ROSELEA travelled to Laing Park to face Superleague side Carnoustie Panmure in the second round of the GA Cup - with a home tie against Aberdeen Superleague leaders Hermes the lure for the winners.
Roselea had a couple of injury problems despite a three-week lay-off, with long term injury victim Calum Rae joined by Ross Colquhoun who will also be absent for some time after an ankle injury was sustained in training. Paul Taylor fitted in at left-back and Colin Kennedy returned to the squad after a spell working away.
Roselea pulled off a surprise by signing ex-Montrose winger Kevin Webster on a short term deal following his release from Cove Rangers and he took his place in the side. Webster’s ex-Cove team-mate and ex-Roselea player Calum Watson lined up for the opposition as he is on loan to them until the end of February.
On a glorious day for football Laing Park had recovered from the frost of the previous weeks and was looking in great condition although the ground were wet underfoot with the surface likely to cut up.
Carnoustie kicked the match off with the sun at their backs and a slight breeze also in their favour. In an even opening Webster for Roselea and Gates for Carnoustie were looking the most likely to cause any damage.
Paul Taylor and Mustard combined well on the right side in 10 minutes and won Roselea a couple of corners which tested Carnoustie but they dealt with them without much worry.
Carnoustie had the first chance in 19 minutes when an innocuous looking cross was flicked by Watson, and McLeod had to dive at full length.
Carnoustie were getting on top and Clark laid the ball back to Watson who had a strike from the edge of the box but again McLeod held well.
In 24 minutes Roselea countered. Urquhart broke from midfield and fed Fletcher who was one on one with the ‘keeper but the Carnoustie number one got out and blocked.
Three minutes later Roselea had a let off when Watson spun and crossed to Gates who crashed a volley off the bar.
A minute later Roselea had their best chance so far. Collier turned well and slipped the ball wide to Webster who cut along the by-line and was finally crowded out as he shot amid claims that Robertson scooped the ball off the line with his arm.
Carnoustie had shaded the early stages and they took the lead on 29 minutes. Watson played the ball back to ROBERTS who struck a great shot from 25 yards and despite the brave efforts of McLeod who touched it onto the bar the ball found its way into the net.
Carnoustie were on top and sensing a second goal. Cook rifled in another shot which again McLeod did well to hold. Watson was next to try his luck for Carnoustie as he broke on the left but the ever alert Mcleod blocked his shot and it spun across the Roselea goal with Cook just missing as he slid in.
Half -time: Carnoustie Panmure 1, Montrose Roselea 0.
Two minutes after the break Clark of Carnoustie raided up the left-hand side and just when it looked like he would cross he drove the ball at the near post, hitting it.
Soon after, Panmure elected to take a quick free kick and Mustard blocked, much to the home side’s anger. The ball broke to Webster who ran 20 yards before shooting wide with a couple of other options on.
The next chance came in 59 minutes when a dangerous Webster free kick found no takers at the far post and the ball spun agonisingly wide. Roselea were finding a way into the game and a quickly taken free kick by Paul Taylor found Webster and Fletcher at the far post but neither could take control and get a shot away.
In 64 minutes McLeod came to Roselea’s rescue after Gates broke away and the ‘keeper stood tall and strong to beat the ball away from the advancing winger.
Disaster struck in 65 minutes when GATES fired in a second for the home side. Mcleod punched a corner under pressure and it landed to Gates just outside the corner of the six-yard box. He struck a brilliant shot high into the roof of the net to give the homesters a two-goal lead.
Both sides made changes straight after with Aitken replacing Fletcher for Roselea and Watson being taken off for the home side.
With 15 minutes to go Roselea got back in the game with a goal from WHYTE. A long throw from Paul Taylor landed at the feet of Webster who played it to Whyte to score from near in.
In 78 minutes Hood replaced Ryan Taylor for Roselea.
Seven minutes later Roselea, who had Carnoustie on the backfoot, had a chance when a Paul Taylor took another long throw and Whyte prodded goalwards before the ball broke to Webster, but he could not get a chance to shoot. Riach replaced Urquhart in 86 minutes.
Roselea had a couple of more chances near the end but it wasn’t their day and Carnoustie held out for what was just a deserved victory.
Roselea: Mcleod, P. Taylor, R. Taylor, Reoch, Whyte, Urquhart, Mustard, Anderson, Webster, Fletcher, Collier. Substitutes: Riach, Aitken, Rodger, Hood, Kennedy, Brand and Craig.
Roselea will feel they should have taken something from this game against Superleague opposition. After a slow start when they looked to be giving the opposition too much respect they took the game to the home side and ran them close. It was another close defeat to superior opponents but these are the games Roselea should be trying to win to progress at a higher level. There were a number of good performances and Kevin Webster showed that if they can hang on to him he will be a great acquisition.
Roselea return to McBookie.com North Division action to travel to Victoria Park Brechin to face local rivals Vics. Vics will be smarting after a heavy loss to league leaders Violet and will seek a better result against their close neighbours. Kick-off is at 2.15pm.