Douglas Sports Club 0 Merpro 5
Merpro returned home with a full set of points on Saturday, after recording an emphatic Division One victory in Dundee.
The visitors included for the first time three sets of brothers: the Allans, the Duffs and the Greigs.
Merpro were well motivated and stunned their opponents with a quickfire opener in the first minute. Bruce took a throw for Graham to make a wing run to set up Euan Duff whose 10-yard shot was bravely blocked by ‘keeper Mitchell. Good follow-up play by WHYTE allowed him to run in and volley into the net to score his first Merpro goal.
Merpro’s opening onslaught continued with Whyte being fouled after bursting past his marker in the box, and a penalty was awarded. Craig ALLAN calmly slotted home to make it 2-0 after 22 minutes.
Merpro went further ahead four minutes later when Euan DUFF latched onto a Craig Allan pass to fire in a slightly deflected effort from an acute angle at the near post.
Douglas had a brief flurry but Merpro again created another great chance when Graeme Allan fired a long pass for Graham to again run in on goal unopposed but he was unable to finish with his customary aplomb.
Douglas then had a period of pressure, finishing with a header coming back off the post and cleared to safety. The home side was attempting to push forward but Merpro continued to pick them off with clever passes in behind the defence. Euan Duff was sent through but the ‘keeper made a fine save to deny him.
Graham was next to threaten with a good wing run, cutting inside into the box but his torrid first half continued as he sliced his shot wildly over the bar in 42 minutes.
Half-time: Douglas 0, Merpro 3.
Merpro were determined to continue to keep the home side under pressure in the second half.
Bruce, Duff and Milne all had early chances to keep Douglas under pressure. Craig Allan had an inswinging corner kick cleared off the line in 60 minutes.
The home side was slowly fermenting in the warm weather and in 65 minutes Meldrum was sent off after he upended Graham and then stood on his hand.
Merpro should have gone further ahead when Graham collected a Duff cross in front of goal, but in a double miss of the season contender his close range efforts were wasted and shortly after he was relieved from his tormented action.
Almost immediately his replacement, Jordan GREIG, with his first touch collected a pass in the box, shrugged off a strong tackle and fired a low well-hit drive into the net from 12 yards to open his Merpro account.
Merpro went further ahead when McDougall slipped in a pass for Kevin HECTOR to find himself in clear space to calmly drill in a low drive from 15 yards in the 84th minute.
Douglas self-destructed in the latter stages with a further couple of sending-offs as their frustrations boiled over.
Merpro created some further good chances with another miss of the season contender when Rhys Greig was sent through but his outside of the foot shot failed to swerve in the right direction. In the closing minutes both Milne and Graeme Allan had close range shots blocked.
This was a fine efficient and disciplined performance from Merpro in a well officiated match in the face of, at times, some frustrated provocations.
Team: Lownie, Murdoch (McDougall), S. Robertson (Houston), Milne, N. Duff, G. Allan, Whyte, C. Allan (R. Greig), E. Duff (Hector), Graham (J. Greig) and Bruce.