Montrose 4, Clyde 0
Clyde fell victim on Saturday to a classic case of failing to take chances and being punished on the counter-attack.
The scoreline was possibly a bit rough on Danny Lennon’s men but the gaffer summed the day up very frankly afterwards as “an unacceptable afternoon for Clyde Football Club”.
The rivals seemed evenly matched in the first half and both sides showed a good desire to attack, while Clyde hit back aggressively at Montrose early in the second period, after the home side had gone ahead in the 38th minute through Andrew Steeves.
The Bully Wee were in need of an equaliser but found Montrose ‘keeper Aaron Lennox in outstanding form, and they conceded another midway through the half.
Montrose put the icing on the cake with two more goals in the closing five minutes or so to wipe out an impressive run of Clyde clean sheets.
Manager Lennon said afterwards he would take full responsibility for the tactical switches and tweaking of the line-up but he felt his side had presented Montrose with a few of their opportunities, which was particularly disappointing, although he credited the hosts for taking their chances so well.
“We got into good areas but our final decision on the ball was very, very poor,” he added.
Both sides made one or two defensive slips early on and Barry Cuddihy fired wide after six minutes for Clyde on receiving a pass from Chris McStay, when the ball was given away by the Montrose defence.
Clyde counter-charged from a Montrose attack in the ninth minute but Lennox safely tipped the ball over from a cross, while Terry Masson headed narrowly off target when Clyde made an unconvincing clearance from a move a couple of minutes later.
Graham Webster was making a few enterprising runs down the right flank for Montrose and deserved better with a left-foot shot in the box which went inches wide.
On the half-hour, Cuddihy squared the ball for David Goodwillie to have a go but the striker shot a few feet over the bar.
Another fine move down the right led to the opening goal for Montrose in the 38th minute. Cammy F. Ballantyne crossed from a lay-off by Webster and Clair Lyons’ shot was blocked, but the loose ball rolled nicely for the oncoming Andrew Steeves, who rifled home.
Montrose launched a flurry of attacks before the interval but it looked as if Clyde might get back on terms in the second half, as they put the Montrose goal under pressure from an early stage.
But Lennox ensured Montrose would stay in front with some brilliant saves to frustrate the visitors even more. Chris Johnston delivered a fine cross in 55 minutes and Goodwillie’s close-range downward header was blocked superbly by the keeper.
Minutes later, Goodwillie evaded two defenders in the area and crossed for Johnston to head home but Lennox saved again from point-blank range, while the Clyde man shot the rebound over the bar.
This seemed to prompt Montrose to make more regular forays upfield, having created very little in the second half so far. On two occasions, Blair Lyons found space for himself in the box to set up a fine shooting chance and, both times, Mitchell saved with his feet.
However, Mitchell’s decision to commit himself when Montrose created another attack down the right flank effectively cost his team a goal in the 67th minute. The ‘keeper was almost out of the penalty area as Webster charged towards goal and Mitchell couldn’t get back in time to prevent Lyons from volleying home Montrose’s second.
The gaps began to appear at the back as Clyde moved forward to try and get into the game and Webster threw away a superb chance to put the hosts three up by shooting inches wide when effectively clean through.
Four minutes from time, Lewis Milne floated over a corner kick which was bulleted home by sub Martin Rennie to make the points safe, while Montrose scored a fourth goal in added time.
Ballantyne powered down the right and crossed to Rennie, who had a lot of work to do but took his time before stroking the ball home for his second of the day.
Montrose: Lennox, Cammy Ballantyne (Watson 58), Steeves, Dillon, Allan, Masson, Lyons, Cammy F. Ballantyne, Webster, Struthers (Rennie 64), Niang (Milne). Subs: R. Campbell, McBeath,I. Campbell, Fleming.
Clyde: Mitchell, Duffie, McMullin (Lamont 64), Petkov, Rumsby, Grant (Love), Smith (Lyon), McStay, Goodwillie, Cuddihy, Johnston. Subs: McGee, Wallace, McNiven.
Referee – Peter Stuart.
Attendance - 518.