MONTROSE might not have had the best league results of late but they’ve taken themselves to the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup after a closely fought encounter with Clyde at Links Park.
Montrose manager Ray Farningham made three changes to the team which faced Queen’s Park the previous weekend. Jonathan Crawford, Scott Johnston and Sean Pierce all made the starting line-up while Jamie Winter, Steven McPhee and David McGowan started on the bench.
The match got off to an even start but it was Clyde striker Stephen McDonald who had the first opportunity in the fifth minute only to be thwarted by Montrose ‘keeper Michael Andrews.
A minute later Sean Pierce had Montrose’s first chance but sent the ball wide of the net.
Pierce again missed a chance in the 15th minute, shooting wide again after Martin Boyle set him up.
It looked like Montrose were setting themselves up to be the victims of their own lost opportunities once again when Clyde netted the opening goal of the game.
Kris Irvine found Liam Cusack on the right wing. He sent over a cross for John NEILL who headed the ball straight into the net.
Showing some fighting spirit Montrose were not prepared to let the visitors take the lead for long and they equalised in the 23rd minute.
Scott Johnston’s shot from inside of the box fell to Clyde ‘keeper John Charles Hutchison who then lost the ball to Montrose’s Paul Lunan just outside the box. After a touch midfielder LUNAN curled a superb 22-yard shot over the ‘keeper and into the net.
Both sides could have taken the lead before half-time. Clyde’s Cusack had another shot at goal but despite beating Andrews his shot went wide of the target.
Martin Boyle almost got a goal just after the half-hour mark but was denied by Hutchison at close range. He had another chance with the rebound but could only hit the post.
In the 35th minute the Gable Endies had yet another chance but Scott Johnston, taking a Jonathan Smart cross, failed to take advantage and sent to the ball into the side of the net.
Half-time: Montrose 1, Clyde 1.
Just four minutes into the second half Montrose took the lead with their winning goal.
In the 49th minute, Montrose took advantage of a series of mistakes by Clyde and Dougie Cameron did well to control a long ball and sent it to Sean Pierce. Taking the ball into the box PIERCE hit a shot into the net after it was just nudged in by the left-hand post.
Jim Duffy’s visitors did their best to try and scrape back a goal and they came closest to doing so on the hour mark.
The ball dropped to Cusack on the edge of the six-yard box from cross by Lee Sharp who then sent the half volley over the cross bar.
In the 70th minute Clyde made the first substitution of the game with Paul McMullen coming on for Kris Irvine.
Five minutes later Montrose made their first substitution bringing Jamie Winter on for goalscorer Pierce.
Johnston could have given Montrose a further lead with just 10 minutes to go but his shot went high and wide.
A few minutes later Mark Archdeacon had a similar attempt but it too failed to find the back of the net.
The game ended in controversy when a scramble in the Montrose box led to what Clyde players tried to claim was a handball by Smart but their called for a penalty were dismissed by referee Don Robertson.
Montrose: Michael Andrews, Sean Crighton, Douglas Cameron, Jonathan Smart, Alan Campbell, Paul Lunan, Jonathan Crawford, Terry Masson, Martin Boyle, Scott Johnston, Sean Pierce. Subs: Jamie Winter, Steven McPhee, David McGowan, David Dimilta and Sandy Wood.
Clyde: John Charles Hutchison, Kris Irvine, Lee Sharp, Declan Gallagher, Brian McQueen, Paul Hay, John Neil, John Sweeney, Stephen McDonald, Liam Cusack, Iain Gray. Subs: Mark Archdeacon, Michael Oliver, Pat Scullion, Paul McMullen and Barry McCue.