Montrose Roselea returned on Saturday to Blairgowrie where they had won 3-2 the previous week on League Cup business, this time for a McBookie.com League match.
Craig Anderson was serving a three-match ban for his sending off the previous week. Danny Ross and Graeme Allan returned and Colin Kennedy was missing through work.
Roselea had a chance in 11 minutes when Calum Watson held up a Taylor free kick and laid to Fletcher who sent a vicious low ball across the Blair goal-line, but it was cleared.
There was a double chance for Roselea a minute later. Watson swivelled in the box and his shot was parried by O’Brien to Collier who missed the ball and Reoch had an effort blocked behind for a corner.
Blair then broke to the other end and caught the Roselea rearguard napping, Maloney had a chance but his over zealous attempt at a turn in the box saw the chance gone and Roselea recovered.
Chances were coming at both ends and a slip by Milne allowed Maloney to get a shot away from a wide angle which fizzed across the Roselea goal.
In 20 minutes Milne gave away a free kick about 35 yards out and the free kick almost saw Findlay connect at the far post.
Ryan Taylor had to come to Roselea’s rescue when he got a touch to a cross that was heading to Findlay at the far post again in 28 minutes.
Roselea had the best chance to date when Collier cut back to Rae who almost completely missed the ball as it bobbled and when it fell to Urquhart he should have done better than shooting high over from 15 yards out.
Roselea were having the better of the opening half hour but fell behind to a great goal from Gary AXWORTHY. He beat the offside trap with Roselea claiming otherwise and slotted a great low finish beyond the advancing McLeod.
Roselea got the leveller they deserved in 40 minutes. Calum Watson was alert to latch on to a loose ball in the box and slid in with O’Brien committed. The ‘keeper brought the striker down and gave the referee no option but to award a penalty and a red card for the Blair number one. FLETCHER stroked the ball into the corner of the net giving the stand-in ‘keeper no chance.
There was a flare up just before half-time when Axworthy who had been fouled and won a free kick squared up aggressively to Milne. The referee allowed both players to walk away without punishment and Milne was replaced by Paul Taylor.
Half-time: Blairgowrie 1, Montrose Roselea 1
In 50 minutes Collier was booked for a dive in the penalty area.
The 10 men who were enjoying the larger share of the ball and finding masses of space to play in. Roselea were toiling to make any impression on the Blair goal with many passes going astray and easy things being done the hard way.
This was the wake up call Roselea were needing and they scored courtesy of skipper Paul WHYTE in 77 minutes. Cruickshank replaced the concussed Urquhart in 80 minutes.
Good play followed from Roselea who had their tails up and another good moving involving Rae and Collier saw the latter shoot just wide.
Roselea extended their lead in 83 minutes when a Collier header from a corner was parried into the direction of WHYTE who scored from close range at the far post.
Blairgowrie had another chance courtesy of slack marking when Pirie found himself in space but pulled his shot wide from a narrow angle.
Roselea wrapped up the match in fine style when Watson broke on the right and unselfishly squared to sub CRUICKSHANK who finished low and hard from 10 yards.
Roselea: McLeod, Milne, R. Taylor, Allan, Reoch, Whyte, Urquhart, Rae, Collier, Watson, Fletcher. Substitutes: Cruickshank, Riach, P. Taylor, Ross and Brand.
This was a great start to the League campaign for Roselea, but the score-line might flatter. Only when the third goal came did the points look safe. Performance of the day was from debutant Graeme Allan who looked assured and composed.
Roselea now face local rivals Brechin Vics at home on Saturday in a top of the table clash. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.