Montrose bow out of cup in extra-time

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A hat trick from the experienced Paul McManus was enough to book Arbroath a place in the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup and a home tie against Highland League side Nairn County.

The teams battled it out over 210 minutes of cup football but in the end it was the clinical finishing of the striker that gave his side victory.

After going behind to another early goal Montrose recovered from the setback and equalised through Paul Harkins.

Montrose must put this behind them and get a good result when they visit Berwick Rangers in a re-arranged League Two fixture on Wednesday.

After the meeting seven days before George Shields made one change to his line-up, with Paul Harkins replacing Craig Bell.

Montrose lined up with McKenzie in goal and Crawford and Graham in full back positions. Captain Wood was again in central defence with Campbell. McCord and Watson were in the engine room with Johnston down the left with Webster on the right. This left Harkins partnering Deasley in attack.

On the bench for Montrose were Robb, O’Neil, O’Kane, Cavanagh, Bell, Masson and goalkeeper Birnstingl.

The visitors made one change with captain Kevin Nicoll in for Ricky Little.

It was the same story for Montrose as last week as they lost an early goal after only four minutes. Wood and Graham got into a mess inside the box and as McKenzie came off his line PAUL McMANUS calmly slotted the ball home.

Two minutes later Montrose won a free kick in a wide area when Hunter fouled McCord. Watson swung in a free kick but Crawford managed to gather his effort.

In the 17th minute Montrose won a foul when Johnston was pushed by Whatley when he went up to head the ball. McCord swung over a free kick from the far side but Watson just missed from inside the six-yard box.

With 34 minutes gone Ross Graham played the ball into Deasley inside the box. The Montrose striker skipped past a couple of challenges and went down under a tackle but referee Walsh correctly waved play on.

Seconds later Montrose, who had had the better of the opening exchanges, created another good scoring opportunity. McCord was obstructed by Craig Johnstone giving Montrose a free kick. Watson curled in a great ball which was met by Garry Wood whose lopping header went just past.

The Gable Endies finally grabbed a deserved equaliser in the first minute of first half stoppage time. Ross McCord broke into the box and found Johnston who slipped the ball into the path of PAUL HARKINS. He took a touch before bundling the ball home from close range.

Half-time: Montrose 1, Arbroath 0.

It was almost a repeat to the start of the second half when Montrose had another let-off. A mistake allowed Bobby Linn a chance but Stuart McKenzie saved Montrose put the ball behind for a corner. Scott Johnston failed to clear Hunter’s kick which allowed Hunter to get in a shot but he powered the ball well over the bar.

Montrose should have taken the lead when Bryan Deasley took all the pressure off his defence with a great run to the edge of the box but he chose to shoot when Paul Harkins was in a great position unmarked.

Both sides made a change in the 64th minute. Montrose brought on Terry Masson for McCord to boost up the midfield while the visitors replaced Jordan Lowdon with Stewart.

Garry Wood became the first booking of the match in the 79th minute when he lost the ball coming out of defence and was forced to bring down an Arbroath player.

Arbroath were forced into a second substitution when the injured Craig Johnstone was replaced by Ricky Little.

With five minutes of the match remaining Garry Wood produced a great tackle inside the box to deny Bobby Linn.

In the 86th minute Montrose won a free kick in a dangerous position. A great run from Harkins saw him slip a pass to Deasley who was promptly sent crashing on the edge of the area by El-Zubaidi. It was a great position for Paul Watson and he stepped up to curl in a great effort which went inches wide with Crawford rooted to the spot.

As the game headed towards extra time Montrose brought on Danny Cavanagh for Paul Harkins who had had a fine match scoring the Gable Endies equaliser in the process.

After being on top for the majority of the game Montrose shot themselves in the foot at the start of extra time giving away a sloppy goal. Masson tried to find Crawford with a crossfield ball but it went to McBride who skipped down the left and his low centre was slipped home by McMANUS.

Montrose tried to hit back and Deasley saw his low 25-yard effort fumbled around the post by Crawford. From Masson’s corner kick Crawford could only head wide of the far post.

In the 101st minute the visitors sealed victory and again it was poor defending by the home side. Murray was allowed into the box and his cross found McMANUS who was all alone to fire past McKenzie for his hat trick.

Montrose came so close to pulling a goal back with a minute to go in the first period of extra time. A cross from Ross Graham found its way to Graham Webster at the far post but his header hit the crossbar from close range.

Montrose were forced to make a change at the start of the second period of extra time bringing on Stephen O’Neil for Paul Watson.

Within 60 seconds Terry Masson almost brought Montrose back into the game when he beat McBride on the left but his left-footed effort went inches past the far post.

Arbroath almost scored a fourth when Linn played a crossfield ball to McManus but he slipped and could only screw his shot wide of goal.

Terry Masson became the second Montrose player to be booked for a lunge at Whatley in the 109th minute.

With four minutes of extra time remaining Montrose had another great chance to pull a goal back. Wood, pushed up front, raced down the left flank and into the box and his low effort looked netbound before it clipped off a defender and went behind for a corner kick and with it Montrose’s participation in this season’s Scottish Cup.

MONTROSE: McKenzie, Crawford, Graham, Webster, Campbell, McCord (Masson), Harkins (Cavanagh), Watson (O’Neil), Wood, Johnston, Deasley Subs not used – Robb, O’Kane, Bell, Birnstingl.