McCluskey Kernaghan McLaughlin Mensing
Marshall Ross Gibson Hagen
SUBS: Doyle (McLaughlin 76), Halliwell, Keogh (Smith 70), Gilhaney, Fraser (Marshall 84).
RAITH ROVERS: Berthelot, Smart, Stanic, Bornes, Brown (Capin 45), Brady, Nieto (Malcolm 64), Paquito, Calderon, Ferrero, Dow (Young 75) SUBS NOT USED: Maxwell, Gonzalez.
Clyde pushed themselves back onto pole position with a convincing win over Raith Rovers. At times it appeared like Raith player/manager, Antonio Calderon, was taking Clyde on by himself while Ian Harty was running riot and with a bit more composure could easily have scored a hat trick.
Once again Clyde had the good fortune to put out an unchanged team and that meant Stuart McCluskey continued at right back while Simon Mensing remained on the left. Clyde began in sprightly enough fashion but Raith's neat passing game was winning the midfield battle although Morrison had very little to deal with. Clyde only really began to be in the ascendancy after 30 minutes. Smith was unlucky to see a neat flick at the near post parried to safety by the keeper. From a Clyde corner McCluskey saw his header headed off the line too. A goal was coming though and Ian Harty showed his worth once again. The ball was played down the right channel and Harty spun his marker and was on to it. He carried the ball into the box changed to his left foot and finished with ease. This gave Clyde a lift and they finished the half playing with some confidence.
With results going our way at Palmerston and Victoria Park Clyde began the second half intent on pressing home the advantage. It didn't take long before a sweeping move saw Hagen's measured volley come off the crossbar. Raith had no answer to Harty's movement as time and time again he sprung the Raith offside trap. Fifteen minutes into the second half Clyde doubled their lead. Harty again broke down the left and headed towards the box. He decided to cut inside and lost the ball but fortunately Marshall was following up and although he dithered as well his shot found the net. Raith were now going for broke at were leaving huge gaps at the back for Clyde to exploit. Ten minutes later Harty took advantage yet again. Again he spun free down the left and headed for the box. Again he cut inside and this time he fired his shot through the keeper for a well deserved second goal. Keogh replaced Smith as Clyde continued to carve Raith apart.
Overall this was as convincing an away display as we have seen all season. After Clyde got the measure of Antonio Calderon and took the lead the game never looked in doubt. With other results going our way the confidence in the camp must be sky high.
STAR RATINGS *****
Morrison *** Very little to do but kicking is a problem.
McCluskey *** Solid game with very little getting past him.
Mensing *** Passing still a bit rash but a very comfortable game for the young man.
Kernaghan **** Seems to stroll through games at the moment.
McLaughlin **** Forms a very solid unit and has the skill to get out of trouble.
Ross *** Came onto a better game in the second half but not as prominent as usual.
Hagen **** Bit more involved this week and enjoyed the space afforded him on the left.
Marshall **** Took his goal well and had some fine runs.
Smith *** Battled away but his striking colleague was stealing the show.
Gibson **** Not as prominent as last week but showed some fine touches.
Harty ***** Excellent display of running and finishing.
Keogh *** Linked up well in his short spell.
Doyle ** More experience but not much time to do anything.
Fraser ** Little time but should have taken his chance to score.
ANTONIO CALDERON - "We didn't deserve anything from the game because we didn't defend properly. The same long ball behind our defenders caused us a lot of problems and we couldn't cope.
"Their striker took the ball with his hand for their second goal but the referee didn't see it.
"Today was a bad today because everything has gone wrong. We were playing against far stronger opposition and our team has only been together for a couple of weeks."
ALAN KERNAGHAN - "In the first half I thought we were a little bit ropey and it took us a bit of time to get used to the way Raith were playing. Calderon and Dow caused us problems but we defended ok. Once we got the second goal it was comfortable.
"Ian had about 10 one on ones, which just seemed to come from the simple ball into the channel. His pace caused them endless problems and maybe with a wee bit of better selection of final pass we could have had more goals but I'm not complaining that much.
"We had to leave Stephen McConalogue out of the 16 today because Jack has had a problem this week and we were worried about having cover for that position and we also needed Paul Doyle to cover the back four. Unfortunately Stephen was the one to be left out. I spoke to him beforehand and he took it as it was meant and realised the reasons for it, which is pleasing from my point of view.
"We've done our bit. You can't legislate for what happens elsewhere but I must admit I've got a smile on my face. We didn't expect things to go as they did elsewhere today but they have and, most importantly, we've done our job.
"It would only take us to lose and Inverness to win to turn things around again. We are looking to go there next week and win but the important thing is not to lose."
COLIN MARSHALL - "We had a few chances and Harty could have squared some of them but he was going for his hat-trick so you can't blame him. There were a lot of positives to come out of the game so we are happy in that respect.
"We've just heard that we are back top of the league but we still need to make that game in hand count. We've got to keep working hard for points.
"We're full of confidence and there's a good vibe in the dressing room.
"I'm still enjoying myself here and getting the experience of first-team football. My Aston Villa contract is up at the end of the season and Clyde in the SPL is potentially an attractive offer for me next season. I'll just need to wait and see what happens."
TOP: Alan Kernaghan heads the ball away.
MIDDLE: Jimmy Gibson (10) takes the ball away as Simon Mensing looks on.
Pictures courtesy of Jim Foy of rrfc.co.uk