MONTROSE 0-3 COVE RANGERS
A commanding performance at Links Park brought a richly merited convincing victory as Paul Hartley’s new-look side romped to a comprehensive win. Rumarn Burrell, Scott Williamson and Mitch Megginson were all on target, and the margin might have been even greater as the side carved out numerous chances throughout the ninety minutes.
The manager made two changes from last week’s 2-2 draw with Falkirk, Dayshonne Golding and Rio Davidson-Phipps dropping to the bench with Paul McGowan, free from suspension, and fit-again skipper Megginson restored to the starting line-up.
Montrose were unchanged from their 3-1 victory down at Annan.
We carved out the first opening of the match in the fourth minute. Cameron Stewart stepped out of defence and chipped an inviting ball for Burrell to run onto. Rumarn played it on to Megginson who steadied himself and fired goalwards, but Quinn charged down the shot.
The home side were next to threaten, Gardyne playing a 1-2 with McAllister before flashing a dangerous cross into the box. Thankfully there were no takers.
Seconds later, we were inches from taking the lead. Scott Williamson gathered the ball, made space for himself, then unleashed a left foot rocket from the edge of the box which crashed off the underside of the bar and into Gill’s grateful hands.
The opener came in our next attack. Gillingham played a long pass over the top for Rumarn BURRELL to chase after. The striker lifted the ball over the advancing Gill then beat Quinn into the six yard box to touch it home for his fifth goal of the season.
Montrose came close to an equaliser when Hester raced in behind, but Gillingham recovered in time to make a challenge, and the striker’s shot was deflected into the side netting.
McAllister then tried his luck from twenty-three yards, but Demus dived to his right to make a comfortable save.
Play swung up the other end and Williamson chased down another long ball, faced up Dillon, and attempted a curling shot towards the back post, but he got too much on the effort and it flew wide. Burrell and Jones then linked-up before the left-back fired in an inviting delivery. Sadly, none of his team-mates could get a touch on the ball.
We were to double our lead in the thirty-eighth minute with a quality goal.
Connor Scully stepped out of midfield and played the ball forward. Scott WILLIAMSON collected it, ran at the retreating home defence, created a yard of space, and fired a superb shot beyond the despairing Gill and into the bottom corner.
Montrose made two changes at the interval and switched to a back four, but we had an explosive start and almost made it 3-0. Josh Kerr’s thirty yard drive cannoned back off the keeper’s right post, and from the rebound, Burrell forced Gill into making a decent save.
Sena then sent an impressive long diagonal over the top which Rumarn ran on to but dragged his effort wide. The third did come soon after.
With Cove putting the pressure on, Webster attempted the interception inside his own box, but stood on the ball and fell over. Mitch MEGGINSON was first to react and cleverly lifted his chip shot over Gill and into the net.
Williamson was next to threaten but, after teasing the home defence, dragged his shot wide. Immediately after, Scott was the provider, passing for Scully to surge into the box, but Connor also failed to find the target.
The chances kept coming, and Williamson was next up in the sixty-second minute, getting in behind the Montrose defence. Gill saved his first effort, then scrambled his second for a corner.
Jones then chipped a pass forward for Williamson who gathered, made space, and sent a powerful shot goalwards which Gill punched to safety.
It was to be Scott’s last contribution. After receiving treatment, he limped off to be replaced by Kyle Connell.
Montrose carved out a rare opening soon after. From a corner on the right, Quinn got in a powerful header which looked to be going in under the bar, but with Demus diving towards the ball, it was Scully, at the post, who headed it over.
Back came Cove, and Megginson, Burrell and Sena combined well to force a corner. Mitch then went off to be replaced by Mark Gallagher before the award could be taken, and when the delivery arrived in the box, Josh Kerr, with his back to goal, controlled it on his chest then sent in an overhead kick which went inches over the bar.
Josh limped off shortly after, Arron Darge taking over in midfield.
Connell was keen to get in on the act, and in the eighty-eighth minute, after turning his marker, sent in a powerful twenty-five yard shot just over the crossbar.
Kyle then linked-up with McGowan, who teed-up Burrell to tap the ball into the net deep into stoppage time, but the celebrations were cut short when linesman Traynor lifted his flag.
It was to be the final attempt of what had been an impressive overall performance, the team richly deserving its first victory of the League One season.
MONTROSE (3-5-2): Gill; Williamson, Dillon (Thomson 46), Quinn; Machado, Masson (C) (Shrive 67), Brown (Lyons 46), Gardyne, Steeves (Webster 21); McAllister, Hester (Batchelor 72)
Substitutes: Matthews, Watson, Hermiston, Bradford
COVE RANGERS (4-3-1-2): Demus; Sena, Stewart, Gillingham, Jones; McGowan, Kerr (Darge 81), Scully; Megginson (C) (Gallagher 78); Williamson (Connell 67), Burrell
Substitutes: Suman, Mykyta, Golding, Gaffney, Reynolds, Davidson-Phipps
Goalscorers: Burrell (14), Williamson (38), Megginson (52)
Referee: Craig Napier
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