Stenny stay bottom after Montrose defeat

Stenhousemuir boss Colin McMenamin (Picture Michael Gillen)
Stenhousemuir boss Colin McMenamin (Picture Michael Gillen)

A 3-1 defeat away at Montrose ensured that Stenhousemuir would spend Christmas rooted to the bottom of League One.

Two first half goals from Chris Antoniazzi and Euan Henderson, followed by a second half header from Paul Watson put Mo’ firmly in the driving seat before Stenny’s Mark McGuigan snatched a late consolation.

Indeed, the home side had two chances to score in the first two minutes; an Iain Campbell cross was headed goalwards by Sean Dillon bring a good save from Graeme Smith and just a minute later the keeper was called upon again to gather a Campbell free kick.

Montrose were dominating the opening few minutes and a great low pass across the face of the Warriors’ goal from Antoniazzi was just out of reach of striker Euan Henderson.

Despite the good play from Montrose it would take a dreadful error from the visitors to give them the lead.

Centre half Conor McBrearty passed the ball out of defence straight to the feet of Antoniazzi who strode forward and finished from just inside the Stenny box.

Far from letting their heads drop Stenhousemuir almost equalised straight away – a fine bit of individual skill saw Alan Cook lob the ball over the head of a defender and volley the ball towards the Montrose goal which was well saved by Allan Fleming.

In truth, that was the only meaningful effort that Stenny had in the first half, Montrose were well on top at this stage and created a great chance for a second.

A superb defence splitting pass from Terry Masson was crossed into the Stenny box by Chris Antoniazzi but headed clear. But Masson had continued his run and latched on to the clearance but hit it too high.

Just two minutes later and Montrose doubled their lead. After a bit of bounce ball in the Stenny box an attempt from Craig Johnston was heading wide but the in-rushing Euan Henderson was on hand to tap it in at the far post.

Credit to Stenny though, they came back into the game and poor headed clearance from Ryan Harrington was well hit by striker McGuigan but it was saved comfortably by Fleming.

Stenny had the better of the opening exchanges in the second half and came close to scoring on 54 minutes; a great cross from Alan Reid was begging to be headed home but Cook seemed caught in two minds and the chance was passed up.

Two minutes later and Montrose had an opportunity when a free kick from Dillon could have seen Watson on the scoresheet but his header was tame.

But it was only a matter of time before the centre half made his mark. Masson passed to Johnston who crossed and this time Watson’s header nestled in the back of the net to give Montrose a three goal lead.

Once again though, Stenny responded and a great piece of work by Harry Paton saw him break into the Montrose box on 70 minutes and lob the advancing Fleming.

It seemed a goal all the way but somehow Montrose substitute Graham Webster who had replaced Patrick Cregg got back and cleared the ball off the line with an acrobatic overhead kick.

Stenny finally pulled a goal back on 81 minutes, a cross into the box was knocked into the net by the sliding McGuigan.

Cook had another attempt for the visitors in injury time as Stenny pushed late on the reduce the deficit further but there was to be no more scoring as Montrose took the three points.

Referee - Barry Cook

Attendance: 511