Gretna 0 Hibernian 1

Last updated : 10 November 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Hibernian stay in third place in the SPL after a hard-fought victory against lowly Gretna at Fir Park.

It was a tight game throughout but a second-half strike from Steven Fletcher was enough, in the end, to take all the points to Easter Road.

Fletcher struck seven minutes into the second half after Lewis Stevenson had chased a Clayton Donaldson deflected shot to the byline and cut the ball back for the Hibs striker to shoot past Greg Fleming.

Gretna just can't buy a victory at the moment, but they put up a valiant effort, particularly in the second half, but they stay rooted to the foot of the table and it looks as though they could stay there a long time.

Hibs came out the traps flying and Filipe Morais saw his shot touched round the post by Fleming and, from the resultant corner, a Rob Jones header went just wide.

In ten minutes Hibs missed a great chance to open the scoring, when Mickael Antoine-Curier pounced on a weak passback by Danny Grainger, forcing Fleming into a terrific save, but the rebound fell kindly to Morais who somehow shot wildly over with an open goal in front of him.

Midway through the first half Gretna's Brendan McGill had a couple of efforts on goal but couldn't find the back of the net.

In 24 minutes Fabian Yantorno was fouled 20 yards out, but Grainger's free-kick was easily held by Yves Makaba-Makalamby.

Six minutes later Hibs were awarded a free kick just inside the Gretna box after Fleming picked up a Gavin Skelton passback, but Fletcher's shot from a Stevenson touch was blocked.

Hibs came even closer in 36 minutes when, from a Morais corner, Jones saw his excellent header crash off the face of the bar before Gretna cleared.

Right on half-time a terrific goal-line clearance from Evan Horwood prevented Fletcher giving Hibs an interval lead.

Fleming was called into action early in the second half and produced a fine save to keep a Morais shot.

Ross Chisholm and Brian Kerr both shot wide for Hibs just before Fletcher's opener.

Gretna's first real opportunity of the second half fell to Skelton, but he shot wide after a sweeping move took them to the edge of the Hibs area.

On 77 minutes Stevenson's terrific pass sent Alan O'Brien scurrying down the left and his cross found Kerr but Fleming made a good save to push the effort wide.

In a grandstand finish from Gretna, James Grady almost got the leveller when he latched on to Grainger's long pass and lifted the ball over Makaba-Makalamby, but was unlucky to see his effort go just wide.

With the game in injury time the giant Hibs keeper made a good save on his line to keep out a shot from David Graham and that was the last of the action.