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Football: Clyde cup run hit by red mist.

Byline: Craig SWAN

Clyde 0

Gretna 0

GRETNA striker James Grady and Clyde boss Graham Roberts clashed at full-time after this dreary goalless draw in which three players got their matching orders.

The pair were involved in angry exchange and had to be pulled apart by officials from both clubs seconds after the final whistle.

In truth, it was hard to see what the pair could get so excited about after a desperate 90 minutes.

Clyde were outstanding in their stunning victory over Celtic in the last round, but they never came close to repeating that performance against their Second Division opponents.

Gretna belied their lower league status with a battling show and fully deserved to earn a replay at Raydale Park.

Despite the drab nature of the contest, referee Iain Brines sent three players off - Clyde's Alex Williams and Chris Higgins and Gretna's Chris Innes.

Tom Brighton, Clyde's most dangerous attacking threat was at the centre of his side's best first-half work.

The striker created a shooting chance for team-mate Stephen O'Donnell, who cracked his effort too high.

Then, after Michael McGowan's delicate through pass, Brighton also shot over keeper Alan Main's crossbar.

Gretna enjoyed the better of the opening period, though.

Clyde full-back Romauld Bouadji hacked a David Graham drive from his own goalline, while Ryan McCuffie carelessly miskicked in front of target after more excellent Graham work.

But referee Brines played the most prominent role in the opening 45 minutes when he sent off Clyde's Williams and Gretna's Innes.

Williams' late tackle on Innes sparked a furious response from the centre-back, who appeared to lash out after the duo crashed to the ground.

Brines pulled both players to one side and sternly issued red cards to the disbelief and anger of both sides.

Despite their shading of possession, Gretna struggled to create genuine chances.

Most of their efforts came from long range with Steve Tosh and Skelton shooting straight at Cherrie from 20 yards.

Clyde pushed late on with Brighton again at the forefront.

The former Rangers kid missed a golden chance when he headed Eddie Malone's corner wide from almost point-blank range.

And sub Joe Miller, the assistant manager, wasted a decent chance near the finish before Brines produced the final action when he issued his third red card.

Higgins crashed through Gretna's Kenny Deuchar and the referee was left with little option but to produce a second yellow card and red.

CLYDE: Cherrie 7 - Bouadji 6, McKeown 6, Higgins 6, Malone 7 - McGowan 6 (Masterton 73mins), McDonald 6 (Miller 73mins), Bryson 6, O'Donnell 6 - Williams 4, *BRIGHTON 8.

GRETNA: Main 6 - Birch 6, *TOWNSLEY 8, Innes 4 - McCuffie 6, Nicholls 6, Tosh 7, O'Neil 6, Skelton 6 - Grady 6, Graham 6. Ref: I Brines 6.

CAPTION(S):

OFF YOU GO: Alex Williams (nine) is sent-off at Clyde
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 5, 2006
Words:472
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