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Montrose half-term report card: How the Mighty Mo have fared so far in League One

We take a look at how Montrose have fared so far in their half-term report.
We take a look at how Montrose have fared so far in their half-term report.

Montrose are over the half-way mark in their season sitting in second spot just below Cove Rangers.

After 19 games in, the Mighty Mo have exceeded all expectations for their season so far.

We take a closer look at Stewart Petrie’s fifth season in charge in their half-term report.

Star man

The Gable Endies have a few key players who have put a shift in for the side as they push for the Championship.

Terry Masson, Mark Whatley and Cammy Ballantyne, to name a few, are deserving of a mention.

It has been a team effort but Montrose wouldn’t be in second place without the goals and assists of midfielder Graham Webster.

With 13 goals, he’s the league’s second top-goalscorer behind striker David Goodwillie.

Webster had to sit out a few weeks due to injury recently, but since his return he’s netted three goals in two games.

Montrose will hope his decent form can continue as they look to cement a play-off place – or even chase Cove for the title.

Standout moment

The Gable Endies have had a fantastic season, quietly going about their business.

There are some great results in there: winning 5-0 at Clyde, beating East Fife 4-1 or coming from behind to beat Dumbarton.

But the standout result has to be the 1-0 win away to Falkirk on November 20. A first-half Cammy Ballantyne goal was enough to secure the points. But that wasn’t the last of the action.

After giving away a late penalty, goalkeeper Aaron Lennox redeemed himself saving the resulting kick.

The win was made even sweeter as more than 3,000 expectant Falkirk fans watched on as Montrose went home victorious

The three points held Mo’s position in fourth but then jumped to second after beating Airdrie in their next league game, where they remain today.

Signings

Stewart Petrie has built up a strong team over the years, so it is always going to be hard for a new signing to get off the ground running.

Six players were brought in over the summer: Mark Whatley, Craig Brown, Christian Antoniazzi, Cammy Ballantyne, James Keatings and Blair Lyons – the latter three on loan.

Of those, arguably just two have made a real impact.

Mark Whatley has featured in every game for Montrose so far
Mark Whatley has featured in every game for Montrose so far

The experienced Whatley joined up from rivals Arbroath and has slotted in well in the centre of midfield, featuring in every competitive game this season. He has also plugged a gap at right back when required.

Blair Lyons, who joined Partick from Montrose in 2020 but loaned back, has also been a mainstay in the team.

Keatings has chipped a goal but hasn’t lived up to his full potential, while Brown and Antoniazzi have just played bit-part appearances.

Must do better

Montrose, so far, have enjoyed their travels in the league. They’ve won five, drawn four and have not lost.

They need to maintain that form but also replicate that at Links Park.

The side’s two defeats this season have come at home. They’ve drawn four and only won three times in front of their own supporters.

Montrose manager Stewart Petrie
Montrose manager Stewart Petrie

The defeats to Dumbarton and Alloa earlier in the season were bitterly disappointing.

And they’ve not lost a league game since the Wasps defeat in September, so they are certainly making amends for the early slip up.

Stewart Petrie’s side now need to start turning draws into wins.

Overall grade – A

Stewart Petrie’s fifth year at Montrose could be his best one yet.

They’re two points off the top after 19 games. On their day, they look capable of beating anyone in the division.

If they can keep that form up, there’s no question they’ll find themselves in the play-off places once again.

Montrose coach Iain Campbell says his side are ‘in with a shout’ of League One title as they go 12 games unbeaten

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