Roselea made the long trip to Station Park to face Livingston Utd. The sides met in the first game of the season with Livingston coming from behind to win 3-2.
Roselea were desperate for points as the sides were level on points but the home side had two games in hand so from a Roselea perspective it was the proverbial six pointer.
To make matters worse, they travelled without the injured Craig Anderson and Stuart Richardson, whilst Danny Ross was unavailable. Calum Watson was on the bench but not 100 per cent fit.
There was a surprise start for Colin Kennedy who was back from Ghana for a two week break from work and Craig Taylor was again listed as a trialist.
Station Park was being rolled as the Roselea team bus arrived and it was a damp surface, which looked like it would cut up as the match progressed. A chilly Broomfield like wind swept down the pitch.
Roselea kicked off with the breeze at their backs and soon created an early chance. Collier was fouled on the right hand side about 25 yards out and Paul Taylor sent in a great ball, which Whyte headed narrowly wide.
Livingston were guilty of committing four or five fouls in the next five minutes and it was going to cost them badly. Kennedy sent a free kick wide to the unmarked Cruickshank and his cross was met by a powerful WHYTE header to put the visitors one up.
Calum Rae then had a speculative volley from 35 yards when he did well to follow up a ball to the strikers but home keeper Dolan was well positioned to hold.
Collier’s perseverance paid off as he picked up a loose ball in the box before side stepping the ‘keeper and just as he looked to have done everything right his left footed shot from eight yards came off the post.
Roselea doubled their lead on 18 minutes. Livingston cleared a corner only for Rae to pick out Whyte, who was still in an advanced position on the right hand side and he in turn squared for REID to score from close range.
Roselea came under a spell of pressure with the home side desperately trying to get back into the game. Big striker Forbes broke into the box with McLeod saving well then Paul and Ryan Taylor both threw themselves at rebound efforts to block.
Livingston had a chance when Thomson hit a disputed free kick in low at McLeod however he saved well with no tolerance for spills.
Forbes had a double chance when McLeod saved his first shot from the edge of the box but got a second chance, which the keeper did well to recover and turn into the side netting.
Half-time: Livingston Utd 0, Montrose Roselea 2.
Livingston were out very early for the second period and looked like they were up to get back in the game. There was an early scare for Roselea when a long throw found Forbes, who connected with his own header up into the air, and McLeod seemed to get a slight touch to put it behind for a corner.
In 69 minutes Roselea made a surprise substitution with Calum Watson entering the play for Paul Taylor.
There was a strange moment when referee Mackinnon took a forward roll on the ground to make the point that a Roselea player had dived for a free kick.
Roselea were not laughing a couple of minutes later when Paul Whyte was caught out by a long ball and pulled down sub Crawford and was red carded. It could be argued that Ryan Taylor was getting back to cover.
Livingston created their first real chance when the ball broke to winger Russell at the far post but an excellent save from McLeod, who had seen the danger, bravely saved at his feet to prevent any signs of a comeback.
Roselea were weathering the storm as they looked to hold onto their lead with the memory of having lost several leads earlier in the season but there was a determination showing from them. A short corner almost caught Roselea out and Baxter was able to blast a shot at the near post, which McLeod helped over for a corner.
Rae went on a great bursting run down the right and his cross was headed just wide by Watson who had looked lively after coming on.
WATSON was not to be outdone, however, and he claimed his own and Roselea’s third goal right on time. Home ‘keeper Dolan will not want to be reminded that he completely missed a clearance and Watson pounced on the chance and scored from 25 yards out with his left foot into the empty net.
This settled Roselea’s nerves and they comfortably saw out the three minutes of added time against a very deflated home side.
This was a classic example of a team working their socks of to get a result, which is something they have done all season without getting the just rewards at times.
Despite the sending off they did not panic and held out well limiting the home side to few chances. The win lifts Roselea out of the bottom four for the first time this season with Kirrie Thistle going down to Penicuik and Violet drawing with Fauldhouse.
Somehow, it is their first points on the road this season and will give the team confidence that they can pick up other wins in their remaining 6 away matches.
This Saturday Roselea meet Aberdeen side Hermes in the quarter final of the GA Cup at Broomfield Park with a 2.30 p.m. kick-off. The winners of the tie will be at home to either Luncarty or Islavale in the semi-final. Paul Whyte will be available as his red card does not carry a suspension.
Roselea: McLeod, P Taylor, R Taylor, Whyte, Cruickshank, Riach, Rae, Reoch, Kennedy, Reid & Collier. Substitutes: Thomson, C Taylor, Watson, Brand and Kerrigan.