REPORT: Gable Endies still seeking first win following Binos defeat

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Montrose are still on the hunt for their first league win of the season following defeat to Stirling Albion at Forthbank.

The Gable Endies matched their hosts for long periods, but goals from Darren Smith and Marc McKenzie ensured the three points went the way of the home side.

In what was a poor game, the hosts actually started brightly. Paul Watson lashed a shot wide before Ross Campbell should have scored with a free header when he got on the end of Watson’s free kick.

The Binos were also looking threatening, with McKenzie causing the visitors’ defence all kinds of problems, and good work from the former Elgin man almost brought a goal, but his ball across the face of goal was well cut out by Gregor Anderson.

The home side then had the ball in the net from the resulting corner, but referee Gavin Ross had already blown his whistle after he spotted some pushing in the box.

Scott Davidson then went close to getting on the end of a nice flick-on from Blair Henderson, but Montrose keeper Jordan Millar was alert and snuffed out the danger.

There wasn’t much between the sides as the first half passed the midway point, with neither able to make the most of the opportunities that fell their way. Iain Campbell blazed an effort over the bar and smacked a free kick into the Albion wall, while Darren Smith was flagged offside as he raced clear.

Watson was looking the most likely man to open the scoring as half time approached and he was clearly in the mood, forcing Chris Smith into a save just after the half hour mark.

Sean Dickson sent a volley a couple of yards wide of Millar’s goal, but the best chance of the half fell to Graham Webster. Ross Campbell whipped a lovely cross into the box, and Webster looked certain to score but couldn’t keep his header down and the home side survived.

At the other end, Henderson and Darren Smith linked up well to put the former through, but his shot was weak and Millar smothered it without too much trouble.

Watson pinged an effort over the crossbar as the first half drew to a goalless conclusion, with a chorus of boos greeting the referee’s whistle as he blew for the break.

The home side had clearly been stung by that criticism from their supporters, and Ross Forsyth went very close with a dipping volley which would certainly have been one for the defender’s highlights reel.

However, the arrival of Moses Olanrewaju proved the catalyst the Binos needed. The winger replaced Jack McCue just before the hour mark and just moments later played a part in his side’s opener.

Great work from the youngster saw the ball find Sean Dickson, whose effort from distance was deflected into the path of Darren Smith. The former Motherwell man was all alone in the Montrose box and duly took his opportunity, sliding the ball past the helpless Millar.

That seemed to give the home side even more impetus, and only a tremendous save by Millar stopped Olanrewaju adding a second with a header two minutes later.

The Gable Endies weren’t out of it and could have equalised when Ross Campbell burst into the box on the right hand side, but he chose to shoot when he should have passed and his effort was straight down the throat of Chris Smith.

Darren Smith almost added a second after yet more good work from Olanrewaju, but this time Millar was equal to the forward’s effort.

By this point the visitors were becoming increasingly desperate, and as they threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser, they left themselves wide open at the back. From a corner, Olanrewaju played in McKenzie, who drove towards goal before arrowing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

That put the result beyond all doubt, and the visibly deflated visitors barely had the chance to restart before the final whistle was blown.

The defeat means the Mo sit second-bottom of the table, with just a solitary point and above only newly promoted Edinburgh City.

Next up is the visit of Annan Athletic to Links Park, before Cowdenbeath make the trip north after the international break.