Merpro secured another set of Premier League points on Saturday, leapfrogging their opponents Invergowrie.
Invergowrie have been Premier mainstays for many years and a close match was anticipated.
Graham worked himself some space in the box to fire in a left-foot shot, tipped over the bar by ‘keeper Davidson, after only four minutes.
From the resultant corne r Craig Allan sidestepped a tackle to clip a close-range shot off the post, rebounding to safety.
Merpro went ahead when Craig Allan pounced on a loose ball tin seven minutes o drill a 12-yard shot into the net.
The home side got back into the match when Wilson did well to drift off his marker to strike a well-hit dipping 25-yard shot into the corner of the net three minutes later.
Invergowrie were now galvanised and Turriff did well to recover to block a goal bound shot in 20 minutes. Merpro weathered the pressure and began to regain a foothold.
The match began to ebb back and forth, with neither side able to gain dominance. Merpro were able to break the deadlock with a well-worked goal. Graham set up a long cross to the back post for Euan Duff to knock into the path of Allan, whose 10-yard shot was blocked on the line. Jordan Rausch, following up, latched onto the loose ball to fire high into the net from six yards1.
Half-time: Invergowrie 1, Merpro 2.
Merpro immediately went on the attack, with Graham and the alert ‘keeper in a hefty collision, as they challenged.
Merpro felt they had a claim for a penalty when Bruce appeared to be pushed as he went to attack a cross ball into the box in 50 minutes.
Merpro’s early second-half pressure was soon rewarded but in the most bizarre goal you’re ever likely to come across. Invergowrie attempted to set up an attack, in behind the Merpro defence, but were denied by a trademark robust sliding tackle by Captain Nicol Duff. His strong curling clearance soared high into the air and amidst rising anticipation continued all of 70 yards, looping over the ‘keeper to sail into the net for a goal of the season contenderin 55 minutes. The normally phlegmatic defender celebrated his moment of glory in style.
The home side had rarely been able to threaten in the second half but good quick passing link-up play managed to work an opening. However, Wilson slipped his effort wide.
Merpro heeded the warning and produced a series of openings. Allan set up Greig but his effort at goal was well saved by the ‘keeper in 70 minutes.
Graham, having a fine game, was unlucky on a couple of occasions to run in on goal but be deemed offside by the otherwise excellent referee.
Rausch was next to test out the ‘keeper with a rasping, swerving 22-yard effort, well held in 75 minutes.
Merpro had been dominating without finishing off their opponents, but the breakthrough soon arrived.
Goalie Lownie started the move, finding Rausch who lofted a pass over the defence, for substitute Chris Milne to break forward and expertly lob over the ‘keeper from 20 yards to make it 4-1 with 10 minutes to play.
The match then went into a hectic finale, as Invergowrie managed to snatch a goal back. Duff, in attempting to block a shot at goal, fell and handled, with a penalty awarded. Lownie saved the initial effort, but with just two minutes to play Slidders fired the rebound into the net for 4-2.
Merpro immediately went up-field, as the home side pushed forward but squandered a couple of good openings.
In the final moments, Craig Allan broke forward to round the goalkeeper to unselfishly square the ball into the box for the supporting Craig Christie to knock in from six yards to make it 5-2.
It was a determined and grinding performance, on a windy day and bumpy pitch, to record a resounding victory, most notable for the Motown Captain’s amazing goal.
Merpro: Lownie, Murdoch (Ferries), Turriff (G. Allan), Greig, N. Duff, Whyte, Rausch, Bruce (Robertson), Graham (Christie), C. Allan and E. Duff (Milne).