After a tired looking performance at Berwick manager George Shields made changes. In came Graham Webster for Ross McCord, Stephen O’Neil for Paul Harkins and Terry Masson at right back in place of Jonny Crawford who moved to centre back in place of the injured Alan Campbell.
Montrose lined up with McKenzie in goal, then Masson, Crawford, Wood and Graham at the back with O’Neil, Webster and Watson across the middle, Deasley and Johnston out wide and McIntosh leading the attack. That, however, was very soon to change.
The game got under way with Montrose straight into enemy territory down the right. The ball was booted back up field and uncertainty in the Montrose defence allowed Queen’s striker Duggan to go one-on-one with McKenzie. The big ‘keeper just about got to the ball but the striker managed first touch and according to the letter of the law referee Steven Kirkland had no option but to produce a straight red card with less than two minutes gone.
It was the second time in recent weeks that has happened to Montrose and it certainly affected the game as a contest. Perhaps the ‘professional foul’ ruling has gone too far when it looked clear that McKenzie had no intent of fouling. A penalty certainly and maybe a yellow card but it must be debatable if the sentence fitted the crime.
Birnstingl took over in goal and Deasley was sacrificed before even being allowed to break sweat. That left McIntosh up front on his own after CHRIS DUGGAN dispatched the penalty.
In a rare Montrose attack Leighton McIntosh chased a long ball and was only just beaten to it by Muir. Another stride and Muir might have suffered the same fate as McKenzie earlier.
Unfortunately the half lasted a minute too long and when Masson conceded another corner DAVID McGREGOR nipped in at the near post to power in a header.
Half-time: Queen’s Park 2, Montrose 0.
Montrose got nine men behind the ball with McIntosh on his own up front to use his speed. The Queen’s Park back line were solid but just after the restart Webster surged on to a through ball and into the box before unleashing a shot under pressure and which shaved the angle of the post and crossbar. It was the best Montrose chance of the day.
Nine Queen’s Park corners followed, but Garry Wood at the heart of the Montrose defence was marshalling his troops well and the offside trap he set on numerous occasions worked every time.
As the game drifted into the last 10 minutes Queens Park were caught offside on numerous occasions and the maximum number of substitutions were made by both sides.
For Montrose O’Neil came off for Harkins and Graham for Day.
There were four bookings late on; Fraser and Carter for Queen’s then Wood and Watson for Montrose before the referee blew to end the game after a very sterile three extra minutes stoppage time.
Garry Wood shaded Man of the Match for Montrose.
Montrose: McKenzie, Masson, Graham (Day), O’Neil (Harkins), Crawford, Webster, Johnston, Watson, Wood, Deasley (Birnstingl), McIntosh. Subs: McCord, Bell, O’Kane and Cavanagh.