|(64) Cargill||Park (45)|
Clyde once more passed up a glorious chance to close the gap on the teams above them as Willie McLachlan’s error gifted East Fife an equaliser that looked unlikely for much of the second half at New Bayview.
The Bully Wee were unchanged from the 2-2 draw at Alloa, meaning that Ally Park continued at centre midfield. Sadly the consistent deficiency in the middle of the park meant that East Fife took charge early on and were allowed a range of shots from distance. The first of these, from Stuart Cargill was clutched on the bounce by Reidford, whilst the ‘keeper fumbled a similar effort from Bobby Linn around his post.
Clyde looked to strike on the break using the pace of Kris Doolan and John Stewart and the latter had the first opportunity for the away team, only for him to fire high and wide from inside the box. An even better chance fell to East Fife’s Paul McManus but Reidford made a trademark block at the striker’s feet.
Sadly, as the half progressed, chances became rarer and the main action was two soft bookings for Jonathan Smart and ex-Clyde loanee Alan Lowing. However, the Bully Wee took a lead that was barely deserved right on half-time. Jordan White saw his header well tipped over the bar by Michael Brown but from the resulting corner, Adam Strachan pulled the ball back to the edge of the box for Park to drill home a shot into the far corner.
For much of the early part of the second half, Clyde looked comfortable and just like Saturday, they spurned a glorious chance to seal the points by taking a two-goal lead. A fortunate deflection saw Strachan burst clear down the wing with just one defender standing between five Clyde attackers and the goal. The pass from Strachan was perfect but Park’s finish went high over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
McLachlan had seen a series of poor passes intercepted and eventually this led to the equaliser. Another charged down clearance was blocked into the path of Cargill and the impressive wide man made no mistake with a low finish past Reidford. This saw the Fifers press for a winner and McManus’ cross was tipped around the post by Clyde’s star ‘keeper.
The striker was soon involved in the action once more in an incident that left the crowd baffled. East Fife were lined up to take an attacking free-kick when the linesman called the referee over to discuss a scuffle in the penalty box. No Clyde player had fallen to the ground, however, McManus was soon shown a straight red card.
Needless to say, this saw a turnaround in the play and now Clyde were on top. Their best chance fell to Doolan but his goalbound shot was dramatically blocked on the goal-line by substitute Willie Sawyers. In stoppage time, Smart picked up a second booking leaving East Fife with just 9 men but the referee blew for full-time almost immediately and the points, perhaps deservedly, were shared.
In the first few weeks of the season this would have been looked upon as a good point. Unfortunately, Clyde need wins now and this was a game that should have been won given Park’s missed chance and the mistake for the equaliser.