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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 April 2006, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Gretna 3-0 Dundee
The Second Division side celebrate Ryan McGuffie's penalty goal
Gretna were comfortable winners at Hampden Park
The remarkable Gretna story continued as they swept Dundee aside to reach the Scottish Cup final.

The Second Division champions stand on the verge of European football after strikes from Kenny Deuchar and Ryan McGuffie and a Barry Smith own goal.

Deuchar squeezed in a controlled finish from an acute angle right on the stroke of half-time.

McGuffie scored from the penalty spot and Dundee, who posed little threat, were punished by Smith's late mishap.

Gretna, who joined the senior ranks of Scottish football just four years ago, are the first team from the Second Division to reach the final since a third tier was introduced in season 1975/76.

And they did so with ease, coping comfortably with their First Division opponents at Hampden Park.

A brisk opening saw both sides play some neat passing triangles in midfield but neither defence was seriously troubled in the first 20 minutes.

Gretna striker James Grady created the game's first opening when he nicked the ball away from Calum McDonald and sped down the left flank.

The experienced forward flashed a low delivery into the penalty area but a well-timed sliding challenge from Stuart McCluskey denied Deuchar a shooting chance.

Dundee's Tam McManus, playing wide on the right, did well to skip past two challenges and fire the ball into the six-yard box but team-mate Simon Lynch completely lost his bearings and diverted the cross away from goal.

Gavin Skelton's shot was comfortably held by goalkeeper Kelvin Jack and McGuffie's effort was deflected high over the crossbar as Gretna pressed ten minutes before the interval.

John O'Neil tested Jack with a strike from 18 yards before Deuchar broke the deadlock in first-half injury time.

The big striker latched on to a long pass in behind the Dundee defence and, with Jack slow to advance, took the ball wide of the 'keeper and steered the ball home from a tight angle.

Deuchar had the opportunity to score again soon after the break but he headed wide from Skelton's cross.

But Rowan Alexander's side were further ahead on 57 minutes when McGuffie tucked away a penalty kick.

The decision was harsh on Dundee since McGuffie appeared to run straight into Bobby Mann after losing control of the ball.

Dundee teenager Bryan Deasley warmed the fingertips of Alan Main with a fierce shot and Steven Craig was crowded out when the loose ball came his way.

The contest was over after 82 minutes when O'Neil's attempt at an elaborate drag-back ricocheted off the unfortunate Smith a flew into his own net.


Gretna: Main, Birch, Townsley, Innes, McGuffie, O'Neil, Nicholls (McQuilken 78), Tosh, Skelton, Deuchar, Grady (Shields 79). Subs Not Used: Mathieson, McBride, Berkeley.

Goals: Deuchar 45, McGuffie 58 pen, Smith 82 og.

Dundee: Jack, McCluskey (Kevin McDonald 53), Mann, Calum McDonald, Dixon, McManus (Craig 64), Robertson, Smith, Brady (Robb 76), Deasley, Lynch. Subs Not Used: Murray, Law.

Booked: Mann.

Att: 14,179

Ref: C Murray



SEE ALSO
Alexander wants Gretna for life
30 Mar 06 |  Scottish Cups
Gretna - Living the dream
27 Mar 06 |  Scottish League


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