Montrose 3-0 Arbroath: Lichties smoked as Gable Endies run riot

Photo - Graham H Black.
Photo - Graham H Black.

A Gary Fraser masterclass helped put Arbroath to the sword on Saturday as Montrose ran out 3-0 winners.

Fraser hit a brace and set up Ross Campbell for the third in a stunning display by the hitman.

Indeed every player in the hosts’ side can be proud of their performance after a dominant showing earned them their first win of the season.

The Lichties however looked to be lacking venom and bite to their play, a surprising change following the impressive pre-season campaign as well as the battling defeat to Premiership outfit Hearts.

The visitors had the first chance when Jordan Lowdon broke down the left hand side but the ball was cleared after some tidy work by Sergio Cecilia Alvarez.

Allan Fleming then had to save from a weak Matty Allan header before Ross Campbell was inches away from converting Ross McCord’s whipped free kick.

Fraser then had the hosts in front on 21 minutes when he smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Montrose enjoyed a great spell of pressure but couldn’t split the defence again, though you sensed that the hosts weren’t done scoring by any means.

Arbroath could have been level when Jamie Clarke sent in a screaming effort from outside the box but Jordan Millar tipped it over the bar with a lovely save.

Bobby Linn then fired over after tidy work by Martin Grehan before Fraser was booked for diving after he went to the ground as he tried to round Fleming.

The striker got his second goal four minutes before the break though when he slipped the ball beyond the Lichties keeper after Campbell had nodded him in.

Campbell then saw two chances for 3-0 go begging as the half drew to a close.

There were two changes for the away side at the break as Clarke and Alvarez made way for new boys Darren Ramsay and Andy Ryan.

The duo energised the Lichties but it was the Gable Endies who had the better of the ball and a third goal wasn’t long in coming.

A fine Mo break saw Fraser played down the left flank and his low cross was perfectly weighted for Campbell to fire past Fleming just inside the hour mark.

Fraser was having a stunning game and he rounded Fleming with the ball yet again, but he went too wide and Andy Munro was able to nod his effort away from goal.

Ryan had a free kick in a decent position but he hit it off the wall before David Gold fired well over the bar.

The post-match reflections will have been very different for the two sides as a jubilant Montrose toasted a very well deserved victory, one that has been on the cards after a series of impressive displays.

They host Clyde next week who were beaten 2-0 by Queen’s Park.

Arbroath meanwhile will face a week of introspection as they look to turn things around, not least in defence after losing 14 goals in their four competitive outings so far, against the team that beat the Bully Wee, Gus Macpherson’s Spiders.

Lichties boss Todd Lumsden said: “I’m really disappointed. The performance and result were disappointing.

“I was asking them what’s happened since pre-season because obviously pre-season was so bright, we won four games on the trot. I keep going back to the Hearts game. That’s the standard we want. We played really well with the ball, when we didn’t have the ball we worked very hard. It just wasn’t the case against Montrose again.

“We change it by giving people an opportunity. I said to the boys before the game that I was loyal to those who had started the game last week because I felt they deserved a chance after how they did with 10 men for 60 minutes.

“They got the chance to stay in the team but they might not have that chance next week.”

Todd’s counterpart Paul Hegarty added: “I thought we played really well in spells. I think we could have scored more than three, we had several chances.

“When the goalkeeper and back four were called upon they dealt with it with a lot of resilience and character. They’ve set themselves a standard now.”

Montrose: Millar; Ferguson, Pascazio, Allan, Steeves; Webster, McCord, Watson (Milne, 68), Johnston; Fraser (Reid, 85), Campbell.

Arbroath: Fleming; Little, Hay, Munro, Lowdon; Stewart, Clarke (Ramsay, 45); Linn, Alvarez (Ryan, 45), Gold; Grehan (Hester, 68).