Gary Fraser’s goal four minutes from time earned Montrose a smash-and-grab win over Angus neighbours Arbroath but keeper Allan Fleming was the Gable Endies’ real hero with a string of outstanding saves.
With Forfar losing at home to Berwick, a draw would have been enough to take the Gayfield side top of the table, but the former Lichtie wasn’t in the mood for giving out any favours.
The tall Fifer showed his class on a number of occasions, palming away a rasping Omar Kader shot in the first half and expertly blocking a trio of Steven Doris efforts after the interval.
Fleming said: “You dream of days like this because they don’t come around too often.
“I was busier than I would like to have been but its good to be in a position where you are making saves and it leads to the team picking up points.
“I loved my time at Arbroath and for whatever reason it didn’t work out for me here.
“Arbroath have shown they are going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. But we did our homework on them and it was one of those days when everything went right for us. On another day they could have won quite easily.”
Montrose boss Stewart Petrie was delighted his game plan worked. He said: “We were a bit fortunate, but we’ll take it. You’ve got to ride your luck at times especially when coming to a really good team like Arbroath. They certainly put us under pressure but the guys stood up to it.”
Lichties manager Dick Campbell was frustrated that his side missed the opportunity to leapfrog Forfar at the top of the table.
He said: “If you don’t take your chances you’ll always be susceptible to a late goal and that’s what happened to us.
“We had six or seven really good scoring chances and didn’t take them. That’s the poorest we’ve played at home for a long time.
“We were five minutes from being top of the league, so its very frustrating. But all credit to Montrose. I thought their goalkeeper was outstanding.”