Oli Shaw says Ross County allowed Montrose to get back into game after being three goals up.
Get a digital copy of the Ross-shire Journal delivered straight to your inbox every week
Oli Shaw believes that missed chances from Ross County’s attackers gave Montrose all the belief they needed to complete a late comeback and take Wednesday’s Betfred Cup group match to a penalty shootout.
Shaw himself had opened the scoring in the first half, being in the right place to steer Billy Mckay’s shot into the net, before Mckay doubled the advantage and Regan Charles-Cook put daylight between the sides in the second half.
Montrose came fighting back after the hour mark though, scoring a quickfire double to leave the tie finely balanced going into the latter stages.
However, with the scores still at 3-1 to the Staggies, Mckay hit the crossbar and had his follow up cleared off the line.
Then, with a single goal separating the sides, Callum Morris hit the post with a header, and Mckay and Ross Stewart each missed opportunities to kill the game.
Although County would go on to win the penalty shootout, throwing away such a commanding lead overshadowed picking up an extra point.
All around the Staggies camp after the final whistle, the message was clear – it was an unacceptable display.
“They made a few changes and went more direct, and that caused us problems,” 22-year-old former Hibs forward Shaw said.
“They hit the bar a few times in the first half as well, so that was a wake-up call.
“For us to not take the chances that we had late on in the game to kill it gives them confidence, and they go on and get that late goal.
“I think we felt like we had weathered the storm, and we were making our own chances as well.
“Conceding the first two goals wasn’t good enough, so we got our foot on the ball a bit more and tried to take the sting out of the game.
“From the position we were in, three goals up, we shouldn’t be drawing.”
The only real positive was on a personal level for Shaw, who scored his first goal for the club since joining back in January.
He never got the opportunity to build any momentum last season before the pandemic shut football down, so he is pleased to finally break his duck – even if he would have preferred a better end result.
“On a personal note it was good to get off the mark and get my first goal for the club,” he said.
“But obviously it was a disappointing night after losing the three goals that we did.
“Hopefully I can kick on from here. It wasn’t playing on my mind or anything, I was just focusing on my football, taking things game by- game.
“As a striker if you think about it too much, you miss easy chances.
“It starts playing on your mind and you think, ‘I need to score this’, so I just want to help the team in any way I can.
“The goal came, so I’m happy with that, and
hopefully it’s the first of many, but I would have been happier if we had won the game.”