IN this SFA Regional Cup (South) first round tie it was always expected that the East of Scotland premier league side would be too good for the South of Scotland outfit, and the gulf was there for all to see.
Creetown 0, Gretna 2008 5
The Raydale Park side ran out easy winners, but had it not been for heroics from Martin Roddie in the Creetown goal, the defeat would have been a rout. He made many superb saves to prevent his team being on the wrong end of a drubbing.
The visitors showed their intent from the kick-off with defender Dean Rea playing in David Renyard, with the latter’s header going over the bar. But on the five-minute mark Creetown’s Gavin Williamson played a great pass across the Gretna goal but found no takers. The visitors continued to dominate, though, with Renyard again coming close with 15 minutes played. However, he again failed to find the target, as did striker Adam McMath a minute later.
Creetown began to find their feet, although missing a cutting edge in the final third of the field. The defence had to withstand a lot of pressure and in the 23rd minute a glancing header from McMath to the back post brought a great save from Roddie.
Ten minutes later, Creetown had a chance when Nathan Thompson and Chris Mellon played a good one-two but the former’s shot was easily dealt with by the visiting defence. Play raged again to the other end and 10 minutes from the interval Gretna got the breakthrough they deserved when Phil Storey headed home after a Renyard cross caused a goalmouth scramble.
The home side didn’t let their heads go down and within minutes of going behind were almost level. The Gretna keeper had to be alert to save at the feet of Ryan McKie and again when Mellon fired in the rebound. As Creetown enjoyed their best spell with half-time approaching there were two good scoring chances, one at each end.
In 57th minute, the visitors found that elusive second goal when Joe Slattery’s deflected shot deceived Roddie to end up in the net. On the hour mark there was no way back for the home side when Renyard was involved again, his corner found defender William Heaney at the back post to head home.
As the game progressed, the visitors appeared to become stronger. There was nothing Creetown could do to counter Gretna’s final two goals. In the 67th minute, man of the match Renyard found the ball played to him 20 yards out and he struck a first-time volley that sailed past Roddie. Gretna then looked content with the scoreline and passed the ball well but it took until two minutes from time for number five to come when another unstoppable shot, from Sam Atkinson, beat Roddie.
Best for Creetown was undoubtedly Martin Roddie, who made some spectacular saves at vital times to keep his side in the game.