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Gretna 0 v 0 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Raydale Park
Date: Saturday, 21st April 2007
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,714
Referee: C Richmond

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Gretna   Clyde
Malkowski Hutton
Cowan Harris
Skelton McCann (74)
(74) MacFarlane MacLennan
Canning McKeown
Grainger Masterton Yellow Card
McGill Bryson
(74) O'Neil Gilmour (75)
Yellow Card McMenamin Arbuckle
Yellow Card (53) Graham Imrie
Deverdics M McGowan Yellow Card
(74) Jenkins D McGowan
Fleming Cherrie
(74) Baldacchino Bradley (74)
(53) Grady Ferguson (75)
Paarpalu Williams

Hide Match Report

by David Worton

Clyde and Gretna went into their meeting last Saturday at Raydale Park with the sides having gone a total of 8 games between them without a goal. As such, it was perhaps to be expected that they would share a goal less draw that left the home side just one point ahead of second placed St Johnstone. Meanwhile, Clyde left happy with a point, having once again being without Neil McGregor and Chris Higgins. The same side that played against St Johnstone in midweek took the field, with Kevin Bradley taking a spot on the bench.

The match started well for the Bully Wee and earned an early free kick when Dougie Imrie was fouled on the edge of the box. A typical Steven Masterton shot followed that was blocked into the path of Imrie but he failed to find the target from close range. Clyde continued to have the better of the possession and Ruari McLennan failed to take advantage of a good position on the edge of the back, following a neat passing move. Gretna started to edge their way back into the match and Brendan McGill produced a dipping strike from 25 yards that took an awkward bounce in front of Hutton, however, the young goalkeeper showed his excellent reactions to tip the ball away for a corner.

Clyde continued to push forward and earned the best chance of the first half close to half-time. A long ball into the box was superbly pulled down by Brian Gilmour and with the goal gaping, chose to lob the ball towards the back post, when a powerful strike could well have yielded the opening goal. The final chance of the half fell to Gretna's top scorer, Colin McMenamin, only for the striker to fire over from almost under the cross bar. In fairness, the linesman had already flagged for offside.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first, with Clyde having a decent amount of possession. Brian Gilmour saw his neat turn and shot just fizz over the bar, before a Bryson run almost released Arbuckle on goal. As the match reached the hour mark Gretna started to realise what was at stake and began to take a hold of the game. For a twenty minute period, numerous efforts rained in on Hutton's goal but a combination of luck and good defending kept the scoreline level. McMenamin saw two close range efforts well stopped by Hutton, before a weak punch by the goalkeeper had to be hacked clear by McCann from under the bar. The best chance fell to Nicky Deverdics but his close range strike sliced against the cross bar from 10 yards. James Grady then saw his header cleared by Michael McGowan from under the cross bar as Gretna started to panic. McMenamin showed their frustration as he actually found the back of the net, only to be pulled back for a clear hand ball.

Despite the difference in possession, Clyde did continue to create chances of their own. Masterton saw a deep freekick skid just past the post before McLennan saw a superb 30 yard drive tipped over the bar by Malkowski. The final chance of the game fell to Imrie but his close range header was well blocked by a defender.

In truth, a draw was a fair result. Gretna will feel they should have capitalised on their spell in charge but Clyde controlled the rest of the game and arguably had the best chance of the game. Given that two of the better defenders in the division were missing and the whole side was reshuffled as a result, Clyde performed admirably against the league leaders. The defence was as solid as usual despite the absentees and McLennan excelled in midfield with good tackling and dribbling