Montrose manager Stewart Petrie glad to be back in action so soon after Peterhead setback

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Stewart Petrie.

League Two leaders Montrose welcome bottom side Cowdenbeath to Links Park and manager Stewart Petrie is pleased that his men are back in action so quickly following Saturday’s 6-2 home defeat from Peterhead.

Petrie said: “We have taken a blow – there is no question about that – especially as we had worked so hard during a nine-game unbeaten run to move to the top of the league.

“Whilst it was disappointing it is never good to dwell on these things and having a game so quickly allows us to focus on going forward and not looking backwards.

“The boys are desperate to make amends as they know that we never hit the levels that we can hit and that is not to take anything away from Peterhead.

“We gave ourselves a chance when we got it back to 2-1 but once the third goal went in some heads went down and Peterhead ran out worthy winners.

“We cannot, however, think: ‘Well it is the bottom side we are facing now and that gives us a good chance of bouncing straight back.’

“Cowdenbeath actually ran Peterhead really close the week before and only lost 3-2 to an injury-time goal.

“Hopefully, Saturday’s performance was a one-off and we can get back to normal service.

“It will be tough as Cowdenbeath have improved under Gary Bollan and will continue to improve under him.”

Cammy Ballantyne has returned to Dundee United and that move has left Petrie with mixed feelings.

He explained: “I knew that there was a chance that could happen and whilst I am disappointed for us I am pleased for Cammy as he is to be involved in their first team.”

Michael Bolochoweckyj has returned from a loan spell at East Stirling and Graham Webster is available after illness but Petrie is unable to call on the injured Jamie Redman, Martyn Fotheringham, Danny Cavanagh and Ryan Ferguson.

Cowden are looking for their first win under Bollan after experiencing their first defeat when they went down to the Blue Toon two days before Christmas.

Bollan said: “Peterhead are the favourites for the league but we gave them a real fright.

“We got in front and then hit back to equalise.

“To lose a goal in injury-time and to come back down the road without even a point was disappointing but we cannot let that mask the improvement that we again saw from the team.

“We now face another strong side in Montrose and we need to play just as well as did at Peterhead to have any chance of doing anything.

“I was at Links Park on Saturday and I have put Montrose’s defeat down to two things. They did not play as well as they could and Peterhead played extremely well.

“They will be out to show that result was a bit freakish in nature and it has probably made our task all the more difficult.”

The Central Park side’s ranks have been bolstered by the signing of 16-year-old Livingston midfielder Craig Henderson, who hails from Kelty.

Bollan said: “Craig is a highly-talented and well-thought-of young player, who worked with both Hearts and Hibs in the past.

“Livingston have given him a chance in full-time football and see him coming to us as a great chance for him to gain experience at a good level.

“He will be in my squad for Montrose.”

Also included is former Hamilton Accies midfielder Connor Scullion, who is set to play the third game of his trial period, with Robbie Buchanan also available after Cowden appealed his dismissal against the Balmoor men.

The only absentees are the injured Joe McGovern and Josh Morris.