Stenhousemuir 1-0 Montrose: Hurst nets on debut to move Warriors off bottom

Warriors boss Colin McMenamin
Warriors boss Colin McMenamin

Debutant Greg Hurst came off the bench to give Stenhousemuir a vital League One victory over Montrose in their battle to avoid relegation.


The striker, released from St Johnstone in December, made an instant impression latching onto a Mark McGuigan pass before firing a shot past Fleming in goal.

Before that Russell McLean had passed up two good chances for Montrose while Alan Cook will have felt he should have scored at the other end.

The victory lifts the Warriors off the bottom into ninth placed, a point ahead of bottom-placed Dumbarton. Montrose remain in fifth.

The Gable Endies scored five last week but that did not stop Stewart Petrie replacing both strikers as he opted for Aberdeen loanee Chris Antoniazzi playing off new signing McLean who was up against his hometown team.

The earlier encounter between these two sides served up a highly entertaining spectacle but fans hoping for similar were left disappointed. There was more perspiration rather than inspiration and the first half certainly won't live long in the memory with neither keeper forced into any real save of note.

Suddenly the game sparked into life after the restart and Alan Cook spurned a great chance for Stenhousemuir after good build-up play down the right. Halleran found McGuigan who flicked the ball on to Cook, he had plenty of time to shoot - probably too much - and he shot straight at Fleming.

At the other end, McLean, who had been on the periphery of the game, was thrusted into the centre of the action. The former Peterhead striker was thwarted by Graeme Smith twice in quick succession much to the frustration of the towering forward.

His shot from an acute angle was parried by Smith, before he tried to round the keeper moments later but Smith came out on top again.

Colin McMenamin made a double attacking change as Warriors searched for the opener and it was to pay off handsomely.

Hurst replaced Halleran and made an impact within six minutes of coming off the bench. The ball was delivered into the box from the right from Alan Reid, McGuigan played it into the path of Hurst who burst into the box, composed himself and thundered an effort beyond Fleming.

Montrose desperately searched for an equaliser and they peppered the goal with Milne and substitute Masson having shots blocked but in the end the Warriors held on for an important three points.