League champs overwhelm Merpro

MERPRO welcomed Midlands Premier League champions Bank Street Athletic to Montrose last Monday. Bank Street are hot favourites to be crowned Premier winners again and remain unbeaten in the league.

The visitors made a good start with the wind at their backs and went ahead in three minutes when a curling corner kick reached the back post for MARTIN to ghost in unmarked and head home from five yards.

Bank Street went further ahead just before the half-hour when Merpro lost possession and a quick break set up EGAN to clinically drive low into the net.

Merpro replied with a well worked move involving N. Duff and Greig setting up Craig Allan to almost break through but good defending thwarted the move.

The home side scored again with a stunning piledriver 30-yard free kick from ex-Montrose FC striker Gary MIDDLETON in 35 minutes.

Merpro were stunned again when MIDDLETON scored another superb goal. He picked up a loose clearance to run wide, hitting a dipping lobbed left shot on the turn from 25 yards to sail into the top of the net.

Half-time: Merpro 0, Bank Street 4.

Merpro had hopes with the wind behind their backs in the second half. Greig immediately came close after a good combination move to fire a shot across the face of the goal.

Bruce had a trademark long throw headed over by Whitworth in 52 minutes.

Whitworth had another opportunity when Riach was fouled on the edge of the box but his 22-yard effort went wide.

Greig again came close with a looping shot tipped over the bar by Craigie in 65 minutes.

In 75 minutes Merpro made the breakthrough when Ally DUFF broke forward into the box to fire a thunderous rising shot high into the net from 15 yards. He had been impeded but the referee allowed the goal to stand after some initial confusion as to whether he was awarding a penalty.

Bank Street’s first half concerted pressure with Connell in midfield outstanding and Middleton a constant threat up front proved too big a climb for Merpro in the second half and the visitors were worthy winners over the 90 minutes.

Team: Findlay, A. Duff, N. Duff, Lownie (Pert), Whitworth, G. Allan, Bruce (Gillon), C. Allan, Graham (Duncan), Riach, Greig. Substitutes: Cruickshank and Gall.

Match Sponsor: R. Coull and Son.