Merpro slip to defeat in first midweek clash

Merpro 0, SS Peter & Paul 2

MERPRO made local amateur football history last Wednesday as the first Montrose based side to play in the Midands Premier League in a midweek fixture against Dundee side SSPP.

The home side were promoted as Division One champions last season and the young local team are looking to consolidate their status in a tough top flight.

Both sides started the match well playing good football at a fast pace with neither gaining any real advantage in the early stages.

Whitworth had Merpro’s first opportunity but he fired his 25 yard free kick over the bar on 10 minutes.

Merpro began to have a spell on top and a fine pass from Whitworth set up Graham who left a defender in his wake on the left flank.

Graham returned the pass for Whitworth who had continued a breaking run from midfield and in turn he slipped a pass inside for Craig Allan.

Allan skipped past his marker in the box and clipped in a left foot shot from 10 yards which came back off the bar on 22 minutes.

The visitors began to have their spell of ascendency and only a superb acrobatic save from Findlay from a swerving 20 yard shot kept the scores level.

Whitworth then did well with some strong defending from the resulting corner kick to clear.

Merpro showed a good passing move involving Graham and Craig Allan to create an opening but Graham’s effort was well blocked to safety on 32 minutes.

The home side were now looking the more likelier team to score and Graham and Cruickshank combined to set up a chance for Sellar but he was given offside.

Sellar then created an opening on the edge of the box but failed to connect properly and his shot went harmlessly wide.

Merpro finished the half with another opening but Whitworth’s 20 yard free kick was comfortably saved by the ‘keeper Mitchell.

Half-time: Merpro 0, SS Peter and Paul 0.

Merpro had an early Euan Duff shot saved after good work from Graham in 48 minutes and just seconds later Malone then came close for the visitors with a rising shot going over the bar in 50 minutes.

SSPP had another opportunity when a Merpro poor touch led to a foul on the edge of the box but the resultant free kick went over the bar.

However, the visitors unexpectedly went ahead when a loose pass forced some pressure and a cross into the box fell for SCOTT to expertly head back across goal from eight yards to score in the 62nd minute.

Not long after Merpro were stung again after attempting to break forward when a pass into midfield was intercepted.

A quick break forward allowed SCOTT to eventually fire low shot into the net to make it 2-0 in 66 minutes and grab his second of the game.

Findlay then did well with a strong punch save from a corner kick as SSPP looked to capitalise on 70 minutes.

Merpro began to settle again and regained their composure to recreate good midfield play and pin SSPP back into their own half.

For most of the match this was an evenly contested fixture with a draw looking likely to be the outcome.

But the visitors took advantage of a 10 minute period in the second half when for the only spell in the match the Merpro tempo laxed and exploited the opportunity.

This was an entertaining and absorbing match well officiated and despite the defeat Merpro played well overall.

Team: Findlay, Pert, Donaldson, C.Allan, Whitworth, G. Allan, Greig (Bruce), Cruickshank, Graham (Murdoch), E.Duff (Duncan) and Sellar. Subs: Doyle and Lownie.