Merpro make best of sluggish pitch

Dundee University 2 Merpro 3

Merpro travelled to the University Grounds on Saturday and managed, almost literally, to dig out a valuable league victory on a quagmire.

Merpro made the opening breakthrough in 13 minutes. Hector was impeded and from the resultant Allan free kick McDOUGALL rose like a salmon at the back post to direct a powerful header into the top of the net from eight yards to score his first ever Merpro goal.

Merpro’s growing ascendancy was subdued when Pert had to leave the field after sustaining an injury after 17 minutes.

The University almost snatched an equaliser after a diagonal cross was nudged back goalwards but Robertson was on hand to clear.

Allan was next to trouble the home side with a close range flicked effort blocked for a corner kick, and shortly afterwards a hooked shot going just wide.

Just after the half-hour the students broke down the right flank and as a cross came into the box MURDOCH got himself in a tangle attempting to clear and inadvertently knocked into his own net from five yards.

Bruce made a good break forward, evading several tackles rushing in on goal, but unfortunately all his good lead up play was wasted as he fired his cross too powerfully high across the face of goal.

Half-time: Dundee 1, Merpro 1.

Merpro started the second half at a higher tempo and Hector linked well with E. Duff to run in on goal and fire in a low shot well saved.

The visitors maintained their pressure in 50 minutes with Bruce making a jinking run into the box but again a desperate block thwarted his effort for a corner kick.

Merpro deservedly went ahead five minutes later after some fine interlinking play involving Duff set up McDOUGALL to skip past a defensive lunge and slip a low shot past the ‘keeper from 10 yards.

However, as in the first half another Merpro defensive error allowed the University side back into the match another five minutes later. Murdoch played a pass inside for his central defender but was too short and the alert Students’ forward snapped up the opportunity to break forward at pace and round Gall to slot home.

The Montrose side was knocked back for a spell but gradually resumed grinding down their opponents with Allan coming close with a edge-of-the-box effort in 70 minutes.

Merpro seemed certain to take the lead when Bruce made another darting run into the box cutting back for Allan to fire in a close range goalbound shot, but yet another great defensive block prevented the goal.

Merpro were not to be denied and went back into the lead for the third time when Duff, under pressure in the middle of the box, set up HECTOR with a little slip pass to burst past the cover defender and slip a low flick past the ‘keeper from 10 yards with 12 minutes to play.

The University came back into the match and McDougall did well to head clear to safety off the line from a corner kick header.

A few minutes later Merpro had a further chance to extend their lead when a good run by Duff into the box produced another goalmouth stramash but again desperate defending helped clear to safety.

In the closing stages Gall did well to save a dangerous cross ball in the final minute to ensure victory for the Montrose side.

Merpro: Gall, Murdoch, S. Robertson, Milne, Pert (Whyte), N. Duff, Bruce, Allan, E. Duff, Hector (Petrie), McDougall. Substitutes: Graham, Lownie and Smith.