Arbroath 0-1 Montrose
Montrose beat appalling Arbroath in a scrappy Local Derby
Match report by Theo Kyriacou
Arbroath were beaten 1-0 by Montrose in today’s local derby at Gayfield. Arbroath produced a frankly terrible performance and were deservedly beaten by a very organised and disciplined Montrose team. Arbroath remain second and a point behind Forfar but it really was a huge opportunity missed for The Red Lichties to go top of the table after Forfar were beaten 3-2 at home to Berwick Rangers.
Dick Campbell made two changes to the side that won 2-0 away at Berwick Rangers last Saturday. The ever present Gomes was in goal. The back four was made up of Gold at right-back, Sukar, who came in for Malin, at left-back and Hamilton partnered Little at centre-back. In midfield, Linn and Kader, in for the injured Scott, were on the wings, left and right respectively and Hodge played alongside Whatley in central midfield. Up front, McCord played just behind Doris, who led the line for Arbroath.
Arbroath named 6 substitutions: Bryan Prunty, Matty Smyth, Gavin Malin, Eddie Ferns, Donald McCallum and Rab Douglas.
Truth be told, it was an extremely uneventful first half and one which really lacked many clear-cut chances.
Montrose started the brighter of the two sides and, if it wasn’t for a brilliant piece of defending from Little, may have found themselves a goal ahead. Templeman got in front of Hamilton and flicked the ball onto Fraser. Fraser managed to flick the ball over Little’s head and was seemingly in on goal. However, Little made a brilliant recovery challenge to win the ball back from Fraser and to clear it to safety.
Perhaps a sign of how dire the first half really was is by the fact that the first shot on goal came in the 25th minute. Ross Campbell, who is the son of Arbroath’s manager Dick Campbell, had an audacious long-range free-kick easily saved by Gomes.
Arbroath finally managed to get going and were inches away from breaking the deadlock. McCord picked out Linn out-wide who cut inside his man and drilled a dangerous low cross across the penalty area. However, Doris was just inches away from connecting with it and from firing Arbroath into the lead.
In most cases, when a goalkeeper returns to their old club they normally play a blinder and this certainly was the case for Montrose’s No.1: Allan Fleming. Fleming produced a terrific one handed save to push Kader’s fierce drive behind for a corner.
Half Time – Arbroath 0-0 Montrose
Montrose started the second half by making a substitution as McWalter replaced Ballantyne.
Arbroath started the second half on the front foot and were very unlucky not to find themselves in front when Linn’s deflected effort bounced the wrong side of the post.
Montrose though where still looking very dangerous and did have a couple of chances to score of their own. Masson’s corner was punched out by Gomes but only as far as the unmarked Allan on the edge of the box. However, Allan’s first time volley went well over the bar. It was a good chance for Allan and one that he should’ve done better with.
Both sides then made a substitution as Prunty replaced the injured Hodge for the home side and Thomas came on in place of Campbell for the visitors.
The home side then had two great chances to take the lead but were denied on both occasions once again by the inspired Fleming. Fleming managed to tip Doris’ volley round the post and then to deny Linn from close range.
Montrose then made their third and final substitution as Smith replaced Templeman.
As poor as Arbroath were however, Montrose did have a huge amount of good fortune on their side. Linn managed to drive at Montrose’s defence and he pulled a brilliant drilled ball right across the face of goal. However, the ball just hit off Prunty and, very fortuitously, into the hands of Fleming.
McCallum then replaced Kader for Arbroath.
Arbroath kept plugging away trying to score a winner but Fleming again produced a very good save to deny Doris’ curling shot.
Even though the majority of chances had fallen the way of the home side, it was no real surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 85th minute. Montrose had executed their game plan perfectly and deservedly took the lead. The introduction of Smith had been a brilliant move and his fresh legs managed to run onto a ball down the channel, past the tiring Arbroath defence, and to cross into the box, where the unmarked Fraser slotted the ball past Gomes and into the roof of the net to win the game for the visitors.
Arbroath then made their final substitution as Ferns came on in place of Linn.
Full Time – Arbroath 0-1 Montrose
Despite having a few good chances, Arbroath were very poor in today’s game. There was a real lack of creativity or a spark of some kind today and Montrose managed to frustrate the home side with a resolute and solid performance. However, one thing’s for sure with this current Arbroath squad: they always manage to bounce back in the next game, as has been the case on many occasions this season. Arbroath travel to 3rd placed Annan Athletic next Saturday in a crucial game against an in-form side.