|(1) Sawyers||Gethans (65)|
Clyde continued their good end of season form with a comfortable win over a poor Peterhead side. The Bully Wee welcomed back Willie Kinniburgh but were dealt a blow as Ally Park pulled up injured in the warm-up; he was replaced by Willie McLachlan. There was also no place for Dmitrijs Borisovs and the Latvian was replaced up front by Willie Sawyers.
Even caretaker manager Neil Watt could not have anticipated the impact that Sawyers would make on the game. From kick-off, Aleksandrs Gramovics rolled the ball back to Neil McGowan and from his punt forward, the striker eluded the dithering Ryan Strachan, before lobbing the ball neatly over Jon Bateman into the net for a goal after just 9 seconds. Peterhead remarkably almost levelled within a minute as Martin Bavidge fired over the bar from 12 yards.
Employing the ageing legs of Barry Wilson in midfield meant that Peterhead struggled to deal with Clyde’s pace and enthusiasm in that area and Adam Strachan’s pace was once more a major threat. The second goal was always likely to come and it arrived after just 11 minutes. McLachlan superbly won possession and the ball was fed forward to Sawyers. The quickest goalscorer in Britain this season held play up well before sliding a pass straight to Strachan who somehow scuffed his shot from 15 yards off target. Unfortunately for Peterhead, the ball rolled straight to John Stewart and the ex-Blue Toon player stabbed home his second goal in Clyde colours.
The Bully Wee continued to surge towards the away goal and remarkably should have added further to their lead. A hooked ball over the top sent Stewart clean through on goal but his early left-footed shot went just past the post. Connor Stevenson was then unlucky to see his in-swinging corner kick thump against the crossbar with the goalkeeper flapping at thin air.
Predictably, Clyde could not continue with their ferocious pace and Peterhead had a second chance to score but David Ross headed straight at Reidford from David Donald’s cross. Stewart then passed up another decent chance as Stuart Smith blocked his shot following more havoc from a corner, this time delivered by Gramovics.
Peterhead brought on the normally dangerous Graeme Sharp for Wilson at half-time but his impact was minimised due to a fine performance by McLachlan. Indeed, the Bully Wee should have finally added the third goal as Strachan fed Sawyers but the striker’s shot came back off the post and just eluded the incoming Stewart.
Clyde were punished for their lack of a third goal as Peterhead scored with their first serious effort on goal. A long throw by Donald sailed past the home defence and Connor Gethins reacted quickly to thump home past Reidford. It really was a typically conceded goal for the Bully Wee.
10 minutes later though, the points were sealed as Clyde netted that crucial third goal. Stewart was sandwiched on the edge of the box and Alan Lithgow stepped up to thump home a free kick into the roof of the net.
Kevin Higgins then replaced the hardworking Stewart and the fresh legs helped to confirm the victory that was almost extended by a long range Gramovics shot that just went past the post. It was a good display, aided by the poorest opposition side to visit Broadwood this season. Once more, fans are thinking “what might have been” as Arbroath’s point against Cowdenbeath means that relegation could perhaps just be 90 minutes away.