Dundee City 2 Merpro 2
Merpro returned from Division One league action in Dundee on Saturday with a well-earned valuable point.
Dundee City are a strong side, having several players with experience from the higher level Junior game and some currently on loan as feeder club for Forfar West End.
The match started in controversy when ex-Violet player Gray was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Murdoch.
Merpro were unhappy again a few minutes later when Gray broke the defensive line to run in on goal and slip a pass across, only for Nicol DUFF to knock into his own net.
Merpro were finding it difficult to contain Dundee City’s’ slick early play but gradually settled and began to match their opponents.
McDougall was first to threaten but his effort went over the bar.
Merpro gained confidence and felt they should have been awarded an equalising goal on the half-hour. Hector set up Euan Duff to back-heel at goal with the ball appearing to cross the goal line as the ‘keeper desperately cleared.
Bruce was next to threaten but his 22-yard free kick sailed over the bar.
Merpro’s first half recovery was completed with a deserved equaliser with two minutes of the half left, when Daryl McDOUGALL fired home a 22-yard free kick after Duff was fouled on the edge of the box.
Half-time: Dundee 1, Merpro 1.
Merpro went ahead soon after the break when Daryl McDOUGALL reacted quickest to a Rhys Greig snap shot deflected into his path, to fire under the ‘keeper from close in.
Merpro had another great chance when McDougall ran into the box slipping a pass to Euan Duff, but his low drive was deflected wide.
Merpro were well on top and their opponents were finding it difficult to gain any fluency.
City came back into the match on the hour when, on a breakaway attack, Gray was fouled on the right flank. From the resultant free kick STEVENSON rose unopposed at the back post to head into the net to snatch an unlikely equaliser.
Merpro immediately hit back with a storming Murdoch run, linking with Hector to set up Greig, but his goalbound effort was well blocked in 62 minutes.
McDougall was next to test the ’keeper after good work from Hector, but the competent custodian again saved well.
City had weathered the Merpro dominance and made some changes with substitute ex-Arbroath player Ogilvie causing problems and forcing Gall into his first real save of the match.
The home side were now re-galvanised and good play from Gray set up an opening; alert defending by Greig cleared the danger.
Nicol Duff then coolly defended a further opportunity from the dangerous Gray who looked likely to score from a cross.
The home side’s pressure was now relentless and Gray set up Petherick in front of goal but he snatched at his effort.
A bizarre moment came in the 86th minute when Gall cleared a passback forward, only for an immediate 30-yard snap shot to be returned at pace, forcing Gall into making a hasty diving save.
Merpro weathered the storm and broke forward with a well worked move involving Bruce and Allan setting up Duff to cross to the back post. Graham met the cross to cushion a header back across goal but agonisingly fell behind the onrushing Robertson and Allan and the ball was cleared to safety with two minutes to play.
Merpro: Gall, Murdoch, Bruce, Milne, Whyte, N. Duff, R. Greig (Graham), Allan, E. Duff, Hector (J. Robertson), McDougall (J. Greig). Substitutes: Lownie and Petrie.