Match Report – Gretna 2008 v Preston Athletic

Gretna 2008 v Preston Athletic
Scottish Lowland Football League

Preston travelled south looking to get a confidence boosting win against Lowland League rivals Gretna 2008.

The game started with the away side on the attack as Danny O’Rourke pressed forward with a driving run from midfield but his shot went wide of the Gretna keeper’s right hand post.

10 minutes of turmoil then followed with Gretna piling on the pressure with a strong run down the left from Adam Telfer whose cross into the box and strike from Jack Brannan fired off the bar resulting in confusion between the Preston defence and keeper Bruce Callan with the ball despairingly ending up in the back of the net for an own goal off the head of captain Scott Siegel.

Gretna then quickly doubled their advantage when Jake Smith crossed over to Connor Murray to smash the ball home.  The Gretna striker was causing problems for the Preston defence and came close again on 14 mins with an overhead kick which hit the woodwork.

Preston settled after this and got a goal back on 22 minutes when a free kick played into the box by Jack Jardine was headed in by Gavin Stevenson.  The equaliser came in 30 minutes when Neil Shave was pulled down in the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty.  Jack Jardine stepped up and took the spot kick and put it away well.

After the break, Gretna came out strongly and almost scored from the whistle with a rifling shot from Connor Murray just skimming wide of Callan’s right hand post.  Gretna’s momentum continued with 3 goals in six minutes.  The first came on 51 minutes when Connor Murray got on the end of a cross into the box and shot low into the net for his second of the match.  3 minutes later they made it 4-2 when a ball that was heading out hit the linesman and was bizarrely adjudged by the official to have stayed in the park, was crossed by Jack Brannan over for Rob McCartney to slot the ball home.  Brannan became provider again when he put Adam Telfer through who shot home on 57 minutes.

However, substitutions for Preston resulted in renewed enthusiasm and energy and the team started to get back into the match.  Preston got their 3rd goal on 77minutes when Reece Cochrane launched a perfectly directed long ball into the box which was headed home by Gavin Stevenson for his second of the match.

4 minutes later Preston were denied a penalty when Fabio Neto was brought down inside the box, but incredibly the referee judged that the player had dived and brought out the yellow card.

An exciting game to watch for neutrals with plenty of incidents, goals and missed chances at both ends but a disappointing afternoon for the Panners.

Preston Athletic:  Callan, Law, Graham, Siegel(C), Cowan, Jardine, Stevenson, O’Rourke, Henderson(Erskine), Shave(Neto), Ritchie(Cochrane).  Subs: Baines(GK), Lawson, Innes.

Gretna 2008:  Armstrong, Hunter(Neill), Smith, R Murray, Little, Kelly(Hope), Brannan, Simpson(C), McCartney, C Murray, Telfer.  Subs: Dickinson, Rudd, Studholme, Inglis, Ballantyne(GK).