Montrose 0 v 3 Stenhousemuir
Played at Links Park Stadium on Saturday, 1st November 2008 at 15:00
Montrose v Stenhousemuir at Links Park, Montrose on 01.11.08
Irn-Bru League Division Three Att 419
Montrose 0 Stenhousemuir 3 [Motion 3, Shirra 42, Dalziel 56]
The Warriors went into this game with a lengthening injury list that meant that they were barely able to field an experienced starting eleven. The situation though had improved from earlier in the week when several of the opening cast were absent from training but how fit they were wqas open to conjecture. As a consequence there were several plyers on the bench for the first time namely Colin Hamilton, Ricky Miller and Ean Grieve who stepped up from the youth squads for the game and although they did not play they will have the consolation at least that they have caught the managers attention.
The Warriors used to have a superb record against Montrose at Links Park but in recent times the pendulum has swung in Montrose’s favour and it looked as if a very difficult encounter was going to take place.
Stenhousemuir started the game full of fire and were determined to get the upper hand from the start though Scott Dalziel was just a bit too eager when he committed the first foul of the game after only two seconds.
The high tempo start for the Warriors paid dividends in the third minute when Robert Love continued his impressive performance of the previous week in making killer passes for goals when he threaded the ball behind the home defence for Kevin Motion who then showed composure to steer the ball past Greg Kelly from outside the box.
The league leaders scored their second goal in controversial circumstances in the 42nd minute when another Love cross was not properly cleared and Kelly under pressure could only fumble the ball across goal and as he scrambled to get the ball it was put into the net by Andy Shirra though it looked as if a hand had been used in the process. Despite long protests by the Montrose players to both the referee and assistant the goal was given.
Just before half time Scott Bennett had to make his first save of the game when he dealt comfortably with a Gerry McLauchlan header. The Warriors therefore went into the half time interval two up but they knew that they had to be focussed on the game during the second period as Montrose had held a similar lead at Ochilview earlier in the season and had been lucky to hold on after a home team comeback.
Montrose though did not use this to inspire themselves and gave a rather lacklustre second half performance that enraged interim manager/player David Hannah as they seemed at times to give up to a Stenhousemuir team that outplayed and outfought the home side in all departments.
The Warriors sealed all three points in the 56th minute when the hard working, as were all the team, Scott Dalziel scored from close range after initially chipping the advancing keeper and following up to net.
As the game progressed the Warriors were content to play out time as the game meandered to a finish and Bennett only had one save to make when he had to dive low in the 82nd minute to stop an effort from Roddy Hunter who was probably the most lively of the Montrose players after he came on as a substitute
It was Stenhousemuir however that came closest to getting another goal when two minutes later when a Motion header was met by Gary Thom and his powerful downwards header looked goal bound but Kelly brought off a superb one handed stop to thwart the youngster.
All in all this was a very good performance by the Warriors who played throughout with a strong work ethic as well as being creative and most importantly showed the benefits of playing as a team and not as a group of individuals and it is this aspect that had stood them in good stead throughout the season so far.
Montrose – Kelly, Worrell, Hannah, Buchan [Stewart 70], McLauchlan [b72], Gibson, Bradley [b29], Davidson, Anson, Smith [Hunter 70] and Black [b67]. Subs not used – Hegarty, Thomson and Peat
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, Lyle, McGroarty, Thom, Ovenstone [b12], Thomson, Love [McEwan 78], Shirra, Dalziel, Brand and Motion. Subs not used – Hamilton, Miller, Grieve and Renton
Referee – Garry Hilland Assistants – Derek Rose and Dougie Potter
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