Tayside Fire Brigade 2,
MERPRO visited Tayside Fire Brigade in Dundee on Saturday but in an even match were unable to come back home with a share of the points.
With the match looking to be heading for a draw, the Firies were able to make the breakthrough, capitalising on a slip and clinching the game with a late goal as Merpro pushed for the equaliser.
Findlay was the first ‘keeper to be called into action in the early minutes, saving comfortably from a 22-yard free kick.
Merpro began to settle and Milne set up Bruce to run in on goal but the TFB Midlands Select custodian Millar saved well to deny him.
The visitors had another good move resulting in Houston firing in a cross but again the ‘keeper Millar handled well under pressure at the quarter-hour mark.
Two minutes later, Whitworth’s 25-yard free kick went wide.
Merpro had further pressure with a Bruce corner kick coming to Brown at the back post, but his knock-down header was cleared to safety in 22 minutes.
Whitworth then had another free kick comfortably saved by the ‘keeper.
With half-an-hour played Cruickshank then looked to have broken through but he was given offside.
Merpro had a great opportunity soon after, following a quick passing move involving Cruickshank and Euan Duff who drove past his marker to sling in a low cross for the on-rushing Whitworth. He fired in a low shot from 18 yards but his goalbound effort was blocked in front of goal.
In the closing minute of the half Findlay had to make a reactive save to tip over the bar from a close range effort.
The interval arrived with Merpro having had the better of the play.
Half-time: Tayside Fire Brigade 0, Merpro 0.
Merpro opened the second half well with Bruce making a good run and shot which unfortunately deflected off Duff.
Five minutes into the half Houston sent in a diagonal pass for Bruce to run in and head goalwards, but his effort came back off the post.
The Fire Brigade hit back and an effort come back off the top of the bar in 54 minutes.
Merpro looked to have made the opening when Brown latched onto a ball in midfield, advanced and fired in a 25-yard swerving shot but ‘keeper Millar made an excellent diving save.
Duff then had a snap-shot from 12 yards saved by the ‘keeper after a long throw into the box from Bruce.
In 62 minutes Bruce had a good dribbling run but his left-foot effort from 18 yards was comfortably saved by the home ‘keeper.
Merpro were rocked when TFB went ahead against the run of play. A cross from the right wing came in and ‘keeper Findlay picked the ball out from the air. However, on landing the ball squirmed out of his grasp as he collided with players and it fell for an attacker to shoot into the net from 10 yards in 65 minutes.
The home side then had a good spell of pressure culminating with a long-range effort hitting the top of the bar.
The Firies went further ahead with a breakaway goal as Merpro pushed players forward in the closing stages.
Milne had a couple of efforts go wide in the last few minutes as the game came to a close.
It was a disappointing result as Merpro played well enough within themselves without hitting full form, and at the least deserved a share of the spoils.
Team: Findlay, Pert, Houston, Lownie, Whitworth, G. Allan, Bruce (Murdoch), Milne, E. Duff, Cruickshank and Brown. Substitute: Gall.
Merpro’s next match will be a North of Tay first round tie at home against Star of Atholl, with a 2pm kick-off.