Dundee North End 2, Montrose Roselea 1
ROSELEA sitting in second place in the league travelled to face third place North End in Dundee in what was a crucial match.
Roselea’s injury problems were easing with Calum Watson making a welcome return as substitute in the previous week at Royal Albert and Ryan Taylor also made the squad after injury.
In came new signing 19-year-old Dale Reid who will be on loan until the end of the season from Montrose FC. In great show of commitment, ‘keeper Ross McLeod travelled up from York, taking time out from a Stag weekend!
Despite worries about surface water and frost of which there were signs of on the surrounds of North End Park the playing surface was in excellent condition having been rolled and looking perfect for a game of football.
Roselea were on the backfoot within a minute when a long ball played over the top had Jo Reoch looking favourite to clear but Borland pushed the ball past him as he entered the box and Reoch brought him down luckily escaping a booking. Paul Whyte was well placed to win his defensive header from the free kick and cleared.
The visitors played their first bit of good football in nine minutes when Taylor linked well and put Urquhart down the line and after his first cross came back to him the second was met well by Cruickshank and only a point-blank save by Fotheringham prevented a sure goal.
There was a let off for Roselea on the quarter hour mark when McComiskie cut in from the left-hand side and crashed a great shot off the bar and onto the line with North End appeals for a goal.
Roselea did not heed the warning and the same player gave the home side the lead on 17 minutes. Hutchison played a long diagonal ball and McCOMISKIE had too much room to cut inside and hit a low shot from 18 yards and into the corner of the net.
Jo Reoch played a long ball into the box in 19 minutes, Calum Watson challenged the ‘keeper and when the ball spilled out it would just not break for the man in green.
Roselea were having a good spell and Reoch had a free header from a Rae corner and when Fotheringham saved on the line Watson almost pounced on the loose ball before it was cleared.
In 28 minutes Roselea came even closer and it was another set-piece that gave North End problems. Cruickshank sent over a swerving corner and Urquhart headed just over after a great run to the front post area.
Roselea were masters of their own downfall in 38 minutes when they lost possession of a throw in just inside the opposition half and when the ball broke up the other end Muckersie had his shot tipped over by McLeod.
Half-time: Dundee North End 1, Montrose Roselea 0.
Roselea started with a change of personnel and also positional changes as Reid came on for Taylor. Collier swapped from an attacking role back to a defensive one with Allan and Whyte shuffling along the back line.
The visitors started on a more positive foot with Anderson striding forward before being brought down outside the box. The ball was rolled into his path but his shot was not controlled enough and flew over.
Roselea kept up the momentum and equalised eight minutes into the second half. Another Cruickshank corner was headed back across goal by Whyte and REID got the final touch to bundle it over the line.
There was a let off for Roselea minutes later when McLeod spilled a corner at the feet off O’Neill and he somehow smashed the ball over the bar from three yards out.
Roselea were behind again in 59 minutes. Hutchison drove down Roselea’s left hand side and when his cross was turned into the path of MUCKERSIE he wasted no time in drilling a low shot past McLeod.
North End had another chance when goalscorer Muckersie laid the ball to partner in crime McComiskie however McLeod saved his low shot in 64 minutes.
Roselea made a change when Ross replaced Cruickshank in 69 minutes as they tried to turn the tide.
Anderson made yet another strong run forward only to be brought down by O’ neill who was shown a yellow. Roselea could still not break down the stubborn North End rear-guard.
Roselea threw on their last substitute in 80 minutes with Fletcher taking Urquharts place. Fletcher was quickly in action as he linked with Watson from a throw in and his low shot was smothered by Fotheringham in the home goal.
The visitors were scrapping away trying to get something out of the game and although Reid got a touch on a Rae free kick Fotheringham was yet again there to keep the lead intact.
On the 90 minute mark Reid connected well when the ball on the edge of the box and his acrobatic effort was just wide of the post.
In stoppage time North End almost grabbed a goal that would have flattered the scoreline when sub Cruickshanks broke and Whyte threw himself in front of the ball to prevent a certain goal and Borland shot over the gaping goal from the rebound.
Roselea: McLeod, P Taylor, Whyte, Reoch, Allan, Urquhart, Rae, Anderson, Cruickshank, Watson, Collier. Substitutes: Milne, Ross, Riach, Reid and Fletcher.
Referee: Nikki Fraser.
This was a disappointing scoreline for Roselea and like the previous two league defeats there was a thin line between success and failure. North End were possibly more up for it and created chances that maybe came about because of that.
Results elsewhere mean that Roselea manage to keep in touch sitting in a group of seven teams on 12 points, all of whom are three points behind the joint leaders North End and East Craigie.
Roselea will need to up the ante when Blairgowrie visit Broomfied Park on Saturday (November 10) with a 2 p.m. kick-off.