Montrose Football Club’s struggle to move off the foot of the League Two table continued as they lost to Clyde at Broadwood on Saturday with the new look management team of Paul Hegarty and John Holt still to record their first victory since taking over from George Shields two weeks ago.
There was little to chose between the sides at Cumbernauld on Saturday until the match changed with an own goal given away by Garry Wood. This gave Clyde the lift they were looking for and they went on to seal the victory with a second late in the match.
Defensively Montrose looked better than they had in weeks but they still lost two soft goals. Upfront they rarely troubled Clyde ‘keeper Alan Martin in a match spoiled at times by pouring rain.
Montrose must now look to getting badly needed points on the board, starting this Saturday with the final derby of the season against Arbroath.
This result, coupled with East Stirlingshire winning against league leaders Queen’s Park, now sees the side five points adrift at the bottom of the table with a quarter of the season left.
After the previous week’s heavy defeat by Elgin City, manager Paul Hegarty showed three changes to his line-up with Terry Masson and Alan Campbell returning after lengthy spells, along with Ross McCord who also returned from injury. Out side went David Banjo, Paul Harkins and the suspended Ewan Moyes.
Stuart McKenzie was in goal with Masson and Ross Graham in full back positions. Garry Wood teamed up with Campbell in central defence. Johnston was right and Allan wide left in a four-man midfield which saw Cameron and Watson in the middle. McCord this time played off loan striker Ross Campbell.
On the bench for Montrose were Andrews, Banjo, Harkins, O’Neil, Craig Johnston, Harwood and goalkeeper John McCafferty.
Clyde got the match under way with the blustery wind and heavy rain in their favour.
The home side used these conditions to create an opening in the first minute. Scott Ferguson cut inside Graham and his curling effort from the edge of the box beat McKenzie, only to rebound off the crossbar with the ball going wide.
Keigan Parker then got free on the left, only to see Wood scramble his cross clear.
Montrose won a free kick wide on the right when Johnston was fouled. McCord swung over a dangerous ball which Garry Wood couldn’t quite scramble home with the Montrose captain claiming that he had been held back.
McCord then played a one-two with Ross Campbell but the Montrose striker committed a foul as he looked to get back onto the ball.
In the 21st minute Paul Slane fouled Campbell and was warned by referee David Lowe. Graham took the free kick which found Johnston who, in turn, played the ball to McCord bursting into the six-yard box, but the midfielder was caught in an offside position.
Six minutes later the Gable Endies won a free kick 35 yards out when Campbell was fouled by two home players. Cameron played a short free kick to Watson but his low effort beat the wall only to be held by Alan Martin.
With 33 minutes gone Ferguson won a corner kick off Graham. Slane’s corner was cleared by Johnston before play was stopped for an injury to Parker.
With five minutes left of a poor first period Clyde won a free kick when Wood committed a foul. Traynor whipped in the kick but McKenzie was fouled and a free kick awarded to Montrose.
Two minutes from the half-time whistle Scott Ferguson cut inside his marker and fired in a great effort which McKenzie did well to beat away.
Half-time: Clyde 0, Montrose 0
Again it was Clyde who started the second half on the front foot with Scott Ferguson bursting into the box but thankfully he blasted straight at McKenzie.
Four minutes later Jordan Allan won the ball off Ferguson and drove forward, but he shot wide from the edge of the box.
In the 52nd minute Terry Masson marked his return to the side with a yellow card for a tackle on Slane which looked soft.
Three minutes later Clyde made the first change of the afternoon when they brought on Brian McQueen in place of Steven McDougall.
Disaster struck for Montrose when Clyde opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a goal out of nothing. Slane launched the ball forward and it was McKenzie’s all the way until GARRY WOOD got his head on it and it flew over the keeper’s head and into the unguarded net. The goal epitomised the Montrose season.
In the 63rd minute Jordan Allan tried to get Montrose back into the match but his volley from the edge of the box was just too high.
Two minutes later Montrose made their first change of the afternoon when Paul Harkins came on for Ross Campbell.
Allan won Montrose a corner when the ball was deflected off Traynor. Allan whipped over a dangerous kick but Paul Watson’s back post header was too high and sailed over the crossbar.
With 15 minutes left Paul Watson fired in a shot from the edge of the area but the ball was deflected behind for a Montrose corner. Unfortunately McCord’s corner kick went straight into the arms of Martin.
Clyde sealed the points with a killer second goal in the 80th minute. McCord swung over a corner from the left. The home side cleared quickly and with Montrose pushing players up in search of an equaliser, they were caught short at the back this allowed Slane to cross from SCOTT FERGUSON to head home at the back post.
In an effort to grab something from the match Montrose moved Watson back into central defence with Wood moving into attack. At the same time the home team brought on Stephen O’Donnell for Slane.
With seven minutes remaining Harkins won a free kick which he took himself but could only fire straight into the arms of Martin.
In the 86th minute Montrose made a change with David Banjo replacing Allan, and Clyde brought on ex-Montrose man David Gray for Parker.
Montrose had their best opening of the match with two minutes left when Garry Wood latched on to a long kick-out from McKenzie took a touch and his near post volley looked net bound until Martin pulled off a great save.
The last action of the match saw Clyde substitute McQueen being booked for a foul on Watson.
Montrose: McKenzie, Masson, Graham, Cameron, Wood, A. Campbell, S. Johnston, Watson, R. Campbell (Harkins), McCord, Allan (Banjo). Substitutes not used: Andrews, O’Neil, C. Johnston, Harwood and McCafferty.