Lowland League round-up: Civil Service Strollers inflict defeat on Chris Humphrey’s Gretna | Sore one for students

Civil Service Strollers set about surpassing their Lowland League record points tally of 48 set last season by denying former Motherwell player Chris Humphrey a winning start as head coach of Gretna 2008.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 7:30 am
Civil Service Strollers manager Gary Jardine

Humphrey, who is taking his first steps into management after hanging up his boots, watched as his players suffered a 3-0 opening-day defeat at a rain-sodden Raydale Park.

Civil enjoyed a bright start in testing conditions with Josh Morris forcing Gretna goalkeeper Cameron Copeland into an early save and Jack Downie screwing a shot narrowly wide from just inside the box.

There was a slight delay at the start of the second half when referee Michael Williamson re-assessed the condition of the pitch after a small section of standing water had gathered inside one penalty area.

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The opening goal arrived after 55 minutes when Scott Main’s flighted cross was headed home by skipper Mark McConnell.

Gary Jardine’s new-look squad increased their lead with 20 minutes remaining when midfielder Downie lifted the ball over the on-rushing keeper from 20-yards into an empty net.

Gretna were reduced to ten men in the closing stages when David Renyard picked up a second yellow card for violent conduct after kicking out at Main.

And Civil capitalised on their man advantage just moments later when Downie fired home from close range to notch his brace and seal a comfortable three points.

Edinburgh University suffered a disappointing 6-0 defeat at home to Caledonian Braves, formerly known as Edusport Academy, while Spartans’ game against Stirling University at Forthbank was postponed due to a waterlogged surface.