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Clyde 3 v 2 St. Mirren

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 1st January 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,500
Clyde
v
St. Mirren

Hide Match Report

by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

Bossy Kernaghan Mensing

Ross Hagen

Millen Fraser
Keogh

Hinds Falconer

SUBS: Convery, Morrison, Cosgrove, Nish (Falconer 79), Smith.

REPORT

Despite a couple of hiccups Clyde eased their way into the New Year in the manner we hoped they would with a good victory over St Mirren. Clyde could and probably should have won by a wider margin but they dominated possession and although Mendes' pace was always a threat Clyde never looked like losing once they regained the lead in the second half.

Andy Millen returned after suspension and Fabien Bossy replaced Potter (fractured jaw apparently) on the right side of the back three. Willie Falconer continued at centre-forward and was to show us just what he can do. Transfer listed Bryan Smith made the bench for what may be one of his last outings in a Clyde shirt.

In horrible weather conditions both teams began a little nervously with possession being lost very easily. Clyde had more possession initially but St Mirren began to look dangerous on the counter and so it proved after 15 minutes. Mendes broke down the left and fired a low cross across the box. Gillies nipped in front of the defence to fire the ball into the net. Manager Kernaghan gave Mensing a roasting for losing his man and it seemed to effect the young defender for a good while. However it didn't take long for Clyde to get back on level terms. Five minutes later Fraser broke from his own half and with options to his left and right he decided to shoot from distance. To be honest it wasn't the fiercest shot ever, and the St Mirren keeper had sustained a leg knock, but he could only parry the ball into the path of Falconer who tapped the ball into an empty net from a few yards out. After that it was all Clyde until the interval as St Mirren fell apart in a manner similar to their second half performance at Love St a few weeks ago. Keogh ruffled the side netting with a long range attempt before Falconer scored another. A corner found the head of the big forward and his strong attempt deceived the keeper and a defender on the line. Hinds, who must be the unluckiest forward ever, worked some space and again saw his shot come off the inside of the post. Mensing was also denied with a powerful shot and Keogh's close range header was brilliantly flicked over by the keeper. Although Clyde had dominated the game there was always the sneaking feeling that one goal is never enough.

Straight from the kick off Mendes had a powerful shot turned over by Halliwell. Clyde still hadn't started and from the corner Broadford picked his spot with a free header. Suddenly from a position of such dominance the game was anybody's. Fortunately Clyde just knuckled down to business and began to force St Mirren back again. Clyde forced numerous corners but couldn't find a finish. A couple of great defensive headers almost under their own bar kept Saints' goal intact as Clyde kept up the pressure. Eventually the goal came from a corner. This time it was headed back across the face of the goal and Keogh was on hand to bundle the ball over the line. Hinds set up Falconer for his hat trick but he fired the ball over the bar. Saints were desperate to the extent that they brought on the obviously overweight Mark Yardley. Clyde saw out the game in the Saints' half and were well worth their win.

STAR RATINGS (*****)

Halliwell (***) One flap but otherwise sound. Not much to do really.
Bossy (***) Stuck to Mendes well, but not really a centre back.
Mensing (***) Nervy opening 30 mins but steadied up later.
Kernaghan (***) Imperious as usual but maybe at fault for both goals?
Fraser (****) Impressive box to box display again.
Ross (****) Accomplished and consistent display yet again.
Hagen (****) Controlling the left and still running strong into injury time.
Millen (****) Kept things ticking over nicely.
Falconer (****) Two goals - what more can you ask for?
Keogh (***) Scored and could have had another but still looks out of sorts.
Hinds (*****) Superb once again. If only he could score more often.

REACTION

John Coughlin - "I don't think we looked safe at any time today, Clyde always posed a threat and had an ace up their sleeve in Leigh Hinds who had a magnificent performance.

Alan Kernaghan - "It's a good result although at times defensive-wise we weren't the best. But, attacking wise we played well and created good chances. Delighted with the three points overall. We were happy with 2-1 at half-time but we knew the next goal was going to be important. I then gave away a free header like an idiot, but thankfully got away with it at the other end. I was pleased to see Willie open his account. The first one was a great one to get, and easy tap-in. I think he's beginning to show what he can do now. David Hagen has eventually come onto good form and is now doing what we know he can do from the training ground. Leigh has been that good for the last 3 or 4 months. He's difficult to get off the ball and can roll you quite easily. You'd always rather have three points in the bag than have games in hand, so that was another vital aspect of today's game."

David Hagen - "I'm feeling a lot better now than I did at the start of the season, when I had a niggling injury. I'm just happy to be fit enough to play every week, and I missed a lot of Christmas dinner so I should be improving! I don't care when I score as long as the team is winning. It was a bit nail-biting at 2-2 today but we pulled through in the end. I know it's another cliche, but points at this time of year are vital. I think there would have been a few people watching the game today so hopefully we gave them something to think about. I hadn't played wing-back before I came to Clyde, but I actually quite like it. It gives you a lot of defending to do as well as getting forward. At the start of the season I was finding it difficult to get a happy medium but I feel I'm getting a wee bit better each week. You never stop learning this game."

Willie Falconer - "It was nice to get my first goals of the season - it's been a while. The first one was spinning and bobbling all over the place so I was a bit nervous putting it in! But it was a nice goal to get. I've scored a few headers in my career so it was good to get one today. We made it hard for ourselves as it could have been 3 or 4 by half-time. They then came back into the game at the start of the second half and made it difficult, but we got the three points in the end which was important. I don't think I'm 100% yet but it helps to be playing every week as opposed to just training. Hopefully in another 3 or 4 weeks I'll be at my best."