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Gretna 3 v 3 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Raydale Park
Date: Saturday, 21st October 2006
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,178
Referee: I Brines


Gretna   Clyde
(17) Deuchar Higgins (23)
(56) McMenamin O'Donnell (65)
(80) Deuchar Masterton (69)

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Gretna   Clyde
(73) Main Cherrie
Barr McGregor
Granger Malone
(69) Tosh Higgins
Canning McKeown
Yellow Card Paarpalu McHale Red Card
Jenkins Bryson (58)
McGuffie O'Donnell
Deuchar Hunter (69)
Yellow Card (69) McMenamin Imrie (90)
Skelton M McGowan
(69) Grady Masterton (58)
(73) Fleming Hutton
Yellow Card (69) Graham Arbuckle (69)
Townsley Harris (90)
MacFarlane Ferguson

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by David Worton

Clyde ended a disappointing week of away games with a battling and entertaining draw against Gretna at Raydale Park. After the 3-1 defeat at Hamilton, Clyde chose to recall O'Donnell, McHale and McKeown to the line-up, with Roddy Hunter also earning a start up front.

An average start to the game given little evidence of what was to come, with the only real chance falling to Colin McMenamin, who saw his lob well stopped by Cherrie, after a slip by McGregor had gifted him the ball. Gretna soon took the lead however, as a deep cross by McGuffie was headed back into the danger area by Tosh, allowing the otherwise ineffective Kenny Deuchar to slot home into an empty net.

Clyde's reply was impressive and they were soon level. A bizarre freekick was awarded when Clyde's Bryson and McGowan seemed to foul each other and the superb whipped delivery by O'Donnell was met by Chris Higgins, who netted his second of the season with a clinical header.

This seemed to even things up and the game was fairly even in the rest of the first half. Roddy Hunter had Clyde's best effort, with his deflected shot looping past Main's post. At the other end, McMenamin intercepted a poor pass-back by McKeown but he somehow managed to scuff his finish past the post with Cherrie on the ground. Games between Gretna and Clyde are always feisty and both Higgins and Paartalu entered the referee's book for poor challenges and referee, Iain Brines, did well not to add another couple of names.

The second half produced some decent football and plenty of controversy as both teams searched for the win. One swift break saw Dougie Imrie test Main with an angled drive before the conditions played their part in helping Gretna regain the lead. A Clyde defender slipped chasing a through ball and as Cherrie came to clear, the sun appeared to hinder his view of the ball. He succeeded in clearing it to McMenamin who finally netted a deserved goal, looping a header into the net. Both McHale and Imrie were booked in the aftermath, complaining about an earlier foul on Hunter. In truth it seemed soft at best and McHales reaction was soon to come back and haunt him.

With the introduction of Steven Masterton for Craig Bryson, Clyde started to put pressure on the Gretna goal but were hit with a quick breakaway. Allan Jenkins knocked the ball past McHale who chose to put his body in the way of the ex-Stranraer captain. A clear second yellow card and Clyde were up against it in the remaining half hour.

This Clyde team seems to revel in adversity and with the red card came a new desire to dominate the game. A neat turn by Higgins saw him find space and when his neat pass found O'Donnell, the ambitious midfielder only had one thing on his mind. His thunderbolt from 25 yards deflected off of a Gretna defender, leaving the injured Main wrong footed.

Amazingly Clyde continued to swarm over their now tired opponents and remarkably found themselves ahead with 20 minutes left. Imrie was pushed to the ground as he chased a loose ball that slid through to Main. The referee rightly awarded a freekick and yellow card for Danny Grainger. From the set-piece, Masterton, who scored a belting effort in the Hamilton game, thumped the ball into the net via two deflections. Both teams made immediate changes, with the pacy Grady and Graham entering the field for Gretna and Gary Arbuckle replacing the hardworking Hunter for Clyde. Injured 'keeper Main was soon replaced by Fleming.

Clyde continued to push forward and from a corner were almost caught on the break by the lively Graham. His superb run into the box, past McGowan ended when he inexplicably chose to produce a ridiculous dive over Masterton, for which he was rightly booked.

The conditions were to play a further part as Gretna earned an equaliser that was deserved over the piece. McGowan misjudged a long ball and conceded a throw-in. From Paartalu's long effort, a combination of Deuchar and McKeown glanced the ball past Cherrie, who seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball.

The rest of the game was bereft of goalscoring chances, with Imrie's near-post effort after a glorious solo run the only effort on target. The other main incident saw Gretna's Barr push Imrie into the side of the stadium, leaving the Clyde striker dazed. He escaped unpunished but along with Eddie Malone, received a yellow card after a confrontation about the incident.

Overall, it was a decent return to form for Clyde and resulted in a thoroughly deserved point. Gretna will be worried that their midfield tired so badly against Clyde again, even with the impressive Jenkins providing a serious challenge to Clyde's midfielders. Every Clyde player produced plenty of effort, with O'Donnell, Masterton and Higgins showing that extra bit of quality to gain an extra bit of praise. With two home games coming up before the Cup Final, Clyde will be looking to move into safer territory.