth win in 10 games but Montrose matched them for most of the 90 minutes in an improved performance.
The Gable Endies were looking to put a poor performance at Methil behind them and they managed that in the first half, creating two gilt-edged chances which they missed, before allowing the visitors a two-goal lead at the break, after another two pieces of poor defending which could almost be the story of their season.
After recovering from the loss of the goals, Montrose gave a good account of themselves in the second half, pulling a goal back through captain Garry Wood from the penalty spot, but they just couldn’t find the equaliser and another three points drifted away.
After the defeat by East Fife, manager George Shields made two changes to his side both in defence. After a seven week absence, Alan Campbell returned to the side and there was also a place for trialist central defender Michael Travis. The ex-Livingston player had recently been released by Arbroath and had already played two trial matches in League One with Forfar Athletic.
Montrose lined up with McKenzie in goal with Crawford and Graham in the full-back positions. Travis and Campbell were the central defensive pairing.
McIntosh was on the right flank with Deasley on the left. McCord and Watson were in the middle of the park. Terry Masson sat behind Garry Wood who was back up front in his favoured striking position.
It wasn’t until nine minutes that Montrose created the first opening. Wood knocked the ball down to Ross McCord, whose shot went well wide.
Montrose kept up the pressure and three minutes later Wood again found a team-mate outside the box, but this time Terry Masson could only fire wide from 20 yards out.
The Gable Endies should have opened the scoring on the 15 minute mark. McIntosh went on a great run down the right and crossed for Watson, who only succeeded in hooking the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Two minutes later, Montrose missed an even easier chance. Again it was McIntosh on the right who caused all the problems. Leaving Woods for dead, his cross landed perfectly for Garry Wood who looked set to score, but his shot was somehow saved on the line by keeper William Muir. The rebound fell to Masson, whose shot was blocked by the visitor’s defence.
Despite Montrose having all the pressure, it was Queen’s Park who opened the scoring in the 23 minutes. Possession was lost from a throw-in and left-back Conor McVey slipped a pass to JOHN CARTER who raced through to fire past McKenzie in the home goal.
On the half hour mark, Montrose won a free-kick when Quinn fouled Wood. McCord’s kick found trialist Michael Travis at the far post. He headed the ball back across goal and in the scramble, Masson just couldn’t force the ball home.
A long goal-kick from McKenzie caught out the visiting defence and put Bryan Deasley through on goal, but the angle was too tight and keeper Muir managed to smoother his effort.
Queen’s Park added to their lead in the 36th minute. Ciaran McElroy fired over a great corner kick which was completely missed by Stuart McKenzie and PAUL WOODS was on hand to power home a header at the far post.
Half-time: Montrose 0, Queen’s Park 2.
In 54 minutes, McIntosh went on a surging run into the box, but his shot was blocked by a visiting defender.
Montrose were offered a great opportunity to get back into the match in 64 minutes, when they were awarded a penalty kick by referee Walsh. McIntosh raced into the box and was sent crashing to the ground by Miller.
Once the dust had settled, captain GARRY WOOD stepped up to fire home his seventh goal of the season from the spot.
With ten minutes of the game remaining, Montrose almost found the equaliser. Wood flicked the ball into the path of McIntosh and his cross to the near post found Terry Masson, whose first time shot hit the crossbar.
Montrose then made a double switch, with Stephen Day and Paul Harkins coming on for Bryan Deasley and Ross McCord.
The changes continued as the visitors tried to take the sting out of the final few moments and firstly Kevin Fotheringham replaced Miller and, with seconds remaining, Ross McPherson came on for goal-scorer John Carter.
Montrose had one last chance to grab an equaliser, in stoppage time when Stephen Day won a corner kick. Harkins took the corner but Montrose just couldn’t do enough to trouble Muir and once again three home points had slipped away.
MONTROSE: McKenzie, Crawford, Graham, Travis, Campbell, McCord (Harkins), McIntosh, Watson, Wood, Masson, Deasley (Day) Subs not used – Webster, Nowosielski, Johnston, Cavanagh and McGovern.