Merpro recorded another fine victory at the weekend overcoming their Fife visitors to move into the League Cup semi final. Both sides had the opportunity of reaching the next stage but Merpro had to achieve a clear cut four goal leeway to go through on goal difference.
Both sides settled quickly, but it was Merpro who opened the scoring when a Bruce pass in behind the high defence set up Euan DUFF to run onto and calmly round the keeper to slot into the net from 18 yards after 11 minutes .
Duff set up Graham to run through, but he snatched his effort wide in 14 minutes. McDougall won a strong challenge to run in on goal slipping pass inside for Greig, but he was unable to control properly and his 15 yard shot was sliced wide in 15 minutes.
Graham was then set up to run in on goal unopposed, but a heavy touch allowed the goalkeeper to scramble clear to safety in 20 minutes.
Newport had hardly created any opportunities but a quick long ball found the ever dangerous Mike Rommily off his marker and he expertly clipped the ball into the net from 16 yards to remind the home side of his capabilities to make it 1-1 after 22 minutes.
Murdoch and McDougall combined, but the alert goalkeeper smothered the latter’s run into the box in 24 minutes. Graham then set up McDougall to run in on goal but groundhog day again, as the keeper saved at his feet in 26 minutes.
Newport hit back, and Romilly again found some space, but his rising shot went just over the bar.
Merpro went up the park creating pressure and Duff had a close range shot blocked, which was deflected back into the goal, but an alert defender cleared off the line as Graham was ready to pounce in 28 minutes.
In 30 minutes, McDougall created himself another good opening with a mazy run and then cut inside into the box, but his shot at goal went over the bar
Merpro were completely dominating in midfield and another opportunity soon arrived when Greig flicked a pass into Graham in the box but the unlucky the striker’s effort came back off the post and straight back into the keeper’s arms.
However, Graham soon made amends when he ran into the box and expertly picked out Craig ALLAN at the back post with a lofted pass to evade the fine keeper, to slot home from five yards to give Merpro back the lead in 40 minutes.
Newport however, quickly stunned the home side when their centre half calmly slotted home a curled 14 yard shot following a corner kick, which was only partially cleared to equalise in 42nd minute.
Amazingly, the home side then had another great chance when McDougall went on another good run, laying off a pass for Graham but his first half of woe continued when again a defender cleared off the line.
Half time: Merpro 2, Newport 2.
Merpro quickly resumed their dominance and Allan had the ball in the net but was given offside in 48 minutes. Some quick incisive play was opening up the visitors defence and McDougall had a close range effort blocked in 51 minutes. From McDougall’s resultant corner kick, Newport failed to clear and Jamie LOWNIE was on hand to head home from 6 yards to make it 3-2 in 52 minutes.
As in the first half, Newport almost immediately hit back when Romilly was set up to run clear but under pressure pulled his 20 yard shot wide. A few minutes later, the advancing left back fired in a fierce effort from 25 yards but Eadie covered the rising effort just over the bar.
Merpro went further ahead when Greig slipped a fine pass for Duff to run onto and he then curled a high cross to the back post for Dearyl MCDOUGALL to rise, like the proverbial salmon, to out jump his marker to head home from five yards to make it 4-2 in 58th minute.
Duff was next to test the fine goalkeeper, with a rising shot finger tipped saved to safety in 60 minutes.
Graham who had a fine game linking up play was again foiled a few minutes later by the custodian, when a low curled shot was turned round the post.
Merpro relentlessly poured forward and another good run by McDougall ended with Graham dummying his low cross, allowing Euan DUFF to come into the box to collect and calmly slot into the corner of the net from 12 yards to make it now a convincing 5-2 in 65 minutes.
A few minutes later, Graham was again set up to run through on his own but his touch allowed the keeper save at his feet.
GRAHAM finally managed to get the goal his play merited, when he collected a deflected clearance and calmly strode forward and from 25 yards lobbed the ball over the keeper, to find himself swamped by happy team mate, increasing the lead to 6-2 in 70 minutes.
Merpro now had the four goal cushion required but soon went further ahead. Graham ran in on goal drifting past a couple of tackles to unselfishly pass inside for Craig ARCHBOLD to calmly finish from 10 yards and emphatically round off a superb home sides performance to make it 7-2 .
TeamEadie, Murdoch(Ferries),Houston, C.Allan, Lownie(N.Duff),G.Allan, McDougall (Archbold),Bruce(J.Robertson), Graham(Collie),Greig, E.Duff.