Montrose 2-1 East Stirling: Gable Endies stave off fightback to secure fourth home win

Photo - Phoenix Photo Shop.
Photo - Phoenix Photo Shop.

Montrose made it four wins out of four at Links Park as they withheld a spirited East Stirling comeback to hold for another valuable victory.

The visitors could have easily given in after falling behind to an impressive opening half hour from the hosts but they battled on and really could have taken something from the game.

It was one of the harder games the Gable Endies have encountered at home this season and one they will be glad to have taken all three points from.

As well as being the Gable Endies’ fourth win in a row at home it was also the third time in a row that Graham Webster and Gary Fraser had supplied the goals in the same order.

After the defeat by Stirling Albion manager Paul Hegarty was forced into his first outfield change in five matches with Ryan Kenneth starting his first senior match in place of the injured on loan Matty Allan.

The switch saw Andrew Steeves move to central defence.

It was an early Montrose lead when Ross Campbell was held back by Tully and Ross McCord curled over a delightful free kick to the far post where Webster was on hand to send a volley crashing into the back of the net from just inside the area.

Montrose had a let off three minutes later when Kenneth sent his clearance straight to Kris Faulds on the edge of the area but thankfully his effort curled over the crossbar.

The home side were trying hard to gift the visitors an equaliser and in the 12th minute a mistake, this time from Ryan Ferguson, allowed Max Wright to get in a shot which Ross Salmon did well to block.

The Gable Endies added a second goal in the 21st minute when they sliced open the visitors defence with ruthless effect.

Ferguson burst forward from defence and played through a perfect ball to Campbell, he raced into the box and drew out keeper Barnard before putting the ball on a plate for top goalscorer Fraser who sidefooted home his fifth goal of the season from close range.

Ferguson linked up once again with Webster as Montrose split open the visitors’ defence. The midfielder beat Kinnaird for pace and whipped in a great cross which required the minimum of touch from Campbell but he just missed the ball, injuring himself in the process.

Montrose had a glorious chance to add a third goal in the 50th minute. Campbell passed inside to Webster who created space at the edge of the box only to do all the hard work before shooting over the crossbar.

Five minutes later Gary Fraser turned at the edge of the box only to see his effort deflected over the bar.

East Stirlingshire then had an opportunity when Kinnaird found himself at the edge of the box but he could only volley wildly over the crossbar.

Masson, Fraser and Malin then passed their way through the Shire defence only for the final pass to find Campbell unable to control the ball and a good opportunity went begging.

Montrose had a let off with seven minutes remaining when Pascazio was forced to head a Jon Tully header from Shepherd’s corner kick off the goal-line.

Shire were coming closer and closer to the home goal and with five minutes left McCabe had the ball in the net but the assistant flagged for offside.

East Stirling finally scored with four minutes remaining, becoming the first side to score at Links Park this season, when the dangerous Wright was given too much space at the edge of the box and he was able to curl an effort past Salmon into the far corner.

Despite this set back Montrose were able to play out time with no more disasters and secure another impressive home victory.