Montrose rising up the league

Montrose Football Club’s makeshift line-up came back from Cumbernauld on Saturday with three well-deserved points against Clyde at Broadwood Stadium.

The first half was a poor affair from both sides, but the match livened up in the second half after Craig McLeish gave the Gable Endies the lead. Clyde found an equaliser but it was left to Jamie Winter, captain in the absence of Paul Lunan, to win the match for Montrose with a great strike.

The victory moved Montrose into fifth spot in the league.

With three players suspended - Stephen McNally, goalkeeper Sandy Wood and ever-present Terry Masson - Montrose were always going to find the trip difficult, but manager Stuart Garden’s cause wasn’t helped when on-loan Leighton McIntosh was ruled out with a knee injury picked up training with Dundee. He then lost Paul Lunan to an ankle injury also picked up in training.

He was forced into making four changes to the side the that drew in the last home match two weeks ago. Out went Sandy Wood, Terry Masson, Paul Lunan and Leighton McIntosh and into the side came David Crawford, David Gray, Garry Wood and Lloyd Young.

The reshuffled line-up saw Crawford in goal with Campbell and Ricky McIntosh in the full back roles. Garry Wood lined up for the second time this season as a makeshift centre-half alongside Jonathan Crawford. The Montrose midfield consisted of Young on the left and Gray on the right with McLeish and Winter teaming up in the middle. There was a new partnership in attack of the two Scotts - Johnston and Morton.

There was youthful look to the Montrose bench with Phil McGuire and Paul Watson returning after a three-month absence, joined by Dale Reid who returned to the side only a week after joining Montrose Roselea on loan, 18-year-old Johnshaven youngster David Beedie and 17-year-old goalkeeper Dean Easton.

In the ninth minute a McLeish cross was deflected out for a Montrose corner. Gray’s kick was headed across the face of the goal but no Montrose boot could make final touch.

Montrose had a let-off in the 13th minute when David Crawford missed a corner kick from Sweeney. The ball was played back in and fell kindly to Watt but he fired straight into the arms of Crawford.

With 20 minutes gone Lloyd Young gave a way a needless free kick wide on the right. McColm sent in a dangerous inswinging ball which central defender David Marsh crashed over the bar from close range.

Montrose had their first real opportunity when Young made space to shoot but his 20-yard effort went straight into the arms of Barclay.

The Gable Endies almost opened the scoring in the 27th minute when Ricky McIntosh broke clear on the left and he fired in a low cross which was just missed by the inrushing Scott Morton inside the six-yard area.

A poor opening 45 minutes came to an end with Johnston being fouled in the semi-circle. Winter lifted the ball into the box, Wood headed it back across the goal but his attempt was cleared by the home defence.

Half-time: Clyde 0, Montrose 0.

The home side went straight into the attack and makeshift centre half Garry Wood was forced to head behind a dangerous cross.

In the 51st minute Montrose came close. Johnston went up the right and cut the ball back for Scott Morton who played it back to Jamie Winter but he blazed it over the crossbar.

In the next minute Clyde full back Brown fired over a great cross which found central midfielder Sweeney totally unmarked but he missed with a free header from eight yards out.

Montrose won a set play in 56 minutes when Johnston was held back just outside the area. The free kick was played short to Jamie Winter in a rehearsed move, but the ball was played behind the midfielder and he totally missed his shot.

On the hour Montrose went even closer to scoring with the miss of the season. Lloyd Young carved open the Clyde defence with a great turn on the left wing. He raced into the box and chipped in a great cross which Alan Campbell rose to meet. There appeared to only one outcome but from a couple of yards he headed wide of the far post, although he may have been pushed as he rose.

In the 65th minute Gavin Brown turned a fired in a great shot - straight into the arms of David Crawford.

Montrose opened the scoring in the 66th minute. Lloyd Young was the architect with another run into the box. His low cross bobbed around the box and found its way to CRAIG McLEISH who set himself up to fire into the corner of the net with the aid of a slight deflection for his first goal for the club.

In the following minute Clyde made their first change of the afternoon when they brought on Sean Fitzharris for Paul Hay.

Montrose came close to a second goal on the break with 15 minutes remaining. After clearing a corner kick the ball found its way to Jamie Winter and he found goalscorer McLeish on the edge of the area but this time the goalscorer fired in a low effort which was blocked by the defence.

In the 76th minute Clyde made their final throw of the dice with a double switch, sending on Ryan McBeth and Pat Scullion for John Sweeney and Stuart McColm.

Clyde’s Gavin Brown became the first booking of the match in the next minute after a show of dissent towards the assistant referee.

David Crawford who had enjoyed a relatively quite afternoon, was called into action with 12 minutes remaining when substitute Ryan McBeth let fly from 20 yards out but the ‘keeper pushed the ball over the bar.

Clyde equalised from the corner kick. Substitute Sean Fitzharris swung over a great corner and nobody picked up fellow substitute PAT SCULLION who bulleted a header into the corner of the net.

The Gable Endies tried to hit back and Scott Johnston won a corner. Gray took it short to Young who set up Winter but he blasted the ball over the crossbar.

Montrose regained the lead in the 81st minute with another good goal. McIntosh fired over a great ball across the park to McLeish who controlled the past and found JAMIE WINTER who made it third time lucky by planting a 25-yard effort low into the corner of the net for his second goal in two games.

With seven minutes remaining Montrose made a change. Paul Watson returned after third months out with an injured knee, in place of David Gray. Watson took up a role on the left of the park with Young switching to the right.

On 86 minutes David Crawford kept Montrose in the match with a great save. Kevin Watt found himself through on goal but lifted the ball over the ‘keeper who got the faintest of touches to deflect it over for a corner.

Montrose almost added a third with two minutes left. Jamie Winter found himself with a shooting opportunity some 30 yards out. His shot was blocked by Barclay in the Clyde goal and he gathered the ball before Johnston could apply the finishing touch.

In the third minute of stoppage time Lloyd Young was booked after he gave away a free kick to Clyde. The free kick sailed out of play and the hard three points were secured.

Montrose: D. Crawford, Campbell, R. McIntosh, J. Crawford, G. Wood, Winter, Gray (Watson), McLeish, Morton, Johnston, Young. Substitutes not used – McGuire, Reid, Beedie and Easton.