MONTROSE faced a long journey to Stranraer on Saturday when they continued their bid to climb up the table. Sadly for manager Steven Tweed and his men they only took away a 2-2 draw from the clash.
It was a confident Gable Endies’ side which arrived at Stair Park following previous results against the south-west side. Earlier in the season they beat The Blues 2-1 at their home ground before earning a well-deserved 3-3 draw at the return fixture at Links Park.
Tweed hoped that his men would put the previous weekend’s narrow defeat to Elgin behind them as they dropped to second bottom in the table.
A point at Stranraer gave them a jump to third from bottom, but Tweed is hoping for more in the forthcoming games against Berwick Rangers.
Montrose were without Ross McCord who was suffering from a bout of flu and Gordon Pope and Nicky Smith who were also a few days away from a return. Tweed himself was once again available for selection.
Meanwhile, Stranraer were without striker Michael Moore although they did welcome back midfielder Sean Winter to the side.
Tweed has stated that this is a turning point in the season for the Gable Endies who, despite playing some good football this season, have found that they don’t always get the results that they deserve.
Tweed said: “The team at the top makes fewer mistakes.
“It’s as simple as that. We have got to learn to win ugly.”
The manager was disappointed, however, that his team were unable to take away the three points from the 416-mile round trip.
It looked like the Gable Endies had the edge after a strike by Connor Thomson in the first six minutes gave them an early lead. Unfortunately they lost the lead just five minutes later when a Craig Malcolm equaliser put them back on par just five minutes later.
Montrose were back on top just 10 minutes before the final whistle when Daryl Nicol converted a corner laid on by Steven Tweed.
Again Stranraer hit back almost immediately when the newly-returned Winter found the back of the net with his first touch as a substitute.
Tweed said: “At the end of the day, it wasn’t a win, but I suppose both teams had good chances and a draw was a fair result.
“We got in front twice and we lost stupid goals twice.
“That was the sickening thing. To come away to Stranraer, flying high in the league as well, and score two goals away from home against any team? We should have got a result.”
“We’ve now taken four points from our games at Stranraer this season.
“Everyone worked hard and it was good to see Daryl coming off the bench to score a goal.
“He deserved to get a chance.
“Kyle Benedictus also did well at the back.”
Tweed is concerned about the organisation of the SFL and its handling of the fixture backlog which was caused by the terrible weather earlier in the season.
His Montrose side are now set to face Berwick twice within the space of four days next week with a home fixture on Saturday and another long journey on Tuesday night.
He said: “I don’t think this is an example of great organisation from the SFL.
“I know we need to catch up on games, but more thought could have gone into it.”
r Meanwhile Montrose FC are offering a hospitality package for the fixture against Berwick Rangers on Saturday (February 19).
The package includes entry to the Bon Accord Lounge at 12.45pm for a 3pm kick-off, entry to the match, a drink on arrival, a three-course meal and half-time refreshments. A cash bar facility will be available after the match.
Supporters are reminded that hospitality has a smart dress-code policy (no jeans please).
The cost is £40 per person and to book your place please contact Glynnis Crawford on 01674 673200.