Improving form on the road key for Montrose’s promotion push

Five months ago Montrose were battling for their SPFL status, scraping to survive with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Brora Rangers, so caps must be doffed at their progress in 2015-16.

Victories in half of their 10 Ladbrokes League 2 matches this season sees the Gable Endies occupy fifth spot in the table and looking far from relegation candidates.

However, things could yet be even better with a clear pattern emerging in their campaign so far.

Their 3-1 defeat to local rivals Arbroath on Saturday marked their fourth loss in five league matches on the road this term, with their form away from Links Park holding up any progression up the table.

The difference in return from their quintet of home matches to the points gained on the road is telling this season.

On average Paul Hegarty’s men have picked up 2.4 points per game in front of their own fans, compared to 0.6 away from home.

A disparity of such scale is only matched by two teams in the Ladbrokes SPFL – East Stirling, who sit bottom of the pile with no points garnered on the road, and Raith Rovers who have won all of their matches at Dingwall.

Even when they do find the back of the net away from the confines of their own ground it is often one man pitching in with the strikes, Graham Webster scoring three of their last four goals on their travels.

Manager Hegarty had some choice words after their latest defeat at Gayfield:

“All I can say is that the three goals we’ve given them were avoidable,” he told the Montrose Review.

“Too many players weren’t up to the standard that they have been, they know that they’ve set a reasonable standard.”

Return to that ‘reasonable standard’ in their upcoming away fixtures against Clyde and East Stirling and they could well be good value at 7/1 to secure a promotion play-off position that they currently occupy.

While last term was a near disaster, the Angus club could do far worse than look at the away form that brought in 42 per cent of their points.

Do that and bright things could be in store for Hegarty and co.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.