Monaghan held out in a frenetic finish to garner two valuable league points and leap-frog over Fermanagh in the Division Three table at the end of this tough, hard hitting encounter played in wintry conditions in Brewster Park tonight.
Fermanagh were going into their 12th league game under manager Peter Canavan and were undefeated in their previous 11 league matches since Canavan took over back in February 2012.
They were forced to field without the services of Barry Owens, Ryan McCluskey and James Sherry, all injured while Monaghan welcomed Conor McManus back after his one match ban for a red card against Cavan, while Darren Hughes had recovered from the injury that ruled him out against Sligo.
Fermanagh got off to as flying start and had four points on the board in as many minutes through Paul Ward's two strikes and one each by Shane McCabe and Tomas Corrigan.
Monaghan opened their account through Conor McManus and they gradually overhauled the home side to level by the end of the opening quarter and and then took the lead for the first time through Conor McManus. The visitors went on to lead at the break by 0-9 to 0-6 as Paul Finlay, Owen Duffy and McManus repeatedly found the range.
Within three minutes of the restart Fermanagh had shaved two points off Monaghan's lead to set the tone for a real see-saw battle but crucially they were not able to regain the lead as Monaghan defended well and Fermanagh did not capitalise on a number of good chances.
The sides were level at 0-10 apiece after 18 minutes and at 11 apiece five minutes later. From there though Monaghan regained control despite Darren Hughes having a penalty saved and three unanswered points between the 24th and 32nd minutes was enough to see Monaghan over the line. Monaghan finished the game with 14 players after Colin Walshe was sent off on a second yellow card in stoppage time.
Fermanagh: C Snow; N Bogue, A McGuinness, J Woods; M O'Brien, B Cox, D McCusker; S Lyons, M McGrath; T McElroy, S McCabe 0-1, E Donnelly; P Ward 0-6 (0-4 frees), T Corrigan 0-3 (0-1 free), D Keenan 0-1 (free). Subs: D Kille for E Donnelly, C Quigley for D McCusker, R Jones 0-1 (free) for M McGrath, B Owens for A McGuinness, R Corrigan for D Kille.
Monaghan: M Keogh; D Mone, F Kelly, K Duffy; C Walshe, D Hughes, K O'Connell; O Lennon, D Clerkin; G Doogan, K Hughes, O Duffy 0-4; C McManus 0-5 (0-3 frees), P Finlay 0-5 (0-3 frees), C McGuinness. Subs: D Wylie for K O'Connell, T Freeman for C McGuinness, N McAdam for D Clerkin, D Malone for G Doogan,
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).