Montrose 2 Peterhead 1

Apr 15, 2023

Hard luck stories don’t count for anything in football and this was another example as a forward-thinking performance ended in frustration for Peterhead as they faltered to a 2-1 defeat at Montrose.

Montrose are renowned for being a streetwise type of outfit and that showed with a lot of resilience shown and having quality upfront with their only disappointment being they could have scored more, the visitors showed a spirit to their game but it counted for nothing.

The first real effort of the game arrived on 10 minutes with a long kick finding Matty Allan who cut his way past Ryan Strachan before finding Matheus Machado who forced a strong save from McKenzie.

Montrose took the lead on 29 minutes, a ball came into the box found the unmarked Michael Gardyne who got into a good position before rising to head the ball into the roof of the net.

Jack Wilkie broke free eight minutes into the restart as the Blue Toon came back from the interval fired up and desperate to find a way back into the game, the on-loan Dundee full-back got into a great position but forced his effort over the bar with a lot of space, something that the visitors had been craving.

McKenzie was called into action again for Peterhead on the hour mark with a Rory McAllister cross finding Graham Webster at the back post with a guiding header towards goal that was clawed away by the Blue Toon custodian. At the other end, Ryan Strachan had an ambitious 45 yard effort that had Ross Matthews clutching back to his line to make the save.

Andy McCarthy got into a great position as Peterhead searched every avenue for an equaliser but it wasn’t effective enough to work Ross Matthews in the home goal with the powerful attempt rifling off the side netting.

Jason Brown then pleaded for a penalty after being bundled over inside the area by Matty Allan but referee Scott Lambie waved away the protests which further captured the frustration among the Blue Toon.

Montrose doubled the advantage five minutes from time as Peterhead prodded forward in search of an equaliser which came to nothing and from the subsequent counter attack, Craig Johnston sent a ball to Paul Watson free in space who bombed on into the box before keeping his composure past McKenzie.

Johnston almost got on the scoresheet himself for the hosts but a smart save from McKenzie stopped the forward in his tracks.

Peterhead pulled one back a couple of minutes later when a Ryan Strachan free kick from the left found Kieran Shanks who hit an instinct first-time effort towards goal that sailed past Matthews to give the Blue Toon a glimmer of hope.

But any prospect of escaping this one for Peterhead came to nothing in the end as Montrose stood firm and remained resilient to hold out for a 2-1 victory.

The second-half display in particular was one to be positive about but they count for nothing at this stage of the season. It’s not over until it’s over though with three massive games coming up for the club, starting next Saturday at home to Clyde.

Joint Caretaker Manager Ryan Strachan said at full-time, “I can’t commend the guys enough, we have improved but ultimately it’s another loss, we’re running out of games and we still have momentum despite defeat.

“There’s still nine points to play for, we have to refresh and go again as it’s been a long week.”

Montrose: Matthews, Whatley (Johnston 75), Allan, Waddell, Dillon, Masson, Gardyne (Watson 67), Mackinnon (Brown 67), McAllister (Giacomini 89), Machado, Lyons (Webster 45). Subs not used: Lennox, Brown, Bell, Paton
Peterhead: McKenzie, Bisland (Melingui 89), Ryan Strachan, Jason Brown, Wilkie, McCarthy, Danny Strachan, MacIver (O’Keefe 73), Jordon Brown, Jack Brown, Shanks.