Morgan FPs 2
MERPRO entertained fellow Division One side Morgan on Saturday in the Bremner Cup.
The home side was largely in control of the match and emphasised their authority in the second half with some fine clinical finishing.
Merpro started well, playing excellent possession football and went ahead in three minutes. Euan Duff supplied a defence-splitting pass for Rhys GREIG to time his run perfectly and slip the ball past the outrushing ‘keeper from 16 yards.
Gibbon then made a determined wing run, firing in a low cross for first Craig Allan to have his shot well saved by the ‘keeper. The ball rebounded to Duff whose effort cleared off the line.
In 21 minutes Milne made a storming run from midfield, combined with Gibbon and slipped in a low cross for Graham whose eight-yard flicked effort was superbly tipped over the bar.
Merpro continued to create and from the resultant Craig Allan corner kick the ball landed at Greig’ feet but with his back to goal he was unable to apply the finish.
Morgan got back on level terms when, attempting to clear a long ball, Whitworth swivelled but also caught his opponent. A penalty was awarded and well converted by TAYLOR in 32 minutes.
Merpro created another opportunity when a Craig Allan free kick fell for Graham in the box but he snatched at his effort from 10 yards and Gibbon’s effort was cleared off the line.
Morgan created their first proper opening resulting with an 18-yard shot coming off the Merpro crossbar in 36 minutes.
The visitors were encouraged and, for the first time, kept Merpro under some concerted pressure resulting in another shot from the edge of the box. Gourlay did well to cover and head divert a clear goal bound effort onto the bar. From the resultant corner Henderson saved well, flicking over the bar from a six-yard powerful header to make it all square at the break.
Half-time: Merpro 1, Morgan 1.
Merpro came quickly out for the second half looking to restore their first half superiority. They went ahead in 48 minutes with a super clinical finish. Henderson launched a long ball forward and it was knocked by a defender for Scott GRAHAM to latch onto before running in on goal and drilling a high 20-yard left foot finish into the net.
The homesters went further ahead almost at once when Milne set up Euan DUFF to run in on goal round the advancing ‘keeper and knock the ball into the net.
Merpro were well in control and made a penalty claim when Craig Allan was upended in the box but no award was given.
But another goal was soon scored. Graham latched onto a Milne through ball drawing out the ‘keeper before unselfishly passing inside for Duff to hit a shot at goal which was semi-blocked. Jharone GIBBON ran in at the far post to slide home from three yards under pressure from to make it 4-1 in 70 minutes.
The match looked comfortable with a quarter of an hour to go, but Morgan hit back when DICKSON latched on to a cross ball in the box and hit a powerful 15-yard shot high into the net, deflecting off Findlay.
The home side hit back when the influential Milne chased down a defender and sent a pass through for Craig CHRISTIE to flick the ball over the diving ‘keeper.
Merpro continued to dominate and Bruce sent a cross over the face of goal only for Christie to somehow knock past the back post from three yards for a miss-of-the-season contender.
In the final moments Chris MILNE received his reward when he ran through on his own from midfield evading defenders and rounding the ‘keeper to slot home from an acute angle to take Merpro into the last 16.
Team: Henderson, Gourlay, Donaldson (Findlay), C. Allan, Whitworth, G. Allan, Greig (Bruce), Milne, E. Duff, Graham (Christie), Gibbon and substitute Duncan. Match sponsor was R. Coull & Son.