Roselea reminded that it’s tough in the top flight

Roselea travelled to Fife on Saturday for their third East Premier League match of the season at Oakley United who won both their meetings last season.

Hopes were high after the 2-2 draw with Broughty Athletic the previous week and the home side having lost both their opening fixtures.

Roselea travelled without James Collier and Scott McDowell through injury but on the plus side Calum Watson returned from his two-match suspension carried over 
from last season.

Blairwood Park surface was in much better condition than the last visit in April; however a Broomfield-like wind was blowing right 
down the pitch.

Roselea kicked off with the wind at their back but as usual it would prove difficult to use that to their advantage. Roselea tested the Oakley ‘keeper when Watson struck a well-hit low shot but Manderson saved well at the base of the post in eight minutes.

After a couple of dangerous Oakley crosses tested Ross Mcleod it was Roselea who again went close. Cruickshank almost picked out Watson before the ball was turned behind for a corner which Cruickshank took and sent in a great ball which fell to Reid who again tested Manderson.

Oakley took the lead in 15 minutes. Rae and Mitchell were not sure who was picking up and when the ball fell to GOLLAN 30 yards out he sent a great curling shot beyond Mcleod into the corner of the net.

In 20 minutes Watson again shot from 25 yards but it was at a good height for the ‘keeper.

Roselea were not looking comfortable at the back, with strikers Watt and McDonough not allowing time to settle 
on the ball.

In 32 minutes a great ball from Reid set Mitchell away down the right flank; however his cross was too near the ‘keeper with Watson in a great position inside the 6 yard box.

Roselea were creating more chances but the vital spark was missing and with home ‘keeper Manderson in no mood to concede it was turning into a difficult afternoon for the visitors.

Just before the break Roselea had two great chances to level. Anderson took a long throw-in which Whyte flicked on to Watson whose back to goal, and he flicked the ball goalwards with Manderson pulling off a wonder save to thwart Roselea again.

And right on half-time Cruickshank had a great opportunity when another Whyte flick-on found him free at the back post but his right-footed shot went wide.

Half-time: Oakley 1, Montrose Roselea 0.

Mcleod had to make a good save from Coulter after good work by Watt in 53 minutes.

Five minutes later Roselea fell further behind with a disappointing goal from a defensive point of view. A corner went right to the back post and Gollan headed back across the goalmouth unchallenged to the unmarked McDONOUGH who headed home from 
a yard out.

The game was almost over a couple of minutes later when the ball hit the post. Roselea thought they had cleared but Reoch’s clearance rebounded to Watt whose shot was deflected and spun against the post before Mcleod cleared.

In 69 minutes Watt of Oakley had a great effort from the touchline which Mcleod had to tip over to safety.

In 71 minutes Reid frustrated again when he broke free but elected to shoot early from the edge of the box and his left-footed strike was easily held by Manderson.

In 75 minutes Morgan Smith made his Roselea debut to replace Ross Mitchell. He almost had an instant impact when he put a Watson lay-back just wide.

Findlater then replaced Cruickshank in 85 minutes. The day went from bad to worse for Roselea when Reid did eventually get the ball in the net but the referee correctly penalised Watson for a barge in the run-up to the goal. The referee further frustrated when he pulled back an advantage to award a free kick when Reid had again broken free.

This was a great opportunity for Roselea to take some points off of a team who look nothing like the Oakley sides of years gone by. Despite having the better of the play and chances a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping and bad marking made the difference between the sides. The loss drops Roselea down to the bottom three with only Kinnoull who have lost their three games in a 
worse position.

Unbeaten St Andrews United are next up for Roselea at home on Saturday (August 23) with a 2.30 p.m. kick-off.

Roselea: Mcleod, Rae, Whyte, Reoch, R. Taylor, Mitchell, Anderson, Tringham, Cruickshank, Watson, Reid. Substitutes: Findlater, P. Taylor, Bailey, Smith and Thomson.