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Falkirk 2 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Brockville
Date: Saturday, 21st September 2002
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 3,595
Falkirk
v
Clyde

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by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

Mensing Potter McLaughlin

Ross Hagen
Millen Kane
Keogh

Nish Hinds

SUBS: McClay, Morrison, Convery (Hinds ), Fraser (Hagen ), Bossy (McLaughlin )

REPORT

Clyde were supposed to use this game to try and re-launch their season but instead found themselves deeper in the mire. McLaughlin only lasted 30 minutes of his comeback before he broke down. Potter was sent off and Keogh missed a penalty as Clyde tried to get something out of this game. Falkirk were hardly firing on all cylinders but still applied enough pressure to score two scrappy goals. Clyde only applied the pressure when the game was lost and now must take a long hard look at themselves before next week's encounter with a free-scoring Inverness.

The Manager decided to introduce Kane and McLaughlin from the start. What surprised many was neither Smith nor Bossy were playing in the middle of the back three. Instead, Mensing and McLaughlin flanked Potter. Up front Nish continued with Hinds and Keogh took a position in midfield. As expected Falkirk came at Clyde from the first whistle but very little was getting through to Halliwell. Clyde found it very hard to support their attackers and when they did find time on the ball to build they lacked any cutting edge. On the right the triangle of Ross, Millen and Kane saw plenty of the ball but no final product was forthcoming. The game was disrupted by serious injury to Falkirk's McQuilken who had to be stretchered off. Ross's shot across the face of the goal was Clyde's only real chance of the half. Sadly McLaughlin broke down after 30 minutes and was strangely allowed to try and run the injury off for another 10 minutes before being replaced by Bossy. The distinct suspicion at half time was that Falkirk had some gears to go through while Clyde were just going to have to hang on.

Clyde began the second half with Hagen having a shot on target. Sadly this was not an indication of what was to come. Owen Coyle was on hand to benefit from a ricochet to steer the ball past Halliwell from close range. Worse was to follow as Potter was deemed to have committed another his second bookable foul and was sent off. The big defender was less than pleased at the decision and may find himself in further trouble. Fraser and Convery replaced Hagen and Hinds to try and give Clyde some drive. Clyde then conceded the crucial second with another daft goal. Halliwell and Fraser managed to thwart a Falkirk break and the ball spun to Bossy. He thought he had time to run the ball across the 6 yard box but Falkirk's Rennie had him in his sights. Rennie's interception/tackle/shot flew into the roof of the net. The game had the potential to get really ugly for Clyde but they stuck to their task and Keogh should have buried a header from close range. He made up for his miss by earning himself a penalty that he took himself. Sadly Ferguson guessed correctly and the ball was cleared. Clyde were wide open at the back and only the naive and raw play of Falkirk's Samuel was keeping the score down. Clyde did eventually get a goal at the death. Nish's great free kick was was parried around the post. From the resulting corner Keogh knocked the ball down and Kane drove the ball into the net. Sadly it was too little and much too late.

Clyde had better find a style of play that suits them soon as only the dire form of Alloa, Arbroath and QOS is stopping us from slipping to the bottom of the table. That is Falkirk 11 points ahead of us after only 7 games. Are we going for second place then?

KERNAGHAN'S REACTION

I was not disappointed with the performance at all. I thought it was a good game of football and both teams went about their job very well. But, once again, we were punished for stupid mistakes. We didn't take our chances at the other end, in fact, I thought we could have won 3-2 with the chances near the end. Still it's not to be, but that has been the story of our season.

The players just don't seem to have any belief in front of goal as probably the penalty was a shining example of. It was a good save but I would still expect to score a penalty. Paddy should have scored with the header at just 1-0 down but I don't think he got a good connection on it. Indeed, I think it actually came off their defender.

I don't know about you guys but I did not see a bad tackle in the whole game. It was competitive as you want it to be, but there was nothing malicious from either side. We have spoken to the referee about the Potter sending off and he has given us his side. We felt we did not get much from him the whole game but that's now by the by. I think the ref is going to report Potter for his comments as he was coming off, he has told us as much. I don't know what trouble he will be in.

Our players have to compete and have a certain amount of aggression. I am sure the Falkirk lads may think that we overdid it. We like to play football when we can but when the other team has the ball you have to go and get it. When the ball drops between one of your players and one of theirs all I ask is that they go and get it. The leg break was right in front of us although I did not really see too much. It was obvious the lad was in pain. I think he may have gone to try to kick through the tackle and that's how it happened. It is very unfortunate for him.

The team can turn it around but we need to defend better because that is what kills us every week, i.e. the Bossy goal. They don't seem to be able to smell danger. If the ball is 60 yards from your goal the opposition is not going to score against you. At times they refuse to put their foot through the ball and clear it, they seem to want to play it nice.

We just have to keep going and build up the player's confidence. They need to start believing in themselves and if they work as hard as they did today then it will turn around.