Melrose in seventh heaven after tussle

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Melrose welcomed back William Mercer, Shaun Bell and keeper Mikey McLaren from holiday and Kevin Peterson from long term injury.

And it was Mercer who led the charge in this Border Amateur Division C league clash with a well-taken goal on 27 minutes after a very cagey opening to the game.

Once the deadlock was broken, the home side really found their form with youngster Alex Johnson finding space in the box to meet a Mercer cross from 10 yards and put it straight into the back of the net.

Five minutes later a Jamie Chambers throw was flicked on by Johnson to find Mercer in space around the penalty spot to strike home a perfectly-taken volley.

At the break the home side made two changes, which saw Greg Shiel and debutant Johnson leave the field to be replaced by Paterson and Shaun Bell, giving the Melrose team a 3-4-3 formation. The plans seemed to have gone wrong, however, when two minutes into the second half, the visitors scored from a great passing move, cutting through the Melrose defence with ease.

As in the first half, the next 20 minutes were very scrappy, with neither team really taking control and this only changed when Mercer bagged his first hat-trick since pre-season after 67 minutes. The striker made a beeline for his manager to show his approval of the change in the squad with a show of mutual respect.

It was substitute Bell who was next to score when he managed to take a driven cross from Keven Peterson, flicked the ball up over the heads of himself and the defender, turn, then strike what can only be described as a wonder goal with a perfect volley from 12 yards.

All this happened within one minute of the previous goal and only another two minutes passed before Keith McAulay scored when the visitors failed to clear a corner and he pounced on a loose ball inside the six yard box.

The home side managed to prevent the visitors from scoring again and further added to their own tally when Peterson netted from 15 yards after comfortably beating a defender.

Despite a very comfortable scoreline, manager Graham Godsell stated after the match: “We really didn’t play all that well today, but this shows how strong a team we really do have.

“I would love to see anyone question my squad selection after that performance.”

Match ball sponsors: RTS Landscapes’ Roger Lynn, proudly sponsored the match balls for Saturday’s