Gretna FC 2008 just failed in their bid to prevent the Raydale Cup leaving the Region with a late goal for Ayr United settling the final on Sunday.
The weekend started brightly for Gretna when they were too strong for a City side missing several key players. It took only ten minutes for Brandon Longcake to open the score heading home from a Gretna corner. Dean Smith doubled the advantage shortly afterwards with a goal his play has deserved, bundling it in after untidy play in front of the City goalmouth. From then on there was little doubt about the result of the match although City stuck to their task manfully. Scott Milligan wrapped things up for 2008 inside the second half but City got a consolation goal scored by Jamie Heath. It was an impressive performance by the home side watched by the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell who congratulated Gretna manager Stuart Rome after the match.
In Saturday’s other match, Ayr United outmuscled Annan Athletic. Cristiano Kiluska on trial for the Honest Men opened the scoring before Donald doubled their advantage. Annan came back strongly in the second half and when Peter Wetherson got one back the match was in the balance for a spell. However Nisbet settled it to make it a 3-1 win for Ayr.
In Sunday’s third place play off a rather leaden footed Athletic made surprisingly heavy weather of it against Carlisle City. The first half finished goalless and even when Watt put the Annan side ahead after 10 minutes they struggled to press home their advantage. It was late in the game before goals from MacDonald and trialist Osadale, wrapped it up.
Despite their impressive performance in their opening match there were fears that the physicality of the Ayr United side would be too much for the Gretna part-timers. The Gretna lads were not to be intimidated or overawed by their Division 1 oponents and were, if anything, the more impressive of the sides in the first half. Longcake and Smith (a real find) were again in dynamic form. Both keepers were in top form but Brian Gilmour latched on to a rare lapse by the Gretna side to open the scoring on the hour mark. It proved to be the only score in an entertaining match which, despite the scoreline, promised much for the season ahead at Raydale.
Click on the games below to get the Match Stats courtesey of Perform.
Saturday 11th July
Sunday 12th July