Well-deserved point for Mo’ after battling Bayview display

Montrose followed their point from league leaders Annan on Tuesday with another hard fought point against bogey side East Fife at New Bayview on Saturday.

Gary Naysmith’s team inflicted a heavy defeat on the Gable Endies in September at Links Park but now, with both sides on a poor run, they were equally matched.

After the draw with Annan Paul Hegarty made one change to his line-up with Scott Johnston returning in place of Ryan Kenneth in a left wing back role.

Conditions were windswept and wild as Montrose got the match under way.

Montrose created the first opportunity when trialist home keeper ex-Arbroath custodian Darren Hill sliced a clearance to Graham Webster but the Montrose midfielder couldn’t get enough on his effort.

On-loan St Johnstone right back Aaron Comrie picked up the first booking for a soft foul on East Fife winger Kyle Wilkie.

The home side’s dangerman Nathan Austin skipped past Comrie on the byeline and got inside the area but his near post shot was blocked by a defender.

With 10 minutes of the half left Johnston fouled Austin giving East Fife another free kick. Wilkie sent the kick to Jonathan Page who headed well wide.

Despite all the great defending by Montrose, the home side opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

A slip by Harwood allowed on loan Hibernian striker JAMIE INSALL a clear run at goal and the player lashed the ball home past Millar.

Montrose didn’t let this get to them and they equalised in the 41st minute as Gavin Malin floated a free-kick into the box and Campbell headed it into the path of top scorer GARY FRASER who blasted home from the edge of the area for his 11th this season.

Half-time: East Fife 1, Montrose 1.

Gary Fraser should have given Montrose the lead when he only had ‘keeper Hill to beat with centre half Page in his way.

The normally deadly Montrose hit-man shot from distance and his tame effort went straight to the home keeper.

Four minutes later Montrose came even closer. Webster turned brilliantly and raced up the right wing. He found Gavin Malin who steadied himself before blasting from 30 yards just inches past the post.

Two minutes later Jordan Millar pulled off a wonderful point blank save from six yards after Austin looked set to score for East Fife from a Wilkie overhead kick which dropped in his path.

In the 78th minute Montrose came so close in another quick breakaway. Gary Fraser laid the ball off to the in-rushing Graham Webster and his effort beat the keeper only to rebound off the post.

In the final minute it was a hearts in the mouth moment for the visiting support when it looked like East Fife had grabbed the winner.

A slip by Adam Harwood again allowed in Austin and his lob beat Jordan Millar, but as the keeper looked on helplessly the ball just dropped inches wide of the far post and Montrose breathed again.