Frustration as ref fails to please

Merpro made a disappointing exit from the Ferrari’s Shield quarter-final on Saturday.

Newport, boosted by an inspired ‘keeper, made the most of their chances.

The home side started well with A. Duff bursting into the Newport box but his cross was cleared. Graham then dribbled past a couple of players and then picked out Allan in the box but ‘keeper Morris pulled off a superb save to tip over.

Newport stunned the home side in 36 minutes, opening the scoring on a breakaway with Romilly setting up his supporting midfielder CAMPBELL to run unmarked through.

Graham broke through picking up a pass over the top of defence to run in on goal but as he looked to shoot he appeared to be fouled.

Newport went further ahead when ROMILLY found space in the box to score just before half time.

Half-time: Merpro 0, Newport 2.

Merpro came storming out of the blocks and pulled a goal back immediately. Lownie passed wide for GREIG to run in from the right flank to drill home a low shot.

Newport forced a series of corners, eventually resulting in Whitworth scoring an own goal as he attempted to clear an inswinging cross.

The homesters looked to have pulled one back when new signing Riach drifted in behind the defence and slipped a shot past the onrushing ‘keeper. A covering defender got back to clear before the ball crossed the line.

Merpro came back with a slick passing move involving A. Duff and a Riach deft backward pass into the path of the onrushing GREIG to run in at pace and fire a blistering shot into the net from 15 yards in 65 minutes to make it 3-2.

A C. Allan penalty was saved in 72 minutes.

Merpro were incensed when N. Duff was fouled in attempting to clear with the ball allowing ROMILLY to receive a pass and fire home. The irate Duff, still seething, was sent off a minute later following a late challenge.

Merpro were awarded a foul following a dangerous lunging tackle on Greig. The player amazingly failed to be reprimanded but a fellow defender in the resultant melee was sent off and Greig was also red carded for a second bookable offence in the 85th minute.

Team: Findlay, A. Duff, N. Duff, Milne, Whitworth, Lownie, Greig, C. Allan, Graham (Gillon), E. Duff (Riach), Houston (Cruickshank). Substitutes: Gall and Pert.

Match Sponsor: R. Coull and Son.