Queen’s Park 1 Montrose 2
Montrose Football Club made it three wins in a row when they came from behind to defeat second-top Queen’s Park at Hampden Park on Saturday.
The result cemented the Gable Endies’ third spot, two points behind the Hampden Park side who have two matches in hand. It was the first time a team other than Rangers had defeated Gardner Spiers’ side since November and was a result that Stuart Garden’s line-up worked hard for.
Whilst not at their best Montrose created the better chances and with Martin Boyle on fire the Gable Endies have somebody in the mood to take those chances.
The win was the first by Montrose at the National Stadium since December 2005 when they won 3–0.
With fourth placed Peterhead and fifth place Elgin City both losing, Montrose are six and nine points ahead respectively.
Ricky McIntosh was missing due to injury and Jonathan Crawford and Terry Masson were suspended. Into the side for his first starting appearance since October 22 came captain Paul Lunan as well as Ross McCord, starting for the first time since his return on loan from Alloa Athletic, and Lloyd Young.
Montrose could have taken the lead inside the opening 11 seconds. The ball was played back to McNally and his first-time through-ball put Martin Boyle clean through with only ‘keeper Parry to beat. The youngster did everything right but Little got back to clear the ball off the line, injuring himself in the process.
In the seventh minute McCord found Gray racing forward, but the midfielder chipped his effort over the bar.
Two minutes later Shankland had an effort on goal for Queen’s Park but the ball hit off his own player Longworth who was flagged offside.
In the 12th minute Montrose won a free kick in a dangerous central position some 30 yards out when Wood was fouled. Gray played the free kick to Jamie Winter but his shot was deflected out for a corner.
Montrose had a great chance when Wood’s reverse pass put in Boyle but Parry pulled off a great save to block the striker’s shot.
Two minutes later Gibson in the Montrose goal worked wonders to keep out a netbound shot from Sean Burns.
Martin Boyle had the ball in the net in the 17th minute but the flag had gone up for offside.
Six minutes later a pass inside the box from Shankland gave Jamie Longworth a shooting opportunity but again Gibson was equal to the task, tipping the ball past.
On 24 minutes Queen’s Park won a free kick when Keenan was fouled. The kick was taken by Lawrence Shankland but Gibson pushed the ball behind for a corner.
Three minutes later Campbell fouled Keenan but this time Gibson held the free kick driven in by Peter Bradley.
Boyle was continuing to cause problems for the home defence and after another great run he won a corner kick but again the Gable Endies could not capitalise on the set piece.
In the 34th minute Ross McCord split open the home defence with an excellent pass to Boyle, who again outpaced Little but home ‘keeper Neil Parry pulled off a great save.
After all the chances Montrose were hit by the sucker punch when the home side opened the scoring in the 39th minute. Robertson was allowed to get free on the left, and when his cross came over KEENAN was on hand to side-foot home from six yards.
Young won a corner which was taken by McCord but Campbell just couldn’t force the ball home from close range and the chance was gone.
In the 50th minute Queen’s Park striker Michael Keenan turned on the edge of the area and got in a shot which the Montrose defence cleared. Campbell was injured in the melee but he was able to continue after treatment.
Shankland then outpaced Watson down the right and drove the ball across the six-yard box. Thankfully for Montrose nobody was able to get on the end of it and the chance was gone.
Montrose were forced into a change in the 55th minute when it was clear Campbell wouldn’t be able to continue. He was replaced by Leighton McIntoshwho went up front with Garry Wood.
Paul Watson became the first booking of the afternoon for another late challenge on Shankland in the 58th minute.
Ten minutes later Tony McParland of the home side was booked for a late tackle on Leighton McIntosh.
The bookings continued to flow and with 20 minutes remaining David Gray became the second Montrose player to be yellow-carded for dissent to the assistant referee after he disputed the awarding of a throw in.
Despite not having as much of the ball as they had in the first period Montrose equalised in the 73rd minute. Ross McCord played a perfect pass down the left to Martin Boyle who outpaced Little and squared the ball along the face of the six yard box where LEIGHTON McINTOSH was on hand to side foot home his seventh goal of the season.
Garry Wood became the third Montrose player to be booked, for a crunching tackle on Jamie Longworth 60 seconds later.
Montrose turned the match around completely in the 76th minute when they took the lead with another cracking goal on the break. Winter spotted BOYLE racing down the left and once the youngster had the ball under control he outpaced Little and dispatched the ball into the corner of the net for this ninth goal of the season and his sixth in three matches.
Before play could restart Little was booked by referee Cook for dissent.
The bookings continued and next in the book was Jamie Winter for another tackle in midfield.
Queen’s Park made a change with Paul Gallacher coming on to replace Burns.
Leighton McIntosh was the fifth Montrose player to be booked when he tripped David Anderson.
In the 84th minute Montrose made their second change with Scott Johnston coming on in place of Lloyd Young.
The following minute Montrose had a chance to score when McIntosh played in Ross McCord who cut inside his man only for his shot to be blocked.
With two minutes of the match remaining Montrose were reduced to 10 men when Gray was shown a second yellow, followed by a red, when he pulled back Spittal.
In the 90th minute Gibson was the Montrose hero when he pulled off a wonderful stop to keep out an effort from Longworth.
Queen’s Park had a last chance when they forced a corner and with everyone in the box including goalkeeper Neil Parry, the Montrose defence held firm as Keenan’s header went sailing over the crossbar.
Montrose: Gibson, McNally, Watson, Campbell (L. McIntosh), Lunan, Winter, Gray, McCord, Boyle, G. Wood, Young (Johnston). Substitutes – Morton, McLeish and S. Wood.
l Montrose’s match on Saturday against Berwick Rangers will kick off at 2pm.