MONTROSE have had mixed fortunes in the first week of their pre-season campaign with three defeats and a win.
After losing out 2-0 to Stenhousemuir last Saturday (July 7), the Gable Endies were hoping for a better result against Forfar Athletic, who travelled to Station Park last Tuesday (July 10).
The game got off to a slow start with neither team making much headway until just before the half-hour mark when Forfar’s Steven Tulloch broke the deadlock.
This was swiftly followed by another goal, this time from new signing Danny Denholm for The Loons making the score 2-0 just before half-time.
Montrose continued to flounder as the second half got underway despite making three changes at half time.
Gable Endies’ ‘keeper Sandy Wood was kept busy throughout the second half but managed to keep the Loons at bay until Gavin Swankie sent in a powerful header in the 67th minute to bring the final score to 3-0.
Speaking after the match on Tuesday, manager Stuart Garden said: “I think we did well in the first 20 minutes or so - we started well - but then it was back to the same old story with defensive mistakes.
“We’ve not had much time to work on that in training yet, it’s all about fitness in pre-season but it is something that we will definitely be working on.”
Montrose: Sandy Wood, Stephen McNally, Kevin Brown, Alan Campbell, Sean Murdoch, Terry Masson, Scott Johnston, Lloyd Young, Martin Boyle, Shane Campbell, Paul Watson. Subs - Garry Wood, Jon Crawford, Paul Lunan, Andrew Walls, Louis Swanson, Dead Easton.
Thursday (July 12) night’s game against St Johnstone Under-19s at Links Park resulted in a 3-0 win for the home side.
Goals came from trialist Shane Campbell, Garry Wood and Terry Masson.
Speaking after the match, Garden said: “It was an improvement. We were playing a young side but we played some good football - there was progress.”
On Saturday (July 14) Montrose faced Brechin City at Links Park determined to continue the momentum from Thursday night’s win. Unfortunately it was not to be as the visitors took away a 5-0 win.
A hat-trick from Scott Dalziel turned out to be the worst point for the home side but goals also came from Andy Jackson and Paul McLean.
Brechin took the lead in 15 minutes when trialist Ryan Stewart picked up the ball on the right and pushed forward to the by-line before cutting the ball back across for Dalziel who sent the ball into the net from close range.
Montrose had a chance just before the half-hour mark but Martin Boyle’s effort was thwarted by Ewan Moyes who headed away his cross.
Just minutes later Brechin doubled their lead in the 33rd minute with another from Dalziel.
Montrose were first with a chance in the second-half but Steven McNally’s drive went narrowly past the post.
Dalziel secured his hat-trick minutes later.
City further extended their lead in the 75th minute when a Paul McLean shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off Paul Lunan before entering the net past ‘keeper Wood.
In the closing minutes off the game Brechin added insult to injury when a cross from Fusco was volleyed home by Andy Jackson.
Montrose: Sandy Wood, Sean Murdoch, Kevin Brown, Paul Lunan, Alan Campbell, Terry Masson, Steven McNally, Jon Crawford, Martin Boyle, Garry Wood, Scott Johnston. Subs - Andrew Walla, Shane Campbell, Sean Kelly, Scott Gordon and Dean Easton.
At the time of going to press Montrose have a further three friendlies to play before the start of the season.
Last night (Wednesday), they were due to face Dundee United at St Andrews, while they will be up against Dundee on Thursday, also at St Andrews, and Lochee United at Links Park on Saturday, July 21.
The following week the season begins will a Ramsdens Cup home draw against Inverurie Loco Works with kick-off at 3pm.