Dandy Duff downs Dundee side

MERPRO 3 MORGAN FPs 2

Merpro ran out deserved winners in an important Division One victory on Saturday against a stuffy Morgan side.

A late winner in the 88th minute sealed a tense victory in a match the Montrose side largely dominated.

Merpro started well and dominated possession in the early stages but were unable to create any significant chances.

However it was the visitors who opened the scoring, in the 20th minute against the run of play. A long floated pass forward failed to be cleared and fell for the left midfielder to quickly drill in a well-hit shot from 25 yards under ‘keeper Gall.

Merpro quickly resumed their possession dominance and Euan Duff made a good run and cross setting up McDougall. However, his close range goalbound shot was blocked to safety.

Murdoch then made a storming run finishing with a well hit effort deflected wide.

Murdoch was again in the thick of the action making an excellent fast covering defensive run to clear a Morgan pacy breakaway attack as Merpro were exposed following a loose pass in the 35th minute.

The home side’s midfield continued to assert themselves and returned to some quick interlinking play. Milne and McDougall linked well with the latter sending a cross across the face of goal with frustratingly no takers to tap the ball into the net.

Minutes later McDougall was again in the midst of the action when his crisp close range shot was blocked, with the rebound falling for Graham - however his hastily hit snap shot sliced wide for a throw in rather than going straight into the net.

Morgan managed to hang on until half-time without conceding a goal.

Half-time: Merpro 0, Morgan 1.

Merpro came out of the blocks applying pressure, and were rewarded with an early equaliser two minutes into the second half.

McDougall fired in a well-hit corner kick which fell for Craig ALLAN to side foot into the net from close range.

Morgan responded in two minutes with a quick attack leading to a corner. The home side initially cleared the ball from the goal area but a follow-up effort was drilled back into the goalmouth and, after a series of ricochets, fell for an attacker to fire home from close range to put the visitors back into the lead.

Merpro’s composure was only temporarily disturbed and they soon regained their midfield passing style, leading to Graham making a good run setting up Duff, but he fired his effort over the bar.

Merpro’s good play was rewarded when, following further interlinking play, Greig fed a weighted pass into the path of Daryl McDOUGALL who fired in a low drive from 14 yards in the 58th minute.

Merpro were determined to not let their opponents off the hook this time. Craig Allan made a good run into the box but just curled his effort wide.

Euan Duff made a fine right wing run into the box and slipped a pass inside for Allan to latch onto, but a rare poor first touch allowed time for a defender to block his near goal effort in 64 minutes.

A few minutes later Merpro came even closer when, from another fine curling McDougall corner kick, Scott Robertson outjumped his marker to fire in a powerful downward header, only for a defender to clear off the line .

Milne was next to threaten when he made an advancing run from midfield beating three players. But, approaching goal, his effort was saved.

Merpro were well on top and Allan set up Greig to make a lung-bursting run forward into the box in 70 minutes. He was eventually forced wide as the defence managed to match his run.

Merpro created another great chance when Graham evaded the back line and made a good wing run. He curled a pass across the face of goal for the advancing Euan Duff, but the ball fell slightly behind him. He managed to regather but then fired his effort from eight yards just past the post.

Morgan had rarely featured in attack but sensed the Merpro effort was tiring and made some good attacks forward as the match became more open.

Good work from Nicol Duff with a defensive header in 82 minutes prevented an opportunity for the visitors.

Merpro continued to attack and in 84 minutes Graham had a penalty claim turned down after he fired in a low cross which appeared to be blocked by a defender’s hand.

Merpro’s pressure finally paid off in the closing stages when Graham advanced down the right flank and slipped in a low pass for Euan DUFF to run in ahead of the ‘keeper to take a touch to knock into the net from five yards with only two minutes to play.

The closing minutes of the match ran out uneventfully with the Montrose side emerging deserved winners.

However, because of earlier missed chances the home side had left it late to add to the entertainment.

Merpro: Gall, Murdoch, S. Robertson, Milne, N. Duff, G. Allan, R. Greig (Whyte), C. Allan, E. Duff, Graham, McDougall. Substitutes: Lownie, Petrie, Smith and Wink.