Raith Rovers 5, Montrose 2
Montrose Football Club crashed out of the Ramsdens Cup at the hands of First Division Raith Rovers at Starks Park last Tuesday.
The Gable Endies lost an early goal and never really recovered from it with the home side running our worthy winners and it could have been more with the visiting defence unable to cope with pace of Grant Anderson and goalscorer Brian Graham.
After the lost to Clyde on Saturday, Montrose made one change to their line-up with Paul Lunan replacing Lloyd Young. This meant a reshuffle to the line up with Lunan replacing Garry Wood in central defence, this allowed Wood to move back up front and Johnston into midfield.
On the bench for Montrose were Jonathan Crawford back from suspension, new signing Grant Mosson whose international clearance had come through, Young and youngster Scott Gordon and goalkeeper Dean Easton.
Montrose got the cup tie underway at a sun drenched Starks Park and won an early free kick when McLeish was fouled. Watson swung over the free kick but keeper McGurn held onto the ball comfortably.
In the third minute Raith Rovers came close when Graham headed over a Stuart Anderson free kick when he should have done better from close range.
Sixty seconds later McLeish gave away the ball in the middle of the park and Graham found himself through on goal but he could only hook his effort over.
Raith Rovers were not to be denied and they opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Jason Thomson cut the ball back and ALLAN WALKER scored with a low shot from 12 yards out.
Montrose then had a couple of close things. Firstly Boyle got on the end of a great cross from Watson at the back post but his netbound volley was blocked for a corner by Hill. Craig McLeish then sent over a corner kick which was heading in until keeper McGurn got back to push the ball over the bar for a second corner which Montrose wasted.
Pat Clarke went close for Raith Rovers in the 12th minute but he dragged his shot wide.
As the home side kept up the pressure Brian Graham got on the end of a cross from right winger Grant Anderson but he headed the ball over the bar from close range.
In the 20th minute a great ball down the right from McNally saw him find Martin Boyle he outpaced his marker only to be flattened on the edge of the area. Watson took the free kick but his effort was to heavy and it went sailing out of the park.
Montrose had another let off two minutes later when Paul Lunan was called into action to clear the ball off the line when Graham flicked it past the onrushing Sandy Wood.
In the 33rd minute Raith Rovers duly grabbed a deserved second goal. Eddie Malone sent over a great cross from the left and it was that man BRIAN GRAHAM who got the slightest of touches to the ball at the near post to head home.
Six minutes later Raith Rovers winger Grant Anderson was booked for a studs up challenge on Sandy Wood as the keeper went to grab the ball inside the box.
Montrose had a rare opportunity three minutes before the interval when Garry Wood shot wide from the edge of the area.
The Gable Endies were made to pay for that miss when the home side scored a third goal. It was Grant Anderson who again caused the Montrose back four the danger when he crossed from the right and PAT CLARKE headed home.
Montrose were given a lifeline in the final minute of a disappointing first half when Wood play Martin Boyle clear and the youngster raced clear and rounded keeper McGurn and with the net empty he was brought crashing to the ground by the homeside’s number one. Referee Stephen Finnie showed the keeper a straight red card and awarded Montrose a penalty kick. After Raith Rovers had taken off Clarke and replaced him with substitute goalkeeper Laidlaw, PAUL WATSON stepped up to send the ball home into the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the season keeping up his goal a game ratio.
Martin Boyle had a chance in the 48th minute when he raced clear of the home defence but keeper came out from his goal to clear the danger with his feet.
Douglas Hill picked up a booking sixty seconds later with a crunching tackele from behind on Garry Wood.
Four minutes later Stephen McNally became the first Montrose player to be booked for late challenge.
Montrose’s chances of taking anything from the tie ended in the 56th minute when Raith Rovers grabbed a fourth goal. Grant Anderson again got free on the right wing and his cross into the goalmouth was flicked home by BRIAN GRAHAM for his second goal of the match.
In the 59th minute Montrose made a change sending on Lloyd Young against his old club in place of Craig McLeish.
In the next minute Raith Rovers brought on Ross Callachan for Grant Anderson.
Young was into action in the 65th minute when he cut inside on the left and found David Gray whose low shot was held by Laidlaw.
Montrose should have had a goal back in the 69th minute when McNally raced up the right wing and his inch perfect cross was on a plate for Martin Boyle but the youngster somehow managed to flick the ball wide when it seemed easier to score.
The Gable Endies continued to press and when Young took a corner short to Gray his cross was cleared only as far as Masson who blasted the ball well over the crossbar.
Montrose thought they had pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Garry Wood headed home a Lunan cross from the left but referee Finnie disallowed it for a foul on keeper Laidlaw.
In the 78th minute Montrose did pull a goal back. Gray fired over a cross which Scott Johnston knocked down and LLOYD YOUNG was on hand to fire home his second goal in two games from close range.
Four minutes later a Gray cross found Wood but despite being held he managed to hook the ball over the crossbar.
In the 86th minute Montrose won a free kick when Johnston was held back but Young could only fire his shot straight into the arms of Laidlaw.
Raith had hardly been seen as an attacking force but Graham went close to a hat trick with three minutes remaining but sandy Wood pulled off a great save from point blank range.
Graham was then taken off and replaced by Greig Spence.
In the third minute of stoppage time Raith Rovers scored a fifth goal when SPENCE got on the end of a kick out from keeper Laidlaw, out foxed Campbell and fired into the end.
Montrose: S. Wood, McNally, Watson, Campbell, Lunan, Masson, Gray, McLeish (Young), Boyle, G. Wood, Johnston Subs not used – Crawford, Mosson, Gordon and Easton