Logie HARP 3, MERPRO 2
MERPRO renewed acquaintance with rivals Logie Harp on Saturday in Dundee. Harp finished runners-up to Merpro last season in the Division One title race.
Both sides began slowly but it was Merpro that opened the scoring after 10 minutes. Ally DUFF connected with a powerful header from 10 yards following an Allan corner kick.
Harp responded almost immediately with a long-range shot from Donald coming back off the post.
The home side then had a spell of dominance and equalised on the quarter-hour mark when another break from midfield resulted in another long range shot hitting the back of the net.
Another only two minutes later stunned Merpro when a pacy quick passing move broke through the visitors’ rearguard and the Harp attacker drilled a low shot into the corner of the net.
Merpro slowly regrouped and managed to hold off the pressure.
Bruce had an opportunity to slip in a left foot shot when the ball fell to him in the box but the ‘keeper saved well.
On the 25-minute mark Graham set up a cross for Whitworth at the back post but his stretching header went wide.
Allan made a break from midfield but the ball held up in the increasingly muddy surface. It eventually reached Greig who clipped in shot from 14 yards only to see it cleared off the line.
Harp finished the first half well, forcing Findlay to make two excellent consecutive fingertip saves in the closing minutes.
Half-time: Harp 2, Merpro 1.
The early stages of the second half became a dour struggle in the greasy conditions as neither side established any initial dominance.
However as the half wore on it was Merpro who gradually exerted their will with a build up of determined pressure. Allan came close with a curling edge of the box shot in 75 minutes after good initial pressure play by Ally Duff.
Merpro pressure was rewarded two minutes later when Craig ALLAN equalised with a glancing header from 12 yards after a Bruce trademark long throw into the box.
Murdoch was next to threaten but his shot went wide in 80 minutes.
With the match looking like a fair draw Harp had the final sting in the tail when they won an edge of the box free kick with five minutes to play. JOHNSTON sized up the Merpro defensive organisation and saw a gap. He clipped in a direct curling shot over the wall in at the near post for the winner.
Team: Findlay, Murdoch, Houston, Bruce, A. Duff, Lownie, E. Duff, C. Allan, Graham (Duncan), Whitworth, Greig. Substitutes: Brown and N. Duff.
Next match: Merpro v Carnoustie YM, Premier League 2pm kick-off on Saturday.