Mensing Potter Kernaghan McLaughlin
Ross Millen Fraser Hagen
SUBS: Falconer (Keogh 75), Morrison, Shields (McConalogue 75), Gilhaney (Kernaghan 83), Cosgrove.
Clyde eased themselves into second place with another single goal victory over the Saints.The game mirrored Clyde's season with St Johnstone passing the ball better in the middle of the park but unable to penetrate a mean defence. Clyde on the other hand struggled to find fluency for large parts of the game but took the main chances when they arrived. Andy Millen scored yet again and we're now faced with the scary prospect of him chasing Keogh to be top scorer.
Tactically Clyde rang the changes and adopted a rigid 4-4-2 with Mensing and McLaughlin as fullbacks. Up front Keogh and McConalogue were given the chance to shine. Clyde began quite well with Jack Ross making his typical surging runs down the right but after the initial burst St Johnstone got a grip of the midfield with Paul Hartley pulling the strings. McConalogue and Keogh were very isolated and McConalogue especially had no chance with Clyde's long game. Yet as we've seen many times this season there are teams out there who ping the ball around without having any impact at the business end of things. Clyde's more direct approach gave them the lead on 25 minutes. Clyde won a corner and Jack Ross spotted Potter making a late run into the box. He stabbed the ball into the path of Potter and a powerful header flew into the net from about 15 yards without a marker within 10 yards of him. This stung St Johnstone into action and they didn't take long to find the equaliser. Saints overhit a corner but it was collected and the player took a wide arc before firing a vicious shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. This brought about the usual fit of pique from Kernaghan who this time rounded on Hagen. However Hagen is too long in the tooth to take such public humiliation lying down and he shoved the boss during the heated argument. Clyde then grabbed a vital lead just before the interval. A cross fell to Millen in the box and he drilled a shot into the corner of the net from close range.
In such a tight game Clyde didn't make any changes at half time as they looked to hold onto the lead. From the whistle Saints kept the ball for about 10 minutes but failed to fashion anything resembling a chance. In fact it was Millen who had the best chance of the half after about fifteen minutes. A Clyde free kick crashed into the defensive wall and fell to him. With the keeper to beat he could only blast it off his legs. Midway through the half the game had descended into mediocrity with passes from both sides going astray. Millen again had a good chance but fired it at the keeper again. Saints
So despite a less than wonderful performance Clyde moved into second place. The 4-4-2 formation didn't really work with the players used as Clyde had very little support for their forwards. Again the defence stood firm though, and it was good to see McLaughlin back in action. With home games against QOS and Arbroath and an away game at Ayr there's no reason to think Clyde can't hold onto second place.
STAR RATINGS (*****)
Halliwell *** Little to do but did it well.
Potter **** Solid game and a goal as well. Looks better in the middle.
Mensing **** Accomplished performance again.
Kernaghan *** Slack passing again lets him down.
Fraser *** Passable but not one of his best.
Ross *** Strong start but faded as the game progressed.
Hagen ** Quiet game and hardly put over a cross.
Millen **** Enthusiasm and a goal makes up for his shortcomings.
Keogh ** No service + no support = no chances.
McConalogue ** Showed a bit more than Keogh but still nothing to work with.
McLaughlin *** Subdued and obviously needs games.
Falconer * Booked without touching the ball.
Sheilds * No time to do anything.
Gilhaney * No time to shine.
ALAN KERNAGHAN - "That was probably the ugliest of the games against St.Johnstone this season. We must have played football about 2 or 3 times in the whole game. They had the majority of the play but we were able to keep them at arms length. Even their goal was a deflection. There's a lot of room for improvement but that's probably being over critical. The wind didn't help, but the pitch is good and we should be better than that."
"The first goal was a good delivery from the corner and John attacked it well. The second goal is a good lay off from Pat Keogh, he showed good awareness and Andy has finished it off."
"Andy Millen was fantastic, he worked non-stop today. He came back after 2 weeks out and looked like he hadn't been out at all."
"The aim 7 or 8 games ago was to go unbeaten until the end of the season, and it would be a great achievement to finish 2nd. Unfortunately there's nothing at the end of it but our own pride, but that comes first and foremost."
JOHN POTTER - "Jack Ross put a great ball in for my goal, so I just stuck my head on it. I arrived late which is why I wasn't picked up. My other goal was a tap-in at Alloa so this one was a bit better. I'm hoping for another before the end of the season."
"We've just got to keep going now; we have three hard games left starting next week. We've had a great run, going 15 or 16 games with just one defeat. Unfortunately we blew it a bit at Falkirk."
"We had a bad start to the season, but after that we've been flying and doing really well. We beat Partick Thistle on my debut and I knew we had a good team here, but we were just at the wrong end of the table. A few good players have come in and the confidence is high now, and also youngsters like Mark Gilhaney coming through is a great boost."
"I have no regrets about leaving Dunfermline - I wasn't playing anyway so there was no point in being there. I'm very happy at Clyde. I had a couple of bad games a couple of months ago but hopefully my form has picked up a bit now."
"Fingers crossed we can make a challenge next season. Everyone will be looking to beat us so it will be tough. If we make a couple of good signings and get a good start, we could be in with a chance."
TOP: John Potter wins a header just ahead of Pat Keogh.
MIDDLE: Mark McLaughlin tussles with a Saints forward.
All pictures courtesy of Frank Tocher and