Surprise defeat by bottom team

STEPHEN MCNALLY: Club captain McNally signed from Forfar Athletic in 2010. So far he has made 86+6 appearances for Montrose.
STEPHEN MCNALLY: Club captain McNally signed from Forfar Athletic in 2010. So far he has made 86+6 appearances for Montrose.

IT IS legitimate to complain that Montrose FC are no longer (at this moment), in the top three of the Irn Bru Scottish Third Division, but it is a complaint on a much higher plane than fans have been accustomed to.

It is a complaint a long way from those that were founded upon that piece of strong elastic which used to be attached at one end to Montrose FC and, at the other, the bottom of the league. Now, arguably, we are on a bungee rope, firmly fixed to Rangers at the top of the league, so our natural bounce is up, rather than down.

Saturday’s result was a setback, but no team can expect to win or draw every game, although Sir Alex Ferguson might disagree.

Perhaps expectations were too high and the players’ new-found confidence against the side propping up the league meant that some regarded the three points as a formality.

But arguably Rangers might have thought the same on October 6, when they were defeated one-nil by Stirling Albion.

It could also be argued that the pitch was heavy, and not conducive to the kind of football that the Gable Endies have become accustomed to play on their all-weather pitch and Links Park.

Manager Stuart Garden was not in the mood to pull his punches after the game, and said that his team’s performance was poor, and Stirling Albion deserved their win.

He added that even when Montrose went ahead they were not playing all that well, and that Stirling Albion started better and stayed better.

Garden criticised his players’ reliance on long balls to Garry Wood, which the home side’s experienced defenders could easily cope with.

But, onwards and upwards, and the Gable Endies’ next game is at home on Saturday, with Elgin City the visitors.

The sides are level on points, with Elgin having the better goal difference, and with two games in hand.

There have been two meetings between the teams this season.

A 6-1 trouncing at Borough Briggs on October 13 was followed, 14 days later, by a more respectable two-all draw at Links Park.

Irn Bru Scottish Third Division

P W D L F A Pts

Rangers 23 17 5 1 62 18 56

Queens Park 21 9 7 5 33 26 34

Peterhead 24 9 7 8 27 22 34

Elgin City 22 8 8 6 43 41 32

Montrose 24 8 8 8 41 45 32

Annan 23 7 7 9 38 45 28

Berwick 21 7 6 8 36 37 27

Clyde 22 7 4 11 28 39 25

East Stirling 22 5 4 13 31 54 19

Stirling Albion 20 5 2 13 33 45 17