Montrose forced to settle for 0-0 draw

Scott Johnston tries to keep the ball away from the Stirling players.
Scott Johnston tries to keep the ball away from the Stirling players.

Montrose Football Club and Stirling Albion fought out a goal-less draw at Links Park on Saturday in a match totally spoiled by the strong wind and rain that battered the ground during the course of the 90 minutes.

It was the second goal-less draw of the year for Montrose as they continue to struggle to find the target at home. Pleasingly the point made it four out of six in the last two games. With the rest of the league two matches ending in draws their was no change to league positions with the Gable Endies still some five points off a play off place.

Manager Stuart Garden had been busy in the transfer market prior to the match with 18-year-old on loan Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker Calum Ferguson and full-back Craig Duguid, who had signed and 18-month contract after his release from Aberdeen.

Stirling Albion won an early free kick when Weir was fouled in a wide position by Masson. Weir took the in-swinging free kick but Masson himself was on hand to clear the danger.

Jordan White then went on a strong run for the visitors but Jonathan Crawford was on hand to get in a great saving tackle.

The visitors won a free kick when Masson fouled Comrie. Jordan White took the kick some 30 yards out but smacked it straight into the Montrose wall.

Montrose had their first shot on target when McIntosh ran up the left wing and played a pass inside to Watson but his effort was half blocked and looped up into the arms of Crawford.

Montrose won a free kick in a dangerous position when O’Bryne fouled Deasley on the touchline after the Montrose man chased a lost cause. Jamie Reid took the kick only to smack the ball off the base of the post.

David Weatherston cut inside Terry Masson but Stuart McKenzie pulled off a good stop to touch the ball around the post. Comrie flighted over the corner kick only for Mick O’Bryne’s header to hit the post.

Johnston showed a great piece of skill along the touchline to fire in a low cross which ex-Gable Endies goalkeeper Crawford just managed to scramble clear from Deasley some three yards out. In the following minute, Ross Forsyth became the first player to be booked for a late tackle on Webster after the ball hand gone.

Another sixty seconds later, Graham Weir became the next Stirling Albion to be booked when he dived to claim that he had been fouled by Garry Wood.

Half time: Montrose 0, Stirling Albion 0.

A run from Reid down the left won Montrose a corner kick that he took himself but the danger was cleared. Deasley was fouled by O’Bryne some 45 yards out. Paul Watson took the kick and almost caught out Crawford with a quickly taken wind assisted kick which the keeper grasped on the goal-line.

Graham Webster then cut inside from the right and his shot looped over the crossbar with Crawford beaten.

Jamie Reid became the first Montrose player to be booked for a high footed challenge on O’Bryne.

Albion made their first change when they sent on Danny Ashe for David McClune. Two minutes later, McIntosh fouled Cunningham on the edge of the area giving Stirling Albion a free kick in a dangerous position. Comrie whipped in the free kick but Scott Johnston was on hand to clear the danger for Montrose.

Stirling Albion then forced a couple of corner kicks and from the second Stuart McKenzie got up well to hold the ball and stop the danger.

A nice touch from Scott Johnston saw him find his strike partner Deasley but his shot was blocked for a Montrose corner kick. Deasley swung over the corner kick only for Alan Campbell’s netbound header to be cleared off the line by Weir.

When Reid’s resultant corner came over from the right the ball broke back to Terry Masson who took a touch inside before firing a right footed effort over the crossbar from some 25 yards out.

Montrose made a change bringing on Calum Ferguson for his debut in place of Webster. Ferguson went upfront with Johnston moving over to the right.

Craig Comrie tried to use the elements to his favour for Stirling Albion but he blasted well wide from 20 yards out.

The visitors made another switch with ex-Brechin City and Arbroath midfielder Darren Smith coming on in place of Cunningham.

Ferguson won Montrose a corner kick but Deasley’s corner was easily cleared by the visiting defence.

Stuart McKenzie saved another good stop from a shot from Weatherston.

Stirling Albion made their final substitution with Stephen Day replacing Weatherston.

Garry Wood was penalised for a handball on the edge of the Montrose box with some five minutes remaining but thankfully for Montrose, Comrie blasted his effort over the crossbar.

Stirling Albion were pressing for all three points and Jordan White broke past a couple of Montrose challenges only to rifle his shot past the far post from the edge of the area.

Montrose had one final chance to win the match but Jamie Reid could only send a long range effort which Crawford dealt with easily.

MONTROSE: McKenzie, Crawford, McIntosh, Campbell, Wood, Masson, Webster (Ferguson), Watson, S. Johnston, Deasley, Reid. Subs (not used): Duguid, Wilson, McCord, Gray, Sturrock and McCafferty.