Montrose Roselea 2
Kirrie Thistle 3
On Saturday Roselea faced the first of three games in what would be the biggest week in their history.
Wins against Kirrie Thistle and Forfar Albion in the McBookie.com North League and Jeanfield Swifts in the final of the GA Cup would surpass any previous achievements.
Kirrie Thistle, however, had a two-point advantage going into the game and a win would secure the title for them.
Roselea had won their last seven League games but the Kirrie side had also had an impressive run. When the sides last met, a three-all draw was a fair result, and it was the last time Roselea did not take all three points.
Paul Whyte aside, Ralph Brand and Doug Craig had a full complement to pick from.
Roselea were playing into the wind and rain and it was no surprise when Kirrie took the game to them with Russell going narrowly wide with a 30-yard drive.
Kirrie took the lead in 10 minutes from a free kick when Danny Ross appeared to be the victim as he attempted to clear. Robert SMITH took the kick from 22 yards and his low drive squirmed under Mcleod and into the net.
It took Roselea 26 minutes to find a chance as they battled against the elements. A clearance was intercepted by Ross and the ball broke to Reid but he was judged offside.
Roselea had another chance two minutes later when Ryan Taylor fed Danny Ross down the left hand side. His switch found Anderson who struck a decent shot from the corner of the 18-yard box but Stewart was well placed.
Roselea would have been happy to go in one down at half time but Kirrie had other ideas and added a second in 40 minutes. A long ball caught out the Roselea defence as it bounced through and SIEVEWRIGHT shot home from a very tight angle.
Roselea got a lifeline in 43 minutes when the visitors’ Farquharson was shown a red card for a stamp on Craig Anderson, leaving them with 10 men.
Half-time: Roselea 0
Kirrie Thistle 2
Roselea made a change at the break with Cruickshank replacing Ross. The homesters were pressing Kirrie and got a goal back in 55 minutes. Calum Watson picked the ball up 25 yards out and played it out to Craig ANDERSON who cut in before drilling a curling shot with the outside of his right foot.
Reid had a great chance to level from a corner five minutes later but he blasted over from close range under pressure.
Roselea levelled in 67 minutes when a great cross found Calum WATSON at the back post and he directed the ball beyond Stewart.
Kirrie suffered another blow in 70 minutes when their ‘keeper Stewart had to leave the field. He was replaced by outfield player Russell.
Roselea kept pushing for the winner that would almost guarantee the title, but disaster struck four minutes into stoppage time. Sievewright broke on the right and squared for the inrushing COONEY who scored from close range.
Roselea: Mcleod, P. Taylor, R. Taylor, Reoch, Graham, Ross, Collier, Anderson, Rae, Watson, Reid. Substitutes: Watt, Beedie, Riach, Cruickshank and Brand.
In a classic game of two halves Kirrie Thistle just deserved their victory. A draw would have kept Roselea in with a shout at the title but nobody could grudge Kirrie Thistle being champions.
Montrose Roselea 5
Forfar Albion 0
Roselea had little time to feel down after losing out in the Title decider with Kirrie Thistle on Saturday with a promotion clinching win required against Forfar Albion on Monday night.
Roselea made two positional change with returning skipper Paul Whyte coming into the centre of defence and Jo Reoch slotting in for Paul Taylor at right back. Michael Cruickshank started in front of Danny Ross who joined Paul Taylor on the bench.
After the horrendous conditions of Saturday, Broomfield was flat calm on a night which was great for football.
Roselea started in determined fashion but looked anxious with several over-hit passes and late tackles disrupting the flow of the game. The first real chance came in 20 minutes when Cruickshank and Collier combining well, with the former getting to the bye line but over-hitting his cross.
Albion were not going to let Roselea get it all their own way and after Anderson conceded a free kick on the left Black shot over from a loose ball.
Roselea finally got the breakthrough to calm the nerves in 33 minutes with a well worked goal. Cruickshank played a great one-two with Reid who spun the ball over the defender’s head and hit a low cross for Calum WATSON to slot home from close in.
Roselea lost Ryan Taylor after he landed awkwardly on his knee and he was replaced by brother Paul.
Three minutes later Watson turned provider and Dale REID produced a great finish to remove another layer of pressure.
Half-time: Roselea 2
Forfar Albion 0
Roselea looked far more composed and it was no surprise when they scored a third in 55 minutes. Anderson sent a ball up the line to Collier and his excellent cross was attacked well by WATSON to loop a header over Easton into the net.
Calum WATSON completed his hat-trick just after the hour when substitute Riach picked him out with a great pass and he lobbed the ball over the advancing ‘keeper into the net.
Reid missed from a tight angle in 85 minutes then WATSON grabbed his fourth of the night when he poked home from a scramble in the box.
Roselea: Mcleod, Reoch, Whyte, Graham, R. Taylor, Anderson, Rae, Collier, Cruickshank, Watson, Reid. Substitutes: Watt, P. Taylor, Riach, Ross and Beedie.
A young and determined Forfar Albion side went out to frustrate Roselea and they deserve great credit for doing so for the first half hour. Roselea made it by the skin of their teeth on goal difference from East Craigie who were beaten by a late goal the previous Wednesday, and Forfar West End who finished two points back but were deducted six points at the start of the season.
Roselea head to Whitton Park, Broughty to take on Jeanfield in the GA Cup final on Saturday (May 25) with a 2.30pm kick-off.
The Roselea bus which leaves from the Golf Inn at noon is now full.