Roselea aimed to get their Premier League challenge up and running again, when they faced Jeanfield Swifts.
The Swifts inflicted the biggest defeat of the season with a 5-2 win at Riverside and have been on a good run of form under their new management team of Andy Heggie and Neil Thomson. Roselea had pretty much a full squad to choose from, with only a couple of players carrying injuries. Scott McDowell and Craig Taylor sat out whilst Calum Rae and Ryan Taylor dropped to the bench from last week’s starting line-up, with Kyle Findlater and Michael Cruickshank coming in.
Unusually, Broomfield Park was very calm as the teams kicked off on a nice, flat pitch but there was still a winter chill in the air.
Roselea had started the previous two games slowly, so made sure their warm-up was of a high tempo but that seemed to make no difference as Jeanfield missed two great chances in the opening three minutes. First, a long clearance caught Jo Reoch out and only quick thinking by Mcleod averted McLeish latching on to it, then Gary Fraser twisted Findlater inside out, before sending a great ball that Dodd should have sent net-bound but somehow screwed wide.
Jeanfield should really have taken the lead in 13 minutes, when a well-timed run by Holt saw him beat the offside trap. However, instead of lobbing Mcleod, he tamely clipped the ball into his hands.
Jeanfield deservedly took the lead in 19 minutes when McLEISH headed home from close range from a Fraser chip.
Roselea were up against a slick and lively Jeanfield side, who were moving ball around the pitch quickly and looked dangerous every time they broke.
In 27 minutes Findlater pinged a ball low and hard from the right-back area, which everyone missed apart from Reid, who went very close from a tight angle.
In 35 minutes Roselea drew level, pretty much against the run of play. Collier shot from the edge of the box and the ball was deflected to REID who wasted no time in despatching the ball into the net. In 41 minutes Fraser was brought down by Collier and Holt hit a low shot which Mcleod saved well.
Disaster struck Roselea for the second week running, when they conceded a decisive goal right on half-time. Roselea were caught out three on two and, despite a great tackle from Reoch, the ball broke to DODD who curled an excellent finish past Mcleod.
Half -time: Montrose Roselea 1, Jeanfield Swifts 2.
Things got worse for Roselea with a very simple goal conceded just two minutes into the second period. Dodd broke away down the right and squared for FRASER to knock home from close range. Roselea made a change with Calum Rae going on for Ross Mitchell in 55 minutes.
Roselea were still struggling to cope with Jeanfield’s pace and they went close again, when Fleming crossed for Fraser to head just wide in 67 minutes.
Reid had a chance to pull one back in 71 minutes, when Collier slipped the ball to him inside the penalty box, but he could not beat Bruce, who stood up and blocked the ball.
Calum Watson had been on a booking since the first half and was starting to get too involved in matters away from the ball. He found himself red-carded for a late tackle in 75 minutes,
Reid had a chance in 76 minutes, when Rae flighted the ball over the top, and his chip went just wide. It looked like he may have had a case for a penalty, when Bruce clattered into him after the ball was away.
REID did reduce the leeway when Tringham squared the ball and he poked it home from close range at the second attempt.
Jeanfield were looking decidedly uncomfortable, having controlled the game for long periods, however, they were given some breathing space when Cruickshank was shown a straight red, after a stamp in 85 minutes.
Roselea were down but not out and their battling spirit saw them win a penalty in 90 minutes, when REID was brought down. It did look decidedly soft, as he seemed to leave his foot trailing as Bruce came out to block. He did not worry about that, however, and struck a great low penalty into the corner of the net, to complete his hat-trick.
The referee indicated there would be two added minutes, however he ended up playing five so it was Roselea’s turn to be on edge as they cleared the ball to safety several times before the full-time whistle came.
Roselea: Mcleod, Findlater, Tringham, Reoch, Whyte, Mitchell, Anderson, Collier, Cruickshank, Reid & Watson. Subs: P Taylor, R Taylor, Smith, Thomson & Rae
On the balance of the 90 minutes Roselea did not deserve this draw, with Swifts looking far slicker and looking likely to score every time they attacked.
However, there can be no taking away the battling spirit shown, especially after going down to nine men. Calum Rae made a big difference when coming on and certainly looked more composed on the ball in midfield.
With Dalkeith winning, they now move four points ahead of Roselea in second place with St Andrews a further point behind but having three games in hand.
Roselea travel to Tulloch Park, Perth on Saturday, March 21, to face Kinnoull, who picked up their first League win of the season at Edinburgh United on Saturday. Kick-off is 2.30pm and travel will be by cars.