Riach stunner is KO punch for Merpro

Merpro recorded their first Midlands Premier League win of the season on Saturday after a hard-fought match against Broughty United.

The sides were closely matched and the game looked likely for stalemate until a superb strike from Riach.

The visitors had the first opportunity from a corner, but close defending by Murdoch forced a header wide.

Merpro created an opening when Pert and Christie combined to set up Rausch, but he fired his 18-yard effort wide.

Lownie made a good save from a Broughty snap shot in the box following a corner in 20 minutes, when Christie challenged the ‘keeper from a Duff cross, allowing the ball to fall loose in the box but it just evaded Petrie.

Merpro steadied and were beginning to play well. Riach had an edge-of-the-box shot go wide following a Murdoch lay-off.

Merpro created another opportunity following a fine Rausch run-and-cross into the box, laid back by Christie, but Riach’s effort was comfortably saved.

Merpro had another chance in the 38th minute when Riach headed over from eight yards following a Rausch corner kick.

At half-time the stalemate prevailed.

Half-time: Merpro 0, Broughty 0.

The visitors opened the second period well as Merpro, uncharacteristically, had a series of loose passes, although Broughty were unable to create any openings due to the home side’s solid defence.

However, in the 75th minute, Merpro broke the deadlock with a superb strike from SCOTT RIACH.

He collected in midfield, made ground, then hit a low drive from 25 yards taking a slight deflection into the bottom corner of the net.

Broughty tried to hit back and came close when Logie had an opening but the ex-Arbroath player drifted his header wide.

Merpro were hitting on the break and Whyte set up Stephen to score but was called offside.

Rausch then made a trailing run almost the length of the pitch midfield and gained a corner.

Merpro again hit Broughty on the break in the dying minutes as they pushed forward when Allan and Bruce combined for Stephen but he pulled his effort wide.

Broughty made a late surge but stout defending kept them at bay to close out for the victory. A strong battling performance pulled Merpro through for their first Premier win of the season.

Team: Lownie, Murdoch (Ferries), Whyte, C. Allan, Pert, N. Duff (Turriff), Rausch, Petrie (Bruce), Christie, S. Riach, E. Duff (Stephen). Sub: J. Robertson.

Match sponsor: Rhys Greig.

Ball sponsor: R Coull & Son.