The penultimate fixture of our Groundhopping adventure and it all seems to be meandering towards its conclusion rather than providing the exciting finale we hoped as teams fates are decided in the leagues. Today was a dead rubber fixture with hosts Montrose, firmly rooted at the bottom of division three, playing Livingston who we saw being crowned champions a week earlier. Our final guest Groundhopper was Matt and he was happy to drive us up to Angus in his rather luxurious 4x4, a slight step up from the Vectra.
Despite an alarming mishap when the sat nav temporarily re-routed us through a rather more unsavoury part of Dundee we arrived in Montrose in time for a pre match pint before the kick-off. The town itself is rather picturesque; a short walk past some well maintained gardens took us into the bustling Market Street where we stopped off in the Market Arms for a drink. The pub itself was rather raucous for a Saturday afternoon with several folk cheering on Man Utd’s win over Spurs. Links Park Stadium consists of just one all seated stand which covers around half of one side. There is also a covered terracing behind one of the goals which is rather odd in that it is set back some way from the pitch and doesn’t quite run the full length of it. The team play on a synthetic surface.
It was clear on arrival that the Livi fans who had made the journey were there purely to enjoy the fact they were no longer part of the division. The teams emerged to the rather bizarre sight of two small flares from the away end and rather more muted applause from a weary home crowd. The game never threatened to be a classic and with very few chances created, the highlight of the first half was the Livi fans telling Kieran in no polite terms to place his camera somewhere south on his body. The champions did make the breakthrough just before the break when Rafele de Vita crossed for Andrew Halliday to lot home.
Livingston stepped up a gear in the second half and put a further four past the beleaguered home side. In truth Montrose were horribly culpable of their own downfall with at times non-existent defending. Halliday grabbed a second with de Vita, Paul Watson and Keighan Jacobs completing a season of misery for the Angus side. The game itself may have been a poor encounter but it was livened up somewhat with both sets of supporters engaging in song on a sunny afternoon. So it all comes down to one last trip to Kirkcaldy, one last look at Gregory Tade and one last pie n Bovril. That is until Oxford get their day out in Wembley in May.
Journey - 6
Pie - 1
Bovril - 7
Ground - 5
Game – 3