MERPRO travelled to Dundee to face the Polish nationals side FC Polonia on Saturday, April 2. The two sides have met twice already this season with a draw and a Merpro win. This time the Montrose side managed to maintain their winning form and extend their lead at the top of Division One.
The match result turned out to be a close encounter but Merpro were the dominant side and after some late drama they finally secured full points.
Merpro started well and Cruickshank set up Graham to run through and shrug off his marker and fire into the net from 12 yards but the goal was disallowed by the official in two minutes for the first of many contentious decisions.
Merpro continued to press and Whitworth came close with a 20-yard curling free kick just past the post in seven minutes.
Polonia almost snatched the lead with a 30-yard free kick deflected off Graeme Allan but Findlay was alert and made a good reaction save in 12 minutes.
Findlay again did well to turn a low driven edge of the box shot round the post in 15 minutes.
Merpro again came close when Graham hit a rasping 16-yard goal-bound shot which inadvertently hit Whitworth and cleared to safety in 20 minutes.
Merpro continued to have most of the possession but were becoming increasingly irritated by play being broken up with officiating decisions.
Craig Allan brought the first half frustration to an end with an edge of the box free kick well saved by the keeper.
Merpro started the second half well by creating a good chance in 47 minutes.
Cruickshank and Craig Allan exchanges passes on the edge of the box setting up Graham but he snatched his eight-yard shot over the diving keeper and over the bar.
Polonia were content to sit back and attempt to hit Merpro on the break with long balls and the match settled a similar frustrating pattern as the first half.
Merpro continued to push forward and came close when a Whitworth header went wide from an Allan free kick in 60 minutes.
Merpro created another gilt-edged chance when Donaldson fired in a curling free kick but Gourlay glanced his eight-yard header past the post in 64 minutes.
Merpro pushed additional players forward searching for the breakthrough but Polonia continued to hold firm.
The match boiled over in the 75th minute when Greig was fouled with a late challenge but following his reaction he was given a second yellow caution and sent off leaving Merpro reduced to 10 men.
Despite this Merpro continued with their attacking policy and pressed forward and finally received their reward.
Gibbon made break down the left wing and sent in a cross across the face of the goal with a Polonia defender knocking into his own net in the 85th minute to make it 1-0.
Merpro were galvanised and almost went further ahead in the final minute when Gibbon sent Craig Allan in on goal but he GK made a good save palming his shot onto the bar and over to safety.
This turned out to be a scrappy and frustrating match but Merpro maintained their pressure and showed a determined attacking spirit to collect the full points and remain in pole position in the league.
Team: Findlay, Gourlay, Donaldson, C.Allan, Whitworth, G.Allan, Cruickshank, Greig, Graham, E.Duff (P.Duncan), Gibbon. Subs: N.Duff, Houston.