Bitter pill to swallow

Despite taking an early lead through Rory McAllister at Links Park Stadium on Saturday, Peterhead lost out on the three points thanks to a deadly double from their ex player Bryan Deasley.

The razor sharp hitman taking his tally to five in only three matches for the Gable Endies.

For the home side it was their first home victory since late February when they defeated Annan Athletic 5 – 1.

The victory stretched the Montrose unbeaten run to four matches and took them to within four points of top of the table East Stirlingshire with six games of the season having been played. Peterhead remain above Montrose in the table on goal scored.

Peterhead came at Montrose from the off and took a deserved early lead through dangerman McAllister, but once Deasley had equalised Montrose came more into the game and he struck the wining goal with ten minutes remaining in what was an entertaining encounter.

After the 2–1 home victory over bottom of the table Queen’s Park last Saturday manager Jim McInally named an unchanged line up which saw Graeme Smith in goal, with Sharp and Noble in the full back positions.

McGeevar and Ross were in central defence. Cox lined up in a wide right position with another former Montrose player Fraser McLaren on the left. O’Neil and Redman were middle of the park. McAllister was upfront alongside Brown.

Rodgers, McClinchey, Cowie, Richardson, Gilfillan, McCann and goalkeeper Jarvie were on the bench.

The Montrose line-up contained four fomer Peterhead players in Stephen McNally, Paul Watson, Garry Wood and Bryan Deasley with another Graham Webster on the bench.

It took until the fifth minute for either side to create any chances when McAllister won a corner for Peterhead off Colin Wilson.

Cox took the kick which was cleared up field by Masson and set up a Montrose counter attack. Deasley found himself clear on the left but his crossfield pass was cut out before it could reach the unmarked Young.

In the ninth minute Lloyd Young laid the ball back into the path of Garry Wood who took a touch before blasting the ball over the crossbar from some 20 yards out.

Peterhead should have opened the scoring in the 12th minute when McKenzie totally miskicked his clearance straight into the path of Cox.

This left the Peterhead player with a clear run at goal with only McKenzie to beat and he squared the ball into path of McAllister who netted. Assistant referee David Doig immediately put his flag up to rule the goal out for offside.

McAllister didn’t have too wait long to open the scoring as he did so two minutes later. Taking advantage of hesitancy by Montrose’s Colin Wilson he flicked the ball over the head of the Montrose defender before knocking the ball past McKenzie from the edge of the area.

Peterhead kept up the pressure and went close again in the 17th minute when Jordan Brown tried his luck with a 35 yard dipping volley which went just wide of goal.

In the 22nd minute Masson was fouled by Cox giving Montrose a free kick in a good position. Watson curled in the free kick but the visitors defence cleared.

Peterhead had another good chance in the 25th minute. A David Cox corner kick was headed back across goal by McLaren but Jamie Redman could only head wide at the far post.

On the half-hour mark Montrose got themselves right back into the match with the equalising goal. McKenzie sent a clearance up the park, Garry Wood headed the ball on and Bryan Deasley found himself through on goal and he calmly lobbed the ball over the head of goalkeeper Graeme Smith and into the net for his fourth goal of the season.

Five minutes later Peterhead left back Steven Noble used a trailing elbow to stop scorer Deasley in his tracks giving Montrose a free kick. McIntosh sent in the free kick but McLaren cleared for Peterhead.

With five minutes of the half remaining Terry Masson was fouled on the touchline by O’Neil. Watson curled in a free kick to the danger area but Colin Wilson could only head into the arms of Smith from close range.

In the 41st minute Brown wasn’t challenged by a home defender and he was able to get in a shot which went wide of goal.

As the first half came to a close Montrose were claiming a free kick when Deasley appeared to be stopped by the elbow of Scott Ross as he threatened to break clear inside the Peterhead half but referee Cook allowed play to continue without blowing for a free kick.

Montrose should have taken the lead for the first time in the opening minute of the second half. Deasley somehow managed to keep the ball in play on the byeline and his cross found inrushing captain Garry Wood who from some four yards out managed to blast the ball over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

In the 54th minute Montrose won another free kick when Wood was pushed from behind. Watson’s free kick found Wilson whose header was well blocked at point blank range by keeper Smith.

In the next minute Montrose were awarded another free kick this time when McLaren pushed McIntosh. David Gray found Garry Wood with the free kick but Smith held onto the ball easily.

The first booking of the match arrived in the 57th minute when Peterhead’s Fraser McLaren was booked for a strong challenge on Paul Watson.

David Cox then sent over another corner kick which fell to Stephen O’Neil at the edge of the box but he widely shot well over the crossbar.

With 63 minutes gone Montrose a free kick on the edge of the area when Wood was once again pushed from behind by Scott Ross who was booked by referee Cook. David Gray took the free kick but Smith dived to his right too make a good save.

Sixty seconds later Montrose won a free kick in an identical position when Graeme Sharp clattered into Masson. Sharp became the third booking of the afternoon for the challenge. Gray again took the free kick, he got some height on the ball this time only for the ball to go inches past the post with Smith beaten.

Peterhead made the first change of afternoon in the 65th minute when they brought on Andy Rodgers in place of David Cox who was none too happy with the substitution and headed straight up the tunnel.

Three minutes later Jim McInally made another change for Peterhead sending on Dean Cowie for Jordan Brown.

Montrose made their first change of the match in the 72nd minute when Lewis Bonar came on in place of Colin Wilson. Bonar went upfront alongside Deasley with captain Wood moving back to central defence.

In the following minute Montrose made a second switch with Scott Johnston coming in on the right wing for David Gray.

Terry Masson became the first Montrose player to be booked in the 78th minute for a foul on Dean Cowie after he had been previously warned by the referee.

Masson was then held back giving Montrose a free kick which Watson looked to float into the box but he could only smack the ball into the wall.

With ten minutes remaining Montrose took the lead Terry Masson sent a great diagonal ball across the ball which found BRYAN DEASLEY who outpaced his marker before knocking the ball past Smith and into the net or his fifth goal in only three matches for Montrose.

Before play could resume Rory McAllister was booked for a comment directed to referee Barry Cook.

Peterhead were going in search of the equaliser and made their final through of the dice with seven minutes remaining bringing on Bryan Gilfillan who has been a previous thorn in the side of Montrose for Graeme Sharp.

Bryan Deasley almost had a hat trick for Montrose with four minute remaining but after gaining control inside the area he could only blast the ball across the face of the goal.

In the final minute of the match Peterhead won a free kick in a dangerous position by the corner flag. Thankfully for the home defence they managed to deal with McLaren’s free kick and clear the danger.

In the third minute of stoppage time Peterhead almost grabbed an equaliser Andy Rodgers found himself through on goal but Stuart McKenzie was brave and the keeper dived at his feet to block a certain goal and keep all three points at Links Park.

MONTROSE – McKenzie, McNally, McIntosh, Wilson (Bonar), Rodger, Masson, Gray (Johnston), Watson, G. Wood, Deasley, Young Subs not used – Webster, McCord, Bell, Sturrock, Easton

PETERHEAD – Smith, Sharp (Gilfillan), Noble, McGeevar, Ross, O’Neil, Cox (Rodgers), Redman, McAllister, Brown (Cowie), McLaren Subs – McGlinchey, Richardson, McCann, Jarvie