ROSELEA faced near neighbours Arbroath Vics at Broomfield on Saturday in what was billed as an almost must win game.
Trailing their opponents by a point with a game in hand and league leaders Downfield by seven points with two games in hand, this was an important match.
Following back to back defeats in the league against Forfar Albion and Downfield, Roselea were looking for a lift.
James Collier recovered from injury and made a start in the side, while David Craig was missing due to injury alongside Paul Whyte and longer term absentees Ewan Graham and Colin Page.
It was a terrible day with a driving wind and rain coming in from the St Cyrus end of the ground and sweeping right down the pitch. Roselea won the toss and elected to shoot into the wind.
It was the home side who made the early running and they forced a couple of corners. The ball broke to Miller from the second one and he turned and hooked the ball goalwards but an Arbroath defender cleared off the line. Collier then backheeled another corner and Reid did well to gather.
Arbroath Vics had the next couple of attacks with Warren looking dangerous. He found Anderson entering the box and his shot was deflected behind for a corner. The flag kick came in and Mustard did well to clear under pressure.
Arbroath Vics took the lead in 15 minutes in the most unfortunate circumstances for Doug CRAIG. A Warren cross came in and with little danger behind him the veteran defender stretched and backheeled into the net.
Arbroath Vics were on top and as expected used the wind at their backs to their advantage. Owbridge was played in and only a great block from McLeod prevented Vics increasing their lead. In 21 minutes McLeod was called into action again, this time tipping a dangerous Norrie cross over the bar for a corner. Three minutes later the Roselea goal survived another scare when Warren cut in from the right and shot but found the side-netting.
In 26 minutes Rae was the first booking of the game for a foul on Anderson.
Miller lost possession for the home team in 34 minutes and led to a terrific volley from Anderson being saved by McLeod at full stretch. Norrie then had another shot saved as he burst into the box with McLeod again frustrating the Arbroath side.
In one of Roselea’s few attacks of the half Urquhart went down in the box following a heavy challenge and despite loud appeals, no decision was given by referee Ritchie. Just before half-time Warren had a glorious chance for Arbroath Vics when he found himself one on one with McLeod. Although he got his angle correct to create the opening, he managed to shoot wide of the post.
Half-time: Montrose Roselea 0, Arbroath Vics 1.
With the wind at their backs Roselea were looking to press Vics and quickly won two free kicks which were wasted. Attempts by Collier and Craig both went high and wide at opposite sides of the goal.
Arbroath Vics were definitely on the backfoot and yet another free kick was awarded for a pull back on Fotheringham in 51 minutes. This time a well worked set-piece saw Craig pass the ball across the face of the goal and somehow it managed to miss all the incoming players before going behind.
Roselea’s persistence finally paid off in the 55th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Urquhart was felled in the box. COLLIER stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
Roselea got in front on 60 minutes with another COLLIER goal. Rae sent in a great corner which Hood rose and headed onto the bar and Collier was on hand to head home the rebound from close range.
Durno picked up a booking for Vics in 63 minutes.
Roselea made a change in 80 minutes when Aitken replaced Hood. The substitute’s first involvement was to pick up a booking after he overran the ball when he was almost through on goal.
Jones of Vics got the early shower most of the players would have liked when he received two yellow cards in 85 minutes.
There was time left for a scare in stoppage time when Miller gave the ball away on the halfway line with Roselea on the attack allowing Warren to break. However McLeod was out quickly and the danger was cleared.
This was a massive win for the home team and well deserved as they had to work hard for the victory in difficult conditions.
Collier made a huge difference up front for Roselea with his hold-up play which made things difficult for the Vics’ defenders. McLeod was excellent and stopped two certain goals and Fotheringham was hard working in midfield.
The win places Roselea two points ahead of Vics with a game in hand and four points behind leaders Downfield also with a game in hand. Roselea now travel to Craigie Park, Dundee, on Saturday (March 19) to face East Craigie who have improved since their five-goal loss at Broomfield.
Roselea: McLeod, Miller, Mustard, Reoch, Doug Craig, Reid, Rae, Fotheringham, Hood, Collier and Urquhart. Substitutes: Aitken, McKellar, Riach, Strachan and Watson.