ROSELEA entertained old foes Blairgowrie on Saturday, desperate to put a three-game losing league run behind them.
This was the club’s third clash of the year, with Roselea having won the League Cup and reverse McBookie.com North Division fixtures at Davie Park.
On a typical crisp November day the match kicked off on a flat surface, little wind and a very low. The low sun made things difficult for the home ‘keeper in the first half.
Roselea sprang the visitors’ offside trap in nine minutes when Watson darted wide left and squared to Collier, who rounded the ‘keeper; however it took him wide and made a cross ball difficult, with O’Brien equal to the challenge and holding the cross well.
Blairgowrie forced a series of three corners which were cleared, first by Whyte heading then McLeod punching away.
Roselea had a great chance to take the lead in 31 minutes when Collier again beat the offside trap and found himself clear. A heavy touch took the ball into the path of O’Brien who saved well before Watson squared, only to find a Blair’ defender the only person in the box.
Blair broke from a corner and only a ‘good’ booking for Riach took the pressure off the home defence.
Blairgowrie had a penalty appeal turned down in 33 minutes when French chased a ball in the box but it would have been a surprising and harsh award if given.
James Collier pulled a hamstring and had to be replaced by Craig Anderson on 40 minutes.
Half-time: Montrose Roselea 0, Blairgowrie 0.
Danny Ross was starting to give Blair problems after his move to a more forward position and he won a free kick in 48 minutes. The ball was tapped to the side and Ryan Taylor’s cross-cum-shot had to be tipped over by O’Brien.
Roselea made another change with Cruickshank coming on for Kennedy in 63 minutes. Cruickshank was straight into the action and sent in a dangerous corner which Blair’ struggled to clear before it went to Anderson at the edge of the box, but his low shot was easily held.
Roselea were looking likelier to score and it eventually came for them in the 69th minute. Some good play in midfield from Cruickshank saw him slip Anderson away and he rounded the ‘keeper before crossing to Ross to head goalwards. O’Brien made a remarkable save but RAE followed up to score from a tight angle.
Roselea were well on top and Watson almost got his head to a Cruickshank free kick in 77 minutes. Another great ball from Cruickshank then found Riach who had a super touch before being foiled by a good tackle.
Blairgowrie were not finished and in 86 minutes they tested Roselea’s resolve twice in a minute. Murison took off down the right before cutting in and, with Roselea closing down the cut back, he shot from a narrow angle forcing McLeod to turn the ball behind for a corner. The corner came in and Hood got a free header. The ball went wide with McLeod confident that it was off target.
There was still time for two red cards as the game drew to a close. Watson was unlucky to pick up a second booking for a foul and, after he retaliated, Sheed was shown a straight red for his part in the proceedings.
Roselea: McLeod, Allan, Whyte, Reoch, R. Taylor, Riach, Rae, Ross, Kennedy, Collier and Watson. Substitutes: Anderson, Urquhart, Milne, P. Taylor and Cruickshank.
Blairgowrie made Roselea work hard for victory in yet another tight game. There were some great displays including Man of the Match Craig Anderson’s second-half display. Match sponsors were Ian Edwards, Daniel Begg and MGFA.
This week Roselea revert to Emirates Scottish Junior Cup action with the visit of Maryhill to Broomfield Park. The Glasgow side sit top of the Central Division Two - the same League as Royal Albert who Roselea defeated in the second round. Kick off is at 1.45pm.