Derry got their tactics correct right from the start. Their support filled the Cooper Stand and for the entire game their wonderful chanting, flag waving and singing fans encouraged City to take the tie. Losing the goal merely caused them to raise the volume of their support – they were certainly the twelfth man.
The Cooper Stand came to life
By contrast the Gretna fans, though greater in number, were spread thinly among the other three stands and they lost the contest as comprehensively as their team.
Gretna fans before the roof fell in
Gretna had the best of the opening exchanges and deserved their lead. A couple of slack passbacks gave them chances to increase their tally but it was the team from across the water which scored the second with a fine take and cross followed by a powerful header.
That's a fine example of its kind
City ran riot in the second half with a further four goals. Three of them were spectacular shots from outside the box. The contrast between the exuberant ‘away' fans and the downcast ‘home' team grew with every goal.
It was a strange experience for the ‘Well fans in the East Stand. They will never have heard such a noise coming from the Cooper end. Every seat was taken (though everyone stood for the last half hour!) and the constant singing was aided by a great big drum.
As the locals left the ground there were more than a few remarks suggesting the Malpas should be signing a few of the players on show tonight.
A fine night's entertainment for the neutrals was tinged with a bit of sadness for Gretna and their fans. The dream has come to an abrupt end and they still have to go through the formality of an away leg. The better team won – hood luck to them in the next round.