Civil Service Strollers find that little bit extra to beat Gretna

Ian Ballantyne scored the winner for Civil
Ian Ballantyne scored the winner for Civil
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Civil Service Strollers beat Gretna 3-2 to make it through to the third round of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup despite having six players unavailable.

The hosts had taken the lead on eight minutes when a quality cross-field pass found Gretna forward Jake Smith, who slotted the ball home.

Strollers went on the offensive and created a number of good opportunities but found were 1-0 down at half-time.

The second half got underway with the rain lashing down and the Raydale pitch began to cut up badly.

Strollers’ Jack Verth headed wide of the target while Scott Clapperton and Andy Mair both went close.

The game’s turning point came in the 83rd minute when Jordan Boyle jinked into the box and was brought down for a penalty, Gretna goalscorer Smith receiving a second yellow card for the foul before Jack Downie stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to level the scores.

The game went into extra time and, despite being a man down, Gretna retook the lead as Kevin Connelly turned on the edge of the box and shot low into the corner of the net.

With two minutes of the first period remaining, Boyle went on another mazy run, beating two defenders and then smashing the ball into the net to bring Strollers level. With the game heading for a penalty shoot-out, Boyle sent over a cross into the box with three minutes remaining. The ball broke off a home defender to Ian Ballantyne, who, having started the game at full-back finished it playing centre forward where he popped up at the back post to smash the ball home.

Gretna 2008: Jamieson, Hunter, Wadge, Black, MacAnespie, Kelly, Halleran, Hope, Connelly, Grandison, Smith. Subs: Studholme, Jakaitis, Irons.

Civil Service Strollers: Burnside, Ballantyne, Fee, Laird, Verth, Boyle, Mair, Clapperton (Smith), Downie, Mitchell (Devers), Hainey (Dillon).