Hit for six in season opener

MONTROSE’S excellent pre-season run came to an end with their first competitive game of the season on Saturday.

Despite a number of impressive performances in the lead up to the first round of the Ramsden’s Cup, the Gable Endies were no match for Second Division side East Fife.

With the first goal coming just after the quarter hour mark they started to come thick and fast for the visitors, although Montrose managed to pull one back thanks to substitute Stephen McPhee deep into the second half bringing the overall score to 6-1.

From the outset the Fifers looked dangerous and new ‘keeper Michael Andrews was forced into making a save within the first 30 seconds following an early attempt by Ryan Wallace.

From the outset the Fifers looked dangerous and new ‘keeper Michael Andrews was forced into making a save within the first 30 seconds following an early attempt by Ryan Wallace.

Wallace tried his luck again in the fourth and seventh minutes but was denied by the ‘keeper in the first instance and sent the ball wide of the post in the second.

The visitors kept up the pressure and with Montrose floundering they opened the scoring in the 16th minute will a shot from the penalty area by Robert LINN.

Eleven minutes later, John Robertson’s men doubled their lead with a farce of a goal. Andrews held the ball well following another attempt by Linn but then dropped it at his feet thinking he was alone in the box.

Man-of-the-match Robert OGLEBY was standing behind him and took immediate advantage by stealing the ball at his feet and running it straight into the back of the net.

Confidence knocked, Andrews then failed to put a stop to a shot by Ryan WALLACE and the score was brought to 3-0.

The Bayview men continued to dominate a visibly shaken Montrose but neither side made any change to the score before the half-time whistle.

Half-time: Montrose 0, East Fife 3.

After the interval Montrose manager Ray Farningham switched Sean Crighton for new signing Steven McPhee.

The home side looked as though they were starting the second half with a new determination but this was quickly put to rest when OGLEBY scored again in the 50th minute from the right-hand side of the penalty area.

A minute later East Fife made their first substitution of the game and replaced Darren Smith with Lloyd Young.

In what was turning out to be a nightmare debut for Andrews, the Fifers scored again in the 62nd minute following a penalty taken by OGLEBY.

Hat-trick achieved he was replaced by Scott Dalziel in the 63rd minute.

The Gable Endies also made a substitution bringing on David McGowan for Scott Johnston.

But East Fife well and truly cemented their win in the 64th minute with sub Lloyd YOUNG sending the ball into the back of the net with a strike off the post.

Montrose redeemed themselves slightly with an excellent goal from Steven McPHEE who sent an unstoppable strike into the net.

On 73 minutes the final home substitution of the game saw Sean Pierce replaced by David Dimilta and then five minutes later East Fife made their final switch with Robert Sloan on for Ryan Wallace.

The visitors almost bought themselves an even bigger lead in the 80th minute but the Craig Johnstone attempt was thwarted by Andrews.

Montrose: Michael Andrews, Stephen McNally, Alan Campbell, Jonathan Smart, Sean Crighton, Douglas Cameron, Terry Masson, Jonathan Crawford, Martin Boyle, Scott Johnston, David Dimilta. Subs: David McGowan, Sean Pierce, Steven McPhee, Sandy Wood.