|11th February 2017||15:00||Ferrari Packaging Lowland League||2016-17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Gretna FC 2008||0||0||0||Loss|
GRETNA 2008 0 SHIRE 3
Shire erased the disappointment of defeat in their previous outing with a competent 3-0 victory over Gretna 2008 at Raydale Park.
Andy Rodgers ended a four game goal drought with one in each half and he also provided the assist that allowed David Grant to score Shire’s third goal on a bitingly cold, windy, and wet afternoon on the English border.
Coach John Sludden was deprived of the services of striker Paul Sludden though suspension, and also Jamie Glasgow, who had a hamstring injury. He chose a side based on solidity and physical strength with Michael Oliver re-enforcing the back four and Graeme MacGregor adding some steel to the midfield. Steven Brisbane, as well as supplying some silky skills also brought more presence.
Nevertheless, the home team began the match determined to impose themselves and tried to force the pace. Shire keeper Jamie Barclay had to watch a dangerous ball from the right fly across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
That said it did not take Shire long to gain the upper hand. Just eight minutes in Andy Grant fed Kris Faulds outside the box and his perfectly-judged reverse pass was seized by Rodgers who wasted no time in sending into the net thanks to a perfectly-judged chip over the advancing keeper.
Often in games this season an early goal has been the cue for Shire to ease to victory. However, the home team on this occasion were not accommodating at all. Not long after Rodgers’ strike the home team might have equalised with a shot from Robb McCartney which Barclay had to reach high to tip acrobatically over the crossbar.
But at the other end Daniel Armstrong had to pull off an equally fine save to stop Derek Ure making it 2-0 with a shot from outside the box after David Grant’s initial effort had been blocked on the line.
After 23 minutes the home team were awarded a penalty kick when Brisbane was, somewhat harshly, judged to have fouled Scott Norman inside the box but Barclay dived low to his right to save McCartney’s spot kick.
And the Shire keeper again saw action when diving at the base of the post to save bravely at the feet of Gretna’s Aaron Bradbury. The game moved to the other end and before the break Connor Greene headed a corner just over and skipper Ure sent a 20 yard free-kick just too high.
Not long after the re-start Drew Ramsay’s cross from the left found Rodgers lurking unmarked at the back post but he was denied a second goal by Armstrong, who saved well with his legs.
Kris Faulds sent a long-range effort just wide and MacGregor’s effort from distance forced Arnstrong into a full-length, diving save before the home goal had an amazing let-off.
Ramsay’s cross from the left was met by a near post shot from Rodgers which hit the post and when the rebound landed at Greene’s feet his effort too rattled back off the upright and the hard-pressed Gretna rearguard then hacked the loose ball clear.
A corner caused chaos in the home box as Armstrong came for the ball and missed it completely but neither David Grant or Greene could force the ball over the line with efforts which were blocked by Gretna defenders.
But the pressure was eventually converted into goals with Shire confirming victory with two strikes in the space of three minutes. After 70 minutes Armstrong’s goal kick was caught in the gale force wind and David Grant headed the ball into Rodgers’ path and he scored with a fine finish.
Three minutes later Rodgers’ chip over the defence had the home team appealing in vain for offside as David Grant ran through to collect the pass and score with a clever lob over the stranded goalkeeper.
GRETNA 2008 : Armstrong, Brannan, Pearson, Dickinson, Little, Simpson, Norman(Meaghan 58), Smith, McCartney, Moxon, Bradbury(Studholme 79).
SHIRE : Barclay, A.Grant, Ramsay, Greene, Oliver, MacGregor(Peddie 79), Rodgers, Ure, D.Grant, Faulds(White 79), Brisbane(Hogg 72).
|Gretna 2008 FC|
|30 Dominion Rd, Gretna DG16 5AP, UK|