Shire exited the IRN-BRU Cup at the first round stage after a disappointing display against Montrose at Ochilview.
Despite a bright opening, Shire could not gain a proper foothold in the match and once they fell behind to Terry Masson’s powerful long-range effort after 28 minutes it was always an uphill battle.
Matters weren’t helped by a red card for Scot Buist ten minutes before the half-time break, and eventually that man disadvantage told in the closing stages when Montrose added two more goals.
Coach John Sludden made more changes to the team after the weekend defeat against Annan Athletic.
Kris Faulds and Gavin McMillan came into the starting eleven with Graeme MacGregor and Connor Hogg dropping to the bench.
The opening quarter was even enough. The closest Shire came to scoring, though, was a Dylan McGuigan effort which he dragged across the face of goal and wide after just seven minutes.
Both teams were full of attacking intent but neither seemed to pack a punch when the ball came close to goal.
After 26 minutes though a great shot from long-range whizzed over Darren Dolan’s crossbar while at the other end a minute later David Grant had a clear view of goal but shot wide.
However the deadlock was broken out of the blue after 28 minutes when Terry Masson fired in a well-hit long-range effort which beat Dolan all ends up after swerving on its way to goal.
If anything, though, Shire seemed spurred into action by the loss of the goal and should have been level just a minute later when Paul Sludden’s effort went just wide.
But after 36 minutes the game took an unforeseen turn for the worse when Scot Buist was shown a red card for arguing with referee Craig Napier.
Nevertheless, Shire finished the half strongly and Derek Ure forced the keeper into a save from a 20 yard free-kick.
The second half failed to ignite properly and the closest either team came to scoring was a cross from Graham Webster which Ross fisher had to clear to prevent the waiting Montrose forwards from feeding on.
Shire made attempts to force the pace but couldn’t get their shots away and Montrose had space to exploit.
After 60 minutes they broke and crossed from the left and Webster found himself with great chance and he did not miss with a low strike from ten yards out.
Shire threw on Andy Rodgers but the way to goal seemed barred. Andy Grant tried his luck from long-range but his shot was deflected into the keeper’s arms.
Eventually Montrose completed the win when Ferguson’s shot from the angle of the penalty box crashed off the underside of the bar and into the net.
SHIRE : Dolan, Greene, A. Grant, Buist, Fisher, Faulds, Sludden, Ure, McMillan, D. Grant, McGuigan.
MONTROSE : Fleming, McWalter, Campbell, Masson, Anderson, Steeves, Webster, Lennie, Fraser, Templeman, Ferguson.
REFEREE : C. Napier.