CLYDE: Halliwell, Mensing, McLaughlin (Cranmer 77), Smith, Fraser, Ross, Convery (Crawford 68), Millen, Hinds, Dunn, Carrigan (Hagen 86). SUBS NOT USED: Bingham and Budinaukas
Alan Kernaghan adjusted the team slightly from Saturday, bringing Stevie Convery in for Craig Bingham and dropping Carrots back into a deeper role. The conditions were very wet and windy all night and Clyde kicked off the first half going against the wind. All the Clyde fans got put in the stand I assume because the weather was that poor. As you'd expect on the sticky surface, the game wasn't great but to be fair to both teams they did their best to play some good football. Although Falkirk had the edge in possession, Clyde were looking more dangerous on the attack with the pace of Convery causing problems. As always, our main threat was coming from out wide and cross balls into the box, and this led to the opener. A corner came over from the left and Kevin Christie handled the ball as he jumped for it. I didn't get a clear view but the Clyde players were all adamant it was a penalty and there was no protest from Falkirk. Brian Cassidy pointed to the spot straight away, and Carrigan converted the penalty low to his left but the keeper very nearly saved it. Clyde now looked the better side. but against the run of play Falkirk equalised. A corner was half cleared but the ball came back in from the far side to the far post. It deceived Simon Mensing and whoever was supposed to be at the back post as Kevin Christie collected the ball in the clear and neatly placed the ball past Halliwell to make it 1-1. Clyde could have retaken the lead when John Fraser burst into the box from the right wing, he cut the ball back (maybe a bit too early) for Leigh Hinds but he couldn't quite squeeze it in.
Clyde had the wind in the second half and immediately used it to their advantage. Leigh Hinds collected the ball in the box with his back to goal, but he managed to turn his marker and fire the ball into the opposite corner to the delight of the Clyde fans. For about 5 minutes we looked as though we might sit back and concede a goal but that phase passed and Clyde started to come forward again. On the hour mark, Andy Millen played a cracking ball over the top of the defence to Carrigan. Leigh Hinds was about 5 yards offside but he was running back so the static Falkirk defence were caught out as the linesman made a very good decision. Carrigan ran into the box, rounded the keeper, and (after an agonising hesitation) fired the ball in off the post with three Falkirk players on the line. To cap it off, we got a trademark somersault to enjoy! 3 minutes later it reached fever pitch in the Clyde end as we won a free kick about 25 yards out at our side. Carrigan was instructed to shoot by the fans and he did so. The ball skidded off Hogarth's chest and Leigh Hinds was the first to react and blast the ball home for 1-4. Only 5 minutes later it was goal 5 - Hinds collected the ball at the edge of the box, skinned a couple of men, and fired a now trademark goal into the opposite corner. It was his first senior hat-trick and he thoroughly deserved it. Carrots nearly got his hat trick soon after with a high shot that went over. The confidence was flowing through the team now and the 6th, and best in my opinion, coming near the end. The impressive Hinds twisted and turned on the left wing and whipped in a superb cross which was matched by Brian Carrigan's pinpoint header into the bottom corner for his hat trick. The chants of "we want 7" sadly didn't worked but the players went off the park to a standing ovation.
This was a tremendous result for a number of reasons, but I suppose the most important was just the three points. Falkirk looked like a team going down and that wouldn't bother me at all as Brockville really is getting embarrassing. At least this proved to the doubters that Alan Kernaghan deserves a chance. Oh, and in case your wondering, we think the last hat-trick for Clyde was Jamie Mitchell at Stirling in the 6-3 game 2 years ago. As for the last double hat-trick...answers on an e-mail please!!