MONTROSE Football Club made it seven points out of a possible nine for the week when they defeated Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park on Saturday.
The victory was newly appointed manager Ray Farningham’s first since his appointment and gave him the perfect way to celebrate turning 50 the following day.
It was an entertaining match played on a difficult bumpy pitch but the Gable Endies just about shaded it. However, they had to wait until 10 minutes from the end for Terry Masson to strike the winning goal.
After the draw at Clyde on Tuesday night, Montrose made two enforced changes to their line-up. Out went suspended captain Stephen McNally and the injured Martin Boyle. Into the side came Gordon Pope after injury and goalscoring hero Conor Thomson.
The visitors lined up with Gonzalez in goal and Crighton and Sinclair in the full back positions. Campbell and Pope teamed up in central defence. Masson and Cameron were in the centre of midfield with McCord and Crawford on the flanks. Nicol and Thomson were in attack.
Hegarty, Davidson, Smith, Pierce and Wood were the substitutes.
The home line-up included two former Montrose players Chris McLeod and David Greenhill.
Montrose won a free kick early in the match when Thomson was fouled by McLean. Cameron swung over the free kick but Berwick managed to clear their lines.
In the following minute the home side created a chance. Gordon saw his shot blocked and the rebound came back out to top scorer Gribben but he could only hook the ball over the crossbar.
In the sixth minute Ross McCord controlled a free kick from Pope but from outside the area he could only lob the ball into the arms of goalkeeper Ian McCaldon.
Two minutes later a run up the left from Sinclair was halted by Notman. Cameron’s free kick found McCord at the far post, he controlled the ball but ran out of room before he could get in a cross.
Berwick won a corner kick after a scramble in the visitors’ box. When the kick came in Gribben flicked the ball wide of the far post.
With 18 minutes gone Daryl Nicol let fly from 20 yards for Montrose but his shot flew over the crossbar.
Left-back Stuart Callaghan then fired over a cross for the home side but ex-Montrose midfielder David Greenhill headed straight at Gonzalez.
Seconds later the Links Park men had a chance. Crighton played the ball wide to McCord. His low cross was gathered by Cameron who fired in an effort straight into the arms of McCaldon.
Play continued to flow from end to end and the Wee Rangers were next to have a go but Campbell managed to block the effort from Lee Currie. Callaghan swung over the free kick but the ball went straight out of play.
A great Gable Endies’ move almost brought about a goal in the 28th minute. A strong run from Nicol saw him play the ball wide to Thomson before taking the return a sending over a great cross which was met by the head of Cameron and his effort looked bound for the top corner until it was deflected wide. McCord’s corner caused no problems as McCaldon punched clear.
With four minutes of the half left Gribben won a corner kick off Campbell. Greenhill took the corner which found Ewart who crossed back into the box but Gonzalez tipped the ball over the bar. Callaghan crossed from the right from the second corner only for Andy McLean to bullet his header over from close range.
In the next minute Nicol played in his strike partner Thomson who won another corner kick. McCord played the ball in and Gordon Pope’s header went straight into the arms of keeper McCaldon.
The home side got the second half under way and immediately won a corner kick. Callaghan took it, but Aaron Sinclair was on hand to clear the danger.
In the 48th minute Montrose almost took advantage of a slip from McCaldon but Douglas Cameron could only send a first time volley from the edge of the box screaming over the crossbar.
Five minutes later a back header from Ewart gave the Gable Endies a corner kick but gain McCord’s flag kick was straight into the arms of McCaldon.
With 55 minutes gone Conor Thomson went on a run down the right he cut inside a Berwick defender and curled a 20-yard effort well over the crossbar.
Darren Gribben showed great footwork outside the Montrose box but his effort went over the crossbar.
On the hour mark Berwick Rangers made their first change of the afternoon when Damon Gray replaced Kevin Gordon.
In the next minute McCord won Montrose another corner kick after a mazy run down the left. This time McCord played over an out swinging ball which Sean Crighton hooked over the bar.
Aaron Sinclair broke forward from his left-back position and beat a couple of players before firing widely over the crossbar.
Stuart Callaghan became the first booking off the afternoon when referee Robertson showed him a yellow card for diving in the box after a challenge from McCord.
The Links Park men made a change in the 71st minute bringing on Chris Hegarty for Campbell who was suffering from an ankle injury. Hegarty slotted in at right back with Crighton moving across to central defence.
With 15 minutes remaining Montrose should have opened the scoring. A great 30-yard crossfield pass from Hegarty found Cameron on the left flank. He got to the by line and sent in a low cross which Nicol somehow managed to fire wide from close range.
Nicol was withdrawn the next minute and Sean Pierce came on in his place. At the same time Berwick Rangers brought on Alan Brazil for David Greenhill.
Montrose had an even better chance in the 78th minute. Again it was Hegarty who was the provider when he swung over a cross from the right which was met by the unmarked Ross McCord who sent his header over the crossbar.
It was third time lucky for the visitors when they opened the scoring with 10 minutes remaining. Thomson slipped the ball through to TERRY MASSON who skipped past a couple of challenges, and from 20 yards out curled an absolute beauty pass McCaldon into the bottom corner of the net. It was Masson’s first goal for the club and he celebrated with his delighted team-mates and the Gable Endies’ bench.
Two minutes later Masson gave away a free kick in a dangerous position after a foul on Lee Currie but the Montrose defence held firm and cleared the danger.
With five minutes left Berwick Rangers won another free kick but this time Pope cleared as Montrose held out for another deserved three points.
Montrose: Gonzalez, Crighton, Sinclair, Campbell (Hegarty), Pope, Cameron, McCord, Crawford, Nicol (Pierce), Masson, Thomson. Substitutes – Davidson, Smith and Wood.