ROSELEA travelled to Beechwood Park, Lochee in search of three points to maintain their good start to the McBookie.com North Division.
Ryan Taylor was a non-starter with a cartilage problem. Graeme Allan and co-manager Doug Craig were unavailable. Craig Anderson served the last of his three-match suspension. Two ex-players were in the squad, Cove Rangers’ defender Eric Watson, and Gavin Reid.
Roselea had chances in the first few minutes. A Paul Taylor throw was flicked to Watson by Collier but his shot was blocked. On six minutes Roselea had a big appeal for a penalty. Calum Watson got behind the Harp rearguard and rounded the ‘keeper wide. His cutback was met by the incoming Rae who appeared to be fouled as he shot, but the penalty was not given.
Roselea had the ball in the net in seven minutes, but when Reoch tapped Collier’s chip over the ‘keeper he was offside.
There was little goalmouth action until the 23rd minute when Harp came close. A great pass put Mullen behind the Roselea defence. A last-gasp tackle by Watson saw the ball spin and hit off the outside of the Lea post with McLeod beaten.
Collier found space in the box and struck a shot across the Harp goalmouth, with Watson almost getting a touch at the far post, but the ball agonisingly went out for a bye kick.
In 34 minutes Valentine of Harp shot from 20 yards which McLeod failed to hold at the first attempt, but smothered as Mullen followed up.
Roselea had hopes when Cruickshank broke on the left and rolled the ball towards the penalty spot and the incoming Reoch. The ball broke under the challenge to Calum Watson but his shot was well saved by the legs of Bell in the Harp goal.
Half-time: Lochee Harp 0, Montrose Roselea 0.
In 49 minutes there was a moment of danger for Roselea as Reid’s attempted headed passback fell short and Watson stepped in to clear.
Roselea took the lead in 51 minutes when Eric WATSON bundled the ball into the net. A great inswinging free kick from Cruickshank was headed against the Harp ‘keeper and Watson was perfectly placed to backheel over the line.
Harp’s central defender McHugh was sent off in 56 minutes. Comments made to the referee after a yellow card for manhandling Calum Watson earned him a second yellow.
Urquhart almost got his head to another dangerous Cruickshank inswinger and then Collier flicked on a Reid cross and it went just over, with Bell scrambling across his line.
Urquhart had a great shot go just over as Roselea sought the second goal that would make the points almost safe. Harp were threatening at times on the break.
Roselea made a change in 76 minutes with Cruickshank coming off and Stewart Fletcher taking his place.
The breakthrough came for a relieved Roselea in 83 minutes. Rae won the ball on the half-way line and drove forward, pulling the Harp defence towards him, then slipped the ball wide to Fletcher whose cutback finally fell to Calum WATSON who blasted home from six yards.
In 88 minutes Chris Milne replaced Rae for the visitors.
Roselea: McLeod, P. Taylor, Reid, Whyte, E. Watson, Urquhart, Rae, Reoch, Cruickshank, Collier and C. Watson. Substitutes: Fletcher, Riach, Milne, Ross and Kennedy.
Roselea stay on top with a 100 per cent league record after three games with East Craigie and Forfar West End on the same total.
This week Roselea have a 2.30pm kick-off visit from Arniston Rangers in the East of Scotland Cup.