Nine in a row for Roselea table-toppers

Callum Watson blasts home the equaliser.
Callum Watson blasts home the equaliser.

Roselea managed to beat the Arctic conditions on Saturday, being one of only a handful of games which beat the weather, although most spectators were unsure if this had been a good thing.

The Broomfield Park surface was flat and damp but a near gale-force wind blew across the pitch, making a change from the usual end-to-end wind.

Roselea had been on an eight game winning run and were boosted by the return of several players who were due to miss the previous week’s game which had been postponed.

Ross Mcleod returned in goal, with James Collier, Ross Mitchell and Calum Watson all starting. Paul and Craig Taylor missed out through injury with Michael Cruickshank and Aaron Thomson unavailable by work.

Oakley Unitedd arrived in decent form, having recorded wins against Tayport and Dalkeith in their previous two games.

They also defeated Roselea 2-0 in the corresponding game, in the much warmer month of August. They were just three points behind Roselea but had played two more games.

It was one-nil Oakley in seven minutes, with the first attack of the game. Dale Allan put in a great curling cross and COULTER sneaked in front of Tringham to prod home from six yards out.

Oakley were looking lively and moving the ball well in midfield. They took a quick free-kick which allowed Allan to send in a curling left foot shot just over the bar.

Oakley dominated the next ten minutes and seemed to be very slick on the ball in midfield, whilst also looking to threaten on the break.

Roselea finally got a chance in 20 minutes, when Collier struck a shot from 25 yards and it was deflected behind for a corner.

When the corner came in, Whyte flicked on, but the ball would not fall to a player in green and Tapping cleared in the scramble.

Roselea had a great chance to equalise in the 21 minutes, when Reid was released by Watson and rounded the ‘keeper before shooting against the legs of Conners who was on the post.

Interestingly, ‘keeper Manderson was booked for having impeded Reid before rounding him and staying on his feet.

Roselea had their best move of the game so far in 26 minutes, when Anderson put Mitchell down the right and his low cross was met by Watson with a low shot but Manderson saved well.

Roselea’s pressure paid off with an equaliser in 29 minutes and it was from an Oakley mistake. Conners was woefully short with his back pass to the ‘keeper and allowed WATSON to drive in and steady himself, before blasting the ball high into the net from a tight angle.

It was then to be 2-1 to the home side 6 minutes before the break. A long clearance flew up the Oakley left hand side and Dale REID, with great timing and his electric pace, outstripped the defence before steadying himself and shooting low into the corner of the next from 16 yards.

Oakley’s officials were incensed by the decision and claimed he had been four yards offside.

Half-time: Montrose Roselea 2, Oakley Utd 1.

The first action of an even colder second half saw Kyle Findlater replace Ryan Taylor, who had picked up a strain in 57 minutes.

Oakley then had a good spell again and several times Mcleod had to come and smother balls which the away side had sent up the right hand side with the strikers very close to getting contact.

The game was still very much in the balance, with the next goal going to have massive impact on the outcome. Roselea were awarded a free-kick which was missed by the referee but correctly given by his assistant.

Andrew Tringham curled a low shot round the wall using the wind to assist him but Manderson did well to hold under pressure.

In 68 minutes Mitchell slotted a ball in to Watson who took his touch slightly wide, making his finish harder and he shot against Manderson.

In 79 minutes Roselea sealed the three points and their ninth consecutive win with a penalty.

Mitchell again put Watson down the right and his cross found Tringham who was brought down as he rounded Manderson.

As so often happens now, the penalty kick was not the only problem for Oakley as Manderson was red-carded. Dale REID struck a great penalty past Reid who deputised and after having a great game outfield his first job was to pick the ball out of the net.

Roselea made a second change in 82 minutes with Stephen Greig replacing Calum Watson.

They made their third and final change in 86 minutes with McDowell coming on for Tringham who picked up a knock.

Roselea saw out the remaining minutes which saw Oakley press for a way back into the game which finished with a snow flurry to compound the cold.

Full-time: Montrose Roselea 3, Oakley Utd 1.

This was another great win for Roselea and sees them top the table by three points, although they have played three more games than second placed St Andrews Utd, who were winning their Scottish Cup fourth Round tie against Broughty Athletic.

Roselea had to battle through the elements and Oakley will feel aggrieved as they put a lot into the game but came up against a team brimming with confidence and who are playing for each other.

With Roselea having their 11th Annual Sportsmans Dinner in the Town Hall at night, they have been rewarded with another home League fixture against another Fife side Dundonald Bluebell on Saturday, February 7, with a 2 p.m. kick-off.

Roselea: Mcleod, Rae, Whyte, Reoch, R Taylor, Mitchell, Anderson, Collier, Tringham, Watson and Reid. Subs: Smith, Findlater, Greig and Massie (GK).