MERPRO recorded their best result of their inaugural Premier League campaign, defeating third-placed Carnoustie YM on their home turf.
The visitors created the first opportunity in five minutes when Bruce and Graham exchanged combination passes but Graham’s cross across goal was too heavy for Greig rushing in.
Carnoustie came close in 25 minutes when a loose pass was intercepted but from the resultant break Watt fired over.
Merpro created another good opening when the brothers Graeme and Craig Allan combined to set up Bruce to run in at goal but his 18-yard shot was saved.
YM built up pressure, keeping Merpro pinned back with good play for much of the rest of the first half.
The homesters had the final moment of the first half when a dangerous cross flashed across the face of goal with Findlay managing to get a fingertip to thwart the onrushing attackers.
Half-time: Carnoustie 0, Merpro 0.
Ally Duff had a storming break, setting up Graham to run in on goal, but a well-timed covering tackle thwarted a good opportunity.
Merpro almost opened the scoring when a long throw from Bruce was glanced on to the back post but Smith clutched the ball at the back post in 55 minutes.
Merpro continued to open up the Carnoustie defence and Ally Duff created their best chance. He made a great run, slipping a pass in for Graham to run in on goal but as he drew the ‘keeper out the ball bobbled and his effort from 12 yards was sliced and cleared.
Another chance was created minutes later as Graham broke into the box. With all expecting a shot his pass inside for Ally Duff was frustratingly blocked in minutes.
Merpro dominance of the second half was jeopardised in 72 minutes when Graeme Allan was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Carnoustie took command for a spell but were shocked when Merpro went ahead with a stunning goal. Craig Allan deftly made a reverse pass across the edge of the box for Jamie LOWNIE to meet and expertly drill a low drive from 20 yards into the corner of the net for his first Merpro goal.
It was backs to the wall for the closing minutes as Merpro’s 10-man spirited rearguard held out to record a deserved victory.
Merpro: Findlay, A. Duff, N. Duff, Milne, Whitworth, G. Allan, Greig, C. Allan, Graham (Duncan), Lownie, Bruce. Substitutes: E. Duff, Doyle, Gall and Murdoch.
Next match: On Saturday Merpro will play Kelso away in a Ferrari’s Shield first round tie with a 2pm kick-off.