Merpro win place in cup quarter-final

Aaron Stephen of Merpro.
Aaron Stephen of Merpro.

Merpro’s continuing good form was maintained at the weekend with a fine victory to set themselves up with a Buckman Mackie Cup semi-final.

They got off to a poor start though, conceding a goal in the first minute after Bisset curled a shot into the net in the first attack of the match.

Merpro then immediately created a good opening as a Bruce cross fell for Duff, but he somehow pulled his close range effort wide.

The fast opening continued as Merpro equalised after Euan Duff picked up a loose clearance to control a low 22 yard shot into the net for 1-1.

The match finally settled for a spell until Rausch created himself an opening, dribbling inside to fire in a curled 20 yard shot that was well turned around the post by the goalie.

From Rausch’s resultant corner kick Aaron Stephen rose highest to power in a 10 yard header high into the net for 2-1. This was the youngster’s third goal in as many games.

Whyte was in the centre of the action after the normally mild-mannered player took angry exception to a late tackle.

A few minutes later Merpro lost Bruce after a flailing arm caused a deep forehead gash necessitating first aid and minor injury treatment.

Barnhill began to raise their game after the interval and a series of corner kicks caused pressure.

They managed to equalise after an opportunistic 30 yard dipping effort flew into the net for 2-2 in 55 minutes.

Merpro quickly re-established their lead though when Craig Allan made space for himself on the edge of the box to superbly loft a driven shot into the top of the net, over the despairing keeper.

Barnhill had a number of chances but Merpro settled, and Turriff had a chance to extend the lead but he shot hurriedly wide from 12 yards.

Graham did well to hold off a heavyweight challenge to force himself into the box but in the process he lost control of the ball to run free.

Graeme Allan, lurking like a fox in the box, gleefully latched onto the ball to score from close range for 4-2.

Just as the match looked to be comfortably running out Barnhill clawed a goal back when Thompson hooked a shot into the net after a corner kick in 88th minute.

Merpro: Glennie, Whyte, Ferries, Milne, N.Duff, G.Allan, Rausch, C.Allan, Stephen (Graham), Bruce (Turriff), E.Duff (Paton).