Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

New Beginnings

As the final box gets loaded onto the removal van, Billy Murray looks back at his Glasgow home for the last time.  Ahead a two-hour journey back to his childhood home, Montrose, after 22 years. A promising football career was cut short at the age of 17 due to a bad knee injury, but Billy never lost the love for the game.  After moving across the country, settling into a new career, meeting his wife, and raising a family, in the back of his mind was always “What if??”.

Now 45, he knew his playing days were well behind him, but could he coach? The last 4 years, juggling work, and family life to gain his coaching badges tells him he certainly could. Maybe it was fate that his first offer was the manager of Montrose FC.

 

Montrose FC background

Based is the Angus town of Montrose, with a population of around 12,000, Montrose Football Club are a Semi-professional team currently playing in Scottish League One, the 3rd tier of Scottish Football.  They play their home games on an artificial surface at Links Park, a modest 4,936-capacity stadium near the centre of town.  Their main local rivals are Arbroath, along with Forfar Athletic and Brechin City, matches between these sides known as Angus Derbies.

Founded in 1879, Montrose have spent most of their existence in the 3rd or 4th Tiers of the Scottish League.  Their best league position to date was in 1976 when they finished 3rd in the 2nd Tier, almost 50 years ago.

Links Park

 

JULY 2023

Murray knew a club in the 3rd tier of Scottish Football wouldn't come with much in the way of finances, but never did he think it would be this bad.  No transfer budget whatsoever, and only 5% made available from transfers, and a wage budget of just £7,188.  He knew he had to be very shrewd in the transfer market.

The first board meeting arrived, and Chairman John Crawford explained this seasons targets and objectives going forward.  He explained the board prefer signings to be based in Scotland and to develop players from the youth system, all the while working within the wage budget.  They are looking at a mid table finish this season, and reaching the playoffs by 2025/26.

Then comes the bombshell, 13 first team players (6 of which being first team regulars) in the last season of their contract, but not in a financial position to renew them all.  Things go from bad to worse when an offer for Aidan Quinn (a promising CB) comes in from Queen's Park in the league above.  Quinn insists he wants to move, so Murray has no option but accept.

With Quinn being the only departure thus far, Murray turns his attention to the Transfer Market, or rather LOAN market, picking up 2 loans from Premiership sides.

Luke Graham

First signing was a season long loan deal for Dundee's Luke Graham, a 19 year old Centre Back with good potential, was a first team regular when on loan at Albion Rovers last season.

Archie Stevens

4 days later, another loan deal signed, this time, Archie Stevens, an attacking midfielder from Rangers, just 17 years old but with bags of potential, and only costing a mere £30 a week.

Pre-Season Friendlies

As the Scottish League Cup Group Stage begins 2 weeks before the season starts, only 3 pre-season friendlies had been arranged, so Murray knew it was time to hit the ground running.  Visits to non-league sides Auchinleck Talbot, East Kilbride and Montrose Roselea over the next week.

Both new signings were in the team, and Montrose were unlucky not to win.  Dominated possession 62-38 with 14 shots on target.  A goal and a man of the match for young Archie Stevens being the highlight.  The 2 conceded goals both could have been avoided.

 A bit of a rotated squad for the 2nd friendly and the same result, great going forward but very leaky at the back, coming back twice from behind gives a bit of optimism.

Final friendly against our local affiliate club, a good performance, dominated possession 72-28. Another goal and assist from young Stevens and most importantly a clean sheet.

 

With no respite before the League Cup begins, Murray looks back on 3 decent friendlies, ok, they were all non league sides and teams that Montrose should be beating, but they are showing promise going forward, 8 goals in 3 games cannot be a bad thing.

 

The draw of the group stage of the Viaplay League Cup sees Montrose drawn with Championship sides Raith Rovers, Dundee United and Dunfermline Athletic, and League 2 outfit Elgin City.  There are 8 groups of 5, with the top side and the best 3 runners up going through to the knockout stage where they are joined by the 5 sides who are competing in European competition.  The season starts NOW!

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

Viaplay Scottish League Cup

The group stage didn't start off too well, with a disappointing performance against Raith, but they responded amazingly, with a impressive away penalties win over Dundee United before two 3-0 wins against Dunfermline and Elgin.  Another plus being 6 different scorers out of the 7 goals scored, the boys don't look scared to get into goal scoring positions.

Against all odds, Montrose qualify as one of the 3 best runners up, their reward…..a home tie against Celtic in the next round!  Would expect this to be a sellout and the gate receipts will be a massive help to the club financially.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

August 2023

With the glamour League Cup tie against Celtic on the horizon later in August, Montrose kick off their League 1 campaign with home ties with Kelty Hearts and Cove Rangers, and tricky visits to Annan and Hamilton.  Murray sets his August target at 6 points from the league games and a good competitive performance against Celtic.  The Celtic match was later televised and moved to the 22nd, earning Montrose £10K. 

First up the visit of Kelty Hearts.  Montrose outplayed the opposition and showed with a dominant 3-0 victory.

A long trip down to the borders was up next.  Again, Montrose showing good possession and were 5-2 up on the hour mark, however, their leaky defence came into play, but were able to hold on and ended 5-4 victors.

 

Well, you can't deny you don't get goals when Montrose are playing!!  4-0 up at halftime against one of the favourites for promotion, but they came back with a vengeance in the second half.  Once again, Montrose hold on and take 3 points.

After a great performance in the group stage and making it to the Second Round, being drawn against the current League Cup holders and Premiership Champions was the toughest match you could expect.  Celtic quickly went 3-0, but Montrose did show some fight to bring it back to 3-2 before Celtic moved up the gears and took the game 5-2.

Final game of August away to Hamilton, and Montrose were outplayed from the off, only getting a single shot on target, however, it did take Hamilton 63 minutes to break the deadlock.  Hamilton eventually running out 2-0 winners.

Table at the end of August sees Montrose sitting second, 1 point behind Hamilton.  The highest scorers but also the have conceded most.

Aaron Splaine
Scott Fox
Robert Snodgrass

With the transfer deadline looming, Murray knew he had to strengthen the squad.  First up was midfielder Aaron Splaine, a 26 year old midfielder picked up on a Free.  Then Scott Fox, a veteran 36 year old GK with lots of Premiership experience, having spells with Ross County and Motherwell.  Finally, a coup for the club with more Premiership experience north and south of the border, 35 year old Midfielder Robert Snodgrass.  Ideally, Murray would have loved to strengthen his back 4, there may still be time as the window closes on 2nd September, but Murray doesn't want to bring in someone just for the sake of it.

Manager's August Assessment

A successful August overall, with a target of 6 league points, we have ended the month sitting second on 9.  My Player of the Month has to be young Archie Stevens, with 5 goals from the 17 year old, and I'm looking to play the experienced Snodgrass alongside him in midfield, this can only help with the boy's development.  Disappointed i haven't yet been able to strengthen the back four, but hopefully having the experienced GK Fox between the sticks with instil some focus and concentration in the defence. 

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

September 2023

September saw another 4 league games as well as the Third Round of the Challenge Cup against Cove Rangers (who Montrose narrowly defeated in the League last month).  Murray again sets a target of 6 points, looking at winning the two home games against Edinburgh City and Stirling, picking up anything in the 2 tough away games to QOS and Falkirk would be a bonus.

An visit to Palmerston Park is always a tough one (QOS are predicted to be in the playoffs come the end of the season).  Montrose had the lion's share of possession in the first half and went 1-0 up with another goal from Stevens, but a poor second half saw QOS come back into it, nicking it in the 88th minute to take all 3 points. 

Next up was a trip up to Aberdeen to visit Cove Rangers in the Challenge Cup, Cove looking for revenge after the 7 goal thriller last month.  Montrose again dominated the first half and a Kane Hester penalty put them 1-0 up at the break.  Then a carbon copy of the QOS match, another poor second half display and shipping another 2 goals, Cove go through to the Fourth Round.

After a very tight first half, the floodgates opened in the second, Montrose going 3-0 up after 70 minutes, but yet again, they concede another 2 second half goals.  Eventually holding on for a 3-2 win.

Despite dominating possession 61-39, Montrose was only able to get 1 shot on target.  Stirling scored midway through the second half to claim all 3 points.

The last match in September was a visit to the Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk are massive favourites for promotion to the Championship.  Montrose were always chasing the game and looked to have clinched a point before Spencer scored a stunning free kick in injury time.

Manager's September Assessment

I'm not overly impressed with my side after September's games, picking up just 3 points from a possible 12, and crashing out of the Challenge Cup. My main worry is the second half performances, 11 goals conceded, 10 of those in the second half.  A quieter month ahead with only 3 games in October should give us more time on the training pitch.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

October 2023

With just the 3 games in October, Montrose have 3 very tricky ties, all against sides above them in the league, first off the visit of Alloa, then after a 2 week break due to the Challenge Cup fixtures, another trip up to Aberdeenshire to visit Cove Rangers.  Finally a home tie against Hamilton to round off the month.  Murray sets a modest October target of just 3 points taking into account the current form of the side.

As expected, top of the table Alloa were going to give a good account of themselves and despite dominating proceedings, and opening the scoring on 32 mins, Montrose hit back immediately and held on for a valuable point.

There was always going to be goals against Cove Rangers, with the last 2 meetings seeing 10 goals.  On this occasion, despite Montrose taking a 3-0 lead, the match itself was pretty even.  But true to Montrose's recent form, they ship another 2 late goals, but hold on to take a vital 3 points.

Yet another match where Montrose dominate possession but only 1 shot on target.  Hamilton take the lead on the stroke of halftime, but it was Terry Masson's spot kick on 66 minutes that shared the spoils.

At the end of an unbeaten October, Montrose find themselves 5th on goal difference, just outside the playoff places.  Alloa lead by a huge 6 points from Queen of the South and even at this early stage, most sides will be fighting it out for the playoff.

Manager's October Assessment

I set a target of 3 points at the start of the month, so picking up 5 against 3 teams above us is pleasing.  Still very concerned with the number of goals we are conceding (on average 2 a game).  We have not had a clean sheet since the first league game.  Still a long way to go and we are still in the mix.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

November 2023

With 3 league games, and a Scottish Cup tie with non-league Tranent ahead in November, Murray set his monthly target at 6 league points and passage through to the fourth round of the Cup.

A trip down the east coast to Edinburgh was first up, and what a performance, complete domination, Edinburgh City not even managing a shot on target, with Montrose running out 6-0 winners.

A tough result to take when hosting Annan Athletic, Montrose controlling the game for the most part, but unable to penetrate Annan's defences, before the away side nicked winning goal on 61 minutes.

Another home tie followed, this time against struggling Falkirk, an early goal from Kane Hester settled the nerves, and Montrose's defence stayed strong to take all 3 points.

Another dominant performance for Montrose, running out 3-0 winners over non-league Tranent.

Manager's November Assessment

The boy's are really starting to play the way I want them to, our possession based style really starting to pay dividends, 3 clean sheets and 10 goals scored.  A little disappointed with the Annan game, we just couldn't get through their stern defence.  But we achieved my target, 6 league points in the bag, and through to the next round in the cup.

 

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

December 2023

A total of 5 league games for December, including a tough away tie to top of the table Alloa as well have visits from Queen of the South and Cove Rangers. Murray sets a target of 10 points out of a possible 15 to stay in the playoff places.

 

Stirling took all 3 points back in September, so Murray was determined to right that wrong this time around.  Montrose going in at the break 4-0 leaders before a mini comeback in the second half to bring it back to 4-2.  Kane Hester settling any nerves on 86 minutes scoring Montrose's 5th.

Like Stirling, QOS were victorious in September with a 2-1 win.  But Montrose have settled into Murray's playing style now and ran out 2-1 winners.  Stevens and Steeves both scoring in the first half.

Struggling Kelty Hearts sat at the bottom of the table, still waiting on their first win when Montrose visited, and nothing was to change with Montrose running out 2-0 winners with another comfortable performance.

Montrose then travelled to Alloa in a top 2 showdown, a win for Montrose would close the gap at the top.  The match itself was one for the neutral's, end to end throughout the game, could have went either way.  Both teams went home happy with the 1-1 draw.

The 4th time these two sides have met this season, with Cove knocking Montrose out of the Challenge cup in September and Montrose winning twice in the league.  Kane Hester scoring twice in the first half and could have added more in the second, Montrose took the points, finishing 2-0.

Manager's December Assessment

Unbelievable performances this month, only dropping 2 points in the five games, and goals coming from all positions.  Automatic promotion is not completely off the table, but we are certainly looking good for at least a playoff place.  With the transfer window about to open, I would like to strengthen the squad a little as backup for potential suspensions and injuries that quite often happen in the second half of the season.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

January 2024

With no winter break in the lower leagues in Scotland, Montrose started the new year with just one home game, hosting Stirling on the 13th.  Before that a visit to bottom of the table Annan.  The Scottish Cup draw paired Montrose with an away tie to Partick Thistle, before travelling to Hamilton to round off January. Murray set a target of 6 points in the league, and a good showing with the Championship side in the cup.

Montrose kicked off the new year with a 360 mile round trip down to Annan, and quickly went 2 up through Hester and Williamson, Annan pulled one back just before the break and nicked a point with the equaliser at the death.

Montrose welcomed Stirling with a point to prove, Stirling won last time at Links Park 1-0.  This time around, a Webster goal late in the first half saw Montrose taking this tie 1-0.

Nobody gave Montrose much hope against the Championship side, but with no pressure on them, they pulled off one of the performances of the season. Steeves scoring on 18 mins to go 1-0 up, but Partick levelled it after a controversial penalty on 36 mins.  It remained 1-1 throughout the second half and so it went to extra time.  With 8 minutes left, young Archie Stevens hit the net with a 20 yard strike, before Adeloye equalised again for Partick, taking the tie to dreaded penalties.  Adeyole turned hero to villain, missing Partick's 4th spot kick, Montrose dispatching all 5 and head through to the Fifth Round.

Montrose have struggled against Hamilton this season, with Hamilton winning in their first meeting, and a draw last time out at Links Park.  And nothing was to change this time around, Hamilton taking the lead midway through the second half, with Snodgrass equalising on 79 mins for the two sides to share the spoils.

With Montrose on a 10 match unbeaten run (their last defeat against Annan on the 11th November), they have found themselves sitting 2nd in the league, and only by a single point from Alloa after they suffer back to back defeats.  Further more, the Fifth round of the Scottish Cup have paired the two sides together in an all League One clash.

Mananger's January Assessment

To where we are now compared to the end of October shows how far we come in 3 months, we were sitting mid table, 9 points off the top, to now sitting a single point away from automatic promotion.  What's pleasing most is how much more focussed the back line have been.  22 goals conceded in the first 11 games, now just 8 in the second 11 games.  I targeted 6 points in January, but happy to take 5, and getting through a very tough tie with Partick to get through in the Cup is unbeliveable, a fifth round draw against Alloa will be just as tough, we have played twice this season and drawn 1-1 on both occasions.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

February 2024

Montrose had a busy February, with 5 league games as well as the Scottish Cup tie away to Alloa.  Murray set a target of 12 points out of 15 in the league, and getting through in the Scottish Cup.

 

Murray was able to capture 2 players before the Transfer Window slammed shut, firstly signing 19 year old defender Sam Campbell on loan from Motherwell, and Alloa midfielder Miko Virtanen, initially signed for the summer, but Murray was able alter his budget to sign him immediately for £3K.

A tough match to start the month, with an away tie to Falkirk, after going down 1-0 early, Montrose fought back and were 2-1 up at the break.  Falkirk were able to hit back on 75 mins to share the points.

Montrose left it late against Edinburgh City despite dominating possession, finally scoring on 89 mins with their 8th shot on target.

Montrose then travelled to Alloa in the Scottish Cup, and Archie Stevens settled the nerves, scoring after just 5 mins.  Alloa were able to equalise in the second half, with Donnelly hitting the net on 59 minutes, only for him to score at the other end 10 mins later.  Montrose amazingly advanced to the Quarter Finals.

Montrose then hosted struggling Kelty Hearts who are flirting with relegation.  3 goals in the first half from Snodgrass and twice from Stevens pretty much sealed it, Kelty getting one back on 36 minutes.

Both previous encounters have been won 2-1 by the home side, and the home side won again after a 1st half hat-trick from Connelly, Montrose getting a consolation late in the game but points went to QOS.

A good display from Montrose against Cove, who are fighting to reach the playoffs.  Goals for Stevens on 13 mins and Waddell 1 min from time sealed the win and vital 3 points for Montrose.

At the end of February, Montrose still find themselves in 2nd place, but now 3 points behind Hamilton, who have had a 100% record in February.  The Quarter Final draw for the Scottish Cup paired Montrose with a home tie to fierce Angus rivals Arbroath.

Manager's February Assessment

Very happy with our performances this month, was maybe a bit optimistic with my 12 point target, but still happy picking up 10 points, we are looking good for at least a playoff spot, Hamilton will be hard to catch given their recent form, we have got them at the end of March in what will be a huge match for both sides.  But for a league One side to be reaching the Quarter Final of the Scottish Cup is unbelievable, and a bit of extra spice in the tie given it is against our local rivals.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

March 2024

Like February, March was also a busy month with 5 league games, including crucial matches with top 4 sides Hamilton, Stirling and Alloa and the Quarter Final tie with Arbroath.  With Montrose only travelling away once in March, heading down to Forthbank Stadium to face Stirling.  Murray sets a target of 12 points with a view of sealing at least a playoff place by the end of the month, and a competitive performance against Championship side Arbroath.

With Alloa sitting 4 points behind with a game in hand, a win here would put some daylight between the sides.  However, Alloa scored first through McKay on 14 mins.  But a strong second half performance saw the Links Park side coast to a 3-1 win.

Montrose welcomed their local rivals to Links Park for their Scottish Cup Quarter Final.  And what a performance! Hester putting Montrose 2-0 after just 23 minutes before Arbroath equalised on the stroke of half time.  Neither side able to score in the second half, and Montrose found themselves in the Semi Final of the Scottish Cup!

Bottom of the table Annan were next to visit, and led after just 9 minutes, until Montrose stamped their authority on the game, running out comfortable 4-1 winners. 

Montrose then travelled down to Stirling to face another side in the playoffs.  Montrose looked good throughout, going in 2-0 up at half-time, and 3-1 winners.

Without a doubt, Montrose faced their biggest league match of the season with the visit of Hamilton.  Things didn't start well for Hamilton, when Martin got himself a straight red card.  Montrose took the extra man advantage and went in at half-time 4-1 ahead.  Both sides scoring in the second half, with Montrose taking the tie 5-2.

Montrose rounded off March hosting Falkirk, all in all a poor match, neither side really looked like they wanted to win, and only fitting it finished a 0-0 draw.

Montrose picked up an impressive 13 points in March, to Hamilton's 5, the Links Park side now found themselves 5 points clear at the top of the table, with 4 games left.  Their prize for beating Arbroath in the cup?  A semi-final match at Hampden Park against Rangers!

Manager's March Assessment

What a difference a month makes!! Last month, we would have been happy reaching the playoffs, but we have remained consistent with our performances and now find ourselves 5 points clear, 8 points in our last 4 games and the title is ours!  As for the Scottish Cup, our extraordinary run has found us at Hampden for the Semi Final against Rangers, and I am under no illusion this will be one of the toughest games of the season, but financially this game will bring in vital funds for the future.  Never would I have thought at the start of the season that we would be top of the league, on the brink of promotion, and have faced both sides of the Old Firm in cup competitions.

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

April 2024

Montrose face 3 away ties in the league as well as the trip to Hampden Park for the Scottish Cup semi final against Rangers. Winning all 3 league matches will clinch the title, and that was the target Murray set the team to avoid any last game jitters.

Not the start Murray wanted, after being 1-0 up and 2-1 down, Montrose were able to fight back and pick up a vital point.

Another edgy performance against Alloa, but an early second half goal from Snodgrass was enough to see off Alloa.

Montrose travelled over to Glasgow to face a strong Rangers side in the Scottish Cup, and a first half Danilo brace and Tavernier penalty ended the fairy-tale cup run, Montrose had a couple of chances in the second half, but it was the blue half of Glasgow that move onto the Final.  The other semi final saw Hamilton see off Kilmarnock to put our League One rivals into the final.

Despite the cup defeat, Montrose did earn a massive £289K in TV money and gate receipts.

Then, disaster struck, despite going ahead through a Kane Hester goal after 6 mins, Kelty equalised 10 mins later before a tragic own goal from Towler minutes into the second half won it for Kelty Hearts, and broke Montrose's hearts.

With 35 games played, Montrose had 1 game left, a home tie against third place QOS.  Despite a disappointing couple of games in May, Montrose were still top of the league, by a single goal from rejuvenated Hamilton.  As long as Montrose equal or better Hamilton's result, the title will be theirs.

Manager's April Assessment

I really didn't want it to come down to the last game, but the boys can be proud of what they have achieved this season whatever the result against Queen of the South.  Nobody gave up a chance this season, think we were 33/1 for the title at the start of the season, and here we are with 1 game to go.

As for the Scottish Cup, cannot fault the lads at all, they played their heart out against Rangers, it just wasn't meant to be.  With Hamilton now meeting Rangers in the final, maybe they won't have both eyes on their final league game, one can hope!!

 

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

May 2024 - Final League Game

And so it came down to this, a home tie with Queen of the South.  Hamilton were also at home to Kelty Hearts (who needed to win to escape the relegation playoff).  Montrose needed to equal or better Hamilton's result for the title.

And Montrose did just that, if ever they needed a good performance it was then.  Hester, Lyon and a Webster penalty put them 3-0 up before McClelland hit one back in first half stoppage time.  Webster netted again just after the restart, and Montrose coasted to a monumental win, Hamilton were only able to manage a 2-0 win, sending the Links Park fans into a frenzy!

Manager's Season Assessment

If I was told at the start of the season that we would finish as League 1 champions, and Scottish Cup Semi-finalists, I would have had you committed! But, after a very tentative start to the season, I can safely say we have deserved everything we accomplished this season.  Now we are looking toward next season in the Championship.  Aside from what we achieved this season, it is vital we strengthen the side for next season. The boys can now go and enjoy the break before a bigger challenge next season.

 

 

Billyboy78uk
9 years ago
1 month ago
14

Season 2024-25

With Montrose now set for life in the Scottish Championship, Murray knew he needed to strengthen his side, and was given a transfer budget of £146K with a wage budget of £13.7k.  Murray got down to business and was able to extend the loan of Archie Stevens for another year, the youngster was phenomenal last season (15 goals and 5 assists in all competitions), but with parent club Rangers having a £8m price tag on him, the only option was for an extension.

The next signing was a free signing of Aaron Lyall, again from Rangers but was on loan at Stirling last season.

Murray also snapped up Sean McGinty on loan from Ayr United to strengthen the back line with a bit of experience.

Six more players came on board in the next couple of weeks, most notably Shane Long on a free transfer, formerly with West Brom and Southampton, the 37 year old striker had been out of the game since leaving Reading in at the end of 2022/23 season, and agreed to a 1 year deal at just £425 p/w.

Other signings were Bernadina, a 21 year old right winger, Max Sheaf, 24 year old centre midfielder, Michael Nottingham, 35 year old experienced centre back and Callum Booth, a 33 year old left back.  Murray also loaned another left back in Kieran Ngwenya from Aberdeen as he only had Steeves currently in LB.

The pre-season stared with local derbies with Forfar and Dundee.  Both friendlies were disappointing, losing two late goals to both Forfar and Dundee after dominating them throughout.  But everything seemed to fall into place when they visited their feeder team Roselea, running out 9-0 winners.

 

Then came the League Cup group stage, Montrose were drawn with Ross County, Brora Rangers, Stenhousemuir and local rivals Arbroath.  Montrose were able to win all four games, including a fine display against Ross County to win the group, bettering there runners up place from last season, their reward for progressing the group was an away tie to Celtic, the same team who knocked them out last season.

 

Life in the second tier started with another late capitulation against Partick, it looked a draw all the way until a Tom Walsh winner deep into stoppage time gave the Jags the victory.  Next, was an away draw to Airdrie, who scored for the spot midway through the first half before Lyons equalised in the second.  Montrose then went 3 up against Ayr United before a second half comeback brought it back to 3-2, but Ayr were given a penalty in the 5th minute of stoppage, but a fine save from Fox gave Montrose all 3 points.

 

For the second season in a row, Montrose and Celtic met in the Second Round of the League Cup, last season finished 5-2 Celtic.  As expected, Celtic controlled the game and were already 4-0 up when Nottingham got what was essentially nothing more than a consolation.  On the bright side, Montrose did walk away with over £400k in gate receipts.

After 3 games of the Championship played, Montrose sit 5th with 4 points, a promising start for a team who a massive favourites for relegation this season.

 

Manager's Assessment 

You'd be forgiven if you had a sense of Deja Vu from last season, great performances in the League Cup group, progressing through to the knockout, only to get Celtic again.  Like the start of last season, we are struggling for clean sheets, and are very leaky at the back, but were have brought in a number of defenders so will take a bit of time for them to settle.  We are controlling possession in almost all games we play, we just need to turn that possession into goals.  We still have a couple of weeks before the transfer window closes, and would like to bring in three or four new faces, ideally at centre back and up front. 

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